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Gay Berlin: schwule Lebenslust
Berlin was one of the leading cities for the gay cabaret life of the 1920s, and that rich culture is back with a vengeance. In Berlin, the gay community is vast, diverse and welcoming. It has boasted an openly gay mayor, a gay museum and a long-overdue memorial to homosexuals who died in the Holocaust.
Berlin is made up of several districts easily accessible by public transportation. All of them are gay-friendly, though they each have their own unique style. Schöneberg is home to the long-standing traditional gay male community that has existed for nearly a century. There is a large community center here, and this is a great area to walk around and explore. Kreuzberg is a bohemian district known for its history as a haven of political dissent, and it has a more edgy, grassroots feel to it. Prenzlauer Berg is a former East Berlin neighborhood and it hasn't lost the workers district feel. It offers a unique look into East Berlin life and an integrated, if scattered, gay scene. Friedrichshain and Mitte are newer, more commercial areas that also cater to gay life.
Berlin's nightlife is vast and diverse. There are hundreds of gay bars, clubs and cafes, and there is a strong gay presence at many straight venues. There is no closing time for bars and clubs in Berlin, so the party can continue all night long. Don't get so busy partying that you miss Berlin's Schwules Museum, an institution dedicated to showcasing homosexual history, art and culture. Besides exhibitions and an impressive library, it also hosts lectures and film screenings.
Berlin is a bright mixture of a cutting edge city plus the depth and grace of its baroque history. You'll be impressed by the huge, friendly gay scene and all the cultural vibrancy Berlin has to offer.