With a thriving avant-garde arts scene and a pulsating nightlife, Berlin continues to be at the forefront of cool. Before a rundown of the best in GLBT Berlin, here are some important tips for hipsterhood in Berlin.

-¢ Pre-game in a park. When I was in Berlin, I often passed groups, from young punks to bocce clubs, drinking much-touted German beer in the city’s parks.

-¢ In German fashion, punk will always reign. Runway fashion, at least the Parisian sort, would simply be a culture clash with the counterculture embodied by the Berlin aesthetic. From graffiti galleries to warehouse clubs, think Sex Pistols when picking an outfit.

-¢ Pace. The party never stops. In Berlin, you can party any day of the week and any time of day. Be sure to check not only what places are hot, but also when they go off. For the latest on the scene, visit www.out-in-berlin.com.

With your hipsterhood secure, you are ready to tackle Berlin’s scene. For a gay-lovin’ day, start at the Schwules Museum (Gay Museum) in Kreuzberg. The small museum has self-guided tours through its photographs and relics, telling the story of Berlin’s history as a haven for GLBTs.

From the Schwules Museum, Kreuzberg’s many cafes are prime people-watching spots with a significant lesbian crowd. Long at the forefront of Berlin’s counterculture, Kreuzberg is the best neighbourhood to watch the many elements of a multicultural city mix. Add to that cheap eats, and there is no better spot for an afternoon.

After scoping the Kreuzberg scene, pick up a bottle (make it a big one) of German beer and head to the park (see tip #1, above). The pubs don’t get going until around 10pm, so drink al fresco before hitting a proper bar.

When the pubs do get going, women would do best to stay in Kreuzberg, where even the straight clubs and pubs draw a substantial lesbian clientele. For the gay boys, Berlin’s unbeatable U-Bahn will speed you to Sch?erg’s Nullendorfplatz, the rainbow-clad heart of the gay scene. Most establishments, including restaurants and accommodations as well as the nightlife, are explicitly gay-friendly.

When the night’s over, remember to rest up because, in Berlin, the end of tonight is already tomorrow.

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