Lombard Street runs more than 20 blocks across northern San Francisco, but only one block—between Hyde and Leavenworth streets—gives the thoroughfare its nickname, “the crookedest street in the world.” Lined with well-manicured flowers and trees and tidy million-dollar homes, the red-brick-paved road zigzags its way down Russian Hill.
Some San Francisco tours include a Lombard Street stop or drive-by, but most tour vehicles are prohibited. Opt for a more niche experience like an urban hiking tour or a Segway tour if you want to visit Lombard Street with a guide. From the top of the street, look toward North Beach for a view of Coit Tower and San Francisco Bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lombard Street is a must-see for first-time visitors and families.
- This is a residential area, so be respectful of the private homes on both sides of the street.
- Wear shoes appropriate for walking down a steep grade.
- Hyde and Leavenworth streets at either end of Lombard’s switchbacks are busy San Francisco roads; blocking traffic while trying to take pictures is not recommended.
How to Get There
For the most quintessentially San Francisco experience, take the Powell–Hyde cable car line, which runs north from Union Square, to the top of Lombard Street. Alternatively, Muni bus 45 stops at Leavenworth and Union streets, a few blocks away. If you want to drive down the one-way street in your own car, you must go west to east from Hyde to Leavenworth; take the switchbacks slowly.
When to Get There
Lombard is a public street and has no opening or closing hours. If you want to avoid catching too many other visitors in your photos, go as early in the day as you can. On busy summer days and weekends, the line of cars waiting to drive down can stretch for blocks, so try to be flexible if you’re visiting during this time.
The crooked portion of Lombard Street is about eight blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf, so it’s easy to explore both in the same day. If you visit Lombard Street first, it’s a downhill walk to the wharf. Enjoy views of San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz Island along the way.