There's loads happening in these bars and pubs in the gay Berlin-Schöneberg neighbourhood
In Berlin, queer nightlife options really do exist city-wide and you are spoilt for choice. But no area offers as many options in one place as Schöneberg. This district, and especially the area around Nollendorfplatz, has established itself over many decades as the centre of the gay and queer scene and attracts many Berliners and their guests every night, who can choose between an almost unlimited number of bars and pubs. But where to go with so much choice? We present ten of the best!
Have you ever seen anything like it? In the middle of the queer rainbow district, the friendly pub 'Heile Welt' welcomes its guests in the front section with walls covered in a spectacularly fluffy fabric. The second room, located in the back, also creates a cosy atmosphere. For many visitors, the 'Heile Welt' is a permanent fixture, where they can exchange the latest gossip over a beer and a cocktail and start the evening. Probably nowhere else is it easier to get up close and personal with Berliners.
Motzstraße 5, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Facebook page of Heile Welt
You can usually identify the 'Hafen' by the crowd of people that gathers at its entrance. Although the bar is not that small and extends over several rooms, there is often simply never enough room inside. The changing events in the harbour also contribute to its enormous popularity. These include the pop night, 'Ein Schiff wird kommen' (A Ship will Come) and the pop party, 'BitchPort'.
Motzstraße 19, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Website of Hafen
‘Woof!’: its name gives it away: this bar is especially popular with 'bears' and particularly with a kinky crowd in general. Gay men who are proud of their body hair meet here - and of course everyone who can't get enough of this kind of spectacle. The bar has long been an institution in the neighbourhood and is therefore not only frequented by men from Berlin, but also by fans from all over the world. And those who have found their dream man here can get in on the action straight away. ‘Woof’ also provides a dark room for its guests.
Fuggerstraße 37, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Website of Woof
Regardless of whether it's 'Folsom Europe', 'Ostertreffen', the 'Lesbian-Gay Stadtfest (City Festival)' or for the CSD Pride March, it's almost impossible to get a seat at the 'Prinzknecht' during all major queer events. This is to be expected, as the bar and pub is one of the most popular meeting places in the neighbourhood - including, but not limited to, fetish-oriented men. As long as the weather permits, beer benches in front of the bar invite you to see and be seen. Inside, the large dining room with tables and the huge bar - situated like an island in the middle of the room - offer opportunities for flirting and meeting new people.
Fuggerstraße 33, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Website of Prinzknecht
If there's one Berlin neighbourhood that embodies fetish, it's Schöneberg - and not just for the two big fetish events, 'Ostertreffen' and 'Folsom Europe' that are held there. The cruising bar, 'Scheune', is a firm favourite with all gay men who like it a bit rough. It is the most traditional bar of its kind and it is also the club venue of the 'Berliner Leder und Fetisch e.V.' (Berlin Leather and Fetish Association). Depending on which evening you visit, you'll find leather dudes or rubber ducks, skins, and punks, and sometimes the whole nine yards.
Motzstraße 25, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Website of Scheune
'New Action' is also a real fetish bar. During the week, you can stroll into the bar and enjoy a cold beer at the counter. On weekends, however, there is a strict dress code. Only those who show up at the door in leather, rubber, or uniform, or come as a skinhead, master or slave will be allowed in. The pub itself promises what the name suggests: plenty of action. At the front, a metre-long bar is perfect for a chat. Further back, things get hotter and hotter - especially, of course, in the large darkroom, at the back of the space.
Kleiststraße 35, 10787 Berlin-Schöneberg
Website of New Action
Yes, Schöneberg is a hotspot of decidedly kinky fetish bars - at least at first glance. The 'Blond' serves as its counterpoint. The bar is lively and colourful and has a distinct 80s vibe. Things kick off here in the afternoon when delicious cakes are served. In the evening, the guests like to party into the night at karaoke and Schlager (German folk pop music) parties or battle it out at bingo.
Eisenacher Straße 3a, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Website of Blond
'Sally Bowles' is one of the most intriguing protagonists in writer Christopher Isherwood's novels about Berlin in the 1920s. And indeed, a detour to the bar, 'Sally Bowles', likewise transports you to this era, also known as the 'Golden Twenties'. The sophisticated interior alone is enough to make that happen. The cocktails are also convincing and are reminiscent of the great era of bar culture. On many evenings, the team also organises a changing stage programme with live music, shows and readings.
Eisenacher Straße 2, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Website of Sally Bowles
Der Neue Oldtimer
You probably won't get bored quickly in the bar with the strange name, 'Der neue Oldtimer' (The New Old-timer). The bar is a stalwart of the district and a very popular meeting place for the neighbourhood. If you like earthy Berliners, kitsch, and the sharp tongue of landlady Conny, this is the place for you.
Der Neue Oldtimer
Lietzenburger Straße 12, 10789 Berlin-Schöneberg
Facebook page of Der Neue Oldtimer
With her pub, 'Erna P!', hostess Erna Pachulke has made her dream come true. Miss CSD Berlin 2015 opened the doors in 2016. It is located in the Schöneberg district, but only a few S-Bahn stops south of the classic rainbow district around Nollendorfplatz. However, the journey is worth it: Erna warmly and unpretentiously welcomes her regulars and all her new guests to this beautiful, familiar neighbourhood pub.
Leberstraße 31, 10829 Berlin-Schöneberg
Facebook page of Erna P!
And this is how you get there: The Queer City Pass gives you a ticket for public transport - and on top of that a great discount with lots of partner companies!
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You can find a complete overview of all events for every single da on the event pages of SIEGESSÄULE, Berlin's famous queer city magazine.
Words: Frank Schröder