7 of the Best LGBTQ Walking Tours in Europe and North America
Finding Your LGBTQ+ Walking Tour
Finding personable and knowledgable local guides can be difficult when you are traveling, especially if you want to learn queer history or visit the gayborhood. Fortunately, there's an app for that. Founded in 2009 GetYourGuide is transforming travel one memorable moment at a time. The app makes it easier for travelers to connect with local (and if you desire, queer) guides to explore destinations through curated tours. By analyzing a decade’s worth of data, GetYourGuide is also now able to forecast tourist traffic patterns and in 2019 Fast Company named the company one of the most innovative for its impact on reducing the effects of overtourism. Before the setbacks of 2020, the company was seeing its fastest growth in North America.
Here are some of GetYourGuide's best LGBTQ+ walking tours in Europe and the U.S.
While outdoor and socially distant walking tours (especially if also employing masks) are relatively safe, no in-person experience is without risk. Verify in advance that the tours are currently operating and that you can meet any local health requirements.
London, England: 3-Hour LGBTQ Soho History Private Tour
London's Soho has a wide range of LGBTQ+ bars, clubs, restaurants, and shops for travelers to enjoy and in this 3-hour private queer history tour, your guide will share the the best-known venues and the hidden local gems. Stroll through a neighborhood famed for its LGBTQ scene, Check out the hottest shops and galleries, throw back a few cocktails at queer bars (like Compton's pictured) or hit up the spots that locals frequent, suck in the history of one of England's most famous LGBTQ neighborhoods.
New York City, NY: Pride Walking Tour
New York City's queer community is one of the world's most vibrant, and this tour is a great introduction to both the city's current LGBTQ nightlife, and it's long queer history. The Pride walking tour begins and ends at Christopher Park, one of the only locations on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places listed for its LGBTQ significance. Learn about the park's role in the Pride movement and the unjust treatment of the LGBTQ community leading up to the Stonewall Uprising. The tour then visits the Stonewall Inn (pictured), before continuing to the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop. You'll also visit the Pride Flag and the site of the first Pride March, as well as LGBTQ bars Julius, Fedora, and Marie’s Crisis.
Vancouver, Canada: LGBTQ2+ History Tour with Guide
Explore Vancouver's queer side with this 2-hour tour that begins in Granville Street's entertainment scene and weaves past the Canadian city's earliest gay bars. Learn about Imperial Court coronations, drag kings, gay ministers, and the city's AIDS epidemic. Visit the urban oasis Nelson Park and gaybourhood on Davie Street. Stroll the historic tree-lined West End and discover the city's earliest Pride, Vancouver’s secret gay village, the site of bookstore bombings, a transgender activist who blew the whistle on the biggest crime in Vancouver history, and the true story of two-spirited warrior Gone to the Spirits.
Hamburg, Germany. St. Pauli Tour: Drag-Attack with Barbie Stupid & Lee Jackson
Germany’s famous drag queen, Olivia Jones's drag-twins Barbie Stupid and Lee Jackson lead this rollicking walking tour-slash-show through Hamburg's red-light district with saucy banter, sinful sights, information, and entertainment. The tour leads across the Reeperbahn and along winding paths to the Große Freiheit (Great Freedom street), the birthplace of St. Pauli. Stops include the world-famous Herbertstraße (renowned as home to Hamburg’s most expensive sex workers, and notorious for its men-only entrance policy), and much more.
Rome, Italy: Secret Roman History LGBT Walking Tour
Learn about both ancient and modern LGBTQ+ Roman history while walking through the Eternal City with this Secret Roman History LGBT Walking Tour. Discover the best spot is to grab a drink on Rome's "Gay Street." Walk to the spot where Julius Caesar was murdered. Climb the 124 marble steps to reach the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli where, in addition to colorful frescoes you'll find the tomb of Michelangelo's young lovers.
Stroll through the Imperial Forum and learn how homosexuality was viewed in Ancient Rome. On Opium Hill, visit the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains to view one of Michelangelo's most celebrated sculptures: the horned Moses. In view of the Colosseum's Ludus Magnus, enjoy a drink at a famous gay pub while listening to tales of Rome's (queer) gladiators.
Paris, France: Guided tour of Le Marais, Paris's Gay Neighborhood
This unique 2.5-hour evening tour to Le Marais, Paris's gay neighborhood, is an introduction to both the history and the vibrant nightlife of the gayborhood. Although it is one of the oldest areas of Paris, the Marais' LGBTQ+ history began in the 1980s. Travel through the decades and past historic architecture and chic boutiques. Get local insights on the best shopping, restaurants, and bars as well as the important people and places that have made Paris, and especially the Marais, one of the world's most famous gay-friendly destinations.
Berlin, Germany: Gay Berlin Tour: Out in Schöneberg
For a 100 years, the area round Nollendorfplatz in Berlin has been one of the most famous gay neighborhoods in the world. On this walking tour in the north of the Schöneberg district, learn about the colorful international LGBTQ+ community that thrived here between the end of World War I and the accession of the Nazi Party. The gay quarter rose from the ashes in the late 1960s and today is once again a vibrant LGBTQ+ neighborhood.