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GLBT History Museum

The Castro
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Address: 4127 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114-2407
Phone Number:
+1 415-621-1107

Located in San Francisco's Castro District, the GLBT History Museum is the...

Located in San Francisco's Castro District, the GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history and culture in the United States — and only the second in the world. At 1,600 square feet (150 square meters), the museum is fairly small, but it packs a punch, celebrating 100 years of San Francisco’s vast queer past through dynamic and surprising exhibitions and programming. Open since January 2011, the museum is a project of the GLBT Historical Society, a San Francisco institution founded in 1985 that houses one of the world’s largest collections of GLBT archival materials.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 53 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 18
  • 23
    Very good
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
Informative and interesting

Came here with friends, they learned so much about GLBT history. The information is well presented and does not incite or blame. Well worth your time.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
William M
San Francisco, CA
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53 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 49: English reviews
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
638 reviews
337 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Came here with friends, they learned so much about GLBT history. The information is well presented and does not incite or blame. Well worth your time.

Thank William M
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2017 via mobile

The GLBT History Museum is a must-see place if you are in the Castro neighborhood. It's a small but very interesting museum that shows the fight that have been led over decades to obtain rights to the LGBT community. The Harvey Milk's audio recording was unexpected but very welcomed to better understand the context.

Thank Pierre L
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
410 reviews
229 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2016

This museum was found when visiting the Castro. The man in charge was very informative. This is a small but very interesting place for all to see. The only other one like it is in Berlin Germany. Do visit if in The area. The admission is only $ 5.00.

Thank kappy26
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2016

We went after visiting the HRC. Our receipts gave us a discount to admission and had not planned on going until we were told about it. It is less a museum and more of an historical society documenting the important human rights struggle that continues. Seeing the Harvey Milk suit and hearing his recorded voice was so unexpected and moving... More 

Thank Sheila W
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2016

This little museum of the history of LGBTQ people in America and in particular San Francisco, is a must see for any LGBTQ people and for all of you who want a better understanding of the oppression of queer people and the great steps that were taken here to move things forward. The museum is just off the main Castro... More 

1 Thank Travelbugged030
Penarth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2016 via mobile

We found this museum by accident when taking my friends teenage son to see the Castro district - and I'm glad we did. It's a small museum but I found it extremely informative - and a painful reminder of the 80's and it's prejudices. The museum tells an important story and is well worth a visit. Staff were extremely friendly... More 

1 Thank Sue H
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
71 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2016 via mobile

A very well done small but very informative exhibit of gay rights Well worth the stop 18 & Castro Exhibits include Harvey Milk artifacts

1 Thank Brad S
Carbondale, Illinois
Level Contributor
91 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2016

I think this is the only gay history museum in the country. It was on my must-see list during a trip to San Francisco. It's small, but it records the important history of the gay community in the city. It also has an audio recording of Harvey Milk and some memorabilia from Milk's life. That alone was worth the visit... More 

1 Thank LHinkle
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
109 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2016

Worth a look if in neighbourhood. Quite small. Some of the displays or AV stuff was out of action. I wouldnt make a trip to Castro specifically for this but tag it onto a exploration of the neighbourhood.

Thank tartan_penguin
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
82 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2016 via mobile

Its nice but there could be more things to see, more info, more history. It took me just 30 minute to see it all... I think its missing some research to bring new stuff.

Thank Claris P

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Staying in The Castro

Neighbourhood Profile
The Castro
A flourishing commercial area that acts as San Francisco's LGBT community center and cultural heart, the Castro is a neighbourhood welcome to everyone. As one of the first predominantly LGBT neighbourhoods in the United States and currently its largest, it remains one of the epicenters of activism in the nation. Grand theatres and glitzy shops now compete with bars and fashionable eateries for attention, drawing visitors from around the world to the bright rainbow flag acting as its beacon.
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