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With a modern Manhattan skyline together with a sizeable Germanic gay scene, OutUK's Adrian Gillan finds that boys mean business in the vibrant and multicultural melting pot that is Frankfurt.

It's where German business bods all head for when they can't fix their Euro-meeting in Berlin.

(c) Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Presse und Informationsamt.
Yes, Frankfurt is in fact the in place to go right now in Germany. A charming old city until we bombed the schnitzel out of it during WW2, it has emerged - strangely purged - as a dynamic creative hub.

Check out some spectacular cutting edge architecture and more museums, theatres and art galleries than you can waggle a hot sausage at: from Goethe's haunting house to the jagged, intrepid Museum of Modern Art. And the city has an extremely compact, brimming and walkable queer quarter just north east of its ageing, aching heart - bounded by Seilerstrasse, Zeil and Brönnerstrasse.

GRAB A SAUSAGE

Being a multicultural city, Frankfurt is blessed with a wide range of restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world. The city has some of the finest restaurants in Germany dotted around the city. From high rise restaurants to quaint little gastropubs, meat features on most menus with beef roasts and venison very popular.
Where better to try a Frankfurter? This sausage speciality was the culinary talk of the town as early as 1825, when it was served in the city’s first international hotels as a snack-sized delicacy and has gone on to become one of the most famous international dishes. Other local specialities include, “Handas mit musik” a strong regional cheese and of course Apfelwein (Apple Wine), the traditional apple cider served in a traditional mug or as a spritzer.
(c) Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Presse und Informationsamt.
Fressgass is a really great neighbourhood for dining out featuring cuisine from Tapas to Middle Eastern to East Asian. The district is the epicentre of restaurants and bars, although it can be a bit pricey. Make sure you try a glass of Ebbelwoi Kneipen, Frankfurt’s famous cider. Alternatively, the restaurants in the Romerberg, Bergerstrasse and Zeil shopping centres are worth a visit.

BAR LIFE

Frankfurt’s gay district is known as the Bermuda Triangle, an area around Alte Gasse, north of Konstablerwache train station and at the crossing of Zeil, the shopping street and Konrad Adenauer Strasse. Here you will find the city’s most popular gay cafes, night clubs and bars. The Mahnmal Homosexuellenverfolgung memorial to gay and lesbian victims of the Nazi years is in nearby Klaus-Mann Square.

(c) IMH - Axel Schneider
www.frankfurter-engel.de
Unlike many cities, there is no specific time for bars to close in Frankfurt. Many are open all night on weekends. On weekdays bars typically close at around 1am, however if there are people in the bar, the barman will generally keep serving until everyone has left the bar.

Here you'll find Babylon Blue Bar, a newly opened gay bar that attracts a gay crowd of all ages which for many years was called Monte Carlo and then Babylon - it has good music and a great atmosphere.

Just down the road Krawallschachtel is an old fashioned and friendly rent bar which has a good atmosphere and some nice people. It's definitely a must for the young and young at heart.

Also worth a visit is Zum Schwejk an earthy, unpretentious and noisy focus for all ages where being cool is really rather snubbed at the door. It's just the place for you if you like your bears rough and ready for fun. Criss-cross yet again to up the style stakes at Lucky´s Manhatten - a large, trendy bar-for-the-young, spread over two levels. Get there early for either a snack or a cocktail, almost everyone seems to begin their night here. You'll find both the old and the young at nearby, aptly-named Comeback - the former generally coaxing the latter to do just that with some Euro encouragement.

Central in Elefantengasse is a classic type of urban bar. It has a stylish design but relaxed atmosphere with great cocktails, mixed Thursday nights and a happy hour from 20-21h. In the same road you'll find Zur Hex a tiny, camp bar that's always busy late at night. It attracts mixed ages and has some outdoor seating. Na und?, which translates to So What? is in Klapperfeldstr. Exclusively gay this bar attracts mixed ages but particularly popular with mature guys. It's a super comfortable bar and gastropub with a range of basic good food.

For something heavier there's Stall on hard-sounding Stiftstrasse which is the oldest leather dive in town, indeed one of the oldest leather bars in Germany. It's a western-style leather bar with dark room, videos, attracting all ages but many young guys. It's a must for the Leather and Denim crowd. The bar is open daily from 9 pm to 4 am and their large dark room is open on Saturday nights during their XL nights, which are one of many themed nights in this exciting venue.

CLUBBING


(c) #visitfrankfurt - Holger Ullmann
Queer Frankfurt certainly loves to dance - Five Traxx back on Alte Gasse gets swinging at about the same time, pumping techno to a generally older and muscled crowd, albeit sometimes a bit thin on the ground.

In contrast Club 78 is Frankfurt's best known disco party with music from the 70's, 80's and 90's. It's been going since 1995 presenting the top hits of the disco era and the most popular dance classics garnished with the best of the current club charts. Every now and then, big names can be seen live on the stage - over the years they've had Baccara, Ottawan, Limahl and Jimmy Somerville as guests. Not to be forgotten is their candy-girl, who's always enchanting and provocatively shrillly dressed and with much "hip gold" the whole party evening on the way.

STEAMING UP

There are three gay saunas dotted around the city. Be careful not to bring valuables with you. While generally safe, some of the younger guys may be hustling and looking for some cash. The most established of the three is Amsterdam Club Sauna located in the South Bank District of Sachsenhausen. It is easy to overlook as its located in a large Villa on 4 floors in a busy residential block. Weekends are often full and the sauna is closed Mondays.

