Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
Berlin is generally a pretty quiet city; the gay area isn’t like Manchester or London – for a start, there are several of them, and they’re much more spread out. Outside the big party weekends, you generally don’t see many people on the streets, especially in the main gay area of Schöneberg, in the area formerly known as West Berlin.
But that all changes during Pride, known there, as in many other European cities, as CSD or Christopher Street Day and which this year is on 21 June. On this day over a million gay and lesbian people and their supporters march from the glitzy shopping street of Kurfürstendamm, via Schöneberg and end up at the iconic Brandenburg Gate for a free party with entertainment and food stalls, including the ubiquitous pretzels and bratwurst (sausages).
CSD is so called because of the uprising against police brutality at the Stonewall bar in New York’s Christopher Street in 1969, when hundreds of people rebelled against frequent raids and shut downs. The first Christopher Street Day was held in Berlin on June 1979, with 400 protestors.
So So Gay has got together with DiscoDamaged Berlin, the online English language guide to gay Berlin, to give you our most valuable prize ever: win a trip to Berlin during CSD, along with a package of other prizes – a copy of the Spartacus Berlin Gay Guide, Berlin Welcome Cards, free public transport, and even guest list club entry.
Handily located in the centre of Berlin, between the Berlin Cathedral and the Television Tower, the entrance foyer includes the the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium – 25m high, and containing one million litres of seawater. Your stay, which is worth over £400, includes two nights in one of their super-plush rooms, including breakfast, free wifi, pool, sauna, fitness room and 24 hour concierge.
The 176 page guide covers current Berlin events, shopping, history and insider tips. The editor describes in detail many facets of the gay scene and there are free tickets and vouchers to various parties in the back of this guide. Information on local attractions and theme-related articles about sex and nightlife can also be found, as well as address lists for shops and places which are essential for any tourist to visit. It also includes help in navigation with the aid of city maps and a map of the public transport system.
The nice people at Visit Berlin have given us Welcome Cards for each of the winners – which give you free public transport, plus free or discounted museum entry, a city guide, and restaurant recommendations.
Top prize is a trip for two people to stay in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin, for two nights, including breakfast, plus all the goodies mentioned earlier. You can pay directly at the hotel if you want to stay longer (smile sweetly and they might give you a good deal!), but there’s no cash alternative. The second and third prizes are a copy of the Berlin guide and a Welcome Card.
Because we’re working with DiscoDamaged, please head over to the competition page on their site to enter – and because we’re nice, if you enter and share the competition using the special link the form offers your, we’ll double your chances of winning! Good luck!
The competition closes Monday 2 June 2014.
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