Germany, as it turns out, is a great destination for gay and lesbian travelers. Over the summer Adam Groffman of Travels of Adam visited three of Germany’s best cities: the ones with the coolest nightlife, the most interesting things to do – and importantly, the cities with great gay travel highlights. After taking us through Cologne and Berlin, he will take a stroll through Hamburg in the series’ last installment.
So much more than red lights: Hamburg
The northern port-city of Hamburg is home to every type of character imaginable. The alternative neighborhood of St. Pauli and the more yuppified (i.e. trendy) area of St. Georg are popular with tourists and locals alike. In Hamburg, it’s possible to find anything and everything. It’s a 24-hour city with a raging nightlife. The legendary Reeperbahn area has a mix of sex clubs and bars. This is the famous red-light district of Hamburg, but the city is so much more.
A short walk from the seedy strip clubs & nightclubs along the Reeperbahn to hip & trendy bars in the Schanzenviertel brings to the front a whole other side of Hamburg. The Schanzenviertel is home to former art squats turned nightclubs (try Haus 73 for a truly unique experience—it’s a multi-purpose cultural center & nightclub). Much of the gay nightlife is just off the Reeperbahn on Talstrasse, but the nearby Hamburgerstrasse has plenty of gay-friendly bars mostly full of twenty-something hipsters. 3 Zimmer Wohnung is a popular gay bar & club that often has a fun and lively crowd.
Hamburg has as many art & boutique shops as bars, it seems. The Karolinenviertel neighborhood is home to shop after shop with local designer goods (Herr von Eden is a famous men’s fashion design shop). To really embrace the Hamburger lifestyle, though, it’s best to shop local. Try the Hanseplatte shop for local music selections. For art-lovers, Hamburg has everything from the big-city museums (Hamburger Kunsthalle) to small galleries and boutiques selling local designer products & fashion (Kaufhaus Hamburg).
Whether it’s fashion in Cologne, nightlife in Berlin or Hamburg’s trendsetters that you’re after, most German cities are great for city breaks. Popular gay events happen year-round throughout the country—from the summertime Christopher Street Day parades to LGBT film festivals and even a gay & lesbian Christmas market in Munich.
If you think that we missed something, if you believe that this short trip through Germany is incomplete without your hometown: Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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Germany, as it turns out, is a great destination for gay and lesbian travelers. Over the summer Adam Groffman of Travels of Adam visited three of Germany’s best cities: the ones with the coolest nightlife, the most interesting things to do – and most importantly the cities with great gay travel highlights. Last week, he took us on a short tour through Cologne. Next week, we’ll be off to Hamburg. But for today…
“Berlin! Berlin! Wir fahren nach Berlin!”
Berlin – city of history & hipsters, freedom & fashion. It’s often called “the place to be” and thanks to its friendly environment, all-night lifestyle and enough restaurants & shops to keep you busy for a lifetime, Berlin is one of Europe’s greatest cities. Thanks to its unique history, Berlin is also incredibly gay-friendly.
Berlin’s gay history goes back to the 1920s when the capital city was a hotspot for artists & intellectuals – not that much different than the city’s current reputation as Europe’s creative & cultural capital. International artists and an open-minded attitude have turned Berlin into a city full of life. Gay-friendly cafes and bars can be found throughout the city, though historically the streets around Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg were the gay-friendly hotspots. Not far from here, near Lützowplatz, you’ll find an entire museum dedicated to Berlin’s gay history: the Schwules Museum.
Today, much of Berlin’s life is further east in the neighborhoods of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. From legendary hetero-friendly clubs like Berghain to small dance clubs like Zum Schmutzigen Hobby (run by Berlin’s drag queen star Nina Queer), Berlin is far from boring. Popular gay club nights include themed Fridays at Schwuz, the gay Jewish party night Meschugge or techno-heavy nights at Goya.
Besides nightlife, Berlin has plenty to offer—whether it’s trendy cafes (try the new Silo Coffee), boutique shopping (Jacuzzi at Rosenthaler Platz) or more history than can possibly be consumed. The city is home to hundreds of museums spanning everything from German cinema (the Deutsche Kinematek) to WWII and soviet history.
Did we miss anything? An important site in Berlin? An important town in Germany? Please share your tips in the comments.
Stay tuned for next week’s post about the gay hotspots of Hamburg.
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It’s Halloween time and loads of children all over the world are looking forward to trick-or-treating. At the same time a great number of kids in developing countries do not have access to the basic human rights such as childcare, safety and proper nutrition.
Let’s help them together!
