Cologne Carnival 2017
The mad days in Cologne last for 6 days and start on ›Weiberfastnacht‹ – the Thursday before Carnival Monday. Streets, trains, trams and pubs are crowded with people – many of them with costumes – drinking, flirting, singing, swinging & swaying. Sunday afternoon sees the school group and borough parades, but the highlight of the Cologne Carnival is the kilometre-long procession on ›Rosenmontag‹ (Rose Monday). The Carnival ends in the night from Tuesday to Ash Wednesday when at midnight dolls called ›Nubbel‹ are burned all over the city – the Nobel symbolizes the scapegoat responsible for all the sins committed during the Carnival days...
About Cologne and its gay life
Although situated in Western Germany, Cologne is sometimes called the ›most southern city of Germany‹. That is partly because the people in Cologne tend to be more easy-going and approachable than in other German cities. And they love to imitate the Southern European lifestyle – as soon as two rays of sunshine hit the city you will see some tables outside in front of many cafes and bars.
Cologne had been extensively destroyed during World War II. And the paradigm of the first after-war and ›Wirtschaftswunder‹ decades to replace everything old by something new unfortunately did the rest to prevent Cologne from becoming one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in Germany. For the sight-seeing traveler, it hasn't much to offer besides the Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a wide range of high-quality art galleries and museums, and a few other attractions.
But Cologne more than compensates for this with its more friendly and easy-going atmosphere. As one result Cologne became the gay capital of the western part of Germany. Its big rival in the East, Berlin, is bigger, more dynamic and vibrant, which makes the Cologne gay scene look more provincial – but Cologne is also more familiar and warmer.
Our Cologne Gay Map shows the two major gay areas in Cologne: Many of the cafes, bars, and clubs around Rudolfplatz have started during the last twenty years and have a rather modern style. Traditional pubs and bars for mixed ages are located mainly in the Old Town.
If you like your travel destinations crowded and with a million people partying on the streets and in the pubs, then the Carnival in winter and the Cologne Gay Pride in summer are made for you. Other popular annual gay highlights in Cologne are the Fetish Pride week in May or June and the Bear Pride weekend in November.
Hotel Motel One Köln-Waidmarkt
Design hotel chain for budget travellers. Modern, clean and good value for money. Located between the two gay areas in the city center, Rudolfplatz and Old Town. A similar hotel close to the clubs and parties at Hohenzollernring is the Motel One Köln-Mediapark
NH Collection Köln Mediapark
Im Media Park 8 b, Neustadt Nord, 50670 Cologne, GermanyThe 4-star NH Collection Köln Mediapark offers comfortable accommodation with elegant décor. Rooms include spacious bathrooms with rain showers a Nespresso machine and tea and coffee making facilities.
Merheimerstr. 195, Nippes, 50733 Cologne, Germany
Offering an on-site restaurant, Aida Apartment provides self-catering accommodation. The property is 2.4 miles from Lanxess Arena and 1.7 miles from Cologne Cathedral.Apartments at Aida Apartment feature a TV. There is a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave and a refrigerator. The private bathroom also comes with a bath or shower.
Breslauer Hof Am Dom
Johannisstr. 56, Altstadt-Nord, 50668 Cologne, Germany
This 3-star hotel in Cologne city center offers well-equipped rooms with free Wi-Fi internet access. The main train station and Cologne Cathedral are just steps away.All of the recently renovated rooms at the Breslauer Hof Am Dom include satellite TV and a modern bathroom.
Courtyard By Marriott Cologne
Dagobertstraße 23, Altstadt-Nord, 50668 Cologne, Germany
Courtyard by Marriott Cologne offers free WiFi access throughout the property. The centrally located hotel is just 1,000 yards from Cologne Cathedral.Each of the rooms at Courtyard by Marriott Cologne comes equipped with air-conditioning, a satellite TV and a private bathroom with a hairdryer.
