Long one of Europe's most gay-welcoming cities, Cologne is in the heart of Germany's scenic Rhineland and is the country's fourth-largest city. It's a scenic, culturally rich, and friendly city that also hosts a wonderfully festive and well-attended Gay Pride festival in early July, called Christopher Street Day. In 2013, Cologne Gay Pride takes place July 5 through July 7, although there are a number of related events leading up to this.
More about Cologne Gay Pride 2013 will be added here as the date approaches - here's a look at last year's event, in the meantime:
From the night of Friday through Sunday, there's a big Gay Pride Festival taking place in Cologne's charming Old City district. The action takes place in Heumarkt and kicks off at 6 pm on Friday. Featured are a variety of ceremonies and speeches, dance music by major DJs, and performances by several top entertainers and musicians.
Additionally, on Sunday, the official Christopher Street Day Parade takes place at noon - and look out, because this is one of the biggest such parades in Europe, attracting nearly 1 million participants and spectators according to some estimates. Here's a map of the Cologne Gay Pride parade route.
Many of the city's gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers, which are distributed at popular gay bars. And visit the Cologne Gay Travel Guide by Patroc.com, which is very handy and has extensive information on the local gay scene. Additional excellent trip-planning resources are the GLBT site produced by Cologne Tourism, and the German Office of Tourism's site on GLBT travel.