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Union Square Tours

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Union Square
Union Square is the city’s main dining, entertainment, and shopping district. Visitors can shop at department stores and designer boutiques; stop into various art galleries; grab a bite to eat at any of a number of restaurants; and see a live performance at a nearby theater. 

The Basics
Many San Francisco sightseeing tours, including hop-on hop-off bus tours, walking tours, and biking tours, make stops at Union Square for either guided visits or independent shopping time. Stop at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Gucci, or Louis Vuitton; head into the square’s center for cafes and grassy areas; or venture out of the square toward the nearby Chinatown and  theater district. A number of day trips to Muir Woods or Napa Valley depart from Union Square, making it a convenient meeting point and place to stay.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The square’s inner area is wheelchair accessible via ramp access.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as Union Square is a walkable area and many popular attractions are within walking distance.
  • The square is relatively flat, but the surrounding blocks feature some hills.
 
How to Get There
Union Square is centrally located in San Francisco, making it easiest to visit by public transportation. If arriving from BART or Muni, get off at the Powell Street stop. The Powell–Hyde and Powell–Mason cable car lines both stop in the square, and the main cable-car turnaround is located just two blocks away at Powell and Market. Several paid parking garages are available for drivers. The Ferry Building, Pier 39, and Chinatown are easily accessible by public transit.

When to Get There
Union Square is open daily, drawing big crowds on a regular basis. In summer, cafes are busy and cable car lines can extend a few blocks. During the holiday season, Union Square hosts one of San Francisco’s biggest holiday displays, with a huge Christmas tree and ice skating rink open in the middle of the square. Temperatures stay relatively mild year-round, but it’s always best to dress in layers.

Things to Do Near Union Square
Union Square is an ideal starting point for sightseeing. The gates to Chinatown sit on the outskirts of the square, and are a quick and easy walk up Grant Avenue. The Embarcadero and the Ferry Building are two stops away on BART, or take a scenic cable car ride to Fisherman's Wharf. San Francisco's Financial District is located a few blocks outside of the square and is a nice walk on flat terrain.
Address: Intersection of Geary, Powell, Post, and Stockton Streets, San Francisco 94102, USA
Admission: Free
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60 Tours and Activities to Experience Union Square

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Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off TourHop-on Hop-off Tours

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Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

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Ride a double-decker sightseeing bus to San Francisco's most famous landmarks with a choice of 3 different passes. 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 24 stops, exploring at your leisure, and then hopping back on when you're done. Your ticket includes a walking tour of Chinatown. Choose the Premium or Deluxe pass for additional upgrades including a night bus tour or a trolley tour in nearby Sausalito.
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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San Francisco Cable Car City Trolley Tour From Fishermans WharfCity Tours

San Francisco Cable Car City Trolley Tour From Fishermans Wharf

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Explore San Francisco on this city tour that provides the chance to ride on a classic-style cable car without having to stick to the limited route of the city's tracks. As you travel aboard the cable car retrofitted with wheels, hop off at three locations to take guided walking tours of the Civic Center, Alamo Square, and Golden Gate Bridge areas. Blankets (it gets cold in the City by the Bay) are included. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking. 
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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Painted Ladies San Francisco City TourCity Tours

Painted Ladies San Francisco City Tour

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Take a journey around San Francisco's top sights in a retro way with this "painted ladies" tour by vintage Volkswagen bus decorated with long gorgeous eyelashes so you can't miss your tour vehicle. You'll pass by neighborhoods like Chinatown, Union Square, Pacific Heights, North Beach, Haight-Ashbury, the Marina, and the Castro, plus see the Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks, and more.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus TourHop-on Hop-off Tours

San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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Go sightseeing in San Francisco and its surroundings by hop-on hop-off bus with a City Sightseeing San Francisco pass. Select a 1-day pass that includes access to the City and Sausalito tours. Or choose a 2-day pass that includes the City and Sausalito tours but adds two walking tour options, so you cover all the main attractions with one ticket. This flexible and family-friendly pass lets you hop on and off the double-decker bus at any of the designated stops and explore San Francisco at your own pace.
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City TourCity Tours

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Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour

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Explore San Francisco and Alcatraz on this 2-in-1 tour. Hop aboard a ferry for a scenic ride to Alcatraz and enjoy the award-winning audio walking tour. Plus, enjoy a coach tour with a knowledgeable local guide. Learn about the City by the Bay through visits to top attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the Presidio, and the Palace of Fine Arts.
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  • 6 hours
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  • 6 hours

