There is no better way to get to know San Francisco than on a bicycle tour. You can either choose to go with a group or on a self-guided bike tour through the streets of the city.
On this page, you'll discover the top four guided biking tours, and you'll also find some tips for venturing out on your own.
Disclaimer: I recieve a small commission from some of the links on this page.
Duration: 3 - 4 hours | Cost: $55 per person
This is by far the most popular bicycle ride in San Francisco. It offers spectacular views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's also a great chance to learn the history and other key facts about one of the most famous bridges in the world.
You start your bike ride in Fisherman's Wharf. From there, you take a leisurely ride along the beautiful SF waterfront.
You then tackle a steep hill that gets you to the Golden Gate Bridge bike path. Your 1.7-mile ride across the bridge affords you some of the most stunning views of the city.
Your ride continues with a mostly downhill ride into the quaint coastal town of Sausalito on the other side of the bridge. This is where the official guided portion ends.
This tour offers you the chance to upgrade to an electric bike to ease the burden of biking up and down SF's steep hill. The upgrade costs an extra $20 per person.
Since you don't have to return your bike until the bicycle shop closes (usually around 6pm), you get to decide what to do next. Here are a few of your options:
Overall, this is an easy to moderate bike ride, and it's one of the best ways to see and learn more about one of the most visited SF attractions.
Days & Times Available: Daily at 10am & 1pm
Learn More & Book: Golden Gate Bridge Biking Tour
Duration: 4 hours | Cost: $75 per person
This is one of the San Francisco bicycle tours that is gaining in popularity. On this bike ride, you cruise through some of the most interesting neighborhoods of San Francisco.
I really like this one because you get to see so many hidden gems that you may not see if you head out on your own.
Highlights of the tour include riding along the waterfront in Fisherman's Wharf, discovering the North Beach District, and then cruising on the flat streets down to AT&T Park.
You also get the chance to see SF's Mission District and its amazing colorful murals, as well as Alamo Square with a view of downtown SF behind it. Your journey continues through the Haight-Ashbury District, the Civic Center neighborhood, Polk Gulch, and finally back to Fisherman's Wharf.
You can use a standard bike or upgrade to an electric bike to make the journey easier. The cost for the upgrade is $20 more.
Throughout the ride, your local guide shares interesting facts and stories about all of the different places you visit. It's a fun way to cover a lot of ground and get to know the 'real' San Francisco.
Days & Times Available: Daily at 11am
Learn More & Book: San Francisco Urban Bike Tour
Savings Tip: Some of these tours are also offered on Goldstar at up to 50% off. I recommend checking there before booking your tour. Also on Goldstar, you will find tickets to other tours, events, and theater performances. It's a great way to save on your trip. Click here to check out their current selection.
Duration: 3 hours | Cost: $55 per person
Spend the early evening hours cruising around San Francisco, riding bikes along SF's northern waterfront.
After a quick stop to take photos, you will bike across the bridge. You will stop again for more photos and then head back across the bridge again to San Francisco.
Your journey continues with a look at the gorgeous Palace of Fine Arts and some nice photos of the waterfront as the sun is setting.
If you're 16 or older, you can make the ride a bit easier by upgrading to an electric bike (which you can use on the entire journey except the time on the Golden Gate Bridge). It's $20 more for the electric bike.
Days & Times Available: Daily at 4pm (March - October), Daily at 3pm (November to February)
Learn More & Book: Evening Golden Gate Bridge Bike Ride
Duration: 3 hours | Cost: $75 per person
This San Francisco bicycle tour combines the local food culture with SF's interesting history. It's a fun and leisurely ride that takes you to three popular local breweries.
Your guide takes you through several neighborhoods with stops in SOMA, the colorful Mission District, and the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. In each neighborhood, you have the chance to sample locally produced craft beers and mingle with some locals.
(Note that only the first beer is included in the price of the tour.)
This small group escapade is limited to just 12 people, ensuring you get a more personalized experience.
Days & Times Available: Mon - Fri at 2pm
Learn More & Book: Bike & Craft Beers Tour
If a guided tour is not really your thing, you can also venture out on your own. This gives you the freedom to visit the neighborhoods and attractions that interest you the most, at your own pace.
An all-day bike rental includes everything you need to enjoy your adventure safely, complete with a helmet and a bike lock. This way you can stop and see SF's main attractions without having to worry about your bike.
You can pick up your bike anytime after 8am. It must be returned at least 15 minutes prior to closing time (6pm most nights and later during the summer months).
In addition, the rental office provides you with a San Francisco city map and a few suggested routes. This way you don't have to do too much planning before you set out.
Save on Your Bike Rental: At times, you can also find bike rentals at a discount on Groupon. It's a great way to save and see more of San Francisco. Click here to see if this deal is available during your visit.