Flagrant, yet at the same time wet behind the ears, Out UK’s Adrian Gillan dowses himself in Cologne.
Cologne, or Köln, is Germany’s oldest city, it's fast becoming its queer capital and its increasingly affordable with flights under £30. The RAF may have altered the skyline somewhat but that old man river of a Rhine flows timelessly by, beneath the eternal spires of one of the world’s truly great cathedrals, as cute young jungen and horny herrs flood the streets of at least two parts of town.
Photography by Günther Ventur.
Courtesy KölnTourismus Office.


Boy babes head just west of centre to the strassen around Rudolfplatz; the generally older leather, SM and bear brigade tend to rivet themselves to the queer cluster in the older quarter just south of the Rathaus (Town Hall). Indeed, with this two-centre gay getaway, you’ll know in which camp your bovver boot will largely lodge. There are far more bars than listed here, but this should give you bearings.

Younger guys head for Die Mumu on Schaafenstraße which is known by locals as the bermuda-triangle. Barcelon has a mediterranean atmosphere, and offers a gay and lesbian mixed crowd some outdoor space. Baustelle 4 U on Vor St. Martin is a real Cologne local. Elderly gentleman in the early evenings, later on a popular late night meeting place for young and old, with some fetish nights, and Ix Bar has a Cocktail Happy Hour every Monday and most nights a small dancefloor in operation, with shows or other events.

There are cheap cocktails, house music and a chill-out lounge available at Maxbar. All cocktails all night long only 4,90 Euro, but on Sundays you can roll the dice for your cocktail price - so it costs 1-6 Euro! It's next to Schaafenstr. Worth a mention is One Night Club which despite its name was the former Clip Cologne and is really more of a bar than a club. There's a mixed aged crowd attracted by its disco.


Youth before mature beauty, and a few yards north of Rudolfplatz you’ll stumble upon some welcoming gay style cafes. Coffee, cake and chatter flow at Ex-Corner, one of Cologne’s most constantly packed bar-cum-pubs, with a buzzing vibe and patrons of all ilks and ages and nearby you'll find the tiny-yet-cutsy Schampanja and that's also popular with a gay crowd in their 30's and 40's.
Back past Ex-Corner, warm-coloured Schön hooks a young, unpretentious crowd keen to natter as they mouth along to the latest chart-toppers. But if you fancy some real men, boot and brace yourself for the other queer crux, east across town. Best check out the nightly dress code rigour at the likes of Zipp's on Hohe Pforte, as well as nearby rock hard Cox and legendary kick-me-I-bite Stiefelknecht.


Whatever you hanker, you’ll need some succour. The boys can dine from morn ‘til eve amongst the charming and spacious specials-all-day available in Quo Vadis. You'll find it at Vor St Martin 8-10. 2guys-cologne, is the former Morgenstern Café, which has an extensive menu available, daytime and at breakfast, and it attracts a gay and lesbian crowd. Cafe Bastard despite its strange name is a trendy and friendly backyard bar with a great shady terrace and a sunny roofgarden on top. It has delicious snacks, is popular in the evenings and sometimes has DJs.

Ruhrpott is a gay cocktail bar with a better wine list than you would expect from most venues and it has many specialties. At lunch time it has homemade soups in a cozy family atmosphere, with snacks and some vegetarian meals on the menu. It sometimes stages some shows and events and the bar attracts a middle-aged crowd in their 30's and 40's. Diner's in the Neumarkt is the ideal location to see and be seen in the very heart of the city. It's gay owned and operated and offers a full breakfast in the morning and an extensive menu the rest of the day.


The Brunos store is the largest shopping and leisure exerience for the gay lifestyle. In the middle of the gay scene, situated near the U-Bahn station Rudolfplatz, Bruno's offers a diverse and current selection of fashion, magazines, books, toys, condoms and lubricants at fair prices. The number of films on offer includes movies and porn, which can also be hired.

Dome Fetisch has many specials, from XXS till XXXL latex, leather, uniforms, cockrings, and much more including a large selection of toys. There's also MGW Cologne with clubwear, underwear, leather, rubber, neoprene and more. This store also has a small shop inside for the Mr.B range of goods from the well known retailer in The Netherlands.


If you are after a night out with the guys only then Station 2B is a possibility. Its a gay club and cruising bar with darkroom, cabins, slings, glory holes, and regular fetish-events and parties with Live-DJs.

Deck 5 is one of the best offers very late at night after 1.30am. It's one of the horniest places in town, but not to be recommended for aesthetics. Smoking is also allowed and there's some fetish and video shows. Also on offer is Club 21 - a small gay club with a bar, and Reineke Fuchs which has a well priced bar with good DJs, although it's sometimes difficult to get past the door staff.