It’s easy, just follow the link to our tweet. Retweet this tweet before 11 AM November 1st, 2013 and we’ll donate €1 for each retweet to support the kindergarten “Ghanaaid – Children of Atibie” in Ghana, Africa. The maximum amount of donation is €5000. The money will be used to equip the kindergarten with all the needed furniture – tables, cupboards, wardrobes, benches, etc. which will be produced by local manufacturers.
This Project is run by the Help Alliance foundation. Its main goal is to offer children from low-income families reliable care and a good pre-school education. The kindergarten has 80 places and offers age-appropriate development as well as English lessons, which are an important prerequisite for subsequent education and training. Moreover, each kid receives a nutritious meal on a daily basis.
Only retweets made from real Twitter accounts are counted as valid for the purposes of this campaign. Retweet bots are not allowed to take part in this campaign and all retweets, produced by bots, will not be counted.
Germany, as it turns out, is a great destination for gay and lesbian travelers. The welcoming country offers countless cultural experiences – everything from extreme nightlife to wine-tastings in the countryside. Over the summer Adam Groffman of Travels of Adam visited three of Germany’s best cities: the ones with the coolest nightlife, the most interesting things to do – and importantly, the cities with great gay travel highlights. Over the next weeks he’ll be sharing gay travel tips for Cologne, Berlin and Hamburg. Which cities do you think are most gay-friendly?
Let’s start by exploring Cologne’s gay hotspots. Everything I heard from Germans before my trip was how Cologne is Germany’s biggest gay city. Berlin may have the international reputation as one of the coolest cities in the world, and its nightlife is legendary, but Cologne apparently has locked down the title as Germany’s Most Gay City. Curious to see if it was true, I spent a few days to discover Cologne’s hotspots.
As Germany’s fourth largest city, Cologne is big but not overwhelming. The population is diverse and while the city is spread out, it’s completely manageable with easy public transportation. Downtown near the Deutz Bridge is the Heumarkt, the center of Cologne’s summer CSD gay pride, but from what I discovered, the best area to spot Cologne’s many hip cafes & trendy bars is around Rudolfplatz and the Belgian Quarter. The three neighborhoods make up what is called Cologne’s “Bermuda Triangle” of gay life.
Café Rico at Rudolfplatz is a popular hangout with a reputation as one of Cologne’s best brunches – not just for gays. Nearby you’ll find the equally popular gay bar Bastard, with an outdoor garden popular on summer evenings. The Kettengasse street is home to Germany’s most popular gay shop: Bruno’s – where you’ll find books, magazines, DVDs and fashion… plus brochures and information on local LGBT initiatives and hotspots. Across the street is a small but friendly art gallery, Osper.
Also in the area is Cologne’s main shopping street, Schildergasse, where most international brands have their shops. But in the fashion-friendly Cologne, the best fashion is often found in the boutiques and independent stores throughout the Belgian Quarter. Spend some time wandering around Brüssler Platz for fine international food, trendy pubs and great shopping. The Magasin 2 shop features men’s & women’s fashion, and their sister shop around the corner sells music records. For nightlife in general, stay close to Brüssler Platz and check out the young & hip all-night club Sixpack. And just a short walk away is Schaafenstraße where you’ll find the city’s gay nightlife.
Do you have more recommendations for Cologne? Do you feel that our short series is missing your hometown? Please share your tips in the comments.
Stay tuned for next week’s post about the gay hotspots of Berlin.
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Following our interactive visit to Frankfurt, we again teamed up with two German travel bloggers to explore the cities of Germany. Nina and Lea took our Instagram and Facebook fans for a ride through beautiful Hamburg – and to the home of our very own Lufthansa Technik.
There are probably many things you already know about Hamburg. The harbor which is the biggest in Germany, the “Alsterwasser” (beer with lemonade) or the famous Reeperbahn, just to name a few. But it is also the home of Lufthansa Technik, so we decided to explore the city for both its modern and old #HAMspots with the help of you, the Lufthansa community.
For the first stop, we had to get up very early in the morning to go see the traditional fish market in Hamburg Altona. Most of the merchants only open during the night with fishy goods fresh from the ships.
The people at the fish desk at “Frische Paradies” were happy to explain all the different species to us before we headed next door to Café Schmidt for a traditional “Hanseat”, a type of cookie that comes with a typical nautical decoration.
A good breakfast and a coffee made us ready for Hamburg City. But we decided we’d need to get the true Hamburg look and so we went off to Karolinenviertel to “Hanseplatte”. Next to records from local labels, the store offers typical souvenirs and clothes like raincoats called “Ostfriesennerz” (East Frisian’s mink) and sailor hats. I bought myself a nice little compass.
