Frankfurt — or "Bankfurt," as it's sometimes dubbed — is the country's financial hub. Dating back to around the first century CE, Frankfurt is a city of ancient wonders and modern marvels. Its architecture is a brilliant blend of new and old; for instance, it is one of the only European cities that has a significant number of skyscrapers. Fortunately for Frankfurters, the gay scene is anything but buttoned-down. After leaving those sleek towers downtown, locals turn on the juice for an active and sophisticated gay nightlife.
Frankfurt am Main Airport is the busiest airport in Germany, and the third busiest in Europe. See under the "transfers" header on their English-language site to download a complete guide to getting back and forth, to and from the airport. There's also an app for your smartphone.
InterCity and EuroCity trains connect you to cities in Germany and the rest of Europe from the Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof - the main train station that also serves the network of S-Bahn commuter trains. See Deutsche Bahn for train info.
A network of buses, trams, and U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains are at your disposal in the public transport system. See the English language pages of RMV for details. Look for the Nachtbus (night bus) during later hours. With their Call a Bike service Deutsche Bahn offers 770 bicycles for rent throughout the city center and surrounding districts -- available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The gayborhood here is in what's called the "Bermuda Triangle" district around Alte Gasse, north of Konstablerwache train station, by the intersection of the Zeil pedestrian mall and Konrad Adenauer Strasse - located amid the areas of Konstablerwache, Bleichstrasse and Eschenheimer Turm, in the northeast corner of the city. Some of Frankfurt's most popular gay bars, cafes and nightclubs are here.
The nightlife scene gets very happening on weekends, but most large clubs remain closed during the week. Smaller bars and restaurants in the gay district stay open all week, and plenty of locals and tourists can be seen out and about.
The "Mahnmal Homosexuellenverfolgung" memorial to gay and lesbian victims of the Nazi years is at Klaus-Mann Square near Konrad Adenauer Strasse.
Currency and Money
Germany is part of the Euro Zone, so the euro is the accepted currency. There are plenty of ATMs in the downtown area. Some machines require credit cards with a pin number. Ask your bank before leaving home, and inform them of your travel plans.
Media & Resources
A good first stop is the information center and café called Switchboard (Alte Gasse 36). GAB, of the InQueery group, is the local gay magazine for Frankfurt. Frankfurt.Gay-Web is another online info source.
The official city tourism site Frankfurt-Tourismus has hotel, sightseeing, shopping and dining information in eight languages, plus a GLBT section.
Das Kulturportal is an online guide to Frankfurt art, music, museums, stage productions, film, literature and more, in German and English.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Frankfurt listings pages.
Downtown Hotel Frankfurt (Schafergasse 27; 49-69-83-1022) modern "hetero-friendly" hotel at the center of the gay district, above Lucky's bar and cafe.
Villa Orange (Hebelstrasse 1; 49-69-40-5840) 38 bright spacious rooms, gay-friendly, reasonably-priced business hotel; short walk to the bars, ample organic breakfast buffets, WiFi, terrace.
Birmingham Pub (Zeil 92), late-night hangout, gayest after dark (rainbow flag displayed after sundown), stage performances, late food service -- rare in Frankfurt.
Central (Elefantengasse 11) sleek, modern bar in blue and dark tones, young, urbane clientelle, good cocktails.
CK Studio (Alte Gasse 5) completely remodeled, former C5 bar, attracts local and foreign party people to Frankfurt's hottest gay lounge of the moment.
Club Jerome (Schützenstraße 10), stylish decor, DJ evenings, readings, meetings, party events, mixed crowd.
Club La Gata (Seehofstrae 3), longtime lesbian central hangout, theme nights, open Friday/Saturday 'til 3am, food served from next door Alten Seehof restaurant.
Come In Bar (Alte Gasse 33) standard neighborhood drinking and party establishment, was Comeback.
Halo (Alte Gasse 26), intimate gay-friendly cafe/bar and video lounge, hip/mixed younger crowd, schlager music party nights.
