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San Francisco
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Top attractions in San Francisco

See all tours & things to do in San Francisco

Top 10 things to do in San Francisco

Once known as the "Paris of the West," the gold-rush population boom made San Francisco a polycultural hub long before its Summer of Love. Here are some of the top attractions of this iconic west coast metropolis.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Alcatraz has had a colorful history but is most famous for being the prison that once held some of the US' most notorious gangsters, from Al Capone to Whitey Bulger.

Washington Square

Washington Square

The once-neglected Washington Square has evolved into an incredibly vibrant pocket of culture. It's now home to some of San Francisco's best restaurants and cafes.

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay actually consists of several bays, and its windy urban beaches make it a popular destination for sailors and windsurfers, as well as those just there for the scenery!

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Standing proud between the Bay and the Pacific, the Golden Gate Bridge is considered by many to be the most beautiful bridge of the industrial age...

San Francisco Bay Bridge

San Francisco Bay Bridge

...But the San Francisco Bay Bridge is a strong contender for that accolade when lit up at night!

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

Inspired by New York's Central Park, the Golden Gate Park provides a leafy respite from the city, as well as attractions like the Academy of Sciences and Japanese Tea Garden.

Fisherman´s Wharf

Fisherman´s Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf is the touristic center of San Francisco. It boasts seafood restaurants that go back generations, as well as museums, parks, and its own sea lion colony!

Stow Lake

Stow Lake

Stow Lake is the largest and most scenic of the manmade lakes at Golden Gate Park. Its island, Strawberry Hill, offers spectacular downtown views over the treetops.

Alamo Square

Alamo Square

Explore San Francisco's more affluent side with a jaunt around Alamo Square. The neighborhood's hilltop park looks over much of the city, and don't forget its "painted ladies!"

Painted Ladies

Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies are extravagant Victorian rowhouses which survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. It's astonishing to think so much of the city once looked this way!

Planning Your San Francisco Visit

How many days?

Some would say for as long as you can, so bear in mind that it's a big and busy city with plenty to see and do. First-timers should consider spending at least a week there if possible, though even that might not be enough!

Where to stay?

Which of San Francisco's neighborhoods is best for you depends on the nature of your trip. Fisherman's Wharf will meet all the immediate needs of a fleeting visit, though Union Square is a more neutral and relaxed jumping-off point for tourists. Other neighborhoods each have their own personality so it's worth putting in the research, but high-crime areas to avoid include Bayview, Hunter's Point, Sunnydale, and Visitation Valley.

How to get around?

"San Francisco has one of the world's most unique public transport systems. As well as buses and trains, the city is mostly mobilized by its historic cable-car network. Although newer trams do operate, visitors may want to ride one of the older ones for the novelty. Be warned though, notable routes such as the F-Market & Wharves line tend to get very crowded!
The city is also very bike-friendly,with extensive bicycle lanes and even bike lockers!"

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-08:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Summer, Fall

Things to Do in San Francisco

Top Attractions in San Francisco

Cities in United States

Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

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

What people are saying about San Francisco

Great way to experience the highlights of San Francisco!!

Tre' was a great tour guide and very helpful for us beginners learning to ride. The folks there are fantastic! After the tour was over and i had returned back to Pier 39, i realized i left some belongings in the segway. I called and they were just closing but the lady that answered the phone was very pleasant, located my stuff and creatively came up with a way for me to retrieve them after hours. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for going out of your way. Great business, highly recommend reserving your tour of San Francisco with San Francisco Electric Tour Company. The 2nd part of the combo was a tour of Alcatraz. That was fantastic! Spent 3 hours there and didn't see it all. Would recommend an extra hour there and see if you can move your segway tour a little later. Great time in San Fran.

VIP Segway Tour Plus Alcatraz Island Combo Reviewed by Anonymous, 08/13/2019

Incredibly fun way to see some San Francisco sights.

Starts with a helpful practice session to learn to operate the Segway - pretty easy to learn and surprisingly quick to get comfortable once we were out on the road. Our guide, Melanie, kept our group safe and provided constant and entertaining commentary through headphones they provided. Melanie was outstanding! She gave us information and told us stories about the places we saw, and took photos of our group (posted later so we could see and download). She had a great sense of humor and a wonderfully outgoing personality. This was a really fun activity for both me and my teenage daughter. Highly recommend!

VIP Segway Tour Plus Alcatraz Island Combo Reviewed by Kristi, 08/04/2019

Great way to see plenty of San Francisco!

The Alcatraz tour was really well organised and very interesting especially the audio tour of the prison. The ticket for the bus was definitely worth the money as we got to see lots of the city and Sausalito. The guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The only criticism was the occasional long waits to get on the bus as they were very busy but the operators did their best to get everyone on as quickly as they could. I would recommend this tour.

Alcatraz and Big Bus Premium 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Reviewed by Rebecca, 08/11/2019

Very enjoyable for both adults and teenagers!

We all loved this tour (two adults and three teenagers). It was a fantastic way to experience a lot of a wonderful city and to link the sights with so many great movies. Our guide was very knowledgeable and good fun too so it didn’t matter whether we knew all of the movies or not. The stops were a lovely touch and Fort Point was amazing. Bring something warm to wear for this part! Thank you very much for many wonderful memories!

San Francisco Movie Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 07/28/2019

We had a great day seeing all the sights!

This combo tour was great and the lunch included was an added bonus. The Go Carz were a lot of fun however we did discover that you really can't do a lot in 2 hours and the pricing for going over the 2 hour mark was quite a lot. Definitely feel as though the rental time could be increased! But never the less we really enjoyed this adventure package.