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Union Square, San Francisco

Union Square, San Francisco: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

1. San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Hop aboard a sightseeing bus for a tour of the City by the Bay and delve into the fascinating history of San Francisco and its legendary landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. The hop-on-hop-off route stops at the main points of interest all around San Francisco.  Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views from the top of an open-air sightseeing bus. Hop off anytime and create your customized itinerary at your leisure. Explore 3 routes depending on your ticket purchase. San Francisco City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Sit back and enjoy the ride as you cruise through the city on an open-top bus. Learn about the unique history of San Fransisco while passing through Chinatown, Union Square, Civic Center, and the Alamo Square.  Panoramic Night Tour Board the night bus to explore the dazzling city of San Francisco at nighttime. Climb the historic Nob Hill for a stunning close-up view of the magnificent Grace Cathedral. Then, make your way across the grand Bay Bridge for picturesque views of the city skyline from Treasure Island, the World Fair site in 1939. After heading back to the city, continue along the Embarcadero to view the glittering lights of the Port of San Francisco.

SF: Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour

2. SF: Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour

See the best of San Francisco with this combined hop-on-hop-off ticket and Alcatraz Island visit. Explore the island of Alcatraz and enjoy 2 days of sightseeing with insightful commentary from a live guide. Tour the famous prison that has played a role in jailhouse folklore and the historic evolution of the West Coast. Learn more about the 14 unsuccessful escape attempts by over 30 prisoners and their fates. Your Premium Big Bus hop-on-hop-off pass is a great way to see the sights of San Francisco. Listen to commentary by live English-speaking guides, or enjoy pre-recorded audio commentary in 10 languages. Your 2-day ticket includes a full day of unlimited hop-on-hop-off and a 1-hour panoramic night tour. Explore one of San Francisco's most fascinating neighborhoods on a fun and informative walking tour of Chinatown. The tours are offered daily, and you can ask an agent for locations and time schedules. Also included are a bonus 1-hour bike rental (with the purchase of a 1-hour rental) and Players Arcade Drink and Game Tokens. Hop-on, hop-off tour stops include: Stop 1: Corner of Jefferson & Mason StreetStop 2: Holiday Inn Northpoint b/w Jones & ColumbusStop 3: Washington Square - Columbus & Union StreetsStop 4: Embarcadero Center - Corner Clay & Battery StreetsStop 5: Ferry Building - Market St b/w Stuart & Spear StreetsStop 6: Union Square South - Geary St across from Macy’sStop 7: Hilton Hotel - Corner Mason & Ellis StreetsStop 8: Civic Center - Fulton St b/w Larkin & Hyde StreetsStop 9: Alamo Square - Corner Fell & Pierce StreetsStop 10: Haight Ashbury - Haight & Shrader StreetsStop 11: Golden Gate Park - Music Concourse Drive Golden Gate ParkStop 12: Golden Gate Bridge- North Vista PointStop 13: Palace of Fine Arts - Richardson & Francisco StreetStop 14: Marina Neighborhood - Lombard & Fillmore StreetsStop 15: Lombard Street Corridor - Lombard & Gough StreetsStop 16: Union Square North - Post & Powell StreetsStop 17: Chinatown Gate - Grant and Bush StreetsStop 18: Portsmouth Square - Kearny & Clay StreetsStop 19: Pier 35 Cruise Terminal - The EmbarcaderoStop 20: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf (then return to Stop 1)

San Francisco: Ghosts of the Bay Area Haunted Walking Tour

3. San Francisco: Ghosts of the Bay Area Haunted Walking Tour

Set off on a San Francisco ghost tour through 8-12 different sites around the downtown area. Meet your experienced tour guide at Union Square and embark on a one-hour tour through the Nob Hill area. Perfect for first-time visitors and locals alike, this tour is great way to see the amazing sites of the affluent neighborhoods while getting a feel for the city's ghostly atmosphere.  See a side of the city seldom witnessed. Take a walk past by haunted hotels, streets, clubs, and office buildings. Learn about the ancient Mayan secrets of the Sutter buildings, the famous tragedies that haunt The Westin St. Francis, and the devastation and heartbreak that followed the great earthquake of 1906, which has literally and figuratively haunted the city for over a century. Find out about the terrible night that lead to Fatty Arbuckle's blacklisting from the film industry. After the gold rush of 1849, San Francisco became a beacon of hope and prosperity, but not everyone can strike gold, and inevitably, many people seeking fame and fortune found tragedy instead; their stories are likely to disturb and frighten you. These events throughout history continue to have an impact on the area, and the accounts you'll hear on this tour reveal that these hills have just as much horror as happiness.

