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Schwules Museum

Schwules Museum: Our most recommended tours and activities

Queer Berlin Walking Tour

1. Queer Berlin Walking Tour

Berlin is the queer capital of Europe and on this fascinating and fun tour, you will explore Schöneberg, the city’s gay neighborhood, and walk through the Tiergarten, it’s best-known gay meeting spot. The city has been a pioneer of gay and lesbian rights since the late 19th-Century, despite the notorious “Section 175” of the German penal code, which criminalized male homosexuality for decades after World War 2. In Schöneberg, see where Marlene Dietrich lived and worked and where Christopher Isherwood and Otto Dix chronicled the city’s fantastic cabaret and nightlife scene. Visit the Eldorado, one of Berlin’s oldest gay and transvestite bars, and stop at the poignant memorial to all the homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis and sent to the concentration camps. Find out how openly queer and transgendered individuals found assistance and support from Magnus Hirschfeld, whose ground-breaking Institute for Sexual Science was shut down in 1933, and had its library destroyed during the notorious Nazi book-burnings. Walk through the Tiergarten, the city’s best-known gay meeting spot, located in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Find out how queer figures, from the Prussian King Friedrich the Great to today’s openly gay mayor Klaus Wowereit, have shaped the history of Berlin.

Berlin: LGBTIQ History & Culture Private Walking or Car Tour

2. Berlin: LGBTIQ History & Culture Private Walking or Car Tour

Learn about the history and current dynamics of Berlin’s LGBTIQ community on a guided private walking tour. Visit the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, the districts of Schöneberg and Kreuzberg, a historic gay and trans bar, and the outside of the Gay Museum with a local guide. Meet your guide at either your hotel or a pre-arranged meeting point. Starting in the city center, first visit the Memorial for the Homosexuals persecuted Under Nazism, addressing the violent repression of homosexuality in Nazi Germany and gay personalities within the Nazi Party itself. Learn about Frederick the Great, the 18th-century Prussian King who is widely believed to have been gay. Hear about the influence of sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, who pioneered advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights in the early 20th century. Next, explore Schöneberg, Berlin’s ‘Rainbow District’, to see where Christopher Isherwood lived during his time in the city. Visit one of the city’s oldest gay and trans bars, the former Eldorado, and hear about the queer scene at the height of the hedonistic 1920s. Cross into the district of Kreuzberg to discover more about the burgeoning techno and club scenes that flourished when the Berlin Wall fell. Finally, you will finish the tour at the Gay Museum, which you can visit at your own discretion after the tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Schwules Museum

Want to discover all there is to do in Schwules Museum? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Schwules Museum

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 24 reviews

This tour was fantastic! Jared was our guide and they were great and full of knowledge, information, and funny stories. We went all over the city, covering its long history in a very thorough way. We covered everything from the recent gentrification of the East German gaybourhood to the days of Christopher Isherwood and Magnus Hirschfield. We stopped for a lunch break at a fantastic and important spot - food was great along with the cultural significance. My only complaint is that I didn't take this tour sooner! 100% a must-do if you are interested in Queer Berlin History.

The tour was very informative and fun. I would appreciate a description of the day in advance, as it eventually took almost 6 hours (instead of 4) and also lunch was part of the experience. I needed to adjust my plans after that.

I had guide who was very well-informed on Berlin's queer history - Jared (pronouns: they/ them). Even though I was the only one booked on that tour, Jared was generous with sharing.

The tour and Kyle were great. Recommended to everyone who wants to learn about the history and culture of the queer community, in bad and good times.

A great tour by Finn. V knowledgeable and personable. A really enjoyable experience