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Berlin Guidefor vistors and residents
berlin.barwick.de & blog
As befits its status as a cosmopolitan metropolis, Berlin has a large gay community - an estimated one in ten of its inhabitants are gay or bisexual, making the German capital one of Europe's top three gay cities, along with Amsterdam and London.
Berlin's gay scene is as diverse as its 3.5 million residents, and in most areas of the city same-sex couples are an established part of every-day life: gay life is just one element of Berlin's multi-faceted and very tolerant character, and the gay scene is not just limited to "typical" gay venues.
Berlin's gay and lesbian scene here is strong and lively with something for every taste. In the former West Berlin the "established", mainly male, gay scene is centred around the Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg. In Kreuzberg, a traditionally liberal, open-minded and multi-ethnic district, there's a less centralized scene which is intertwined with the vibrancy of the district's diverse residents. Over in the former East Berlin, there's a newer scene which has its roots in the partially political gay and lesbian movement which gained ground towards the end of the GDR. Prenzlauer Berg is the traditional heart of this scene, but with the district's gentrification gay life has become more yuppiefied. The same thing is happening to the currently somewhat more downmarket Friedrichshain.
(A note of warning however: further away
from the city centre tolerance levels become more "provincial", and
particularly in parts of former eastern Berlin - as a rule of thumb
east of Ostkreuz - right-wing elements mean that same sex couples
should approache these areas with caution).