Insider's Guide to San Francisco

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 167 Reviews

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  • Location:San Francisco, California
  • Duration:Varies

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Special Offer

Book a 2-day ticket option and receive a FREE extra day on your tour! Valid for travel dates November 1, 2015 - February 29, 2016.

See San Francisco's most famous sights aboard a double-decker Big Bus that loops around the city. This 24-hour pass makes it easy for you to check out Union Square, the Palace of Fine Arts, and Pier 39, among other big-name attractions, at your own pace. Simply hop on and off the bus at nearly 20 designated stops. Want more? Big Bus includes walking tours of Chinatown, North Beach and Barbary Coast, three of the city's most popular areas. Upgrade to a 48-hour bus pass to also include a panoramic night bus tour, Sausalito trolley tour and the 7D Experience at Pier 39.


  • Hop-on hop-off Big Bus sightseeing tour of San Francisco
  • Travel around San Francisco on a double-decker bus, hopping on and off at any of its stops with your 24-hour ticket
  • See top San Francisco attractions including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Pier 39 and Lombard Street
  • Get to know the city better on three included walking tours of Chinatown, North Beach and the Barbary Coast
  • Upgrade to a 48-hour pass including a nighttime bus tour, Sausalito trolley tour and the 7D Experience at Pier 39
  • Flexible, fun and family-friendly way to make the most of your time in the city!
  • Redeem your voucher at any of the designated Big Bus stops

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

There’s no better way to see world-famous San Francisco landmarks — including a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge than by an open-top Big Bus!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Capture a picture while crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge on this hop-on hop-off tour of San Francisco

San Francisco packs a lot of fun into just 47 square miles: eclectic architecture, renowned museums, top-notch restaurants, and pier-side attractions. One of the best ways to see these sights, and more, is on an open-top Big Bus that allows you to discover the City by the Bay at your own pace.

Start at the San Francisco Visitor Center or hop on at any stop along the route to redeem your voucher (see Itinerary for full list of stops). Set out on board your open-top, double-decker bus to soak up panoramic views of San Francisco including Union Square, the Palace of Fine Arts, Pier 39, Lombard Street and the Haight-Ashbury area.

Capture amazing photos as you listen to your engaging guide share fascinating facts and anecdotes about the city. You can remain on board for the approximate 2.5-hour loop, or hop on and off at any of the nearly 20 stops to set out on your own sightseeing adventure.

If you don't know where to start, take advantage of included walking tours that give you a more intimate look at celebrated San Francisco neighborhoods. During the 1.5-hour Chinatown walking tour, see the majestic Chinatown Gate, walk around the markets, visit a fortune cookie factory, and check out the best places for dim sum, tea and herbs.

Just a few blocks from Chinatown, you'll discover
San Francisco's 'Little Italy' on the 1-hour North Beach tour. Stroll past landmarks such as Washington Square Park and Saints Peter and Paul Church as you learn the history of the neighborhood.

Lose yourself in the drama of the 1-hour Barbary Coast tour, featuring tales of bandits, vigilantes and writers such as Mark Twain and Jack London who once hung out in this formerly illicit neighborhood.

End your hop-on hop-off bus tour at any stop along the route. The 24-hour pass is valid from the first time you use it. Need more time to explore? Upgrade to a 48-hour pass for more sights and more perks including a nighttime bus tour, Sausalito trolley tour and 7D Experience at Pier 39 (see Itinerary for details).

Click on the ‘View Additional Info’ link below to see a map of the hop-on hop-off bus routes.

View additional info


48-hour Ticket Upgrade:
Opt for a 48-hour hop-on hop-off Big Bus pass, including:

2-hour Panoramic Night Bus Tour
Board a Big Bus at Fisherman's Wharf (departing from the San Francisco Visitor Center at 7pm and 7:30pm daily), and soak up the romantic ambiance of the city after dark. Travel to the Presidio to admire breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge lit up at night before your bus climbs up Nob Hill for a close-up look at gorgeous Grace Cathedral. Then coast across the illuminated Bay Bridge on your way to Treasure Island, site of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. Enjoy fantastic views of the San Francisco skyline and head back to the Embarcadero, where you'll drive along the many piers of the Port of San Francisco before returning to Fisherman's Wharf.

Sausalito Trolley Tour
Board a Big Bus trolley from Fisherman's Wharf or Vista Point North (Stop 12 on the City Loop) for a 30-minute tour of Sausalito, the artsy waterfront community just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Hop on and off at any of five stops to discover the charming city's narrow side streets, eclectic boutiques and diverse eateries.

7D Experience at Pier 39
Gain admission to the 7D Experience at Pier 39, a combination movie and laser-shooting game. Watch a variety of scenarios unfold on the big screen involving ghosts, cowboys, zombies and pirates, and compete with fellow participants to eliminate the threats with laser beams at this mind-bending attraction.

