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Things to do in San Francisco

Fisherman's Wharf is one of the city's most visited spots. Also popular are tours of Alcatraz Island and rides on Cable Cars to Union Square. Art lovers head for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in the SoMa District or the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Children love the Exploratorium in the Marina District, but make sure they wrap up for a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Most museums are open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Lombard Street, San Francisco. © Tobias/Paraflyer, Germany

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. Exploratorium - Museums and Galleries

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    Exploratorium, San Francisco. Photo by Amy Snyder, © The Exploratorium

    The Exploratorium houses over 600 interactive exhibits exploring the science of light, colour, sound and more. Founded in 1969 by physicist Dr Frank Oppenheimer, this museum in the Marina District is widely considered the finest science museum in the world.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$14; children free-US$9 (US$17 including Tactile dome entry)

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

    Address

    3601, Lyon Street, San Francisco CA 94123

    Telephone

    +1 451 561 0360

    Transport

    Bus 22, 28, 30, 41, 43, or 45 to Marina District/Exploratorium

    Website

    Exploratorium

  2. 2. Fisherman's Wharf - Attractions

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    Food vendors at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California.

    Fisherman's Wharf is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Highlights include the Pier 39 amusement park, submarine tours, seafood street vendors, a two-story aquarium, and hundreds of sea lions basking and barking on the docks.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free (individual attractions subject to entry fee)

    Opening hours

    Daily all day (individual attractions subject to opening hours)

    Address

    Pier 39, San Francisco CA 94133

    Telephone

    +1 415 674 7503

    Transport

    Bus 15, 30, 32, 39, 42, or 82X to Fisherman's Wharf

    Website

    Fisherman's Wharf

  3. 3. Coit Tower - Attractions

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    The Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, California.

    Located atop Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower offers the best panoramic views of the city. Inside the 64m tower is a rotunda with several murals of California. Take the elevator to the top floor observation area for even better views.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$4.50; 6-12s US$2

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-6pm

    Address

    1, Telegraph Hill, San Francisco CA 94109

    Telephone

    +1 415 362 0808

    Transport

    Bus 39 to Coit Tower

    Website

    Coit Tower

  4. 4. Children's Creativity Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Zeum, San Francisco. Courtesy of Zeum

    Located within SoMa District's Yerba Buena Gardens, Zeum is an innovative multimedia, arts and technology museum designed for kids. Highlights include an animation studio, music lab and digital workshop, as well as a 1906 carousel, bowling alley and ice-skating rink.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$10; 3-18s US$8; under-2s free

    Opening hours

    Wed-Fri 1pm-5pm; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm

    Address

    221, Fourth Street, San Francisco CA 94103

    Telephone

    +1 415 820 3320

    Transport

    Bus: 30 or 45 to Howard Street and 4th Street, or BART to Powell Street station

    Website

    Children's Creativity Museum

  5. 5. de Young Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    The de Young Museum in San Francisco, California.

    This state-of-the-art facility in Golden Gate Park holds one of the finest collections of American paintings in the nation. The de Young Museum's striking facade consists of 430,913kg of textured copper and a spiralling 44m tower with an observation floor.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$10; under-13s free

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 9.30am-5.15pm (until 8.45pm Fri)

    Address

    50, Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco CA 94118

    Telephone

    +1 415 750 3600

    Transport

    Bus 5, 16X, 21, 44 or 71 to Golden Gate Park or N-Judah metro to 9th and Irving

    Website

    de Young Museum

  6. 6. Cable Cars - Special things to do

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    Cable Cars, San Francisco. Courtesy of San Francisco Convention Visitors Board

    San Francisco's three cable car lines form the world's only surviving system of Cable Cars. These mobile museum pieces haul thousands of tourists across the city every day at a steady 15km per hour. The Powell-Hyde line offers the best views.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$5 per ride

    Opening hours

    Daily 6am-1.30am

    Address

    Aquatic Park Turntable, San Francisco 94133

    Telephone

    +1 415 701 2311

    Transport

    Bus 15, 30, 32, 39, 42 or 82X to Aquatic Park, or Powell/Hyde cable car

    Website

    Cable Cars

  7. 7. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) - Museums and Galleries

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    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, California.

