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San Francisco Attractions

Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco attractions range from the towering Golden Gate Bridge to the infamous prison on Alcatraz Island. The city is also known for its colorful Painted Ladies in Alamo Square, its historic cable cars and one of the crookedest streets in the world, Lombard Street.

sf attractions

The western side of Alcatraz Island, one of the most visited gems in the city

With hundreds of SF attractions, it will be hard to narrow down your list. Here you can learn a little more about each one to help you select the ones you want to see during your visit.

Most Popular Attractions

alamo square san francisco
alcatraz prison tours
cable cars
Cable Cars
lombard street
pier 39
Pier 39: Shopping
& Attractions

Alphabetical List of All SF Attractions

Asian Art
of the Bay
Car Museum
California Academy of Sciences The
Art Museum
Chinatown Shopping Chinese Historical Society
Chinese Temples City Hall Coit Tower
Columbarium Conservatory
of Flowers
Jewish Museum
Craft &
Design Museum
de Young Museum Disney Museum
Exploratorium The Ferry Building Fire Museum
Fort Mason Fort Point Gardens in SF
Ghirardelli Square GLBT Museum Golden Gate Fortune
Cookie Factory
Gate Bridge
Gate Park
Haas Lilienthal
Street Pier
International Art
Museum of America
Italian American
Japanese Tea
Legion of
Lombard Street
(Crooked Street)
Mission Murals Mission San Francisco
de Asis
Museum of
the African Diaspora
Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) National Cemetery Ocean Beach
The Octagon
Painted Ladies
of Alamo Square
The Palace
of Fine Arts
Pier 24
Photography Museum
Pier 39 Pier 45/
SS Jeremiah O'Brien
The Presidio Presidio
Golf Course
Railway &
Streetcar Museum
Center Murals
of SF
Wells Fargo
History Museum
Wine Tasting

Save $$ on Your Attraction Tickets

If you plan on visiting a number of San Francisco attractions and museums, you can save money - sometimes more than 50% - by using one of the these attraction discount passes.

san francisco city pass

Up to 47% off Admissions with
the SF City Pass

go card san francisco

Save Up to 55% off SF Attractions with
the Go SF Card

Both offer a large discount, but cover a different group of attractions. Click through the links above for more details on the attractions covered by each one and how you can save during your visit!

Not sure which one is right for you? Check out this quick comparison chart to determine which one meets your needs the best.

SF Attractions By Neighborhood

Here is a chart to help you find your favorite attraction in each SF district.

Neighborhood Top Attractions
The Castro Castro Theater | GLBT Museum
Chinatown Bargain Shopping
Chinese Historical Society | Chinese Temples
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
Civic Center
& Hayes Valley
Asian Art Museum | City Hall
International Art Museum of America
The Embarcadero The Exploratorium | The Ferry Building
Railway & Streetcar Museum | Rincon Center Murals

7D Experience | Alcatraz | Aquarium of the Bay
Boudin Bakery | Buena Vista Cafe | The Cannery
Ghirardelli Square | Hyde Street Pier | Maritime Museum
Musee Mechanique | Pier 39
Pier 45/SS Jeremiah O'Brien | Ripley's Believe It or Not
USS Pampanito SS-383

Golden Gate

Beach Chalet | Botanical Gardens
California Academy of Sciences
Conservatory of Flowers | de Young Museum
Japanese Tea Garden | Ocean Beach | Stow Lake

Japantown National Japanese American Historical Society
Peace Pagoda
Marina Fort Mason | Italian American Museum
Mexican Museum | The Octagon House
The Palace of Fine Arts
Mission District

Dolores Park | Mission Murals
Mission San Francisco de Asis

Nob Hill
& Russian Hill
Cable Car Museum | Grace Cathedral
Lombard Street (Crooked Street)
Beat Museum | Coit Tower
Diego Rivera Making of a Fresco Mural
Saints Peter & Pauls Church | Vesuvio Cafe
Fire Museum | Haas Lilienthal House
Lyon Street Stairs
Presidio Baker Beach | Disney Museum
Fort Point | National Cemetery
Presidio Golf Course
South of
Market (SOMA)
AT&T Park | Cartoon Art Museum
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Museum of the African Diaspora
Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Union Square
& Financial District

