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The Castro Tours

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487 Reviews
The Castro
Closely associated with LGBTQ culture, San Francisco’s vibrant, brash Castro district is a lively neighborhood of shops, bars, rainbow flags, and hilly streets lined with impressively restored Victorian homes. Harvey Milk—California’s first openly gay elected official—was a famous Castro resident, honored here with Harvey Milk Plaza.

The Basics

A significant Castro landmark, the GLBT Historical Society offers visitors a robust archive and three galleries. The Castro is also home to Pink Triangle Park, which includes a granite monument honoring members of the LGBTQ community murdered under the Nazis during World War II. The neighborhood boasts cafés, nightclubs, and historic buildings, including the Castro Theatre, which features a Spanish baroque facade.

Because of its great weather and cycling-friendly streets, the Castro is a great neighborhood for renting bikes to get around. Tours usually offer a choice between self-guided and guided tours, with half-day and full-day rates. Bus tours are also available, and some offer the option to add a sailing adventure or ride in a vintage minibus.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • To better understand the neighborhood's history, take an LGBTQ-themed walk exploring the Castro's political background.
  • Adventure-seekers should consider helicopter tours to get a bird's-eye view.
  • Photographers will appreciate the Harvey Milk Center—the largest community darkroom in the country.
  • Wear comfortable shoes to enjoy walking around the hilly Castro.

How to Get There

San Francisco's Castro District is easy to access via the MUNI Metro system’s L, K, or M line. You can also choose the scenic route and take the storied F-Market streetcar. Hop on a historic streetcar at Fisherman's Wharf, the Embarcadero, or Civic Center and travel above ground to the Castro. Close proximity to the Mission makes these good neighborhoods to visit together.

When to Get There

San Francisco is known for year-round pleasant weather, and autumn is often the sunniest season. If you arrive mid-October, you'll avoid peak summer tourism. The Castro is beautiful during the day, so visit early for brunch—for which the neighborhood is famous—or shopping. Restaurants and LGBTQ-friendly bars here are liveliest on weekend evenings. The Castro is particularly raucous around June’s Pride celebration and Halloween.
 
Mission Dolores Park

A short walk from the Castro in the Mission District, Mission Dolores Park is beloved among locals, the perfect spot for sipping a locally roasted coffee on a sunny afternoon. Find stunning views of the city from the park's Church Street side, nearest the Castro. Families will enjoy the park’s Helen Diller Playground, packed with slides and swings.
Address: San Francisco, USA
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29 Tours and Activities to Experience The Castro

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San Francisco LGBTQ Walking Tour with Local GuideCity Packages

San Francisco LGBTQ Walking Tour with Local Guide

star-5
Explore the LGBT history of the Castro on foot during this walking tour. Follow your informative local guide through the famous neighborhood while learning about the local landmarks and historical sites. Be inspired by the rich, diverse history of this iconic district and its continuing role as an epicenter of LGBT activism and events.
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  • 2 hours
From  
$30.96 
From  
$30.96 
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  • 2 hours

San Francisco Love TourCity Packages

San Francisco Love Tour

star-5
Hop on a ‘70s-era VW bus and get to know the hippie past and hipster vibe that make up San Francisco today. Starting and ending at Fisherman’s Wharf, this 2-hour sightseeing tour takes you around the city, including Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. See the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. So settle into a neon-blue seat and dig your shoes into groovy shag carpet. Each bus accommodates up to just six people.
...  More
  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$80.00 
From  
$80.00 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Painted Ladies San Francisco City TourHalf-day Tours

Painted Ladies San Francisco City Tour

star-5
Take a journey around San Francisco's top sights in a retro way with this "painted ladies" tour by vintage Volkswagen bus decorated with long gorgeous eyelashes so you can't miss your tour vehicle. You'll pass by neighborhoods like Chinatown, Union Square, Pacific Heights, North Beach, Haight-Ashbury, the Marina, and the Castro, plus see the Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks, and more.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$65.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$65.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