Lufthansa’s Facebook fans then decided we should head over to the Miniaturwunderland, a museum with a miniature airport next. To skip the line in front of the museum, located in the middle of the old warehouse district of Hamburg, I recommend you preorder your tickets. You can use the extra time to explore Hafen City with its great modern architecture afterwards.
From there, we took the public ferry to Landungsbrücken, passing by a great panoramic view of the city, to finally have a typical fish sandwich next to the museum ships “Cap San Diego” and “Rickmer Rickmers”. And then it was time to head over to Hamburg Airport and get to know more about Lufthansa Technik.
At HAM we met Bodo, an Airport employee since 1989 and a huge fan of St.Pauli football club. He would show us around in his Follow-Me car for some planespotting next to the runway. What an awesome feeling to have a landing A320 flying directly over your head! Also we got the chance to visit one of the last relics of a very exciting part of aviation history: the first Lufthansa Jet Boeing 707 D-ABOD from 1960, which is now a museum aircraft at Hamburg Airport.
We surely had great fun during our day in Hamburg and thanks to the community, I think we found some great #HAMspots!
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After launching our Instagram channel on a visit to Germany’s vivid and colorful capital Berlin we invited Yvonne and Angelika, two of Germany’s leading travel bloggers, to come and visit us at Frankfurt International Airport and on a tour through the city of Frankfurt. Here’s what they experienced at Frankfurt Airport.
I have a confession to make. I am obviously an aviation geek. Everytime I see a Boeing 747, my heart skips a beat. And when I spot a plane taking off into the sunset I hold my breath. My geekiness clearly is a leftover from my old job in the airline industry.
Today feels like coming home: I get to spend one day behind the scenes of Frankfurt International airport on behalf of Lufthansa – and I already know that I’ll get that special fever again.
I begin my trip through FRAport with a visit to the Terminal Control Room. Here, I meet one of the voices of the airport I have probably heard many times before. Heino is busy when I enter the room. He is calling out for passengers that are late for boarding a flight to San Francisco. I sneak into the small studio and watch him through a window while he is reading his messages in German and English.
Heino speaks 5 languages fluently, but he is capable of even more „After all these years I also know how to call out for a passengers in Chinese“. For 19 years he’s been working working at the airport – and he still loves his job. He is also in charge when passengers are missing, when baggage delivery is delayed or when security finds an unattended baggage.
Speaking of which. A few steps further and I am in the middle of one of the logistical brains of Frankfurt International Airport. Being one of the biggest hubs in the world, one part of all logistics is crucial: the transport of the baggage of passengers. At the Baggage Control Centre, the crew supervises 80 kilometers of an automatic container conveyor system.
Baggage from incoming and to outgoing flights is transferred in the minimum turnaround time of 45 minutes. The luggage needs to be unloaded, sorted, transported and reloaded. In the control center, a huge display on the wall alerts the managers whenever there is a problem in the conveyor system.
In the end, the manager of the control center provides some valuable advice: “Make sure to always put your contact details inside your luggage – note your telephone number and address.” Yes, Sir – point taken!
My trip behind the scenes continues with a visit to the casino in the non-Schengen area of terminal 1B. A casino? In an airport? That is exactly what I thought when I heard of it. I may have passed this place a couple of times, but so far I have never seen it – probably because I am always late. Some people are playing blackjack. “Mostly passengers come here to spend some time before their departure”, says the manager. And when I dare to ask if he has seen many winning guests, he replies “Oh yes. Some get lucky and fill up their traveling budget here!”
I don’t try my luck – as I know I won’t be able to stop smiling be smiling anyhow in the next hour. I am meeting Henning – one of the follow-me car drivers here, Marshall is his correct job title. The best thing about his job, I guess, is getting to drive as fast as he needs to and wherever he likes – on the apron! Most other vehicles on the apron are restricted to a speed limit and to certain paths. Henning is not.
With clear skies, the sun shining bright outside and some beautiful Lufthansa aircraft taxing or landing, we are having a blast driving around, taking pictures like spotters. Henning shows us how aircraft are driving into their parking positions with his help or even fully automatic. I am impressed – and yes, I’m wearing a huge smile on my face.
Change of scene. “Epic” is the word that comes to my mind when I am led through the door to one of the biggest maintenance halls I have ever seen. My heart skips a beat. Right in the middle of it all one of the brand new Boeing 747-8s is parked, spreading its wings, waiting for another flight.
The head of the A380 maintenance is my guide. Once again I get lucky and we are allowed to visit the 747-8, climbing up a steep staircase. I am moving carefully through the interior, not wanting to leave any specks on the beautiful new seats in Business Class. Splendid! I actually feel like a kid, marveling at the huge engines and the new wings. The awe of travelling, I guess, will always be with me.
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