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by Jill Loeffler •
Published: February 27, 2023
Are you looking for ways to get to and from Fisherman's Wharf to attractions around San Francisco? To help you plan, my guide offers you the best options for getting to and from Union Square, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
You'll find tips on how to get to and from BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), the San Francisco Zoo, and the Caltrain Station.
It also includes a link to my guide on all the ways to and from San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
My options show you how to get from Fisherman's Wharf to places around San Francisco and the Bay Area. If you are coming from these places and need to get to the wharf, you'll simply just flip the directions. This will make it super easy while you enjoy your vacation in San Francisco!
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
The links below will take you to each section of transit options below.
I'll start with the most frequently asked question, and that is, "How do I get to and from Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and the SFO airport?"
Since there are several options for this route, I created a full guide to answer this question in detail. To make it easier for you to choose your best route, I've added estimated prices and how long each one will take.
This section includes recommendations on how to get to and from Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco to some of our top attractions. I've included how far they are away from this district and roughly how long it will take to get here on public transit.
You will find what stops to use on the Hop On Hop Off bus for the San Francisco attractions along this tour route.
I've also included estimated prices and times using a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. The prices are before tax and tip. A tip in the U.S. usually ranges from about 15% - 20% of the total, depending on the quality of the service you receive on your trip.
If you didn't know, drivers' tips are not automatically added to their pay in the US, and many depend on them. So, please plan accordingly so you won't be surprised or upset when asked for them.
These are the typical prices, but you will see surge pricing during rush hour (7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm), large events, later in the evenings, or if it's raining.
Make sure to double-check the price before booking your car to ensure it's what you want to spend.
To make each attraction easier to find, I've set them up in alphabetical order.
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps are on Moraga Street at 16th Avenue in the Inner Sunset.
You will use the 28 Muni bus to get here.
Pick up the bus along Powell near Beach Street. You will then take this bus 23 stops to the corner of 19th Avenue and Lawton Streets.
From here, you can walk up 19th Avenue one block to Moraga and then up Moraga to 16th Avenue. The walk is about a half mile and is slightly uphill once you reach Moraga.
This full trip will take you about 45 minutes.
By taxi, Uber, or Lyft, it will take about 35 to 40 minutes and usually costs about $25 to $30 before tip.
To get to Alcatraz Island, you must take a ferry from Pier 33 (Alcatraz Landing) along the Embarcadero. To get here from Fisherman's Wharf, you have a couple of options.
In my opinion, if the weather is nice, the easiest is to walk.
Pier 33 is about half a mile from the eastern edge of Fisherman's Wharf and about a mile from the Argonaut on the western end. The walk is flat and will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. You also get to enjoy the view as you walk along it.
My second choice would be to take the F Streetcar.
You can pick up the F at Beach and Stockton Streets. You will take it one stop to Embarcadero and Bay Streets. This takes about 5 minutes.
You can also take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft, which will take about five minutes and cost about $10 plus the 15% - 20% tip.
Coit Tower is another popular spot to visit in San Francisco. This attraction is less than a mile from Fisherman's Wharf, and you have a few options to get here.
The first is to walk. This will take a little longer than normal as the last few blocks are very steep.
If you decide to walk, I recommend walking up the Embarcadero to either Filbert or Greenwich and taking the steps to the top. It's a fun way to climb these steep hills.
Your best option for public transit is the 39 Coit Tower bus. It picks up in Fisherman's Wharf in a couple of places:
You will then take this to the parking lot at Coit Tower. It runs about every 20 minutes between 9 am and 5 pm.
It will take about 15 minutes.
By taxi, it will take around 10 minutes. The cost is around $15 plus a tip.
The Ferry Terminal Building is along the Embarcadero. It's where some of the ferries from Sausalito and Tiburon arrive. You will also find the ferries to Angel Island, Treasure Island, Marin County, and the East Bay.
It's about a mile and a half from Fisherman's Wharf.
You can either walk along the wide, flat pedestrian walkway to the Ferry Building, or you can take the F Streetcar.
Pick up the F Streetcar at the stop on Jones and Beach Streets. From here, it will take about 15 minutes. You'll get off at the stop at The Embarcadero and Ferry Building.
The Hop On Hop Off Bus stop for this attraction is #4.
By cab, it will take about 10 minutes and cost about $15 to $25 before tip.
The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge is another must-see place during your visit. This famous bridge connects the city of SF to Marin County.