    The Mario Botta-designed US$65-million San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a landmark in the SoMa District, houses the West Coast's most comprehensive collection of 20th-century painting, sculpture and photography. Be sure to visit the MuseumStore for fine gifts and souvenirs.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$15; under 12s accompanied by an adult free

    Opening hours

    Thu-Tue 11am-5.45pm (until 8.45pm Thu); summer from 10am

    Address

    151, 3rd Street (between Mission and Howard Streets), San Francisco CA 94103

    Telephone

    +1 415 357 4000

    Transport

    Bus 15, 30 or 45 to SoMa District/SFMOMA or metro/BART to Montgomery Street or Powell Street Stations

    Website

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

  8. 8. Golden Gate Bridge - Attractions

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    Crossing Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

    Millions of people visit the iconic Golden Gate Bridge each year and walk along the entire 2.7km-long span to take in the beautiful views of the city and bay. Wrap up though as it can be windy and cold.Show this on map

    Cost

    Toll US$5-US$36; on foot free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    United States Highway 101, San Francisco

    Transport

    Bus 28 to Golden Gate Bridge

    Website

    Golden Gate National Recreation Area Website

  9. 9. Cable Car Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    The Cable Car Museum in San Francisco, California.

    Along with historic displays, the Cable Car Museum in Russian Hill also houses the massive engines and repair facility for the entire cable car system. The lower-level viewing room displays the huge pulleys and gears that move the underground cables.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-5pm (until 6pm Apr-Sep)

    Address

    1201, Mason Street, San Francisco CA 94123

    Telephone

    +1 415 474 1887

    Transport

    Cable car: both Powell Street lines to Russian Hill

    Website

    Cable Car Museum

  10. 10. Alcatraz Island - Attractions

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    Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California.

    The 2.5-hour Alcatraz Island excursion is a major attraction in San Francisco. The headphone-audio tour inside the infamous prison is exceptional, and the boat ride offers beautiful views of the bay. Purchase tickets as far in advance as possible.Show this on map

    Cost

    Tours US$26; 5-11s US$16; under-5s free

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-4.30pm

    Address

    Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

    Transport

    Bus 15, 30, 32, 39, 42, or 82X to Fisherman's Wharf for tours and ferries

    Website

    Alcatraz

Attractions

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  1. 11. Golden Gate Park - Attractions

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    The Buffalo Paddock in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.

    The enormous Golden Gate Park is San Francisco's largest urban park and a magnet for those looking for a spot of outdoor activity. Arranged in a long rectangle, the park contains a beautiful Japanese tea garden and two lakes.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Fulton at 36th Avenue (Lincoln at 41st Avenue), San Francisco CA 94102

    Transport

    Bus 5, 6, 7, 16AX, 16BX, 66 or 71 to Golden Gate Park

    Website

    Golden Gate Park

Special things to do

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  1. 12. Lombard Street - Special things to do

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    Lombard Street, San Francisco. © Tobias/Paraflyer, Germany

    The winding one-block stretch of Lombard Street on Russian Hill is famously known as the "crookedest street in the world" and draws hundreds of visitors daily. Visitors can either drive down the brick-lined street or walk along the flower-lined staircases.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Lombard Street, San Francisco

    Transport

    Bus 19 to Polk and Lombard Street

  2. 13. GoCar Tours - Special things to do

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    GoCar Tours, San Francisco. Photo by Vadim Zaliva

    GoCar Tours are trips in tiny three-wheeled convertible mini-car designed exclusively for exploring San Francisco. The satellite-guided audio tour indicates which way to turn and what famous landmarks are along the route, and the small size makes parking easy.Show this on map

    Cost

    First hour US$49

    Opening hours

    Daily 8am-5pm

    Address

    2715, Hyde Street, San Francisco CA 94109

    Telephone

    +1 415 441 5695

    Transport

    Bus 19, 20, 30 to Hyde Street/Bay Street area or Powell/Hyde cable car to Bay Street

    Website

    GoCar Tours

  3. 14. San Francisco Zoo - Attractions

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    The San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, California.

    Located in the south-west corner of the city, San Francisco Zoo's 405m² space is home to over 250 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The Bear Grotto is mesmerising and there's a wonderful Children's Zoo as well.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$15; 4-14s US$9; under-3s free

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-5pm

    Address

    1, Zoo Road, San Francisco 94132-1098

    Telephone

    +1 415 753 7080

    Transport

    MUNI train L outbound to the zoo

    Website

    San Francisco

  4. 15. AT&T Park - Attractions

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    AT&T Park, San Francisco. Courtesy of San Francisco Convention Visitors Board

    Home of the San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball team, the AT&T Park in South Beach is considered one of the finest ballparks in America. Baseball season runs April to October, but daily guided park tours are available year-round.Show this on map

    Cost

    US$12.50; concessions US$10.50; under-12s US$7.50; under-2s free

    Opening hours

    Tours daily 10.30am & 12.30pm

    Address

    24, Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco CA 94107

    Telephone

    +1 415 972 1800

    Transport

    Bus 10, 30, 45 or 47 to South Beach, or BART trains to Montgomery Street, then free shuttle bus, or Muni tram N to ballpark station at 2nd and King Street

    Website

    AT&T Park

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