Do you deserve a free luxury trip? We thought so. Entry details below.
It’s almost that time.
When one of two options presents itself: you either want to rush headlong into the joys of being able to announce “Merry Christmas” again — OR you wish you could retreat to anywhere that allows you to look in a different direction to just try and ignore all that communal celebrating.
Until around January 2nd when something approaching ‘normal transmission’ will return we are all faced with these two options.
Thankfully, the good people at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) have got loads of ideas, covering both options, well and truly covered.
The answers you seek — as we think so often proves to be the case in this life — can be found when you decide to make your Yuletide “gay”. Can you have a ‘gay’ Christmas? Do you crave Christmas with all its trimmings or do you want to look the other way? Let’s examine both sides of that debate so you can consider which kind of person you are.
Option 1: Christmas Markets are deliciously camp.
Many find this proposition pretty hard to disagree with. Anyone who’s spent more than a couple of minutes wandering about all those little wooden huts that seem to spring up in increasing numbers each winter will have noticed just how camp a Christmas market actually is. They are literally covered in glitter and fir tree branches and twinkly lights, with little booths serving all manner of foods that seem most unlikely to ever end up on any healthy diet list. They sell extraordinary ranges of gifts, with oodles of trinkets for trees, for children and even for purposes that often make little sense to anyone. Then to wrap it all up, there is no end of alcohol being liberally consumed all around, usually starting from sometime around 11:00am most mornings. Perhaps all that ‘camp’ goes a long way to explain why Christmas markets so often feature in many gay people’s holiday plans. The place that gave the world the Christmas market is Germany — and that is also the place that does them best. This year Germany is again serving up the very best Christmas markets in the world. If you fall into this pro-Christmas camp, check-out some of the Option 1 choices on offer this year. You can even visit LGBT-themed Christmas markets in Cologne and Hamburg to fully make your Yuletide gay.
Option 2: Please! Just make it stop.
So maybe you don’t cry ‘Bah! Humbug!’ out loud, but, for those of us not in love with Christmas and its instant festive cheer, Germany cleverly gives us the easy way through this difficult time of your year. Just like it does all the other times of the year, Germany is home to much of the world’s best LGBT nightlife, shopping, cafe’s, bookstores, nature, bars and clubbing — all there and always on standby, just waiting for you to pop over to Germany to jump right in this November, December and January. We can’t promise you won’t maybe catch a glimpse of a Christmas market hut over by some distant corner, but Germany is a big place — filled with cities that always know how to keep going no matter what else is going on. If you fancy culture, relaxation or clubbing to perfect your winter plans, here is a whole country ready to oblige. Take a look at the city guides below — you will discover no shortage of great places in Germany to sit back, relax, wander and enjoy, without so much as a thought about Christmas. You can also find even more details online about so much to do by visiting the great German National Tourist Office LGBT travel pages. That link is below.
Option 3: The answer: Win an escape to luxury.
As so often happens, there was an Option 3. (Who knew?) This one definitely floats our boat. Make sure you enter to win the great travel competition GNTO has put together for this year’s LGBT travel campaign. They are working with the great destination of Baden-Baden to offer a lucky winner travel, accommodation and sightseeing in the resort town loved by those ‘in the know’. Soak in thermal spa waters by day and strut your finest glam threads at the luxury casino by night. Baden-Baden is the place that never forgot what glamorous means and you are welcome to enter for the chance to win your 2018 trip there. For free. Thanks to GNTO and the very good people at Baden-Baden.
Some Christmas ideas
Option 1 to experience the full-on OTT Christmas Markets experience in all its glory and if you prefer to avoid the whole thing, Option 2 is for you.
Option 1: Berlin Weihnachts Zauber is just glorious in a 13th century setting with all that makes Christmas markets special for those who love them.
Option 2: Berlin culture is second-to-none. Check-out world leading galleries, museums, shopping and dining with the LGBT club and bar scene ready to round off the night in the city that truly sets the pace for global culture.
Option 1: Numerous Christmas markets adorn the town centre, and we especially love the LGBT Christmas market so camply named as “Christmas Avenue” right by the gay heartland of the city.
Option 2: Rudolfplatz and the gay ‘Bermuda Triangle’ district are the perfect setting-off point for experiencing the immense breadth and depth of Cologne’s huge LGBT community and their many wonderful places to visit.
Option 1: The main Weihnachtsmarkt is held in front of the Town Hall and is a must-see but do check-out the Winter Pride LGBT Christmas market fun near Central Station which really adds to the camp fun with Homo-Herzblatt (homo sweetheart) happenings as well as their very own “Schrottwichteln” — ‘Rubbish Secret Santa’ — where visitors get to exchange their least liked Christmas gifts. There is even a sex-themed Christmas Market over by The Reeperbahn where life meets Christmas in the most interesting ways.
Option 2: Hamburg and LGBT life have been an ideal match for a long time now. Explore the alternative flavours of the St. Pauli area or the more gentrified gay life around Saint Georg for starters. Nightlife adventure is one thing this city is famous for and Talstrasse is the place to start your Big Gay Hamburg experience this winter.
ENTER to win ! Our friends at the German National Tourist Office are pleased to welcome their LGBT guests to Germany in 2017. For a chance to win a free trip to Baden-Baden, CLICK here. It takes less than a minute to enter: you and a friend might soon be winging your way to Spa, Luxury, Nature and Dining heaven in beautiful Baden-Baden. Enter now.
For more information on LGBT travel ideas, visit the special LGBT travel pages at Germany.travel