It's easy to get here from Fisherman's Wharf on the 28. Pick it up at the corner of Powell and Beach Streets and take it all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center.
The ride takes about 24 minutes and drops you off on the southern edge of the bridge.
The Hop On Hop Off Tour takes you to a stop on the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. It allows you to ride over and back. This is stop #11.
By car, it takes about 15 minutes and costs around $15 to $20 plus the 15 - 20% tip.
Golden Gate Park is where you will find some of the top San Francisco attractions. It's home to the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Fine Arts Museum, and the Japanese Tea Garden. It's where you will find the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, and Stow Lake.
It's also where you will find several large events, including Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and many others.
The best option to get here is the 28 Muni. Pick it up in Fisherman's Wharf at Powell and Beach Streets and take it to the stop at Park Presidio and Fulton Street.
From this stop, you will walk about 10 to 15 minutes to the attractions mentioned above.
The bus will drop you off on the northwest corner of Park Presidio and Fulton Streets. You will need to cross both streets to get to the path into the park on the southeast corner. This path will take you to John F. Kennedy Drive, which then offers access to all of the top attractions.
The Hop On Hop Off bus for this attraction is stop #10.
Uber will take about 20 minutes and cost around $20 to $30, plus a 15% to 20% tip.
Lands End is a gorgeous hiking trail sitting high above the water.
On the western edge of the Lands End trail is where you will find the Sutro Baths, a ruin that used to be a large indoor swimming facility.
They are on the far west and northern edge of San Francisco.
To get to the trailhead where both meet, you will need to take two buses. You will start with the 28, which you will take to Geary Blvd. and Park Presidio Blvd.
Here you will transfer to the 38 or 38R. You will take them to the final stop on this line at 48th and Point Lobos Avenues.
You will walk a few steps back to Geary Blvd. and downhill toward the water. About a block down the hill, you will see the Lands End Lookout, with everything you need to know to explore this area.
Taking public transit is about an hour-long journey.
The drive to get here is about 20 minutes and will cost around $25 to $30.
If you want to check out one of the most crookedest streets in the world, head to Lombard Street. You can walk, drive, or take a guided tour of this fun San Francisco attraction.
It's about a mile to get here from the eastern edge of Fisherman's Wharf, so walking is a great option. It's about a 20-minute walk.
You can also walk to the cable car stop at Beach and Hyde and take it just a couple of stops to Lombard. This will get you up the large hill to the top of this crooked section. This cable car ride is about 4 minutes.
This is stop #14 for the Hop On Hop Off Bus, and it drops you off outside the Buena Vista Motor Inn (1599 Lombard Street), so you will have to walk five blocks to get here. Three blocks are up steep hills, so make sure you are prepared to climb these hills when you get off the bus.
Driving takes about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on where you want to be left off) and will cost $10 to $15, plus tip.
Another must-see attraction just north of San Francisco is Muir Woods. You can get here by shuttle via Sausalito, by guided tour, or by driving.
There is quite a bit to know about getting here, so I created a full guide to help you with all the tiny details.
>> Check out my full guide on how to get from San Francisco to Muir Woods
Want to head to a San Francisco Giants game? You will find Oracle Park along the Embarcadero in our South of Market District.
If you have plenty of time before your event, you could walk from Fisherman's Wharf to Oracle Park. It's about 2.5 miles, but the entire walk is flat and offers gorgeous views around San Francisco Bay. This would take about an hour.
You can also take the F Streetcar to the N light rail train. You would pick up the F at Beach and Jones or Beach and Mason and take it to Market and Drumm Streets.
Here you will head underground to find the N light rail. Take the N to the stop right in front of Oracle at King and 2nd Streets. This option takes about 35 minutes.
A taxi will take about 10 to 15 minutes, but leave a little extra time for traffic. If you plan to arrive right before the game, the streets might be at a standstill, so that it might take a little longer. The price on this varies quite a bit and can range from $15 to $40 (with surge pricing for the game) and a tip.
The famous Painted Ladies of Alamo Square is another famous San Francisco attraction. This row of six similar historic Victorians is featured on the TV show Full House.
You'll start by picking up at the F Streetcar in Fisherman's Wharf and taking it to the stop at Market and Larkin. You will then transfer to the 21 bus along Hayes Street at Larkin. This route is about 45 minutes to an hour.
The Hop On Hop Off stops at 944 Fell Street, about halfway between Pierce and Steiner Streets. This is about a block and a half from the Painted Ladies. It's stop #8.