San Francisco City Loop: Red Route
(Duration: 2 hours, 20 minutes for entire loop)
  • Stop 1: San Francisco Visitor Center (Mason Street at the corner of Jefferson Street)
  • Stop 2: Activity Center (Taylor Street at the corner of Beach Street)
  • Stop 3: Washington Square (Columbus Street at the corner of Union Street)
  • Stop 4: Embarcadero (Clay Street at the corner of Battery Street)
  • Stop 5: Union Square South (Geary Street at the corner of Powell Street, opposite Macy's)
  • Stop 6: Hilton Hotel (Mason Street at the corner of Ellis Street)
  • Stop 7: Civic Center (Larkin Street outside the Asian Art Museum)
  • Stop 8: Fulton Street (Fell Street at the corner of Franklin Street)
  • Stop 9: Alamo Square (Fell Street at the corner of Pierce Street)
  • Stop 10: Haight-Ashbury (Haight Street at the corner of Shrader Street opposite Cha Cha Cha)
  • Stop 11: Golden Gate Park (outside the California Academy of Sciences)
  • Stop 12: Golden Gate Bridge North (Vista Point North, main parking lot)
  • Stop 13: Palace of Fine Arts (Richardson Avenue at the corner of Francisco Street)
  • Stop 14: Lombard Street 1 (Lombard Street at the corner of Fillmore Street)
  • Stop 15: Lombard Street 2 (Lombard Street at the corner of Gough Street, Buena Vista Hotel)
  • Stop 16: Union Square North (Post Street at the corner of Powell Street, outside the Westin St Francis Hotel)
  • Stop 17: Chinatown (Grant Street at the corner of Bush Street, outside the Triton Hotel)
  • Stop 18: Steuart Street (Steuart Street between Mission and Howard, opposite of the Harbor Court Hotel)
  • Stop 19: Pier 39 (The Embarcadero, outside the entrance to Pier 39)
Sausalito Loop: Green Route
(Duration: 30 minutes for entire loop)
  • Stop 20: Sausalito start and end stop (Vista Point North)
  • Stop 21: Horseshoe Bay (Discovery Museum, Cavallo Point Lodge)
  • Stop 22: Downtown Sausalito (Harbor Shop at Humboldt Avenue)
  • Stop 23: Bay Hotel
  • Stop 24: Golden Gate Bridge South (Vista Point South, main parking lot)
Note: The Sausalito Loop commences from Stop 1 (San Francisco Visitor Center) at 9am, 9:30am and 9:45am; or Stop 12 (Golden Gate Bridge North) beginning at 10:15am with last departure at 6pm.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

love it. Many stops and the possibility the get off and on was great.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The Hop-on Hop-off Tours are always in our opinion the best way to orientate yourself in a city and see the most important places. This tour did not disappoint. It covers all the most important tourist attractions and even goes across the Golden Gate Bridge, which was great fun. Beware: the wind is very strong over the bridge and it's quite cold. The tickets are valid for 24 or 48 hours and not days, which was wonderful.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

I've been to San Franciso at least a dozen times in the past 10 years but this is the first time I've been a true Tourist because I had to entertain my Cousins who were visiting from France. We loved it!!!!! I recommend this to anyone who wants a real tour of the city w the freedom to explore on their own. Definitely will do this again when I return w my Husband for a mini vac

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Loved the hop-on-hop-off tour we took it for the two days and that is the way to go. I really liked the night tour it was nice to see the city of a night. I also like having different tour guides they have their own different personalities. I would reccomend the the tour to anyone who has not been to the city before.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

I thought this was the best way to go around the city and hit all the tourists spots in a convenient way, we had the 24hour ticket. We started at 10am on a saturday and got seats on top. There was no turgid at the time but there is a builtin tour that you can listen to on the bus with headphones that they provide. We stopped at a few different stops and sometimes there was a tour guide and sometimes there wasn't which was not a problem for me because the built in tour guide on the bus tells you everything you need to know.

We hopped off about 5 times and we never waited more than 15 minutes for another bus. However, if you want to keep your upstairs seat I suggest that you hop on at the beginning of the tour because seats get filled the further you get through. The bus goes over the golden gate bridge which is awesome if you have a seat on top because you get amazing views and all the wind!

The people who worked there were very enthusiastic about the city and we even asked for directions on how to get to a cable car stop from one of the drivers. We got lucky that it was a cloudy day or else we would have been burnt, so pack sunblock and a hat.

Overall, I would recommend this tour as it helped us to get around the city and see all the sites we wanted to in a timely fashion.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour is one of the best ways visitors can get around San Francisco and see most all of the sights. My recommendation is to get a 2 day or more pass, because it takes time to see everything, visit with the locals and other tourists, and to soak up the vibe! The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful. As a woman traveling alone, I felt safe, so I was able to put that worry aside and enjoy my trip.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

We found this tour to be an excellent overview of the city. We got a 48 hour ticket which was worth every dime. We started Day 1 with the Night Tour because we got off to a late start. We had Anthony for the Night Tour and he was hilarious! The views of the city at night are stunning. Since were delayed on Day 1, we did a round trip of the city and went to Salsalito on Day 2. We got a ton of fantastic pictures of the Golden Gate and got to enjoy the Wharf. We did not get to hop on and off as much as we originally planned, but we made up for that by utilizing our passes to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Even without hopping on and off at different sites and despite not enjoying the walking tours, we had a fabulous time. We would definitely purchase tickets for this tour again and would highly recommend the tour itself and Big Bus specifically.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Anthony was an amazing guide! So much information and the music added si much. At times, it was difficult to hear because of the bus engine.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Was SO easy and convenient and we got to see all the places on our list!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Booked this for a local friend and a friend from out of state who had never been to California. It was a great way from them to get acquainted with the city and to figure out which places they wanted to go back to after doing the full loop.

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Tour code: 5096SFOHOHO


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