Vast beer halls filled with men and women in lederhosen, holding huge steins brimming with local beer and munching on sausages and potatoes: when you think of a stereotypical German scene like this, it’s Munich you are thinking about.
Munich is the capital of Bavaria, a proud region with a distinct history and heritage. Our stereotypes of beer and lederhosen come from here, but so do our idea of Germany as a fairytale land: Neuschwanstein Castle, a short drive from Munich, is said to be the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella castle, seen on its iconic logo.
However, Munich is much more than a cookie-cutter cliche. With world-class museums, cutting-edge galleries, cool nightlife, and a delightful outdoor city life, it is also a top-notch destination for any kind of traveler. The gay Munich scene is modest compared to other German cities, but it is still very much alive and diverse enough to keep things fun.
In Munich, the gayborhood is Glockenbachviertel, a picturesque neighborhood that was home to the city’s original crop of gay venues in the 80s. It has since gentrified and become one of the city’s most upscale areas, which means many of the bars and clubs in the area have a polished, trendy feel. For those who like something more down-to-earth, there are a few casual longstanding venues filled with a loyal clientele that will be glad to tell you about gay Munich through the years.
Munich has been a global center of culture, art, and design for centuries, and it is one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. It goes without saying, then, that there are some truly fabulous hotels to choose from.
Munich’s gay bars are concentrated in the Glockenbachviertel (GBV) neighborhood, while the gay clubs tend to sit a little north surrounding the Central Station. All of the recommended hotels sit either close to GBV or to the station, or somewhere in between.
These are always a safe bet, but expect them to fill up early, especially during Oktoberfest.
Germany has generally progressive LGBT laws in place. Gay marriage and adoption have been legal since 2017, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender is illegal (as is hate speech). Attitudes throughout the country are mostly liberal: in a 2013 poll, 87% of Germans believed that homosexuality should be accepted by society, the second-largest score of the countries polled.
The Munich gay scene is admittedly smaller than that in Cologne or Berlin, so it’s not like it’s an especially gay city. However, it’s still a large metropolis with a liberal and tolerant vibe, so LGBT visitors are very welcome.
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