The Ultimate Day in the Bay Including Muir WoodsDay Trips

The Ultimate Day in the Bay Including Muir Woods

star-5
Enjoy an introduction to San Francisco on this excursion that includes a trip across San Francisco Bay to Muir Woods National Monument. You are driven around the city to see its diverse neighborhoods and geography, stopping several times for photo ops. At Muir Woods, admire the towering redwood trees, and visit the waterfront town of Sausalito for lunch (own expense).
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$125.00 
From  
$125.00 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Full-Day Guided Tour of San Francisco with AlcatrazAttraction Tickets

Full-Day Guided Tour of San Francisco with Alcatraz

star-4
Explore San Francisco on a small-group full-day tour that covers top attractions including Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. Get great views of the San Francisco Bay Area during the short ferry ride to Alcatraz Island, where you then take a self-guided audio tour of the infamous prison. Return to shore for your bus tour of destinations such as Nob Hill, the Haight-Ashbury, the Castro, the Mission, and Golden Gate Park. Includes hotel pickup and drop-off in San Francisco.
...  More
  • 10 to 11 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$145.00 
From  
$145.00 
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  • 10 to 11 hours
  • Taking safety measures

Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Van TourHalf-day Tours

Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Van Tour

star-5
Avoid the crowds, confusion, and limitations of large buses and discover San Francisco by luxury minivan. This half-day tour takes you to numerous parts of the city for the perfect overview. Enjoy fascinating facts provided by your guide's live commentary. Stop for photo opportunities at some of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$89.00 
From  
$89.00 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Love Night TourCity Packages

San Francisco Love Night Tour

star-4.5
Get to know the hippie past and hipster vibe that make up San Francisco today aboard a colorful 1970s-era Volkswagen bus. Enjoy the illuminated city during this night tour that takes you to Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. Check out the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. So dig your shoes into groovy shag carpet and shake some beaded curtains. Each bus accommodates up to just six people.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$85.00 
From  
$85.00 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Urban Hike: Castro and Twin PeaksHalf-day Tours

San Francisco Urban Hike: Castro and Twin Peaks

star-5
Conquer San Francisco's urban jungle on this 3-hour urban hike. Trek your way up Tank Hill and Kite Hill, spots favored by locals for great city views, and stroll through hidden forests. Visit the Seward Street Slides to play like a local kid and take spectacular photos from the top of Twin Peaks. Between the forests, lush greenery and hidden pocket parks, you'll find it hard to believe you're in the midst of one of the country's busiest cities. Learn urban legends, history and culture from your local hiking guide.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$57.60 
From  
$57.60 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Guided City TourBus Tours

San Francisco Guided City Tour

star-4
Explore San Francisco with a local insider and experience an extraordinary afternoon. This half-day tour takes you sightseeing around the city with a guide to offer commentary. Neighborhoods include Fisherman's Wharf, Presidio, Haight-Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, the Castro, and North Beach plus the Golden Gate Bridge. Free Wi-Fi is available aboard the vehicle so you can post your snaps to social media en route.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$69.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$69.00 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

San Francisco Private Love TourHalf-day Tours

San Francisco Private Love Tour

star-5
If you’re going to do a sightseeing tour of San Francisco by bus, make it a memorable one. Book a 1970s-era Volkswagen bus for your private party of six and wind through the city’s top attractions with a personalized guide on a 4-hour tour. Travel into streets that larger vehicles cannot pass through as you explore Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. See the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. Hotel transport included.
...  More
  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$528.00 
per group
From  
$528.00 
per group
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

The One Day in San Francisco Tour with AlcatrazDay Trips

The One Day in San Francisco Tour with Alcatraz

star-5
See the best of San Francisco in one day on this guided tour that includes all transportation and admission to Alcatraz. Visit multiple locations in the city, including Castro, Presidio, Fisherman's Wharf, and Twin Peaks, with plenty of stops for photo ops. Then take the ferry to Alcatraz Island where you can explore with an award-winning audio-guided tour of the former federal prison.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$139.00 
From  
$139.00 
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures

San Francisco Mini Majestic Electric Bike TourMountain Bike Tours

San Francisco Mini Majestic Electric Bike Tour

star-5
San Francisco is famous for its skyline views, rich cultural landscape, and iconic architecture. While the city’s steep streets and thick traffic can make foot and car travel difficult, this guided electric bike tour allows you to cruise up hills with the assistance of a battery-powered bicycle, avoid traffic, and see some of the city’s best-known neighborhoods, parks, and attractions up close.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$94.80 
From  
$94.80 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco City TourHalf-day Tours

San Francisco City Tour

star-5
Explore San Francisco’s top sights and get an overview from your guide. Travel in a climate-controlled vehicle through the city, stopping for photo ops and to explore select locations. See Chinatown, the Castro, Fisherman’s Wharf, and other city sights. Then head towards the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands, where your tour ends. Perfect for first-time visitors, short on time, who don’t want to miss the main sights.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$110.00 
From  
$110.00 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

The Best Day in the Bay + Muir Woods (1st Day); Official Alcatraz Tour (2nd Day)Overnight Tours

The Best Day in the Bay + Muir Woods (1st Day); Official Alcatraz Tour (2nd Day)

star-5
From the ocean to the towering redwood trees, Alcatraz Island to Sausalito, this San Francisco combo tour covers the best of the Bay Area with just one booking. Your 2-day excursion includes touring San Francisco, visiting a waterfront town, and marveling at the coastal forest. Spend your second day at Alcatraz—the infamous prison island—where you can tour the penitentiary and take in the scenery on a cruise from Pier 33.
...  More
  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$175.00 
From  
$175.00 
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures

San Francisco Castro Mission Loop City Packages

San Francisco Castro Mission Loop

This tour covers the vibrant history of the famous Castro neighborhood. After a cruise through the Castro and it's impeccably maintained Victorian homes, we wander down to the Mission District which is known for its sunny climate, Latin flair, restaurants, murals, and nightlife; the Mission is one of the hippest neighborhoods in America! The oldest building in the City, an alley of murals, Victorian Architecture, and a buried lagoon are just some of the sites on this 3.5 mile walk. The loop starts and ends in the Castro District, through the three neighborhoods of Castro, Liberty Hill, and Mission. Stops along the way include: Castro Theater, Cliff's Variety, Harvey Milk's Castro Camera, Cumberland Steps, Dolores Park, Lexington Street, 826 Valencia, Paxton Gate, Dandelion Chocolate, Women's Building Mural, Dearborn Garden, Clarion Alley, and Mission Dolores.
...  More
  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$42.67 
From  
$42.67 
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

The San Francisco Sightseeing Day Pass: Save BIG at 30+ Attractions & ToursCity Packages

The San Francisco Sightseeing Day Pass: Save BIG at 30+ Attractions & Tours

For a near-perfect San Francisco experience ideal for first-time visitors, you can save a bundle and see the best of the city with a San Francisco Sightseeing Pass. For up to five days, you can use your pass for easy access to more than 30 different attractions and activities, from bike tours and museum visits to discounts at top area restaurants. Stroll through North Beach, Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, visit the Asian Art Museum, and more—all included.
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  • 1 to 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$84.00 
From  
$84.00 
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  • 1 to 5 days
  • Free Cancellation

Alcatraz and Streets of San Francisco Guided Electric Bike TourAttraction Tickets

Alcatraz and Streets of San Francisco Guided Electric Bike Tour

star-5
Get the most out of your day in the City by the Bay with this 2-day, 2-tour combo package, which combines a trip to Alcatraz with a San Francisco all electric bike tour. The date you book is the date you'll visit Alcatraz Island, and get access to the former federal prison. Go on a self-guided audio tour of the grounds, and stay as long as you like during opening hours. The date prior to your Alcatraz tour, you'll enjoy a guided electric bike tour. Stop by lesser-known spots only locals know of and famous landmarks you’ll want to snap pictures of.
...  More
  • 4 to 7 hours
From  
$139.00 
From  
$139.00 
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  • 4 to 7 hours