Sadly you'll find no more Hands in Cologne.
If you just want a dance then the best known mixed club is Green Komm @ Nachtflug. It has 21 years of being the best party at one of the best clubs of Cologne. 14 Hours of non-stop dancing with great music presented by the best DJs from around the world. It's a must for dancing boys.


If you still haven’t pulled and it isn’t raining, it’s only a five minute stroll west to the hilly forested piece of land between the large pond at the Aachener Weiher and the railway line. If it is raining, there are saunas aplenty. Back in the more be-leathered eastern quarter try Vulcano. In boy-babe land, try the friendly Der Faun’s all night weekend steam-fest or wallow and orgy in the mock Roman glamour of Badehaus Babylon Cologne. Also: boy toy shops abound, with their naughty knick-knacks and private video booths for those beyond the pull - try some on Mathiasstrasse to the east or back off Rudolfplatz.

If you have money to spend then Altstadtpub is a rent bar almost exclusively for gay men. It attracts mixed ages and is often frequented by hustlers. Valentino in the Altenberger Straße is a House of Boys with massage on offer, whirlpool/jacuzzi, strip shows and video shows. The bar is frequented by hustlers, and more popular at the weekend. You must ring to enter.


We can fully recommend Centro Hotel Ariane next to Zipp’s. With its stylish and comfortable décor, fully gay-friendly hospitality and hearty breakfast buffet, it is ideally located in the heart of the leather district, but a short walk from everywhere. Art'otel Cologne in the Holzmarkt is a stylish new Art-Hotel in the city center directly on the river. It offers a full breakfast, massage and dry sauna.

You can book other gay-friendly hotels online through our partners Bookings. Low cost airline Eurowings offer flights from Heathrow or Stansted, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham direct to Cologne-Bonn airport, which is about 9 miles southeast of the city centre.

2guys-cologne (Friesenwall 24d; Website; T: 0049 221 54 81 3768)
Altstadtpub (Unter Käster 5-7; Website; T: 0049 221 27 74 868)
Art'otel Cologne (Holzmarkt 4; T: 0049 221 80 10 30)
Badehaus Babylon Cologne (Friesenstr. 23 - 25; T: 00 49 221 257 70 06)
Barcelon (Pipinstraße 3; Website; T: 0049 163 159 81 65)
Baustelle 4 U (Vor St. Martin 12; Website; T: 0049 221 258 17 83)
Brunos (Kettengasse 20; Website; T: 0049 221 272 56 37)
Cafe Bastard (Friesenwall 29; Website; T: 0049 221 420 77 77)
Centro Hotel Ariane (Hohe Pforte 19 - 21; T: 00 49 221 23 60 33)
Club 21 (Hohe Pforte 13-17)
Cox (Mühlenbach 53; T: 00 49 221 240 04 19)
Die Mumu (Schaafenstraße 51; Website; T: 0049 221 168 672 77)
Era (Friesenwall 26; T: 00 49 221 271 27 25)
Ex-Corner (Schaafenstrasse 57-59; T: 00 49 221 24 90 61)
Deck 5 (Mathiasstraße 5; Website; T: 0049 221 271 79 73)
Der Faun (Händelstrasse 31; T: 00 49 221 21 61 57)
Diner's (Neumarkt 16; Website; T: 0049 221 257 06 69)
Dome Fetisch (Händelstraße 27; Website; T: 0049 221 923 42 09)
Green Komm @ Nachtflug (Hohenzollernring 89-93; Website)
Ix Bar (Mauritiuswall 84; Website; T: 0049 221 233 60 60)
Maxbar (Am Rinkenpfuhl 51; Website; )
MGW Cologne (Händelstrasse 53; T: 0049 221 271 627 41)
One Night Club (Stephanstraße 4; T: 0049 221 294 369 64)
Quo Vadis (Vor St Martin 8-10; T: 00 49 221 258 14 14)
Reineke Fuchs (Aachener Str. 50; T: 0049 171 322 99 69)
Ruhrpott (Balduinstr. 20; Website)
Schampanja (Mauritiuswall 43; T: 00 49 221 24 42 94)
Schön (Schaafenstrsse 51; T: 00 49 221 24 65 30)
Sex and Gay Centre (Mathiasstrasse 23; T: 00 49 221 23 53 01)
Sex and Gay-Shop (Pfeilstrasse 10; T: 00 49 221 25 62 78)
Station 2B (Pipinstraße 2; Website; T: 0049 178 331 44 45)
Stiefelknecht (Pipinstrasse 9; T: 00 49 221 258 07 72)
Valentino Hotel (Altenberger Straße 13; Website; T: 0049 221 13 70 79)
Vulcano (Marienplatz 3-5; T: 00 49 221 21 60 51)
Zipp's (Hohe Pforte 13-17; T: 00 49 221 240 60 76) )

Revised April 2017.


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