Diego Rivera Allegory of California Mural
Union Square Shopping | Wells Fargo History Museum

Other SF
China Beach (Seacliff)
Craft & Design Museum (Dogpatch)
Legion of Honor (Lands End)
Painted Ladies of Alamo Square
SF Zoo (Ocean Beach)
Beyond SF

Angel Island | Muir Woods
Napa & Sonoma | Sausalito

Monterey, CA Monterey Bay Aquarium | Cannery Row
Fisherman's Wharf | Wine Tasting Rooms
Pebble Beach Golf Courses

More SF Attractions

Hidden Gems

camera obscuraAre you looking for something a little different? If so, then check out these hidden gems. You will find them all around San Francisco.

They range from the colorful Diego Rivera frescos to a camera obscura at Ocean Beach.

Learn More: 25 Hidden Gems

Cheap Things to Do

Cheap Things to Do in SFIf you are looking to stretch your budget further, check out some of these top cheap things to do in SF. My list includes a variety of free activities as well as options that are less than $10.

The list includes museums, attractions, and activities all around town.

More: Find my 25 favorite cheap things to do in SF

One Day in San Francisco

One Day in SFAre you planning a short stay in SF and want some of the best things to do? These 10 San Francisco attractions, tours, and musems will give you a wealth of ideas for your stay.

They include visits to the most popular spots around town, as well as a few hidden gems for those returning for a second visit.

More: My list of 10 of the best things to do in 24 hours in SF

Popular SF Beaches

san francisco beachesOn a warm sunny day in the city, there is no better place to be then at one of these San Francisco beaches.

Enjoy a picnic lunch or relax while taking in the views of the amazing landscape around you.

Learn More: Beaches

Colorful Murals

sf muralsThere are more than 1,000 murals throughout the city. They range from the colorful Mission District murals to the controversial Coit Tower murals. You will also find four Diego Rivera murals.

Here you will find tips to locate the best murals in the city.

Learn More: Murals in SF

Top Five Military History Sights

fort point national historic siteDo you love visiting military history sites and ships? Here you will find a list of the top five military history sites in SF. The SF Bay Area has been a key military area for hundreds of years. Several sites were built here in order to protect the area from potential attack. Read on to learn more about visiting these sites during your visit to San Fran.

Learn More: Military History Sites

San Francisco with Kids

sf with kidsAre you visiting with the entire family? Here you will discover a list of some of the best kid-friendly things to see and activities in the city.

Highlights include the Aquarium of the Bay, the Randall Museum and the Musee Mechanique.

Top Things to Do with Kids | Free Activities

Kids Museums | Toddler Activities

Diego Rivera Murals

diego rivera muralsSan Francisco is home to three beautiful and colorful Diego Rivera Murals. Rivera is a famous fresco artist from Mexico with works dating from the 1930s to the 1940s. SF is home to the first fresco he completed in the US. All three murals are worth a visit and open to the public.

Learn More: Diego Rivera Murals

Top Free San Francisco Attractions

maritime museumSF has a number of free attractions. These range from walking along the Golden Gate Bridge to strolling around the Mission District enjoying its beautiful murals. Other free options include visiting some few museums such as the Cable Car Museum, the Maritime Museum or the Fort Point National Historic Site.

Learn More: Free SF Attractions

San Francisco Churches

churches in sfSF has many historical and well known churches throughout the city. They range from the majestic Grace Cathedral in SF's Nob Hill neighborhood to the historic Mission San Francisco de Asis in the Mission District. Here you can learn more about all of them and even find some recommendations on where to celebrate on Sunday.

Learn More: SF Churches

San Francisco for Wine Lovers

wine loversIf you love sampling wines, then check out my San Francisco for wine lover's insider's guide. It will give you all the information you need to know to sample some of SF's best wines. Options range from tasting rooms for wines produced right in the city limits to fun wine tasting tours up north to both Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

Learn More: SF for Wine Lovers

10 Haunted SF Locations

haunted places in sfDo you love to go ghost hunting or hear the stories about SF's dark past? If so, then check out this list of 10 of the most haunted SF places. This list only includes those places that are open to the public, so you get the chance to check them out for yourself.

