Cologne is often referred to as the ‘gay Mecca’ in Germany. In fact, gay travel to Cologne is going to be really big this year because from 31 July to 7 August, the Gay Games will be held. The city is gearing up for the event which will not only feature sports, but there will be many other festivities such as parades, fairs and cultural events.
This is the largest sports event for gay athletes, artists, musicians and singers. Competitors with any sexual orientation are more than welcome to compete in any discipline. It was previously called the Gay Olympics when it was first held in San Francisco during 1982. The purpose of the event is to encourage inclusion, participation and personal growth in sports.
In this spirit, participants do not have to qualify. The games are open to everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation. Because Cologne is such an open-minded city, this year’s event is expected to attract entrants from all over the world, even from countries where same-sex relationships remain illegal.
Past host cities include San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam and Sydney. There will be a total of 34 disciplines that range from field and track events, to soccer, bowling, volleyball, wrestling, weight-lifting and chess. If you are planning a trip to Cologne during this time, it would be advisable to book early.
Over the years, the Gay Games has been hosted in Sydney, Amsterdam, San Francisco and New York. The 2010 event will feature 34 disciplines which range from wrestling and weight-lifting, field and track events, to volleyball, bowling and chess. Anyone planning a visit at this time should book accommodation early.
The oldest German city, Cologne lies on the banks of the famous Rhine River. It is always abuzz with tourists who are keen to experience Cologne’s vibrancy and its rich heritage. Local residents are friendly, jovial and helpful. You will find a plethora of gay restaurants, clubs and bars in the city.
Gay visitors have a number of interesting and entertaining activities to choose from. These include a fun motorbike tour for women only, an exhilarating hike to stately castles, plus a tour that reveals the history of homosexuality in Cologne from the 19th Century through to 1969. You can also be part of the Rhenish Extravaganza, a lively annual carnival.
LGBT visitors to Cologne are welcomed with a special Pink WelcomeCard distributed by the Koln Tourismus Service Center. Through the center, you can get free public transport, discounts on river cruises, theater tickets, museum visits, and opera shows. The center also offers discounts for gay clubs, bars, shops and saunas. Gay travel to Cologne is going to be at an all-time high this year.