Köln may just be the gay capital of Germany, its just that no one outside of Germany has any idea about it. If you are a fan of gay bathhouse establishments, you do must visit Cologne at least one time to experience what it has to offer. Considering how small of a city it is compared to other “gay capitals”, it has multiple gay venues that would even put Berlin to shame. One of these places is the lovely Phoenix sauna located just off Rudolfplatz, conveniently at the edge of the city center.
The Sauna owners are also responsible for the Phoenix in Dusselsorf, the Pansauna in Cologne and the marvelous Der Boiler of Berlin. They also used to own the Phoenix of Essen which is now known as Pluto Sauna – another must see.
This sauna is rather large with two vast floors. First floor includes the entrance, a nice small bar with a lounge area, dry sauna with the traditional “aufguss” every hour, as well as a huge garden that can be utilized on the few hot days within the year, although Germans may just seat there even when it snows – go figure.
The basement floor includes the lockers area, large seating section, small wet sauna, cabins, cruising corridors, cinema rooms, showers and a good size jacuzzi.
Entrance fee is on the pricey side – 20€ even during weekdays – a statement for quality? Not sure, it may have bigger crowds during weekdays if the price was lower.
Having that said, the price is worth it, since the Phoenix Sauna in Cologne is very clean and well frequented by locals of all age groups. Strangely, on my Tuesday visit there were many more patrons than on my Thursday visit – meaning its a hit or miss.
During the evenings the wet sauna is being filled with foam for the enjoyment of visitors. Unfortunately it comes with a chemical smell and its kinda hard to breath inside… maybe they should add some essential oils or replace the soap used. I suggest they ask The Kaiserbründl Herrensauna in Vienna what is it that they use, because their foam party rocks.
Another tip – try to bring cash, as foreign credit cards may have difficulty working with their credit card machine and they wouldn’t be too proactive on ways to solve it – but that’s typical German (sorry for being not so politically correct, but hey – it’s a gay sauna blog!).
To conclude – this is another must visit! During CSD cologne (Cologne’s gay pride) the line to get in stretches all the way down the street and the place is extremely packed. That could just be the best time to come.
This place gets a good 80 degrees Celsius out of the boiling 100.
The Phoenix Sauna is located at Richard-Wagner-Str. 12, Köln, Germany