Learn More: Haunted SF

Indoor Activities

Mission de AsisAre you ready to head indoors to warm up a bit? If so, then I have the list for you!

On my list of 25 indoor activities, you will find fun things to do including visiting our top museums, enjoying some local wines, and exploring our historic attractions.

More: Best Indoor Attractions, Museums, and Activities

SF Cemeteries

National CemeteryIf you love visiting old cemeteries, then you will love what you will find in San Francisco. There are currently two historic cemeteries and two Columbariums open to the public. All are free to visit and a fun way to learn more about SF's past.

More: Where to Find and Tips to Visit SF's Cemeteries

25 Things You Probably Don't Know About SF

chinatownSan Francisco is full of history and hidden gems. There are also several fun and interesting facts about it that many people don't realize. Do you know how many people live within the city limits? Who are some of the most famous people born here? What is unique about Al Capone's arrival to Alcatraz? Read on to find answers to these and other fun and interesting facts about SF.

Learn More: 25 Things You May Not Know About SF

Myths About SF

Golden Gate BridgeOn this page, you will find 10 of SF's most common myths debunked. Did anyone ever escape the "inescapable" Alcatraz Island? How often is the Golden Gate Bridge painted? How much money did people make while panning for gold during the Gold Rush of 1849. Click the link below for answers to these and other top myths about SF.

Learn More: 10 Myths About San Francisco - Debunked!

San Francisco Activities

San Francisco ActivitiesThese 25 fun San Francisco activities will keep you going during your entire stay. They include things to do such as heading out on a cruise, visiting our hidden gems, or seeing a local sports game.

More: Find a list of 25 of the best activities in SF

What's Open When

The chart below offers an overview of the hours for all of the top attractions. Use this to help you plan out each day during your visit.

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Alcatraz Island 8:45am - 6:40pm 8:45am - 4:25pm First ferry leaves at 8:45am and the last ferry arrives in SF at 6:40pm
Angel Island (typical schedule) First ferry leaves at 9:15am and the final
ferry returns to SF at 4:15pm
First ferry leaves at 9:20am and returns at 6:00pm
Asian Art Museum Closed 10am to 5pm
Aquarium of
the Bay

Summer: 9am to 8pm

Fall/Spring: 10am to 7pm

Winter: 10am to 6pm

Summer: 9am to 8pm

Fall/Spring: 10am to 8pm

Winter: 10am to 7pm

Beat Museum 11am to 7pm

Opens at 7:30am every day

Fall: Last Entry 5pm
Winter: Last Entry 4pm
Spring & Summer: Last Entry 6pm

Cable Car Museum

April 1 to September 30: 10am to 6pm

October 1 to March 31: 10am to 5pm

California Academy of Sciences 9:30am to 5pm 11am to 5pm
Cartoon Art Museum Closed 11am to 5pm
Chinatown Shopping Most shops are open daily around 10am, some close
around 6:30pm while others stay open until at least 10pm
Chinese Historical Society Closed 12pm to 5pm 11am to 4pm Closed
City Hall 8am to 8pm Closed
Coit Tower

May to October: 10am to 6pm

November to April: 10am to 5pm

Conservatory of Flowers Closed (except Memorial & Labor Day) 10am to 4pm
Contemporary Jewish Museum 11am to 5pm Closed 1pm to 8pm 11am to 5pm
de Young Museum Closed except on certain holidays 9:30am to 5:15pm
Disney Museum 10am to 6pm Closed 10am to 6pm
Exploratorium Closed except on certain holidays 10am to 5pm 10am to 5pm; 6pm to 10pm for 21+ 10am to 5pm
The Ferry Building 10am to 6pm (typical hours for all shops, although the building itself and most restaurants stay open later) 9am to 6pm 11am to 5pm
Fire Museum Closed 1pm to 4pm as staffing allows (call ahead at 415.563.4630 to confirm)
Fort Point Closed 10am to 5pm
Ghirardelli Square Most shops open from 9am to 8pm; the restaurants (10pm),
bar (2am), & Ghirardelli Chocolate stores
(11pm, 12am on the Friday and Saturday) remain open later
Most shops open from 10am to 6pm with the restaurants, bar, and Ghirardelli chocolate shops staying open later
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory 9am to 7pm
Golden Gate Bridge