The Essential San Francisco Bike TourNature and Wildlife

The Essential San Francisco Bike Tour

star-5
Pedal the streets of San Francisco during this half-day cycling adventure covering some of the city’s top parks, landmarks, and scenic neighborhoods. Get onto two wheels as you explore trendy local neighborhoods and learning about the history, art, architecture, and nature that makes up San Francisco's history. You also get to enjoy a tasting at an SF chocolatier as well as a picnic lunch. A guide, bike, and helmet are included.
...  More
  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$74.00 
From  
$74.00 
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

The San Francisco Sightseeing Flex Pass: A Golden Gate Ticket to 30+ AttractionsCity Packages

The San Francisco Sightseeing Flex Pass: A Golden Gate Ticket to 30+ Attractions

star-4
Explore San Francisco at your own pace with the San Francisco Sightseeing Pass. Select two, three, four, five or six attractions and schedule your visit during a 30-day period of your choice. Choose to visit popular destinations such as Madame Tussaud's and the Legion of Honor art museum, and opt for a select San Francisco sightseeing tour. Receive your pass instantly after booking, with a code that allows immediate use.
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  • 30 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$64.00 
From  
$64.00 
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  • 30 days
  • Free Cancellation

Streets of San Francisco Guided Electric Bike TourMountain Bike Tours

Streets of San Francisco Guided Electric Bike Tour

star-5
Explore the streets of San Francisco on two wheels. This easy guided bike tour takes you to many of the city’s most notable neighborhoods and attractions. Pedal past the Transamerica Pyramid and through bustling North Beach; peruse the Mission and Castro districts and the Haight-Asbury, home of 1960s hippie counterculture; and visit popular sites such as Fisherman’s Wharf and AT&T Park. Your guide will provide information and history on local landmarks en route, and there’s also a stop for lunch (added cost). At the end of the tour there’s even time to do your own exploring.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$69.00 
From  
$69.00 
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Hybrid Bike RentalBike Rentals

San Francisco Hybrid Bike Rental

star-5
Explore San Francisco like a local with a full-day bike rental. You’ll be matched with a custom-fit hybrid bicycle at the bike shop where you can choose from a selection of Trek, Giant or Cannondale models. Then set off to explore the streets of the city! You're ensured a comfortable ride, even on steep hills. A helmet, lock, light and map, along with a refreshment for the road, are all provided.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$44.11 
From  
$44.11 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Four Peaks TourCity Packages

San Francisco Four Peaks Tour

In the late 19th century, the area known as the Castro marked the end of town. Officially called Eureka Valley, this is where Market Street stopped and cows grazed. A cable car line officially linked it with downtown in 1887 and Irish immigrants built a church and a small community. With the "white flight" of urbanites moving to the suburbs in the 1950s and 60s, the neighborhood fell into disrepair. Over the sixties and seventies, the gay community started to move into the neighborhood and fix up the homes, eventually claiming the neighborhood as their own. We will cover the rich history of this vibrant and colorful neighborhood and climb to four of the surrounding hills of the Eureka Valley. Secret staircases, hidden concrete slides and gardens, the geographical center, and four of the best vistas in the City, will be some of the sites on this walk. Lots of uphills and steep staircases make this a challenging but very rewarding and fun adventure.
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$42.67 
From  
$42.67 
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Private SUV Tour see all main attraciton in under 3 hoursBus Tours

San Francisco Private SUV Tour see all main attraciton in under 3 hours

star-3
Experience the best San Francisco attractions. Private tour just for your party. Luxury SUV, knowledgeable and courteous driver. We encourage you to customize this tour to make it as unique as possible, making it unforgettable, one in a lifetime experience.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$222.88 
per group
From  
$222.88 
per group
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Full-Day Majestic Electric Bike Tour of San FranciscoMountain Bike Tours

Full-Day Majestic Electric Bike Tour of San Francisco

star-5
Tour San Francisco and tackle the hills with the help of an electric bike on a full-day tour with a guide. Zip through several of the city's most interesting neighborhoods on a 20-mile (32-km) spin through districts such as Hayes Valley, Presidio, Haight-Ashbury, Castro, and the Mission. You'll have time for stops at Golden Gate Park, the Pacific Ocean, and the Golden Gate Bridge, and refuel with lunch (own expense) at one of the city's great local restaurants.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$118.80 
From  
$118.80 
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience The Castro?