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Transportation in San Francisco


Walking is a great way to see San Francisco, and you can cover large areas of this compact city in a day. Hills do get in the way, but depending on your ability and inclination, you can usually go around them or scale them intrepidly. From the summit of one of the city's many hills, you'll get sweeping views of the Golden Gate and the cliffs of the Marin headlands to the north, while the Bay and the cities and hills beyond it lie to the east.


The San Francisco Municipal Railway, or 'Muni', has both trams (running above and below ground) and buses – between them they cover just about anywhere in the city you'll want or need to go. Market Street lines can get pretty crowded at rush hour. You'll need exact change, and always ask for a 'transfer' (paper receipt) – it lets you change to another tram or bus for free for a few hours and it's your proof of purchase. The fare is the same for a tram or bus.


San Francisco is slightly infamous for its taxis – or lack thereof. On a busy day such as Valentine's Day (14 Feb) they can be precious few and far between, and likewise when the bars close at 2am be prepared to wait a while. Cabs are most plentiful around hotels, and many restaurants will call one for you.

Transportation tips

A Fastpass gives unlimited travel on all Muni trams, buses and cable cars, as well as all BART stations in San Francisco – it's good for a calendar month. A weekly pass gets you on to all trams and buses, and (for a small additional fee) cable cars. Visitors can also buy a Muni Passport for one, three or seven consecutive days of rides on the Muni system.

Transit 511 website

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) website

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