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Must-do activities during Pride in Berlin

Berlin is often described as Europe’s queer capital, so it is no wonder you will find a large LGBTQ+ community and even bigger Pride celebrations here! Today, the city is not only well known for its tolerant and open environment but also for its long history of fighting and protesting for the queer community’s freedom.

Paired with Berlin’s gift for legendary parties and colourful festivals, you can experience the different worlds coming together during Pride celebrations. The city celebrates the freedom of expression and the right to love who you want. Immerse yourself into one of the biggest queer festivals in Europe, join the vibrant parades and discover queer history and culture throughout the city.

Drag QueenCelebrate Berlin Pride and join the protests

Berlin has been a true pioneer in the fight for equal rights for same-sex love and the LGBTQ+ community for decades. In 1896, the first gay magazine was launched here and the first gay rights demonstration already took place in 1922. Due to the persecution under National Socialism, much of this progress was lost until the revival in the 1970s, when the city started celebrating the Christopher Street Day parade (CSD) in memory of the Stonewall Riots at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York on June 28 1969.

Today, Berlin’s queer community is well known both for its outspoken political activism as well as its legendary and vibrant parties. Berlin’s CSD parade started as a political protest and is celebrated under a different motto every year, bringing together both worlds. Join the Berlin gay pride parade from Kurfürstendamm all the way to the Brandenburg Gate and experience the German capital like never before.

Express yourself

Not only the parades and protests are out of this world here but so are the participants’ outfits, which are brimming with colours, pop cultural references and creativity. Here, you will see outfits beyond your imagination, made from all sorts of fabrics and styles, ranging from queer flags as the main accessory to tight leather pants and drag queens in wigs and lavish costumes.

Whether you prefer a more toned down look and dress casually or if you feel like going all out and celebrate in wild costumes, leather attire or rainbow colours, there’s only one rule: come as you are, creativity knows no boundaries here.

Go on a queer city tour

There are plenty of city tours you can take in Berlin but how about enriching your Pride celebrations with a queer city tour? The Queer culture tour in Berlin shows you why the metropolis has been a magnet for the queer community and its icons for a long time. The tour will take you through the centuries, looking back at the roaring 1920s as well as the dark days of persecution by the Nazis to the rising of Berlin’s legendary club scene in the 90s.

The tour takes you through Berlin’s ‘gaybourhood’ Schöneberg, that used to be the home of countless queer icons as well as the city’s oldest gay and trans club, the former Eldorado, and through Kreuzberg, where the queer community intersects with other communities. During this unique 4 hour long tour you learn all about how Berlin became Europe’s Queer capital, so don't hesitate and purchase your tickets!

Visit the world’s first gay history museum

Two men kissing

The Schwules Museum (‘gay museum’) is the first museum dedicated to gay history worldwide. Since its opening in 1985 it has become an institution in the queer community as one of the most important documentarists of queer history and culture by not only hosting frequent exhibitions but conducting further scientific research and maintaining an extensive archive. It established itself further by providing a forum for events, panel discussions, movie screenings, guided tours and lectures.

The rotating exhibitions shed a light on the lived reality of the queer community and single aspects of their lives. They also explore the history of gay rights movements, while the museum itself is an important driving factor to changing the landscape in German politics and museums. The museum’s unique and thorough exhibitions make it the perfect addition to a Berlin trip during Pride, providing all the historical knowledge to understand the community as well as the current political landscape better.

Another museum related to the history of the gay community in Berlin is the Topography of Terror, an outdoor and indoor museum located on the site of the former Gestapo headquarters. This museum provides a look at the atrocities committed during the Nazi regime, including information about the persecution of homosexuals.

Memorial to the Persecuted Homosexuals under National Socialism

This memorial is intended to commemorate the homosexual victims of National Socialism since gay men were one of the major groups persecuted and killed under the regime to a degree unprecedented in history. At the same time, the memorial sets a sign against intolerance, hostility and exclusion towards the queer community.

The memorial was completed in 2008 and is located next to the Tiergarten park and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. At the cuboid structure made of concrete, you can learn more about the persecution during Nazism and Paragraph 175, the paragraph that outlawed homosexuality in the 1950s and 60s, and see a movie through a window of a same-sex couple sharing a kiss.

Same sex couple kissing

Support Berlin’s queer businesses

Berlin once again proves to be the queer capital of Europe when it comes to small businesses and labels founded by the LGBTQ+ community. The assortment of products and businesses in the German capital is endless and the versatile shops cater to all tastes.

Small labels like Remesalt produce fair and genderless fashion that is handmade locally or you can step it up a little and leave your comfort zone by shopping for unique and fascinating headpieces at Lego Sky. You can even upgrade your kitchen with organic wax wraps from Wax Wrap which are handmade in Kreuzberg and an eco-friendly addition to your home.

An interesting and useful experience that aligns perfectly with the CSD is The Sticks & Stones career fair, an empowering event designed to connect LGBTQ+ professionals with employers, providing a space for artists and employees, career development, and professional growth. Network, attend workshops, and boost your career while supporting the Pride community.

Pride Nightlife Essentials

When the sun sets, Berlin's Schöneberg and Kreuzberg neighbourhoods are hotspots for LGBTQ+ nightlife: you'll find numerous bars and clubs here, including the iconic SchwuZ, Tom's Bar and the bar Zum Schmutzigen Hobby. Each venue offers its own atmosphere, from dance parties and drag shows to more intimate and relaxed settings.

For those looking for a slightly more adventurous experience, there are super exclusive clubs in Berlin that are known as safe havens for the gay community. From the Kit Kat Klub, known for its distinctive and hedonistic parties, to the iconic Berghain, famous for its marathon events and carefully selected crowd.