Days with Pacific Standard Time: 5am to 6:30pm

Days with Daylight Savings Time: 5am to 9pm

Grace Cathedral 7am to 6pm 8am to 6pm 8am to 7pm
Haas Lilienthal House Closed 12pm - 3pm Closed 12pm - 3pm 11am - 4pm
Hyde Street Pier 9:30am to 5:00pm
Japanese Tea Garden

Winter (11/1 to 2/28): 9am to 4:45pm

Summer (3/1 to 10/31): 9am to 6pm

Legion of Honor Closed (except certain holidays) 9:30am to 5:15pm
Lombard Street (Crooked Street) Open all day everyday
Mission Murals Open all day everyday
Mission San Francisco de Asis November 1 - April 30: 9am to 4pm
May 1 - October 31: 9am to 4:30pm
Muir Woods

Opens Daily at 8am

March to Mid-September: Closes at 8pm
Mid-September to Early November: Closes at 6pm
Early November to End of January: Closes at 5pm
End of January to Early March: Closes at 6pm

Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Closed for renovations until the spring of 2016
The Octagon House Closed (Also closed all of January for all dates) Second and Fourth Thursday from 12pm to 3pm Closed Second Sunday of the month from 12pm to 3pm
Painted Ladies of Alamo Square Open all day everyday
The Palace of Fine Arts Open all day everyday
Pier 39: Winter/Spring Fall Stores: 10am to 8pm
Restaurants: 11:30am to 9pm (although some open earlier or stay open later)
Stores: 10am to 9pm
Restaurants: 11:30am to 10pm (although some open earlier or stay open later)
Stores: 10am to 8pm
Restaurants: 11:30am to 9pm (some open earlier or stay open later)
Pier 39: Summer

Stores: 10am to 10pm
Restaurants: 11:30am to 11pm (although some open earlier or stay open later)

Pier 45/SS Jeremiah O'Brien 9am to 4pm
USS Pampanito SS-383 Opens daily at 9am and closes around 4pm each day,
it's run by volunteers so the closing hours vary,
stop by to find out what time they
plan to close on the day of your visit
SF Zoo

Fall/Winter: 10am to 4pm

Spring Summer: 10am to 5pm

SF Attraction Holiday Schedule

thanksgivingAre you visiting on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas or New Year's Eve? Are you interested in visiting attractions during this time? If so, then click the link below for a full schedule for all major SF attraction during the holidays. This will help you plan your visits during your stay.

Learn More: SF Holiday Attraction Schedules

Most Popular City Tour

san francisco toursWant a great overview of all of the sites on your first day? If so, then check out the most popular tour for visitors -- the Alcatraz and city tour. This day long tour includes an audio tour of Alcatraz Island as well as a narrated tour of the city of San Francisco.

You will stop at the Golden Gate Bridge, drive through the narrow streets of San Francisco's Chinatown and get a photo opportunity of the Painted Ladies in Alamo Square. It's a great way to see the city and figure out which of the San Francisco attractions you would like to learn even more about.

Learn More: Alcatraz and SF City Tour

Your Insider's Guide to San Francisco eBook

Ebook Cover 2016Save time and money with my eBook, Your Insider's Guide to San Francisco. This 300+ page book is full of information on top attractions, museums, and activities. It also includes recommendations for hotels, restaurants, and nightlife activities, as well as, eight self-guided tours.

The best part is that you can grab it up the 2017 edition for only $3.99! That's right, for less than $4, you get all this information in just seconds. It will make your planning much eaiser! Click here to learn more or click the button below to buy your copy today!

> Top SF Attractions

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