I’m not sure about anyone else, but when I travel to a new (or familiar) destination, one of the first things I do is search for “LGBTQ+ Tours [Insert City Here].” For me, travel isn’t just about discovering the popular landmarks or trendy neighborhoods, it’s about diving head-first into local life and culture. And as a Queer person who operates an LGBTQ+ walking tour company in NYC, I want to feel, see, and experience the heartbeat of the local LGBTQ+ community when I travel, learning stories that may not be found in traditional guidebooks.
This desire prompted the creation of my own LGBTQ+ walking tour company in New York City, Christopher Street Tours, in 2018. We are LGBTQ+-owned and -operated, offering public and private tours all throughout the year. Our mission is to share stories and uplift voices of those that paved the way before us, and I hope that if you find yourself in NYC, you’ll join us on a tour!
Experiencing an LGBTQ+ tour during your travels can offer a unique lens through which to explore the world and the community. In this post, join me on a global expedition as we venture beyond the tourist brochures, uncovering the rich experience of LGBTQ+ history and culture that spans the globe.
Simply select your destination below to discover LGBTQ+ tours around the globe.
The Company: Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours stages walking tours and special events in and around downtown Vancouver, BC that investigate, explore and celebrate our city’s most rich histories, culture, and heritage.
The Tour: This “Really Gay History Tour” covers the raucous chronicle of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community. The wild history of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community comes alive with stories of struggle, unity, and oh so much humor. From Downtown Vancouver to the Davie Village “Gayborhood,” meet a history of outrageous drag queens, bookstore bombings, and brave citizens who fought for acceptance.
Know Before You Book: Use the code “CSTOURS” to let them know that we sent you!
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Berlin, Germany
- Lisbon, Portugal
- London, United Kingdom
- Valletta, Malta
Special Amsterdam Tours
The Company: Special Amsterdam Tours offers multiple tours (including privately curated tours) all over Amsterdam! Bonus points: it’s gay-owned!
The Tour: The LGBTIQ+ Historical Amsterdam Tour covers 400+ years of LGBTQ+ history in Amsterdam. The tour takes you on a trip through historic Amsterdam and goes from the 17th Century until the year of gay marriage in Amsterdam, in 2001. Tours start at the Homomonument and end at the oldest gay bar in the world.
Know Before You Book: Tours are led by Henk, a passionate Queer activist and the founder of Special Amsterdam Tours. Tours are 2 hours.
The Company: Homolulu Berlin is gay-owned and operated by a local Berliner of 10+ years.
The Tour: The theme of the Queer Bike City Tour is “Berlin invents homosexuality – Queer history from 1850-1935.” The tour includes the world’s first public outing, the first gay activist group, the first gay and lesbian magazine, the first sexual science institute in the world, and more!
Know Before You Book: Tours are free, but participants must rent a bike or scooter. Tours offered in English and German.
Queer Lisbon Tour
The Company: The Queer Lisbon Tour is LGBTQ+-owned and women-owned! They offer both public and private tours and offer a free guide to Queer Lisbon.
The Tour: Queer Lisbon Tour offers two wonderful LGBTQ+ tours depending on your interests: the Day Walking Tour offers a historical and immersive experience of Lisbon’s Queer history while the Nightlife Tour offers a full Queer nightlife experience in Lisbon.
Know Before You Book: All tours are LGBTQ+-operated by LGBTQ+ locals! Tours are 3.5 hours.
London, United Kingdom
London with a Local
The Company: London with a Local was created in 2018 out of a desire to bring something different to those visiting (or living in) London. They offer multiple tours across multiple parts and themes of London, many of which operate on a tips-only basis.
The Tour: The Free Queer & LGBTQ+ History Tour explores the vast and complex history of LGBTQ+ life in London, with stories of iconic people and places who have shaped the city and community through the centuries.
Know Before You Book: A free tour! All guides operate on gratuities. Tour is 2 hours. If opting for a private tour, tell them Christopher Street Tours sent you!