Le Bar Homme (Neue Kräme 29), plush, warm and cozy wood decor, mostly guys gay/mix cocktail bar, idyllic garden, DJs, special events. Former Café Liliput location.
Lucky's (Schäfergasse 27), coffee or snacks on summer terrace, premier bar/cafe to meet at gay central. Chic, friendly bar and lounge, theme parties, daily specials.
Nachtleben (Kurt Schumacher Strasse 45), cafe and dance club, former home of now inactive Atomic Party, (New Wave, indie pop and rock, Alternative, Electro Clash & New Rave), for queer & friendly folks.
Stall (Stiftstrasse 22), most popular bar for leather and uniform men; porn videos heat up steamy back room, special darkroom parties.
Switchboard (Alte Gasse 36), the community non-commercial cafe of AIDS-Hilfe, diverse special event nights.
Zum Schwejk (Schfergasse 20), (Schäfergasse 20), unpretentious gay beer hall/party bar, men of all ages and inclinations, popular with bears, good times every night.
Zur Hex (Elefantengasse 11) new home bar of the old Freddie's crew, with local legend, Mother Charlotte.
CLOSED: Pulse and Piper Red Lounge (Bleichstrasse 38a) restaurant, bar, lounge, disco; summer garden; Monte Carlo (Alte Gasse 34), sports bar, afterhours.
Exil (Mercatorstrasse 26) welcoming ambience at heart of the city, classic German, French and Mediterranean cuisine.
Grössenwahn (Lenaustrasse 97) historic cafe and traditonal coffeeshop with long history, outdoor tables.
Harvey's (Bornheimer Landstrasse 64), Harvey Milk tribute restaurant at heart of the arts and cultural scene. Sumptuous dining room, deluxe breakfasts, snacks, schnitzel, burgers, waffles, and flammkuchen (tartes flambées), 10am to 4pm daily.
Suvadee Thai (Baumweg 19 and Steinweg 7), authentic, award-winning Thai cuisine, a gastronomic orgy and quite gay-friendly. Thai interior decor and gracious service.
Zur Schönen Mullerin (Baumweg 12), one of Frankfurt's oldest apfelwein (apple wine) restaurants; gay-owned and popular. Hessen-style cuisine, leaning heavily to meaty treats (such as schnitzel). Reasonable prices, outdoor seating.
Club Sauna Amsterdam (Waidmannstrasse 31), 10-minute subway ride from the Zeil, in large villa on residential block. Cabins, steam and sauna rooms, whirlpool, plus a restaurant and bar.
Metropol Sauna (Grosse Friedberger Strasse 7), dry and steam saunas, open to 4am or later, 24 hours on weekends, daily reduced rates for under 26, Centro Delfino massage therapists.
Saunawerk (Eschersheimer Landstrasse 88), complete with swimming pool and jacuzzi, and, in the center of the gay area.
German public swimming pools are often elaborate recreational complexes with saunas, fitness centers, and massage services, in addition to indoor and outdoor pools. See BBF for an overview of area facilities: Freibäder are outdoor facilities; Hallenbäder are indoors; and Erlebnisbäder are waterparks.
Langener Waldsee (Langen Lake). Take the S3 or S4 train for Darmstadt to Dreieich-Buchschlag stop. The path to the gay beach branches to the left of the one leading to "Badesee."
Rebstockbad (Zum Rebstockbad 7), general public waterpark, gay-popular on Thursdays, especially in the sauna section.
Jerome (Elbestrasse 17) gay sex shop, DVD sales, magazines, erotic video cinema.
Oscar Wilde Bookshop (Alte Gasse 51) gay and lesbian bookstore in the thick of all things gay, book readings by prominent authors, nice gift items, online store too.
Skyline (An der Staufenmauer 5), helpful and knowledgeable staff, over 15,000 original DVD sex video titles for sale, also rentals, plus toys, accessories and magazines.