San Francisco: Scenic Helicopter Flight

4. San Francisco: Scenic Helicopter Flight

Get bird’s-eye views of San Francisco and the Bay Area on a popular helicopter flight above the city. Choose from 3 different departure times and enjoy a free shuttle transfer to the heliport from Union Square, Nob Hill or Fisherman’s Wharf. Listen to a safety briefing at the launch pad, and then climb aboard and glide up into the air for unforgettable views of the city and California coast. Hover over landmarks such as Alcatraz Island and the iconic Transamerica Pyramid building. Continue over Ghirardelli Square and see the Coit Tower and AT&T Park from above. Benefit from an informative narration from your pilot along the way. Hear about the Bay Bridge and other attractions. Sit back and listen to inspiring background music as you fly over Sausalito and Tiburon in Marin County. Get the ultimate adrenalin rush and fly over and under the Golden Gate Bridge, weather permitting.  

Yosemite Valley 3-Day Camping Adventure

5. Yosemite Valley 3-Day Camping Adventure

Spend 2 nights camping in the world famous Yosemite Valley outside of San Francisco. You will travel in an eco-friendly biofueled vehicle, and all camping gear is provided to lighten your load. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag and enthusiasm for the Californian wilderness. Don't worry if you've never camped before. The camping and cooking equipment is provided, using quality tents. Everybody is expected to participate in the set-up and break-down of camp, and a professional guide will be there to ensure a positive camping experience. You will camp at comfortable campsites that have hot showers and modern facilities. Swimming is available nearby. Food is also provided, but there will be no chefs! You will get the chance to cook over campfires, and you will also be the waiters, dishwashers, and of course the guests! The fare is all-you-can-eat and very tasty, and is a mixture of chicken, beef, and vegetarian. Day 1: On the morning of your first day camping, your guide will meet you downtown at the corner of Mason and O'Farrell Streets in front of the Hilton Hotel at 08:15. Once out of San Francisco, cross the Central Valley and head through gold country on your way to the mountains. Before reaching Yosemite Valley, hike down for a picnic among the giant sequoia trees, the largest living things on Earth. Meals on the first day are not included in the tour price, but you will have an opportunity to get food en route to the park. Depending upon group interest and logistics, you may visit any of the 3 sequoia groves. The hike through the giant sequoias is pleasantly shaded and brings you right up close to these massive wooden monuments, some of which are more than 1,000 years old and measure up to 30-feet wide and 300-feet tall. Continue into the park on a 90-minute guided tour, and descend into Yosemite Valley, the most famous and photographed part of Yosemite, thanks to the work of photographer Ansel Adams. While in the Yosemite Valley, your guide will give you an orientation to the park, as well as an explanation of the itinerary and options for the next 2 days. After some free time in Yosemite Valley, head for the campsite to set up camp, ending the day with drinks around the campfire as you decide what to do with your next 2 days in the park. Day 2: Rise early and prepare breakfast and lunch, clean up camp, and head off in the van for a fun day full of hiking, sightseeing, and exploring. Usually the second day is reserved for exploring Yosemite's High Country. A group hike to May Lake and Mount Hoffman is generally the highlight of the day, depending upon snowpack. May Lake is a picturesque example of a High Sierra lake. If you want more of a challenge, you can continue past May Lake to Mount Hoffman. Located at the geographic center of the park, Mount Hoffman is a non-technical hike that rewards you with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain landscape. At the end of the day, head back to camp for dinner and time to unwind by the campfire. Day 3: Day 3 is a free day, where the itinerary is based on the interests of the group. Normally the tour heads back into Yosemite Valley, where you can choose one of a number of great hikes, rent a bike, or relax in the shade by the emerald green Merced River. After a full day in the park, head back to San Francisco, arriving around 21:00. In May, June, and early July, you have the option of joining a whitewater rafting trip on the Merced River, depending on snowpack. This Class III-IV adventure can be added to your Yosemite Escape adventure for only $140-$160.

San Francisco: Ghosts, Murder, and Mystery Walking Tour

6. San Francisco: Ghosts, Murder, and Mystery Walking Tour

Have a ghoulish good time on a 1.5-hour walking tour. Embark on a macabre and murderous tour through the streets of downtown San Francisco. This tour is rated PG-13 for some talk of violence, gore, and the macabre. Children are welcome at your discretion. Be led by a professional guide on a ghost walk through Chinatown and the Jackson Square historic district. Uncover tales of unexplained deaths, scandalous murders, the old red-light district, famed spirits, Chinatown assassins, and much more. Get access to ghost hunting gear. Every Ghost Hunter ticket includes the use of an EMF detector during the tour. The host will carry other modern ghost hunting tools, which will be used throughout the tour. Visit mysterious and ghostly places in San Francisco, where residual ghost impressions are felt and poltergeists heard. Get a haunted history lesson through true crimes and hauntings that took place on the very streets you’ll walk.

