search Buscar

    How to get around in San Francisco? Public transport and transportation

    Who I am
    Martí Micolau

    Item Feedback:

    content warning

    San Francisco is one of the most famous cities in america and for this reason one would imagine it as a large metropolis, but in reality it is not: the dimensions are rather small and most of the tourist attractions are located in a fairly limited area, making the movements are decidedly more agile than in many other cities.

    Thanks to the close distances you can visit parts of the city on foot, or use public transport, or, if you are a little more sporty, rent a bicycle. So let's see some tips on how to get around in San Francisco analyzing all the various possibilities: transport, cars, cable cars and more ...


    • San Francisco by Car
    • Public Transportation in San Francisco
    • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)
    • Transfers from the airport
    • Cycling in San Francisco
    • San Francisco on foot
    • Tour bus
    • Getting around in San Francisco: to conclude ...

    San Francisco by Car

    This is an option definitely not recommended: you will find traffic, parking difficulties (and in any case it will not cost you little) and, if you go wrong, hefty fines. In reality, there is no compelling reason to visit the city by car. If you take a trip on the road and San Francisco is your first stop, I recommend that you rent a car only on the last day of your stay, in the ways that you can read in the article on car rental in San Francisco.

    Public Transportation in San Francisco

    The network of San Francisco transportation covers the entire urban area and can be a valuable ally during your stay. Particularly known are the historians cable car, characteristic trams that climb above the city hills and which in themselves represent one of the main attractions. If you take one of these means, cover yourself well, because, being open, it feels cold.

    In addition to cable cars, there are also other public transport, such as buses, coaches and cable cars, all operated by the company MUNI, San Francisco's light rail network. Tickets for non-historical vehicles currently cost $ 3.00 (duration 120 minutes) and if you want to buy them on board they require cash (they won't give you change), while those for cable cars are much more expensive ($ 8). My advice, if you intend to explore the city using public transport, is to get a pass that includes all lines, for example the Muni Day-Passport: a card that allows unlimited rides on MUNI public transport for 1, 3 and 7 days.

    BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

    Those looking for information on how to get around San Francisco could easily come across another transport company, BART; these are the regional railway network that unifies the entire Bay Area, it may be less useful for visiting the city, but I would like to point it out anyway because it connects the city to the airport and to the historic district of Mission.

    Transfers from the airport

    In addition to the classic taxi there are various possibilities of private and shared transport, as well as the aforementioned system BART, to move from the airport to the center and vice versa. If you want to know more, read our article on how to get to downtown San Francisco from the Airport. In the meantime, however, if you need to have information on prices of shuttles and private cars, you can find them all on the page indicated below:

    Transfers from the airport to San Francisco

    Cycling in San Francisco

    It can be challenging given the many ups and downs of the San Francisco hills, but renting a bike remains in my opinion the most comfortable, practical and pleasant way to get around the city. Don't miss the Golden Gate Bike Tour. You can rent a bike in one of the many Blazing Saddles locations in the city or rent them online or take advantage of a guided bike tour (you can find many on this page).

    San Francisco on foot

    Getting around San Francisco on foot is one of the best options for getting around, obviously it takes more time, but it's the best way to fully grasp the atmosphere of this slightly eccentric city. The hilly areas are prohibitive for a relaxing walk, but areas such as the promenade, Chinatown and North Beach are definitely suitable for leisurely walks.

    Tour bus

    As in all major tourist cities, San Francisco also offers its hop on off bus tours: tour buses with a continuous tour (often with a panoramic view and with guided commentary) from which you can get off and on at various points of the city throughout the day. The convenience lies in the fact that even the movements are designed in a tourist sense and therefore become an opportunity to get to know the city more thoroughly. There are many and you can find them all at the link below:

    All Bus Tours

    Getting around in San Francisco: to conclude ...

    In addition to knowing how to get around, you will also have to choose the attractions to visit, so that you can plan your visit well. In this regard, I point out our article on what to see in San Francisco. Another important aspect is that linked to the sleeping area: if you want to take advantage of the convenience of travel and transport typical of this city, you will have to choose the right area, central or well connected, for your stay; follow these tips on where to sleep in San Francisco to avoid the risk of finding yourself in uncomfortable areas or far from the main points of interest.

    add a comment from How to get around in San Francisco? Public transport and transportation
    Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.