Gay Bars in Cologne
Mon, Wed, Thu 18:00 – 01:00; Fri, Sat 18:00 – 03:00; Sun 14:00 – 22:00
Tue-Thu 17:00 – 01:00; Fri 17:00 – 03:00; Sat 16:00 – 03:00;Sun 14:00 – 24:00
Friendly gay bar in the Old Town, with a touch of Mediterranean ambiance.
Daily 14:00 – 01:00; Fri, Sat till 03:00
Popular gay bar in the Old Town of Cologne.
Mon, Wed, Thu 17:00 – 01:00; Fri, Sat 17:00 – 02:00+; Sun 17:00 – 01:00
Bar for gay seniors and their admirers.
Tue-Thu 19:00 – 02:00; Fri, Sat 19:00 – 04:00; Sun 19:00 – 02:00
Cafe & cocktail bar in Cologne's gay Bermuda Triangle. Modern and cosy.
Small alternative gay bar in the so-called Bermuda Triangle of Cologne.
Clientele mainly in their 30s and 40s.
In summer with tables outside at Alter Markt (Old Market) which is a popular area for tourists, so the crowd outside is usually very mixed.
Gay Clubs and Parties in Cologne
New gay party in Cologne, with shows, performers, and international guest DJs. Music: Latin Tribal.
Carnival special of the monthly Gravity party. With DJ AM3D, Jon Doe, DOSH, and Card Mercier.
Admission: 10-12 €
SEXY – Carnival Edition
Saturday, 25 February 2017, from 23:00
Cologne's gay mega party with dance acts and international guest DJs such as Saeed Ali, Micky Friedmann, and Sharon O Love.
Shuttle bus from Schaafenstraße.
Naughty Control + Revelation
Sunday, 26 February 2017, from 20:00
Big gay House party at the Cologne Carnival weekend with DJ Pagano, Chris Bekker, Søren Luka and much more, right after the Greenkomm party.
Fri, Sat 21:00/22:00 – 05:00
Popular, mixed lesbian-gay dance club and cocktail bar.
Admission: free. Minimum consumption: 5 €
Cruising & Fetish Cologne
Sunday, 26 February 2017, from 22:00
Mixed fetish party for dancing & playing. 10–20% gay crowd. Strict dress code: fetish, bizarre, fantasy. Most of the party crowd is dressed quite classy, and the atmosphere is very relaxed and party-like. To avoid men outnumbering women door policy often rejects single men – better come early and as a couple.
Admission: 20-25 €
Rheinfetisch – Cologne Fetish Pride 2017
1 – 5 June 2017
Annual international leather and fetish meeting at the Pentecost weekend.
Small gay bar with backroom. Mainly thirty- and forty-something clientele.
On weekends best after 03:00.
Longest running fetish and cruising bar in Cologne, formerly Hands and Boners. Clientele mainly 35+.
Bar and dance floor on the ground floor, play area with cabins in the basement. (Big labyrinth – bring some breadcrumbs to find your way out!-)
Check the website of Station 2b for its current program and (un)dress codes.
Minimum consumption: 6–8 €
HOPPER Hotel St. Antonius
Historical architecture, modern comfort, and international photography art. On the upper floors with a view of the towers of the nearby Cathedral.
Lindner Hotel City Plaza
Magnusstr. 20, Altstadt-Nord, 50672 Cologne, GermanyLocated in Cologne’s trendy Friesenplatz district, this hotel offers a sauna and a modern fitness studio with cardio and exercise equipment. The Lindner Hotel City Plaza is a 7-minute drive from the Koelnmesse Exhibition Centre and Lanxess Arena.
Centro Hotel Royal
Hansaring 96, 50670 Cologne, GermanyCentro Hotel Royal is located at Hansaplatz Square, just 200 yards from Hansaring Station for underground and city rail trains. Cologne Trade Fair can be reached in 10 minutes via public transportation.
