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Berlin’s celebration of LGBT rights is better known as Christopher Street Day or CSD Berlin. Over 500,000 people parade through the streets of Kurfürstendamm with colorful floats, costumes, and music. The celebration kicks off the weekend before at the Lesbian and Gay City Festival at Nollendorfplatz. Having had another successful event this past summer, the celebrations will kick off again July 27th in 2019.
CSD Berlin started 10 years after the Stonewall Riots in New York City. The Stonewall Riots happened in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood on June 27, 1969. The event was the first major protest and uprising demonstrated by the LGBTQ community and was a direct response to a number of police assaults that targeted the gay population of the area. The riots resonated with many other communities around the world, including in Berlin. So in 1979 Berlin’s Pride was born as a way to stand in solidarity with the movement. The location of the New York protest was on Christopher Street, hence the naming of Berlin’s Pride celebration, which was later shortened to CSD. Berlin Pride and CSD are synonymous. These days it is one of the most popular and largest Pride parades in the world, as it consistently draws well over half a million people each year. Here is everything you need to know about Christopher Street Day in Berlin.
Berlin Gay Parade Date & Location
Christopher Day Pride Parade will take place on July 27, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. The parade, or demonstration, begins midday at Ku’damm and Joachimsthaler Street and ends at Brandenburg Gate with the CSD Rally. Spectators are welcome to march along as they wish.
Berlin Pride Admission
Admission to both the parade and rally are free and participants are encouraged to join in however they’d like. Whether that’s watching the parade from the sidelines, or getting dressed up and joining in on the celebration.
CSD Berlin Events
Berlin Pride events include exhibitions, rallies, lectures, concerts and, of course, parties. Berlin Pride is divided into two main events: the parade and the subsequent rally. The parade starts at noon at Ku’damm and Joachimsthaler Street and ends at Brandenburg Gate, where the rally takes place. The rally is an event in itself, with music performances, speakers and special guest DJs. After the rally, head to one of the official parties downtown. Liquid is the official lesbian party at Music & Peace, and Unity is the official CSD Berlin after party held at Funkhaus Berlin.
The official Berlin Pride Rally begins in the afternoon at Brandenburg Gate, where the parade concludes. The event will be a combination of demonstrations, speakers, music acts and DJs featured across two stages. Also, the Soul of Stonewall Award Ceremony will be presented to prominent activists within the LGBT community.
LIQUID Official Lesbian Party at Musik & Frieden Berlin and UNITY Pride Official Main Party at Funkhaus Berlin, Nalepastr will announce their dates and times in the coming months.
Getting to Berlin Pride
Bus – Several bus lines will also take you to the start of the parade. Plan your trip based on where you’re coming from.
Underground – The U1 and U9 lines will get you to the U Kurfürstendamm stop where you can easily walk to the start of the parade. Plan your trip on VBB’s official site.
Where to Stay for Berlin Pride
Berlin Pride brings hundreds of thousands of people to the city, which means limited choices in accommodations if you wait too long to book. It also means higher prices unless you know where to look. Your best bet for finding a place to stay in Berlin during Pride is to look through hotels, Airbnb options, and B&Bs. Here are a few of our best finds:
This 1-bedroom apartment in West Berlin’s center is fully furnished and perfectly located for only $79/night. A 5-star Berlin hotel has an indoor pool and sauna, free WiFi and 24-hour room service for $130/night. Or rent this cozy condo with a kitchenette, cable TV and WiFi for $149/night.
Useful Tips & Tricks
Get in the Spirit
CSD Berlin is a full expression of pride and an all-out celebration of gay rights, which means you can get as eccentric as you’d like. Wear extravagant costumes, join the parade and don’t forget the excessive amounts of glitter.
Check out the city
Berlin is filled with a rich and very interesting history. Between the Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial and Museum Island, there will be plenty to take in during your visit.
The best vacation rentals for the lowest price
Know the Year’s Themes
CSD/Berlin Pride is first and foremost a good time. Smiles and acceptance are in endless supply. But the organizers have not forgotten their roots. CSD started as a response to a social uprising and because of that each year the parade decides on its message. Depending on the political and social scene at the time of planning that year’s event CSD will set a motto, theme, and make any demands that they seem necessary. However, CSD operates as a democracy. So every year they have Pride Forums, which are open to everyone to express their hopes for that year and contribute their ideas for what that year’s event should stand for.
Other Gay Pride Events in Berlin
Sticking around Berlin and want to experience more of the city’s thriving gay scene? Well CSD isn’t the cities only gathering. The local zoo hosts an annual “Gay night at the zoo” and Folsom Europe is a leather fetish street fair that has become beloved by many in Berlin.
Gay Party Capital
Berlin has proudly claimed the moniker “Gay Party Capital”. So even when Pride ends the party doesn’t need to. There is a seemingly endless list of gay bars and parties that are open or take place all year round. The Club is a fun, not overwhelming gay bar that often puts on art shows and fun events like screenings of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. For those who are not looking for a laidback vibe, there are definitely places to go also. Many of the gay parties and clubs have very flirtatious vibes, some of these include Lab.Oratory, Chantal’s House of Shame, Berghain. SNAX is a wild party that draws a global crowd each year. Other more casual bars include Tom’s Bar, Roses, and Möbel Olfe.