1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

7. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

The Official city tour begins in Fisherman's Wharf heading towards the ferry building, then downtown Union Square. Go on a shopping spree with the top brands in the world and take lots of pictures with the heart of San Francisco. The tour will then continue to the Civic Center which houses the City Hall, Opera House and Symphony Hall. Moving on, you will be at Alamo Square with the world famous attraction 'painted ladies' (Victorian houses) and taken back in time to 'Summer of Love' at Haight & Ashbury. Next stop will be Golden Gate Park which holds the California Academy of Sciences, De-Young Museum, Japanese Tea Gardens, Conservatory of flowers and many more attractions. From here, you will be taken to the most iconic attraction of San Francisco, The Golden Gate bridge. Don't forget your cameras to capture the great views of the bridge, Alcatraz Island and the Bay. On the way back to downtown, you will pass The Palace of Fine Arts. Continuing through Van Ness Ave, down to Chinatown with lots of restaurants and souvenir gift shops, bustling cultural shops and the famous Chinatown Gates. At the end of your tour, you will return to the Fisherman's Wharf area with Pier 39, San Francisco Dungeons, Aquarium of the Bay, Madame Tussauds, etc.

San Francisco: Small-Group Sonoma Wine Tour with Tastings

8. San Francisco: Small-Group Sonoma Wine Tour with Tastings

Discover Sonoma Valley and some of its best wines on this small-group, full-day tour. Learn about the history and traditions of winemaking in the region from your expert guide and taste wines from 3 wineries. Your adventure begins with a pick-up from your hotel/accommodation in downtown San Francisco. Get to know your travel companions for the day as you head out of town and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Learn about the region from your friendly and knowledgeable guide and sample many of the delicious wines that have made Northern California a world-renowned wine-producing region. Travel with a small group (limited to 13 people) to three of Sonoma's finest boutique wineries and spend approximately one hour at each winery. This journey also includes a stop in scenic Sausalito, a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge, and a lunch stop (lunch not included) in the historic town of Sonoma where you can select from one of the many fantastic restaurants on the square. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a walk into the past at Mission San Francisco Solano. After the final winery stop of the day, relax as your guide drives you back to your accommodation in San Francisco.

San Francisco: Electric Bike Day Rental

9. San Francisco: Electric Bike Day Rental

See San Francisco in an ecologically conscious way, while comfortably negotiating the city’s famous hills with your electric bike. With your all-day rental bike, cruise along the car and pedestrian-free waterfront of San Francisco Bay and ride along the city’s bike paths. Enjoy a brand new fleet of bikes that provide an active way to experience San Francisco. Take the less-traveled routes through the city on a self-guided tour. Feel the e-Moto battery kick in as you pedal, propelling you towards your destination. The electric bikes have a range of 16-20 miles on a full charge and feature a full-comfort seat, hand shifters, and brakes. Bike through Golden Gate Park and along the coast, through the Headlands, into Muir Woods, or to Mt. Tam. Take a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito. From the bridge, take in the views of the bay, the ocean, and the San Francisco skyline.

San Francisco: Panoramic Night Tour

10. San Francisco: Panoramic Night Tour

This panoramic night tour of San Francisco takes you from San Francisco Visitor Center at Fisherman's Wharf to the Presidio. Enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge from Marina Green and Crissy Fields. Next, reach the top of California Street on this 1-hour tour to see Grace Cathedral and historical Nob Hill. Then head downtown to capture the city skyline, the Bay Bridge, and the AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants. Cross the Bay Bridge for views of the city from Treasure Island. Once the bus returns to the city, continue along the Embarcadero and admire the lights of the Port of San Francisco. A courtesy shuttle will take you back to Union Square at the end of the tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Union Square, San Francisco

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What people are saying about Union Square, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,963 reviews

Absolutely Incredible!!! Paul was an amazing tour guide who took us all over San Francisco, showing us various sights we wouldn’t have been able to see if we weren’t on the tour. The entire drive to the winery was filled with learning various facts about San Francisco and Sonoma. The wineries were amazing as well, all a little different but equally enjoyable. I can’t say enough good things about this tour!!!

This was a very informative tour. You did have to do a lot of walking if you got off at one of the stops. The actual landmarks were spread out from the bus stop. The headphones worked very well with the audio and that was much better than a person using a microphone.

I loved it! Our tour guide Joseph was really knowledgeable about the history of SF. We explored places I would have never went to if I were on my own. Alcatraz was amazing also. I really had a good day

fantastic service and our driver was the spirit of San Francisco, dancing while we were boarding the helicopter. very professional and I felt comfortable the entire trip. FANTASTIC experience!!!

Perfekte Organisation, entspannter , professioneller Flug, der auch als Rundflug über SF ausreicht mit dem Event Flug unter Golden Gate. Vergisst man nicht.