The drive is around 15 to 20 minutes and costs around $25 to $35 plus tip.
You will find the historic San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts just steps from the water in the Marina District. It's the only fully standing building left from the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition.
It's about two and a half miles from San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf. The walk here is along fairly flat services (except the climb up into the Fort Mason Center) and takes about an hour.
Public transportation is also a great option. You will take the 28 from Powell and Beach Street (or other stops in the district) to the Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street stop. You will then walk the two blocks to get here. This takes about 20 minutes.
It does have a direct stop on the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. They will drop you at 1105 Gorgas Avenue (near Richardson Avenue). You will then walk two blocks to the attraction. This is stop #12.
Driving here takes about 10 to 15 minutes and costs around $15 to $25 plus tip.
Pier 39 is on the northeast corner of Fisherman's Wharf. Here you will find shops, restaurants, and plenty of family-friendly attractions.
It's an easy five to ten-minute walk from anywhere in this district.
The Presidio is an old army base that sits on the northern edge of San Francisco. You will find plenty of hiking, some statues by the world-famous artist Andy Goldsworthy, and a few museums. There is also the new Tunnel Tops Park, Baker Beach, and access to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The best way to get here is to pick up the 28 at Powell and Beach Street and take it to Lombard and Fillmore Streets. Here you will transfer to the 43, which will take you to the heart of the Presidio. This route takes about 35 to 45 minutes.
The drive here through San Francisco takes about 10 to 20 minutes and costs around $20 to $25 plus tip.
Another fun place to visit in San Francisco is Twin Peaks. It offers unobstructed views of downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz, and a large part of SF Bay.
You'll start on the F Streetcar and take this to the stop at Market and Church Street. Here you will transfer to the 37 along 14th at Church. You'll want to exit at the stop at 74 Crestline Road.
It will take you about an hour and fifteen minutes to get here.
When you arrive, you will be at the bottom of Twin Peaks. There is a trail here that leads straight up to the road where you can access either peak.
The drive here is around 25 to 35 minutes and will cost anywhere from $35 to $55 with an additional tip.
The final attraction on my list is the San Francisco Zoo! It's the attraction that is furthest away from the Fisherman's Wharf on my list.
NOTE: Through the fall of 2024, it will take a little more effort to get here since the L light rail, which drops off just a block or two from the San Francisco Zoo, is under construction. This means it will take a little longer to get here until the L is back up and running.
Therefore, the easiest option is to take the 28 from San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf to the stop at Sloat Boulevard at 19th Avenue. You will transfer to the 23 and get off at the Sloat and 47th Avenue stop. You will then walk about 5 minutes to the zoo entrance.
Driving here takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. It will cost around $45 to $60 plus tip.
You can also easily get from San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf to the colorful Castro District.
I would take the F Streetcar all the way from Fisherman's Wharf to the Castro. It isn't the fastest route, but it's the easiest. It will take about 45 minutes to one hour.
It's about a 15 to 30-minute drive between these two San Francisco locations. The cost is around $15 to $25, and then the tip.
San Francisco Chinatown is also close to Fisherman's Wharf. I typically walk between these two districts. It's about a mile.
You can also take the 8 City College bus. Pick it up at Powell and North Point Streets. You will take it eight stops to the corner of Stockton Street and Pacific. This drops you in the heart of Chinatown.
Driving here takes only about 10 to 15 minutes. The cost is $10 to $15 plus tip.
The Haight Ashbury is on the other side of San Francisco, but still very easy to get to from San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
You can take the 28 from Beach and Powell St. to the transfer point at Lombard and Fillmore Streets. From here, you will transfer to the 43, which will drop you off at Masonic and Haight. This takes about 40 minutes.
The Hop On Hop Off will take you here. It drops at 1816 Haight Street and is #9 on the map.
Driving here will take about 15 to 30 minutes and costs $20 to $25 plus tip.
The final district on my list is Union Square. You have several options to get here from Fisherman's Wharf.
Both cable cars take you from Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square. The Powell Hyde Cable Car picks up on the west side. The Powell Mason Cable Car picks up on the eastern side.
Both offer a fun way to get to Union Square.
If you want to get there faster, you can take the 8 City College bus. It will drop you off right in the heart of this San Francisco district.
The Hop On Hop Off Tour also drops off right in the heart of Union Square. It's #5 on the map. It also drops off outside the Hilton Hotel in Union Square. This is stop #6 on the map.