Q Travels Malta
The Company: Q Travels Malta has Malta’s first and only LGBTIQ+ “Queerlor-made” experiences. Their mission is to create unforgettable, inclusive, and authentic travel experiences for the LGBTIQ+ community.
The Tour: The Valletta Queer History Walking Tour provides an authentic exploration of Valletta’s landmarks and history from the perspective of the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll get a unique perspective on the city center, the red light district, and the city outskirts. Your tour guide will provide fascinating details about the LGBTIQ+ cultural heritage that make this city so special.
Know Before You Book: LGBTQ-owned! Tours are 2 hours with public tours offered in English. Private tours available in English, German, Italian, Spanish, and French.
The Company: Divercitours Mex is LGBTQ+-owned and -operated by Saúl Franco, who was born and raised in Mexico City.
The Tour: Divercitours Mex offers a variety of LGBTQ+-themed tours, including a Downtown tour of the most famous sites, a Pyramids of Teotihuacán tour offered as a private day trip, and a bar tour for the best local hot spots.
Know Before You Book: Let Saúl know that Michael from Christopher Street Tours sent you!
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- New York, New York
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- San Francisco, California
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans Secrets
The Company: No Orleans Secrets offers a variety of tours throughout the city and was named 2023’s “Best Historic & Cultural Tour Operator” in New Orleans! Every history and culture tour is run passionately by locals with 9 people or less.
The Tour: The LGBT Queer History Tour is the only full-time LGBTQ+ tour in New Orleans – home to one of the oldest gay neighborhoods in the USA. This tour covers the struggles and the hope of the LGBTQ+ community in New Orleans.
Know Before You Book: The public tour is 2 hours and limited to 9 people for a small, intimate group experience. Public and private tours available. Tour is also wheelchair accessible.
New York, New York
Christopher Street Tours
The Company: Christopher Street Tours (Hi! It’s us!) is inspired by the deep history and invigorating stories of the LGBTQ+ community in New York City. We are LGBTQ+-owned and -operated with the mission of sharing stories and uplifting voices of those that paved the way before us.
The Tour: We offer two LGBTQ+ history tours on a year-round basis – our Village Pride Tour, which explores historic sites where revolutions began, riots were sparked, and history was made, and our Downtown LGBTQ+ Activism Tour, where guests visit the places where unspoken heroes spoke truth to power, igniting pivotal protests and fighting tirelessly for justice.
Know Before You Book: Both tours are 2 hours. As a special thank you for reading this post and joining us on tour, you can use the code CST10 for a special discount.
Beyond the Bell Tours
The Company: Beyond the Bell Tours is inspired by the stories that go untold in Philadelphia. Their tours are designed to include and to share the incredible stories of women, people of color, Queer folks, and indigenous peoples who have made Philadelphia the city that we know and love.
The Tour: Beyond the Bell has many tours, but we’re highlighting their Philly Gayborhood & LGBTQ History Tour, where guests can discover the controversies, paradoxes, and hidden histories of the only formalized Gayborhood in the country.
Know Before You Book: LGBTQ+-owned and -operated! Tours are 90 minutes and are wheelchair accessible upon request.
San Francisco, California
Cruisin’ the Castro
The Company: Cruisin’ the Castro Walking Tours began in 1989 by local historian Trevor Hailey. Upon Trevor’s retirement in 2005, local resident and professional tour guide Kathy Amendola had purchased the business that continues to thrive to this day. Kathy has many years of travel and tourism expertise, is a long-time local resident and an active member of the LGBTQ community. She’s served on several landmark projects such as the Rainbow Honor Walk and the Pink Triangle Park & Memorial.
The Tour: The LGBTQ Castro Tour invites guests to discover how San Francisco’s Gold Rush in 1849 created the city’s first sexual and gender diverse community, and how World War II, the Summer of Love, civil rights leader Harvey Milk, and the AIDS epidemic, created the heart and soul of the LGBTQ community in San Francisco.
Know Before You Book: LGBTQ+-owned and -operated! Private, group, and virtual tours available.
Do you own or operate an LGBTQ+ walking tour around the world? Or know of one we can add to the list? Contact us so we can add it to this post!