Insider's Guide to San Francisco

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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A lot is said about San Francisco, both by visitors and locals alike. Foreigners often dub it "the most European" city in America. W.H. Taft called it "the city that knows how," and Rudyard Kipling was known to have said "San ... 

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Certified reviews by travelers like you.

paulaallinson

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

We enjoyed every part of this excursion. Got a good insight of San Francisco saw very interesting places plus some off the beaten track. Arturo was an excellent guide and made the day very enjoyable.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Rachel L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Loved the trolly tour by wheels and our guide was awesome. Definitely recommend this.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Catherine J F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Arturo was awesome! So great to have a native San Franciscan who loves his city to tour us around! Highly recommend this tour!
Jill and Emily from Chicago

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Ciara T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

This tour was absolutely amazing from start to finish. It is definitely worth the money. Our tour guide Jamie was excellent, so friendly and knowledgeable about all the points of interest as we traveled around. I cannot recommend this tour enough.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Grant S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Our tour guide The Captain was amazing. He knew so many fascinating stories about the city, I would have been happy paying the ticket price just to hear his dialogue. After the tour he answered every one questions about dining, drinking and further touring.
Our first time my wife and I did a segway tour....it was easy and tons of fun. People were waving at us from the sidewalk...We felt like movie stars.

Doing what: San Francisco Waterfront Segway Tour

Donna F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Worthwhile experience that will lasts a lifetime.

Doing what: Private San Francisco City Tour

Kathleen L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

The Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour was a wonderful way to see San Francisco and the Golden Gate and Oakland Bridges. I highly recommend the Night Tour. Both Drivers on the Tours were amazing. I would definitely go on the Big Bus Tour again if I ever get back to San Fran. Thank You Big Bus Tour for helping make my 2 day San Francisco stop so enjoyable!

Doing what: Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Lesly M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

We loved this. The only negative thing was that we were not quite sure when we got there what the procedure was, and where the nearest bus stop was. When we saw kiosks that said Big Bus and stopped to ask the sales people were very nice until they knew we had already purchased online. Then they made sure to let us know that we were not going to get any more info because they save that for the customers they get a commission from. Drivers and tour guides were all extremely helpful and really made our trip so much more of a sight seeing one. We learned a lot and we loved it.

Doing what: Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Linda L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Our driver Jamie made us feel so welcome and was so cheerful and informative I can honestly say it was the best tour that I have ever been on.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

lindabackman61

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

If you are looking for a fun way to see some sights I highly recommend taking this Segway tour. No one in our group had ever been on a Segway before, never been within a few feet of one, and now we are seriously considering buying some! They are so easy and fun to ride! looking forward to the advanced tour in July!!

Doing what: San Francisco Waterfront Segway Tour

Patricia V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

wow, one of the best tours we have ever been on. The headphones were a huge improvement over a guide, and directing you to the specific areas a plus. That and hearing the comments from actual guards and inmates. One that we will truly remember!!

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

mary c

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Thank you so much to Arturo for this fabulous trip. We saw parts of San Fransciso that we would not have visited otherwise, with plenty time for pictures and great commentary and history along the way. The Boudin bakery lunch was delicious and the tips for Alcatraz really made the experinece. Thank you Arturo. A must do for those with limited time in the city. What a day!

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Kurt E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Covers both history of The Beat Generation members and events as well as the rich and long history of San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. Very knowledgeable and fun tour guide. Highly Recommended!

Doing what: North Beach Underground Tour with Beat Museum Admission

Gail M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Altruro was such a great guide. He showed us so many interesting parts of SF that after the tour we went to. I would highly recommend.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Susan M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Great walking tour with interesting facts and history. The view of San Francisco from the tower is unforgettable.

Doing what: San Francisco Urban Hike: Hills and Hidden Gems

jim.favara

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

This tour was well worth the money. Our tour started out with a ride on an Cable car bus. Arturo our driver was a local guy, very knowledgeable, with a great sense of humor. The bus tour of the city was great because this was our 2nd day there and it gave us a great overview of all the different districts of the city. The VIP access of Alcatraz was also nice because we were the first group on the island thus we did not get stuck in a lot of the traffic. Great tour and a must do. I would recommend this for anyone who is new to the city.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Richard B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Very good way of seeing some of the sights of San Fracisco. Staff were friendly and courteous, there was plenty of food and drink throughout the trip. We were very lucky to have a warm day with a cloudless sky as well.

Doing what: San Francisco Champagne Brunch Cruise

Helen S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

One of the highlights of our recent holiday is San Francisco. Arturo was very friendly, passionate, funny and informative. He showed some of the vantage points for some great photo stops. Being able to get over to Alcatraz on one of the first ferry trips is a real bonus before being too crowded. Worth the extra money. Yummy lunch and plenty of refreshments to help yourself to.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Kay L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

The Academy of Sciences was wonderful and will worth seeing everything. I would highly recommend it to anyone of any age. However, I had called to add our granddaughter to our reservations and had payed for her ticket adult price when we got there our tickets were fine but they wouldn't honor our granddaughters ticket so I had to pay for her again 29

Doing what: Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket

Brenda M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Amazing!!! Our whole family loved it....especially the flight under and over the Golden Gate Bridge. Definitely recommend.

Doing what: San Francisco Helicopter and Alcatraz Tour

bubbles

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Had a great day, very informative tour, tour guide think her name was Jenny was brilliant! I would!d certainly recommend this VIP tour. Would advise though, anyone with walking difficulties would struggle as some steep climbs lots of steps some waiting around in lines which h may be a problem. Otherwise a very good day worth the money! Sue and Barb from U.K.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Todd R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Loved this tour! Our tour guide, Arturo, was fantastic as was the sights he showed us. Getting to Alcatraz Island early gave us amply time to explore without the crowds. The rest of the tour was just great. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, stopped for photo ops and generally had a great day. One caution, the open-air bus is very windy, so hair needs to be tied back and having jackets handy will make the tour a little more enjoyable.

Doing what: Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

alexandra.villella

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2016

The Viator website told me the last tour would be at 6 pm, giving me time to hop off at a couple of stops, but when I got there I was told the last bus was leaving at 4:40 so I wouldn't be able to hop off at all.

Doing what: Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Note from Viator: Thank you for your feedback. The buses do stop running at 6 PM, meaning that their last route is concluded by then, instead of starting at that time. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we do hope this information helps you, and future travelers in having the smoothest possible tour experience.

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