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    Lombard Street in San Francisco: the crookedest street in America

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    Lombrad Street is a unique street and, thanks to its famous hairpin bends, is perhaps one of the most photographed streets in the world. Together with the Golden Gate Bridge and the famous Cable Cars, it is one of the symbolic attractions of the city of San Francisco.

    It is visited every day by hundreds of tourists who choose to reach it on foot or to travel it with their own car. Whichever way you choose it is definitely an essential stop among the things to see in San Francisco.


    • Where is it and how to get there
      • Lombard Street in cable car
      • Lombard Street by other public transport
    • How to visit it
      • How to drive along Lombard Street
      • Tours available
    • History and curiosity
    • Photos on Lombard Street

    Where is it and how to get there

    The stretch that you find indicated on the map is only the most well-known portion of Lombrad Street that is located in Russian hill, or the one with its characteristic hairpin bends. In reality Lombard Street is a street in San Francisco of nearly 5 kilometers that runs from Pioneer Park to Lincoln Blvd in the large Presidio park. However, the part that interests us most is located between Hyde St and Leavenworth St and is easily accessible by both public and private transport.

    Lombard Street in cable car

    If you want to combine a visit to Lombard Street with a suggestive trip to Cable Car you can do it (actually in my opinion it is the best way to get to the area). If you will use the line Powell-Hide, starting from the Market Street terminus, you will have to get off at the stop Hyde St & Lombard St, which will leave you in the upper part of Lombard Street, from which you can have a suggestive view over part of San Francisco and the Bay.

    If, on the other hand, you prefer to walk the short uphill stretch, enjoying the spectacle of the snake of cars that proceed slowly in the hairpin bends, you can use the line Powell-Mason and, if you are coming from the Market Street terminus, get off at the stop Columbus Ave & Lombard St, from which you can reach your destination with a short walk of 5 minutes (uphill).

    If you decide to use the cable car service by purchasing the single ticket you will have to remember (as you find written in our guide to the cable cars) that the ticket ceases to be valid from the moment you get off the vehicle. If you want to take another one, you will have to buy a new ticket.

    Lombard Street by other public transport

    If you prefer to use the other public transport of the MUNI the recommended stops are the aforementioned Columbus Ave & Lombard St (reached by lines 30 and 91) and the Union St & Leavenworth St (lines 41 and 45), from which you can take Leavenworth St to the north and in just over 5 minutes you will arrive at the base of Lombard Street.

    How to visit it

    You can decide to visit Lombard Street on foot, by car or by taking advantage of the many tours that include it among their stops. If you prefer to walk, just follow the directions in the previous section and take all the time you want to indulge yourself with your camera.

    How to drive along Lombard Street

    If you have decided to visit San Francisco with your rental car, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. The road is a one way and you can only go downhill by entering Hyde St and exiting on Leavenworth St. The maximum speed allowed is 5 mph. Arm yourself with anyway patience because many will have had the same idea as you and especially in high season it is not uncommon to find queues. Personally, however, I do not recommend visiting the city by car, as we have well explained in our article on how to get around San Francisco.

    Read also our articles on:
    • Where to sleep in San Francisco: tips on neighborhoods and hotels
    • What to see in San Francisco: the main attractions 
    • How to rent a car in San Francisco (airport and city center)

    Tours available

    Another possibility is to rent or rely on a tour with some alternative means such as Segways or the characteristic yellow GoCar that you will often see darting through the streets of the city. Another solution could be to reach Lombard Street on board a bicycle, inserting it as an intermediate stop on your city tour.

    Tours available to visit Lombard Street

    History and curiosity

    Originally the stretch that we all know of Lombard Street did not have this conformation but it was simply a normal street like all the others. Only in 1922 did the road take the shape we see today. The ploy was devised to try to reduce theexcessive slope of the road that at the time made it very dangerous to travel with cars. The hairpin bends that have been created have thus contributed to making it the crookedest street, which is the crookedest road in the world!

    Despite its fame, the name has no connection with the city but was chosen by the first surveyor of San Francisco, Jasper O'Farrell, who decided to name it after an existing road in Philadelphia.

    Lombard Street has appeared in many successful films including The woman who lived twice di Alfred Hitchcock.

    Photos on Lombard Street

    To describe Lombard Street, images are more than words, so I thought I'd leave you with a gallery that contains the most beautiful ones in my opinion.

    Lombard Street
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