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Berlin boring? OutUK's Adrian Gillan samples Germany's sexy south where even the beer's queer in Munich.

Germany's third largest city, punches well above its gay weight. The vast scene is well organised and concentrated in the central area around Sendlinger Tor and Müllerstrasse where it seems every window bears a rainbow flag. And - unlike Berlin - magic Munich is also visibly steeped in history and culture well before the twentieth century, much of it medieval. It's a beauty!

The Munich skyline. Photo : Rudolf Sterflinger
Courtesy: FVAmuc

BAR-HOPPING

The Gay Community Centre boasts Sub, one of the friendliest, youngest bars out on the scene in its own right and a perfect place to start your grand tour. It is swarming with volunteer staff, only too delighted to sketch out the local pink landscape on one of their many queer maps.

Just round the corner, if you want a traditional slice of gay Bavaria - both beers and beards - hop into the nearby Edelheiss on the corner. Or skip over the road to the unpretentious Rendezvous. If it's more a quiet drink in cosier surroundings you hanker for, park your sausage at Feuerwache. For style plus the odd gay pretension, Nil is a bit of a hub, always buzzing with bright young things.

As with Berlin, there's no shortage of men-only butch and fetish bars, which tend to open later. I'm afraid you'll have to be a real man to visit Ochsengarten. It's well known as Munich original gay bar for leather, rubber, uniform and jeans - and bar is definitely for Men only. Camp is the other well know cuising and men play bar in Munich, with naked and underwear nights, plus Sleazy Wednesday, Fetish Friday and the Big Bang on Saturday!

The Munich Lion's Club is another gay leather and fetish club with boys and men in leather, rubber and military uniform, fans of sneakers and biker gear, gay skins and punks, lovers of SM practices and industrial gear. With the two big events that the MLC organizes every year (Starkbierfest and Oktoberfest reunions) the club is very well-known, even outside the Bavarian borders.

MUNICH PRIDE

Christopher Street Day at the Marienplatz
Photo: Meinzahn
Pride in Munich is celebrated at the Christopher Street Day, in memory of the gay uprising in New York's Christopher Street in June 1969. The parade and after show program is at Marienplatz on Saturday, with a street festival on both Saturday and Sunday. There's loads of events all week from 7th to 15th July 2018 and they hope to attract over 40,000 people to the parade.

It's the biggest event of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and inter people in Bavaria, and the focus is on political demands for acceptance, equality and diversity in society as a whole but also in state politics. After the historic success of the recent German marriage equality, there is now a need for a strong commitment from society to social acceptance to reduce the still existing homophobia and transphobia.

EATING

You're spoilt for choice for munchies. Moro is large and good value with great service and a very pleasant atmosphere suitable for every occasion. It's worth a trip to the Thalkirchner for Kraftwerk, a gay-friendly cafe, bistro & bar with free WiFi, serving brunch, global meals, coffee & cocktails.

CLUBBING

Wanna dance? The good news is that clubs in Munich are very cheap to get into, and stay that way once you're in them, with beer by the bucket.

The Hofbräuhaus. Photo : Robert Hertz
Courtesy: FVAmuc
Prosecco sees itself as a fun and event location for a mixed party audience, which wants to party beyond all style constraints and stressful clubbing. You will find people of all ages, gay and straight dancing off with a mix of pops, rolls and charts or of course you can just sip your drink from the extensive drinks menu.

New York is the cheese club in town. With 80s black and white décor, it is covered in mirrors and the occasional flashing neon Manhattan skyline. It still packs them in though.

STEAMED UP

The Deutsche Eiche is the largest sauna in town, and still attracts the biggest crowds, including more than a few young'ns. You'll be lucky to encounter much life at the smaller Schwabinger Men Sauna. For cruising, go to the lower tract of the English Gardens between the Haus der Kunst and Bayer National Museum any time in the early hours. It's considered safe, and it's very popular.
The English Gardens. Photo : Hans Schmied
Courtesy: FVAmuc

SHOPPING

You'll find a range of gay shops in the district selling the usual porn and pouches, but do pop into the Max & Milian Gay Bookshop, if you seek wider stimulation. And, as well as its celebrated sauna, the aforementioned Deutsche Eiche has a gay hotel together with somewhat pricy restaurant.

So, when all is said, the Munich gay scene is huge - the above sketch is by no means exhaustive - and conveniently nestling together. It is also inexpensive and, with most guys all too keen to show off their near perfect English, you're in for a warm Germanic welcome!

Get special deals at gay-friendly hotels and book online with Bookings

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK

CAMP (Reisingerstrabe 15; T: +49 89 23230830; Website)
Christopher Street Day (Marienplatz; Website)
Deutsche Eiche (Reichenbachstrasse 13; T: 004989 2311660)
Edelheiss (Pestalozzistrasse 6; T: 004989 26 54 53)
Feuerwache (Blumenstrasse 21a; T: 004989 260 44 30)
Kraftwerk (Thalkirchner Str. 4; T: +49 89 21588881)
Max & Milian Gay Bookshop (Ickstattstrasse 2; T: 004989 26 33 20)
MLC München - Münchner Löwen Club (Machtlfinger Strabe 29 - rear building; T: +49 89 45237899; Website)
Moro (Müllerstrasse 30; T: 004989 23 00 29 92)
New York (Sonnenstrasse 25; T: 004989 59 10 56)
Nil (Hans-Sachs-Strasse 2; T: 004989 26 55 45)
Ochsengarten (Müllerstrasse 47; T: 004989 26 64 46)
Prosecco (Theklastrabe 1; T: +49 89 23032329; Website)
Rendezvous (Müllerstrasse 54; T: 004989 260 41 25)
Schwabinger Men Sauna (Düsseldorfer Strasse 7; T: 004989 307 23 42)
Sub (in Gay Community Centre, Müllerstrasse 43; T: 004989 260 3056)

Revised July 2018.

 

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