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San Francisco: Sightseeing Tours

San Francisco: Sightseeing Tours

San Francisco has a long and rich heritage, going back to its foundation in 1776 by Spanish settlers, when it was still named “Yerba Buena”. Renamed “San Francisco” after Saint Francis of Assisi in 1846, its development is marked by several major events. These include the 1848 Gold Rush, the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, and the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

The city’s also well known for its liberal politics and diverse population, and has been the cradle of a number of famous cultural movements. Think of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and more recently, the LGBTQ rights movement of the 1970s. San Francisco tours can show you this and much more.

The events and influences that shaped San Francisco over the years are well reflected in its neighborhoods’ history, architecture, arts, economy and cuisine. So discover the city and its heritage and culture through a variety of sightseeing tours in San Francisco.

San Francisco Walking Tours

The Californian city of San Francisco has a fascinating history as a harbor center and a rich heritage of waterfront and inner-city attractions. Pounding the pavement and wandering down back alleys and corners of the city is an excellent way to discover San Francisco and its unique, lively quarters.

With a large variety of walking tours in San Francisco on offer, you can visit all of these highlights in just a day or even a few hours.

Explore popular quarters such as Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Financial District – the former notorious Barbary Coast. Discover how the latter transformed from notorious saloons and brothels into the modern-day San Francisco’s business hub.

Free Walking Tours in SF

Wandering the streets of San Francisco on a free walking tour is an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s rich historical heritage. Choose from a good variety of free walking tours of the city and visit popular quarters such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown and the Financial District.

Discover fascinating historic quarters such as the colorful Mission Dolores and Castro District, where the LGBTQ rights movement has had a great influence on the city’s cultural landscape. In Castro District you can still discover its continuing role as an epicenter of LGBTQ activism.

San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off bus Tours

To cover the most attractions in the least amount of time, go for a hop-on hop-off bus tour in San Francisco, such as the Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Tour. Travel in a double-decker sightseeing bus to the city’s most famous landmarks with a choice of two different passes.

A Premium pass includes a night tour, and a Deluxe pass includes an additional 24 hours of hop-on-hop-off and a night tour. Hopping on and off at any of the stops on the route, you can explore San Francisco’s 126 square kilometers. See big-name attractions like Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts and Union Square.

Chinatown Tours

Take a tour of old Chinatown and discover the fascination of one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods, featuring on numerous walking tour itineraries. Once you have entered the iconic Dragon’s Gate, you will be met by a maze of vibrant streets, alleys and ornate temples.

Experience the buzzing Stockton Street food markets and Waverly Place, souvenir shops, herbal pharmacies and the famous fortune cookie factory.

North Beach Tours

Explore colorful North Beach to experience one of San Francisco’s liveliest quarters. Rich in Italian heritage, it draws large numbers of visitors to its trattorias and coffee shops.

Take a tour of the old quarter and discover its interesting culture and cuisine. Make sure to look for the spirit of the famous Beat Generation from the era of Jack Kerouac in the City Lights bookstore and popular Vesuvio Cafe.

Fisherman's Wharf Tours

Enter Fisherman’s Wharf to your itinerary if you want to immerse yourself in an area buzzing with life. It’s filled with the aromas of fresh seafood, the cheers of children on carousels and you’ll also find interesting historic landmarks.

Experience all of what this energetic district has to offer, while admiring views of San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

Mission District Tours

San Francisco's Mission District is one of the United States' best cultural and culinary neighborhoods. Named for the old Mission Dolores (built 1776), it is an exuberant quarter with Latino roots and hipster vibe.

You’ll find eclectic live-music hangouts, chef-run eateries and cocktail lounges, and enjoy authentic Latin American cuisine. From pupusas to cactus tacos and pan dulce, it’s all there. Also wander along 24th Street, and marvel at the colorful street murals in a thriving arts district.

Little Italy Tours

In days gone by, the charming San Francisco quarter of Little Italy was a sunny shore, featuring fishing wharves and docks in the North Beach district.

In the early 1900s, the area drew many Italian American immigrants and today, Little Italy is one of the liveliest city districts. Obviously rich in Italian tradition, the quarter is worth a visit. Take a tour to discover its charm and vibrancy and experience its Italian culture and cuisine.

Go City San Francisco Pass

With the Go City San Francisco Pass you can discover San Francisco's best landmarks with great savings and instant delivery of convenient mobile tickets.

You can save 45% on prepaid admission for four must-see attractions, such as the California Academy of Sciences and the Blue and Gold Fleet San Francisco Bay Cruise. You also have a choice of admission to two more attractions, such as the Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco Zoo and Gardens and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

With the Go City San Francisco Explorer Pass you get a sightseeing pass providing entry to the city’s most popular attractions. You save up to 55% off the retail price.

Choose the number of attractions you want to visit, and save more than with a conventional tourist pass. Top attractions are the San Francisco Bay cruise, Golden Gate Bridge bike tour and Madame Tussauds.

SF City Tours

On a 2-in-1 tour, you can explore San Francisco and the notorious Alcatraz Island. First you hop aboard a ferry for a scenic ride to Alcatraz, enjoy the audio walking tour, and then enjoy a coach tour visiting top attractions.

The San Francisco Grand City Tour will take you to the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks, and special neighborhoods such as North Beach, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf. Other San Francisco city sightseeing tours include visits to Muir Woods and Sausalito.

You’ll see top highlights including the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown, the giant redwood sequoia trees at Muir Woods and enjoy shopping at Sausalito. Also experience the city by night on the Big Bus San Francisco Night Tours, where you’ll see neighborhoods including Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown and the Financial District.

Movie Sights Tours in San Francisco

One of the best ways to sightsee San Francisco is a movie sights tour, where the iconic sights in the city are combined with ones made famous on the silver screen.

Drive up the hills and curving roads of the city while taking in landmarks and sites made famous in more than 50 movies and TV shows. These include the park from “Full House,” and the infamous chase scene from “Bullitt.”

Street Art Tours

The street art tour will basically take you through the popular Mission District, where you will hear the stories behind the Mission’s murals. You’ll get to know the history and culture of the area through its colorful street art and hear ghost stories of haunted sites.

Segway Tours

San Francisco’s numerous segway tours allow you to discover the city on wheels, and enjoy the open air and great views. Segway tours along the Waterfront get you to see popular attractions such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square – the well-known home of delicious chocolates – and Golden Gate and Alcatraz Island.

You can also explore the Municipal Pier, the Maritime Museum and Aquatic Park on segway wheels.

Street Car/Cable Car Tours

You can explore San Francisco by way of a mode of transport unique to the city – by the traditional old street and cable cars.

On these cable car tours of the city,  you will learn about the history of the city with stops at popular locations, such as Nob Hill, The Castro, and Lombard Street. You’ll zip around the city along routes that include travel by the historic streetcars, cable cars and Metro.

Scavenger and Treasure Hunt Tours

Play detective and go on treasure hunting tours while exploring the city. Trying to solve the clues, you’ll discover the best attractions of Chinatown, North Beach, and Washington Square Park.

Ghost Tours in San Francisco

Discover San Francisco’s darker side on some spine-chilling ghost tours of the city’s neighborhoods.

Scout the haunted alleys of Jackson Square, North Beach and Chinatown and hear gruesome tales from the past. You can even combine it with a pub tour to settle your nerves, while hearing horror stories about the Gold Rush era.