Insider's Guide to San Francisco

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

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4 star rating: Recommended 85 Reviews

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  • Location:San Francisco, California
  • Duration:Varies

San Francisco in One Day: Alcatraz, City Tour, Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Cruise

On this San Francisco one-day tour, check off the city’s major attractions, from Alcatraz to Twin Peaks, all at once. With a knowledgeable guide, you’ll see top sights like Coit Tower and Chinatown, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, walk around Sausalito and take a ferry ride across San Francisco Bay. Then visit Alcatraz Island for a self-guided audio tour of this legendary penitentiary and National Historic Landmark District.


  • Experience San Francisco, Sausalito and Alcatraz
  • See San Francisco like a local on your semi-customizable tour by van
  • Stop for photo opportunities at such sights as Coit Tower, Haight Ashbury, Chinatown and hidden places not seen on big bus tours
  • Explore the beautiful bayside town of Sausalito
  • Enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge as you cruise along San Francisco Bay
  • Take a fascinating audio tour of infamous Alcatraz Island

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

A tremendously informative and helpful guide will take you to off-the-beaten-track gems as well as iconic landmarks on this tour with tons of photo stops. It's a small group so don't be shy -- ask all your questions about the City by the Bay and request to see places you're interested in.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

San Francisco in One Day: Alcatraz, City Tour, Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Cruise

Discover San Francisco From an Insider's Perspective

If you’re looking for what to do with one day in San Francisco, your search is over with this action-packed tour that includes transportation around the city and admission to Alcatraz.

Your tour starts with pickup from hotels in downtown San Francisco or Fisherman’s Wharf by either van or minibus. With your informative guide, explore the city from an insider perspective as you see lesser-known gems that aren’t part of typical bus tours, as well as famous attractions like Coit Tower, Union Square, Chinatown, Twin Peaks and Haight-Ashbury. (If you have any special requests, your guide may be able to work them in.)

Continue to the Golden Gate Bridge, where you’ll cross San Francisco Bay to the waterfront town of Sausalito. You have free time here to walk around on your own, browsing the shops and galleries and stopping for lunch at one of the many restaurants (own expense). Then board the Sausalito ferry for the 25-minute ride back to San Francisco, admiring views of the bridge and city skyline.

The ferry docks at either Pier 1 or Pier 41, from where you can walk straight along the Embarcadero to Pier 33 to board the ferry to Alcatraz (note: in the winter, when it gets dark earlier, this portion of the tour takes place the next day). On the Alcatraz ferry, enjoy more photo ops of San Francisco Bay before arriving on the island, where your independent tour begins.

Using your provided headset, explore the former prison with the self-guided audio tour. You’ll learn about the history of Alcatraz, its notorious inmates like Machine Gun Kelly and Al Capone, the staff who also lived on the island, and some of the prisoner escape attempts. Listen to interviews from prisoners and guards as you try to imagine what life was like in the cellblock.

You are free to stay on Alcatraz Island as long as you like (most visitors stay about two hours); when you’re ready to leave, hop on the ferry back to San Francisco (ferries depart every 30 to 40 minutes).

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Amazing day from start to finish! We were met by the lovely Pam of Extranomical tours, whose knowledge was second to none! Would highly recommend

United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

We would recommend Viator. We were picked up from our hotel in the morning by the 'minibus' and began our fantastic San Francisco tour. The guide was so knowledgeable and friendly and took us to so many places. Nothing was too much trouble. There were plenty of photostops. We stopped on both sides of Golden Gate Bridge and the drive over to Saulsalito was awesome.We took some great photos on the ferry across the bay. Alcatraz is an experience not to be missed. Well organised and good value!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Absolutely brilliant tour around SF, thanks in a big way to Phil our driver/ host. His views and knowledge of the city of the buildings, events, history and social development really made this trip. With only 5 of us in our group he customised the visits to suit our requirements.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Top tour The driver was a good guide and we had a great time

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

tour guide was awesome and had lots of knowledge
we had a wonderful time

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

what a great day out great guide saw all of san francisco and alcatraz was worth seeing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Phil gave us an excellent city tour of San Francisco. We learned so much about the history as
well as seeing all the sites, many we would never have found on our own. The specialty coffee
was a plus !! Phil is personality plus, knowledgeable and made sure we had a fun day !
Alcatraz Tour was as good as the recommendations !

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Thoroughly recommend this tour. Our tour guide - Phil - made the tour interesting and fun!! It's a great way to see the city especially if you are only there for a short time. Alcatraz is a must see when visiting San Francisco and the audio tour brings the place and its history alive.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Outstanding tour operator, Pam, really helped us a lot. She could answer any question we could ask her and was very helpful.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Really interesting and worth going

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Tour code: 2402CITYTRAZ


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