Driving takes about 10 to 15 minutes and costs $15 to $20 plus tip.
There is no BART stop in Fisherman's Wharf, so I recommend you exit at the Embarcadero Station. You will then transfer to the F Streetcar.
It's a quick 17-minute ride, and it will drop you off right along Jefferson Street near Pier 39.
If you need to get to BART from Fisherman's Wharf, then pick the F Streetcar up at Jones and Beach and take it to the Embarcadero Station.
It's also an easy route to walk and is about a mile and a half with no hills.
If you want to drive, it is only about 2 miles and should take about 10 minutes, depending on traffic. This would cost about $10 to $15 plus tip.
The easiest way to get to and from Fisherman's Wharf and the King and 4th Street Station is by using the 8 City College bus and transferring over to the new T underground Muni line at Stockton and Washington Streets in Chinatown.
You will exit at the King and 4th Street stop. This route takes about 30 minutes.
It's about a three-mile drive, which takes about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on traffic. This will cost about $20 to $30 and a tip.
Most large cruises dock at Pier 35, about a half-mile from Fisherman's Wharf.
You can either walk or take the F Streetcar. It's usually just one to two stops depending on which part of the district you want to visit.
Napa Valley is a great day trip from San Francisco. You can either drive or take a guided tour here. It's also accessible by public transit, but that takes half a day, so I only advise it for those staying for quite some time.
On a guided tour, you will drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and then north to Napa Valley. This is one of my favorites.
If you drive on your own, it takes about an hour and a half to get to the southern end of the valley.
>> Visit my full guide about getting from San Francisco to Napa Valley
Sonoma County is another great day trip from San Francisco. It's perfect for wine lovers and those that want to explore the outdoors.
You can head up on a guided tour, which offers you the chance to explore wineries on the southern end near the town of Sonoma.
If you want to explore further, it's best to drive because it is fairly spread out, and transit options are limited.
It takes about an hour to get to Sonoma, about an hour to get to Santa Rosa, and about an hour and a half to get to the small town of Healdsburg on the northern end.
If you are flying into Oakland International Airport or need to get to Fisherman's Wharf from Oakland, your best bet is to take BART. You'll exit at the Embarcadero Station and then take the F Streetcar to get to your destination.
If you are coming from the airport, you will first take the BART connector train from the airport to the main BART line. This will drop you off at the Coliseum, which will allow a direct transfer to the BART train to San Francisco.
It will take about an hour to get from OAK International Airport to Fisherman's Wharf.
You can also take an Uber or Lyft. The drive time and cost will vary greatly depending on when you arrive. If you arrive during commute hours, expect it to take at least an hour and cost anywhere from $45 to $65 plus tip for the ride.
I do not recommend taking a taxi. Since San Francisco and Oakland are in different counties, taxis will charge a much larger fee for this ride. Uber and Lyft run on a different set of rules, so they do not have to charge for taking people from one county to the next.
San Jose is about an hour and a half south of San Francisco. It is easy to get here via public transit or by driving.
You'll start by taking the 8 City College bus to the stop in Chinatown. You will then transfer to the T Muni line, which will take you all the way to the Caltrain Station at 4th and King.
You will then hop on the next Caltrain to San Jose.
The entire route takes about an hour and a half. You can also take a taxi to the Caltrain Station, which will cost more but will be a little easier (especially if you have luggage).
The easiest way to get to Levi's Stadium from San Francisco is via Caltrain. You will then need to transfer at Mountain View to the VTA Orange Line.
The Caltrain route on the weekends takes about an hour and twenty minutes between these two stops. You will then have a 30-minute bus ride on the VTA Orange Line when you arrive.
The entire journey from Fisherman's Wharf will take anywhere from two to two and a half hours.
Sausalito is a waterfront town to visit in the morning or all day. You can easily get here by ferry that leaves from Pier 39 or by bus.
You can find out more about taking the ferries here. It offers details, including an upcoming schedule and where to arrive once you reach the shore in Sausalito.
The 130 bus is another option to get here. Golden Gate Transit runs it.
It takes you over the Golden Gate Bridge and stops in downtown Sausalito. It's a great option if you need to arrive before or after the ferries run.
This is another cute waterfront town that is even smaller than Sausalito.
The best way to get here is on the ferry from Fisherman's Wharf. It takes about 30 minutes and drops you off in downtown Tiburon.