San Francisco Love TourCity Tours

San Francisco Love Tour

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Hop on a ‘70s-era VW bus and get to know the hippie past and hipster vibe that make up San Francisco today. Starting and ending at Fisherman’s Wharf, this 2-hour sightseeing tour takes you around the city, including Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. See the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. So settle into a neon-blue seat and dig your shoes into groovy shag carpet. Each bus accommodates up to just six people.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods and Sausalito Day TripDay Trips

Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods and Sausalito Day Trip

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Experience some of the Bay Area’s top attractions on this Alcatraz and Muir Woods tour that also includes a stop in Sausalito. At Muir Woods National Monument, stare in wonder at the coastal redwoods, some of the tallest trees on Earth. Soak up the charm of seaside Sausalito, and experience Alcatraz in one of two ways—admission to the prison, which includes the ferry ride to Alcatraz Island and the audio tour.
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  • 7 hours
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  • 7 hours

Haunted SF: Ghosts, Murder and MysteryGhost & Vampire Tours

Haunted SF: Ghosts, Murder and Mystery

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Brave San Francisco’s dark and ghostly past during this walking tour of haunted San Francisco. After meeting at the city’s famous Union Square (after dark, of course), a local guide escorts you down haunted alleys, through mysterious hotels, and around historic street corners. Stand where the Zodiac Killer met his final victim, learn of paranormal activity following mysterious deaths, visit the site of Tessie Wall’s storied brothel, hear about Gold Rush–era hauntings, and how the Black Plague ravaged the city twice. Your tour ends back near Union Square. This tour is not recommended for children under 10.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
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San Francisco Cable Car City Trolley Tour from Union SquareCity Tours

San Francisco Cable Car City Trolley Tour from Union Square

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Avoid the hours-long wait at San Francisco’s cable car lines, while still getting a classic cable car experience during this city tour by converted cable car from Union Square. In addition to pointing out landmarks that visitors often miss, your guide also provides walking tours at City Hall, Alamo Square Park, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Plus, blankets and refreshments are included to make sure you stay comfortable during the ride.
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  • 180 to 210 minutes
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  • 180 to 210 minutes
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Small-Group Full-Day Tour of San Francisco with AlcatrazHistorical & Heritage Tours

Small-Group Full-Day Tour of San Francisco with Alcatraz

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Explore San Francisco on a small-group full-day tour that covers top attractions including Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. Get great views of the San Francisco Bay Area during the short ferry ride to Alcatraz Island, where you then take a self-guided audio tour of the infamous prison. Return to shore for your bus tour of destinations such as Nob Hill, the Haight-Ashbury, the Castro, the Mission, and Golden Gate Park. Includes hotel pickup and drop-off in San Francisco.
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  • 10 to 11 hours
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  • 10 to 11 hours

San Francisco Architecture Walking TourCultural Tours

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

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Discover the famed architecture of San Francisco on an architecture walking tour with a guide. You'll see the Painted Ladies and other Victorian gems as you learn about the Queen Anne style and more. Plus, pass by homes where celebrities such as Robin Williams and Francis Ford Coppola have lived and homes you may recognize from movies like "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Princess Diaries."
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Vantigo San Francisco City TourCity Tours

Vantigo San Francisco City Tour

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Step aboard a vintage Volkswagen bus for a San Francisco city tour. Travel down streets a typical tour bus can't access while your guide fills you in on the history of the City by the Bay, from the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley. Get views of landmarks such as Twin Peaks, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Painted Ladies as you travel through distinct city districts.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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Small Group Half Day Sonoma Wine Country TourDay Trips

Small Group Half Day Sonoma Wine Country Tour

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When it comes to wine country, Napa gets all the attention but it can get expensive and feel overcrowded at times. If time is of the essence then this half-day wine tour to Sonoma might be the perfect remedy. Travel by coach to some of Sonoma's top wineries, soaking in not just the tannins and fruit-forward flavors, but also the countryside views from your seat. The first tasting fee is included.
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  • 5 hours
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  • 5 hours
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San Francisco Movie Sights City TourMovie & TV Tours

San Francisco Movie Sights City Tour

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With its iconic hills, architecture, bridge and bay, it’s no wonder so many movies have been filmed in San Francisco. See filming locations from more than 55 productions—from blockbusters like ‘San Andreas’ to family favorites like ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’—on this movie sites tour from Fisherman’s Wharf. Watch clips on the tour bus as you pass by the real locations with an informative actor-turned-guide who shares stories about the city and cinema history.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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Painted Ladies Wine Country TourWine Tasting & Winery Tours

Painted Ladies Wine Country Tour

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The Sonoma Valley is one of California’s oldest and most renowned wine regions. On this full-day tour, travel around the Sonoma Valley in a Vintage VW bus and visit award-winning wineries. Learn all about the winemaking process as you tour a wine cave, sample a variety of Californian wines during guided wine tastings, and tuck into a gourmet Italian-style lunch at a winery restaurant.
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  • 8 hours
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  • 8 hours
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San Francisco Hop on Hop off Open Top Bus Tour with Sausalito Tour - Live GuideBus & Minivan Tours

