In a partnership with Germany Tourism’s year-long campaign to discover youth hotspots across Germany, I’ll be visiting Cologne this week. The Youth Hotspots website features travel tips and user-submitted blogs about Germany’s must-sees, nightlife, shopping, bars, cafes and festivals. I’ll be there to explore some of Cologne’s legendary gay hotspots (and of course the hipster hotspots). I’ve heard countless times that Cologne is *THE* gay destination in Germany, and to be completely honest, I simply don’t believe it.

With hip and trendy cafes around Rudoflplatz, boutique shopping and an Altstadt with one of the world’s largest cathedrals, Cologne apparently has it all. It’s a city (Germany’s fourth largest) with old-world charm and a bit of flair. Often cited as Germany’s gayest city, Cologne (or Köln, auf Deutsch) competes with other gay-friendly German cities for the title (um, hello Berlin). From what I can tell, their reputation for being über-gay is thanks to their annual Carnival celebrations (Europe’s largest!) and an ever-popular gay CSD pride in the summer.

You can follow my visit to Cologne on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the hashtag #CologneSpots across social media channels. Tune into the Visit Germany Facebook page for photos throughout the day:

Cologne highlights to look out for:

  • Visiting the Cologne Cathedral, a chocolate museum and
  • Shopping at a carnival store
  • Bargain-hunting in the trendy Belgian Quarter
  • Enjoying one of Cologne’s local beers at a brewery
  • Gay nightlife on Schaafenstraße

Follow #CologneSpots on Instagram!