Berlin - A Brief History of Gay Berlin

A Brief History of Gay Berlin

Sat, 22 May
(61 reviews)
Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
45 mins

About the tour

Explore the rich history of gay Berlin! Berlin, which was home to the first gay liberation movement, and where gay life flourished amidst the libertinage of Weimar Germany. See the house where Christopher Isherwood lived for four years, and where he experienced what later would become the basis of the world famous musical "Cabaret". Join me to check out where all the sleazy dives used to be (and where they are now!) and one bar full of Helmut Newton originals! See the spectacular building where Depeche mode gave their first Berlin concert and find out about one of the naughtiest haunts of the early 1930s, which after the Nazi takeover was closed. For good. Thanks must go to the "Kultur-Ring Berlin" (Mr Bernd Grünheid) who greatly contributed to the extensive research on this tour

Meet your local guide


Berlin’s stunning landscape can stupefy you. Home to over 200 parks, forests and green spaces, and over a hundred lakes - replete with beautiful lidos and sandy beaches - it’s one of the greenest cities in the world. Martin helps you discover all this, and more! Having experienced the fall of The Wall first hand, Martin lived abroad between 1994 and 2010 and experienced a potpourri of different cultures. At university, he explored German history and studied German-Jewish exile organizations that emerged as a result of the rise to power by the Nazis. Following his graduation, he was then offered to contribute to the exhibition “Eichmann on Trial”, organized by Berlin’s Topography of Terror. This led Martin back to Berlin, and he re-discovered the city he had left long ago. Fascinated by Berlin’s total make-over, he decided to turn his rekindled fascination with Berlin into his profession. Since then, his tours have been peppered with adventures and exciting stories, ranging from European cultures to celebrities like Marlene Dietrich. “I once gate-crashed the building where David Bowie used to live in Berlin with a customer who was a huge David Bowie fan and ‘bumped’ into a resident who promptly invited us to have coffee!” he says.

Martin has been guiding since May 2011

What to expect

Get ready for something special. We’re travelling to Berlin with no passport, no plane ticket and no luggage. And yet you’ll experience all the sights, sounds and stories with just your laptop, favorite snack and an amazing guide.

The tour will last about 45 mins and will be live-streamed by your guide directly from Berlin. Forget about slideshows or pre-recorded videos, this is a live broadcast and anything can happen!

While on the tour you’ll be able to see a full screen video of your guide and their surroundings, interact with them and other travellers through the live chat, see where you are in the world on a map and show your appreciation with a tip.

Why are they tip-supported?

We are running these tours on a tip-supported basis to make them as accessible as possible. They are free to join, but you have the option to leave a tip during the tour.

The majority of your tip goes directly to support the guide’s hard work, while the rest helps Heygo continue to build a place that brings the world closer together.

See a tour in action

How to join

Reserve your spot by selecting a time to book. Once done, you’ll be able to see your reservations on your Trips page and we’ll send you an email confirmation with a link to join the tour.

For the best viewing experience, please join on a computer using Google Chrome.

Reviews from travellers

Kate T.

23 April 2021

Very misleading title. Should be called gay *male* berlin

Lorna C.

23 April 2021

10* Sometimes it is so tempting to throw down a quick review immediately after a tour finishes, but Martin deserves so much more as the content of his tours reflects the enormous amount of research and planning which has gone into his subject. Despite today’s being a second viewing, you would never have guessed as he always introduces new topics and distracts us with his astounding sense of humour. My ribs hurt! Once more I was incapable of moving as he reduced me to a quivering mess ….with laughter. Humour is not all that Martin shines at though, so we began with a serious wander in Schöneberg and Nollendorfplatz, discussing the older properties and how the Gay movement began and then re-emerged after the Nazis had tried to destroy it. Even for such a minor topic, compared to the rest of what Berlin has to offer, his knowledge was astounding, with its detail preparing us for the highlight of his tour: discovering what Gay Berlin consists of, today. Now Martin revealed his true talent, total immersion in the story he was sharing. His voice changed, his clothing shouted kinky, and his excitement at showing us…..whatever!! was palpable, and again the chat went wild with laughter. It was unbelievable that this was the same Martin who took us on incredibly emotional tours of Jewish memorials in Berlin and who had reduced us to tears, himself included, not of happiness, but of sorrow. Martin, you are an extraordinary and truly gifted man. How privileged we are to be able to listen to you from the comfort of our own home whilst you are out in the cold and rain. What a resounding success, all 5*, apart from the one person who gave a despicable 1* as she “didnt care for the content”. Shame on her as this tour was about history, both past and present, neither of which ought to be dismissed in this fashion. The tour description was very clear, which gave her enough information about whether or not to join.

Dori M.

22 April 2021

A very enjoyable tour in Gay Berlin. Martin was informative, funny and I truly enjoyed our visit.

margaret a.

22 April 2021


Maggie L.

22 April 2021

Great tour...a mix of the (often devastating) history of LGBTQ people in Berlin and much lighter moments enjoying Martin's sense of humour. Unfortunately PayPal wouldn't allow me to tip but I'll keep trying!

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