San Francisco Hop on Hop off Open Top Bus Tour with Sausalito Tour - Live Guide

See all the top landmarks! One of the undeniable highlights of our San Francisco Bus Tour is the journey across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, with top-deck views across the bay. However, with its diverse neighborhoods, lively entertainment hub and bustling shopping district, there are so many other great areas of the Golden City to explore. Hop on with us to discover the best of San Francisco.
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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  • 60 to 120 minutes

1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour PLUS 1Hop-on Hop-off Tours

1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour PLUS 1

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Make your own travel itinerary for the day while in San Francisco with this full-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Ride a double-decker bus throughout the city, and hop off and back on at any of the stops along the route. Make stops at Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Chinatown, and more. For even more adventure, upgrade your ticket to include the Sausalito route and cross the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge.
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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San Francisco Fire Engine Holiday Lights TourChristmas

San Francisco Fire Engine Holiday Lights Tour

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Join a festive 1.5-hour tour of San Francisco’s holiday lights aboard a vintage open-air Mack fire engine. Hear commentary from your enthusiastic guide and holiday music as you travel to Fisherman's Wharf, the Embarcadero, Market Street, and Union Square to see festive holiday light displays at top sightseeing attractions. Ride with a small group limited to 12 people for a more intimate family-friendly experience of San Francisco. Have the option to wear the provided firefighter gear to stay warm and look great in photo ops!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour in San FranciscoHop-on Hop-off Tours

2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour in San Francisco

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Make your own travel itinerary for the day while in San Francisco with this 2-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Ride a double-decker bus throughout the city, and hop off and back on at any of the stops along the route. This bus offers four routes you can choose from, and along each route you can listen to historical and fun facts about the areas you pass. See some of SF’s most popular places, such as Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts, the de Young Museum, and War Memorial Opera House.
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Small Group San Francisco Half-Day City TourCity Tours

Small Group San Francisco Half-Day City Tour

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Being a tourist can be exhausting. Throw in some of San Francisco's infamous hills, constant consultation of guide books and the lure of tourist traps, and you might want to return to your lodgings in haste. However, this San Francisco sightseeing experience includes a hotel pickup and a coach tour that allows the city to unfold before you from atop your air-conditioned perch. It's a great way to keep your eyes on the real jewels of the city by the bay.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time MachineCity Tours

Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine

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Meet one of San Francisco’s larger-than-life historical figures, Emperor Norton, for a walking tour that makes the city’s history come alive. Learn about the real Emperor Norton as you take in landmarks such as Union Square, Maiden Lane, Lotta's Fountain, Jackson Square, Portsmouth Square and more. Expect to walk at a leisurely pace for around two miles during your tour. You’ll hear stories about the Barbary Coast and the 1906 earthquake, and witness the city’s growth through the eyes of the emperor.
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  • 2 hours 45 minutes
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  • 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Independent Bike Tour with RentalBike Rentals

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San Francisco Independent Bike Tour with Rental

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Discover San Francisco on your own schedule with a 1-day bike rental. Visit the crooked path of Lombard Street, North Beach, Haight-Ashbury, the Golden Gate Bridge and more. This self-guided trip gives you the opportunity to create your own itinerary as you explore the beloved City by the Bay.
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  • 1 to 24 hours
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  • 1 to 24 hours
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San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour + Night Tour + Sausalito + Madame TussaudsBus & Minivan Tours

San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour + Night Tour + Sausalito + Madame Tussauds

Explore San Francisco at your own pace. Make the most of your time in San Francisco with our flexible hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours. Explore the city's sights at your own pace - you'll have the freedom to hop off the tour at any of our conveniently located stops, and rejoin when you're ready.Golden Gate BridgeFisherman's Wharf, Pier 39Union SquareFerry Building Market PlaceChinatownLittle ItalyNob Hill, Russian HillCivic CenterHaight Ashbury (the Hippies Street)Golden Gate ParkTreasure IslandBay BridgeSausalito
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
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  • 60 to 120 minutes

Make the Most of SF in One Day: Small Group Walking TourWalking Tours

Make the Most of SF in One Day: Small Group Walking Tour

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Get to know San Francisco a little better on this full day tour of the city. This tour is well-suited to travelers who want to get the lay of the land before digging deeper: with your guide by your side, spinning stories and letting you know all about the history of the city, tour neighborhoods, stop at famous landmarks and enjoy pristine photo opportunities of highlights like Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and the sea lion hangout at Pier 39.
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 6 hours
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