Saunawerk can be found in Eschersheimer Landstraße It's located on three floors with big indoor pool, 3 Saunas, hamam, jacuzzi and outside terrace. There are very popular foam parties every weekend! It attracts many of the younger guys as they offer special price deals. Saunawerk has a bar, video shows, darkroom with glory holes and a sling and there are massages on offer. It also has a Relaxation room, Dry sauna, Steam bath and Hot tub.

The Metropol Sauna attracts younger guys and muscle hunks. It's busy with the after-work crowd in the early evening and also late at night during the weekends after the clubs and parties have emptied out. Metropol is in Große Friedberger Straße and is probably the most popular Gay-Sauna in Frankfurt as it has extended opening hours. There's a foam party Tuesday and Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Every day there are special events including Oriental-Night, Watersports, Leather, Latex, and Uniform nights. The Sauna does attract some young hustlers. It also has a Relaxation room, Dry sauna, Steam bath, Solarium, Hot tub and a video room with regular shows. Massages are on offer, there's a Nudist area and Work-out equipment is also available

If you enjoy swimming then the outdoor swimming pool Brentanobad is a good option from May-September. They have a plunge pool and adventure pools, jumping facilities, water slides, various playgrounds and sports facilities for a wide range of experiences plus steam baths and whirlpools. In the west side of the pool, in front of the swimmer's entrance is the gay area.

SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP

The area around mainstation called Hauptbahnhof is one of the red light districts. Unlike many cities, it’s a safe area. The gay shop here is within Dr Mueller and it's upstairs gay area is called New Man. The entrance fee here is 10 Euros which gives access to their cruising lounge or it's 15 Euros for this one and World of Sex which is one block down at number 74. You can use both shops if you buy a recommended combo ticket. There is subtle lighting in their labyrinth, so you can see everyone, but it's not too bright. There are 3 rooms which contain leather seating and can be locked from the inside with large screens showing gay porn, so it's easy to get a group going. There are several smaller cabins where 2 people fit.

Jerome is a small popular gay sex shop and cinema in the Elbestraße. They show films on video screens throughout the venue and tend to attract slightly more mature guys. There is a number of open cabins with glory holes in main viewing area and slightly larger cabin towards rear. There are soft drinks available and beer too. The cinema is open from 15.00 to 23.00 and on Sundays they host a naked party in the early afternoon.

Alternatively, Skyline in An der Staufenmauer is one of Europe's largest gay video stores. They appeal to all ages and guys into the fetish scene, notably Leather, Latex and Uniforms. Not too far away you can also try GAYrein which is also a sex shop plus cinema with orgy rooms and booths.

OUTDOOR LIFE

Frankfurt really comes into its own outside at nights, mainly in parks and at 24/7 subway loos. Try the grassland along Friedberger Anlage near the gay scene - notably the cottage at the top stretch on K.-Adenauerstrasse; or head straight for the cottage in the scene's local Konstablerwache subway; or stroll ten minutes to the cottage in Paulsplatz at the heart of the old town. Failing that, pop across the river to the subway cottage at Schweizer Platz; or cruise Grüneburgpark, a little north west, where you can also bathe nude by day all summer.

INFORMATION & ADVICE

AG36 Switchboard is located at Alte Gasse 36. It's a popular meeting point for various GLM Groups. Info café for AIDS-Hilfe Frankfurt. At AG36 there's a bar with full range of alcoholic beverages and a limited range of food. AIDS Hilfe Frankfurt themselves are located at Friedberger Anlage 24 and they have Information, advice, and confidential help, that is given anonymously and free of charge.

TRAVEL & HOTELS

Airlines like British Airways, FlyBe (from Aberdeen and Bristol) and Lufthansa fly direct to Frankfurt's main airport. Our hotel partners Bookings have a great selection of gay-friendly hotels at great prices.

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
AG36 Switchboard (Alte Gasse 36; T: 004969295959; Website)
AIDS Hilfe Frankfurt (Friedberger Anlage 24; T: 0049694058680; Website)
Amsterdam Club Sauna (Waidmannstraße 31; T: 0049 69 6313 371; Website)
Babylon Blue Bar (Alte Gasse 34; T: 0049 69 4789 0274; Website)
Brentanobad (Rödelheimer Parkweg; T: 0049 69 271 0892 200; Website)
Central (Elefantengasse 13; T: 0049 69 292 926; Website)
Club 78 (The Velvet Club, Weißfrauenstraße 12-16; T: 0049 61 0950 8439; Website)
Comeback (Alte Gasse 33-35; T: 0049 69 293 345)
Five Traxx (Alte Gasse 5; T: 0049 69 2972 0697)
GAYrein (Große Friedberger Strasse 41; T: 0049 69 9288 2800)
Jerome (Elbestraße 17; T: 0049 69 253 979)
Krawallschachtel (Alte Gasse 24; T: 0049 69 2199 9129)
Lucky´s Manhatten (Schäfergasse 27; T: 0049 69 284 919)
Metropol Sauna (Große Friedberger Straße 7-11; T: 0049 69 4300 1680; Website)
Na und? - So What? (Klapperfeldstr. 16; T: 0049 69 2972 8841)
New Man (Dr. Müller, Kaiserstr. 66; T: 0049 69 253 697)
Saunawerk (Eschersheimer Landstraße 88; T: 0049 69 9050 0970; Website)
Skyline (An der Staufenmauer 5; T: 0049 69 2193 9300; Website)
Stall (Stiftstraße 22; T: 0049 69 291 880; Website)
World of Sex (Dr. Müller, Kaiserstr. 74; T: 0049 69 253 697)
Zum Schwejk (Schäfergasse 20; T: 0049 69 293 166)
Zur Hex (Elefantengasse 11; T: 0049 69 1337 6953; Website)

Revised July 2017.

 

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