Insider's Guide to San Francisco

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

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 212 Reviews

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  • Location:San Francisco, California
  • Duration:Varies

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Ride a double-decker sightseeing bus to San Francisco's most famous landmarks with this 24-hour pass. Explore the city's 49 square miles, including stops at big-name attractions like Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts and Union Square. Go at your own pace, hopping off at any of 20 stops, exploring at your leisure, and then hopping back on when you're done. Upgrade to the Big Bus to take walking tours of the Barbary Coast, Chinatown and North Beach. Choose the 48-hour pass to take a night bus tour, a trolley tour in nearby Sausalito and Pier 39's 7D Experience. 

Highlights

  • 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

Board your open-top Big Bus at the San Francisco Visitor Center, or hop on at any of the stops along the route and redeem your voucher (see Itinerary for a full list of stops.)

Settle in to your seat and get out your camera, listening to your engaging guide as you pass famous San Francisco landmarks like Lombard Street, Haight-Ashbury, Union Square and the Palace of Fine Arts. Choose to remain on board the bus for the entire 2.5-hour loop, or hop off at any of the sights to explore at your leisure. Simply return to the bus stop after your time on the ground and hop back on the next bus. 

Check out the included walking tours of the Barbary Coast, Chinatown, and North Beach. Each of these tours, which last between 1 and 1.5 hours) offers a more intimate, in-depth look at the history and culture of these three vibrant neighborhoods. Hear about writers Mark Twain and Jack London on the Barbary Coast tour, visit a fortune cookie factory on the Chinatown tour, and see Washington Square Park and Saints Peter and Paul Church on the North Beach tour. 

End your hop-on hop-off tour at any stop along the route. The ticket is valid for 24 hours from the time you first use it. Upgrade to the 48-hour pass to do more exploring and experience a nighttime tour, Pier 39's 7D Experience and a ride on a Sausalito Trolley. 

Click on the 'View Additional Info' link below for a map of the bus route. 

View additional info

Itinerary

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

Nancee United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Excellent,I can and don't remember their names but this company is good. We enjoyed the whole 48 hour tour and it and #39;s a dynamite ticket.

Kathleen W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Was able to see so much of the area.

Paul D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Trip was fun and informative.

Linda S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

We totally enjoyed our Hop-on Hop-off tour. All of the drivers and the guides were wonderful. We had a lot of fun and it is the best way to see the city and decide which areas we want to explore. It was wonderful being there at Christmas time and getting an extra day was awesome.

orlando-martinez

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

we love this city , and the big bus tour , great service and always on time at the bus stop

Taylor S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This is a great way to get around the city very inexpensively. We rode the entire tour once to see everything, then we took the tour to specific places we wanted to visit over the next couple days. It was fun and educational. Try to get on a bus with a live tour guide. It's much more fun than the audio guide that usually plays.

LFurze Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great way to see San Francisco. Loved the evening tour. One day it was very busy, we couldn't sit on top, but the other two days were fine.

Susan M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

GREAT tour, lasting three days, saw everything, had some great guides, including Anthony who took very good care of us and kept us well-entertained.

Thomas J E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Good tour ... COLD at night

Cindy S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

A great way to see a lot in a short amount of time. Really enjoyed my day.

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Tour code: 5096SFOHOHO

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