Romantik Hotel im Wasserturm
Kaygasse 2, Altstadt-Sued, 50676 Cologne, GermanyThe elegant rooms decorated in a modern-style at the Romantik Hotel im Wasserturm feature satellite TV, handheld room control devices and a private bathroom with bathrobes and free toiletries. The hotel interior offers a unique glass, wood and brick design.
With 4 guest rooms, 2 shared baths, a kitchen and a patio. Free coffee, tea, and Wi-Fi.
Hostel Die Wohngemeinschaft
Stylish hostel, only 500 meters to the gay bars and cafes around Rudolfplatz. Individually decorated single rooms, double rooms, triple rooms and dormitory rooms. Large popular cafe-bar on the ground floor.
Mon, Tue, Thu 16:00 – 01:00; Fri 16:00 – 03:00; Sat 11:00 – 03:00;Sun 16:00 – 24:00
Traditional German pub. Mixed clientele.
Tue-Sun 20:00 – 02:00; Fri, Sat till 05:00
Tue-Thu 20:00 – 01:00; Fri, Sat 20:00 – 03:00
Cologne's gay bar for bears & friends.
Very popular gay bar, since more than 25 years.
Wed-Sat 21:00 – 02:00/05:00
Gentle - Bears
Small bears-friendly bar in the Old Town, next to the gay bars Baustelle 4U and Barcelon.
Fri, Sat 20:00 – 03:00; Sun 19:00 – 01:00
Popular lounge and cocktail bar.
Mon-Thu 18:00 – 02:00; Fri, Sat 18:00 – 03:00; Sun 15:00 – 02:00(1 – 9 March 2017 closed)
Voted several times ›Best Bar of the Year‹ by the local gay magazine.
HustlaBall Berlin vs. Revolver
Sunday, 26 February 2017, from 23:00
Gay party at the Carnival weekend in the center of Cologne. With DJ Sultanic, Rony Golding, Asaf Dolev, D'Alessandro, Samuel D and Alejandro Alvarez.
Moussa's Tea Dance
Carnival closing party on Rose Monday with DJ Moussa and Mister Mola. Tickets: 10-12 €
Backstage Diaries @ Artheater
(Usually) 2nd Saturday of the month, from 23:00 (August-June).
Next party: 11 March 2017
Party on 2 dancefloors with Indie, Pop, and Electro.
Young mixed clientele: ›Queer/Straight/Not Sure/Rock'n'Roll‹.
Admission: approx. 8 €
Beatz&Boyz @ Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
(Usually) 4th Friday of the month, 23:00 – 06:00
Monthly gay party in Köln-Ehrenfeld with resident DJ Marquez and guest DJs. Music: Dance, Charts, Electro.
In February 2017 on Carnival Sunday (26th) @ Club Reineke Fuchs (Aachener Straße 50).
Admission: 8-10 €
HomOriental Party @ Venue
(Usually) 4th Saturday of the month, 23:00 – 05:00.
Next party: 25 February 2017
Cologne's party for Turkish gay men & friends: Turkish, Kurdish, Arabian, Greek, Persian and international Pop music.
Admission: 10 € (8 € before 24:00)
Gay Saunas in Cologne
Badehaus Babylon Cologne
Mon-Thu 11:00 – 06:00; Fri 11:00 – Mon 06:00 nonstop (in summer from 09:00)
One of the most beautiful gay saunas in Europe, famous for its pool in the inner courtyard in Mediterranean style.
Admission: 19.50 € (14.50 € up to 25 years)
Daily 12:00 – 24:00; Fri, Sat till 02:00
Small sauna for gays, Bi's and friends.
Monday–Thursday men-only, Friday–Sunday for men and women.
Admission: 12–20 €
Mon-Thu 12:00 – 06:00; Fri 12:00 – Mon 06:00 nonstop
Big gay sauna near Rudolfplatz. Popular with younger guys.
Admission: 20 € (16.50 € up to 25 years)
Daily 11:00 – 22:00; Sat till 08:00
Oldest gay sauna in Cologne. Clientele mainly mature men and their admirers.
Admission: 15 €