They used to be inconspicuous. Gay neighborhoods in the large European capital cities are now proud and flamboyant. Even if they face the pressure of real-estate and gentrification, they remain a place to meet for every gay traveler. The gay area is the place where you will meet the gay locals and discover the gay side of a city ! Here are 5 gay districts you should visit during your next getaway weekend.
Chueca in Madrid
Want to have a gay weekend in the city of tapas and fiesta? Visit Chueca, Madrid’s gay area! Located right in the city center, the neighborhood is the epicenter of Madrid LGBT scene. If you arrive to the area with the subway, you’ll notice the rainbow station for sure!
A place to stay for a weekend is the Hotel Oscar where you will enjoy cocktails on the amazing rooftop. Feeling a little hungry? Go in Mercado San Anton to savor some tapas in a gay friendly atmosphere or enjoy the terrace! If you prefer to indulge head to a gay sauna, for instance the Paraiso and Octopus gay saunas! In for a drag show? The LL Bar is the right place for you! Remember that the night starts late in Spain. Start with a drink in the Museo Chicote, a classic gay bar with a 50’s touch. Finally, dance the night away at La Boite, a huge gay club!
Le Marais in Paris
Paris gay area is still very popular. Located in the very center of the old Paris, near the City Hall, le Marais rounds up the vast majority of gay Parisian venues like bars, restaurants, shops and clubs. The city of love opens its heart to gay travelers in le Marais!
For your stay, we recommend the Caron hotel, a charming property right in le Marais. For shopping (you’re in Paris, sister!), you’ll find the cutest swimwear, underwear and men’s wear while exploring Les Dessous d’Appollon. And why not pick a new watch at Casio? Hungry after the shopping frenzy? Tata Burger has the gayest hamburgers in town, including the one looking like a… penis. The bun is made by the gayest boulanger in town, Legay Choc. The nightbirds will dance the night away at Le Gibus Club, le CUD or le Dépot and chill out at the –Sun City gay sauna.
Schöneberg in Berlin
Berlin is one of the gayest capitals in Europe. The city has a long tradition of being kind to the LGBT community. Divided for decades by the Wall, the German capital has two gay areas, including the busiest one, Shcöneberg, in the old Western part.
For your stay, trust the Alex Hotel Berlin, the iconic gay hotel of the district and its infamous outdoor jacuzzi on the hotel roof. Those of wish to try German cuisine should book a table at More in Motzestrasse, the main street in the area. For some more traditional meals, head to Sissi, a few blocks away. If you’re into leather and fetish gear, then Schöneberg will look like heaven: you’ll have so much choice between Rob, Gear, Butcherei and Mister B! For a beer or a nice cocktail, Tom’s bar is the place to mingle with the local community. For dancing (and more), Connection Club (recently rebranded into Factory Club) offers one of the hottest Berlin gay parties.
Eixample in Barcelona
Magnificent beaches, perfect weather, culture, gastronomy… There are so many reasons to travel to Barcelona! While visiting the Eixample area aka Gayxample, you’ll also enjoy Barcelona’s vibrant gay scene, an excellent reason to fly there!
You’ll stay at the iconic gay hotel Axel Hotel Bercelona enjoying the rooftop and the view! The best of Barcelona’s cuisine is waiting for you in the Nikkei restaurant. Want to change you haircut before going out? We recommend Ton Vangard. After strolling in the splendid Barrio Gótico and admiring the Gaudi heritage, take a break at the Casanova gay sauna and get a chance to unwind. If you still feel some tension, check out Boyberry. You’ll be perfectly ready for a night at the Ultra Pop parties!
Rue du Marché au Charbon in Brussels
Belgium is known to be a very gay friendly country. In the heart of Europe, Brussels is the epicenter of the Belgian gay scene, with a great number of gay places located right in the city center.
For your stay, book the Royal Windsor Hotel, a favorite timeless hotel for every gay party-goer traveling to the city for La Démence, Brussels main gay party (monthly). Enjoy some sightseeing on the Grand Place or in the Monts des Arts and then head to 2BE, the fashion shop for men. After some gay shopping, it’s time to meet the locals and enjoy Brussels’ gay scene with a night of bar hopping in the gay area: C’est Ma Tournée, Station BXL, Baroque, Dolores, Belgica, Boys Boudoir are all next to each other. La Boule Rouge is a place to eat and enjoy shows, including the amazing LaDiva Live. And for a night to remember, pick a weekend with La Démence at the Fuse club or in Bazaar for the Révélation party. Sunday? Relax at Sauna Macho, enjoy the steambath and the rest!