Top 10 Day Tours In San Francisco, California - Updated 2022


You can’t say California without immediately thinking of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge or the notorious Alcatraz Prison. San Francisco is not only home to all these gems, but also a place that has a little bit of everything. With something exciting happening on any given day and many timeless attractions to explore, the city is always reinventing itself, without losing its authenticity and originality. Whether it’s on a touristy hop-on hop-off bus or in a fun and colourful GoCar, the ways to explore the city are plentiful. Here are some of our favourite choices when it comes to top day tours in San Francisco, California.

1. Spot iconic landmarks from a double-decker bus (from USD 53.0)

If you enjoy discovering a place’s history, but also like to do it at your own pace, taking your time to immerse yourself deeper into a neighbourhood or just stopping for an Instagram story, this hop-on hop-off tour is the best choice for you. You’ll get to spot the city’s most notorious landmarks, listen to a live guide telling you the history behind each one of them, but also have the flexibility to get off whenever you want to take a break or visit a particular place. After you have toured the attraction, you can get back up on another double-decker and continue your journey through San Francisco.

San Francisco Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour with Premium Option

Duration: 60 to 120 minutes

2671 reviews

2. Explore the city at your own pace in a storytelling car (from USD 92.0)

It is by far one of the most original ways of exploring a city, and anyone who has heard of it or tried it can attest to that. Grab your partner, or go solo; either way put on your helmet, hop on this brightly-coloured storytelling car, and let it take you around the city while telling you all there is to know about its most famous locations. The self-guided tour will lead you to places like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The car can be picked up from any of following two San Francisco locations, either on Beach Street near Fisherman’s Wharf or at Union Square.

San Francisco GoCar GPS-Guided Sightseeing Audio Tour

Duration: 5 hours

601 reviews

3. Experience everything San Francisco has to offer on a grand city tour (from USD 125.0)

Take in all of the city’s most precious gems on this grand tour that will take you from Golden Gate Bridge and North Beach to Union Square and Chinatown. Since it wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the historic prison of Alcatraz, expect to check it out on an audio-guided walking tour. It will take you to Al Capone and the Birdman’s prison cells. Another great thing about this tour is you don’t have to worry about how you’ll get to the many attractions, for it comes with a round-trip ferry ride and free hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour

Duration: 6 hours

2153 reviews

4. See San Francisco’s landmarks all in one day (from USD 179.0)

There’s never enough time to explore every corner of San Francisco and experience everything the city has to offer, but this all-day tour is pretty close. You’ll get to go sightseeing all over the city with a guide, spot landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Muir Woods National Monument, stop for photos, and take a self-guided tour of the Alcatraz Island. Just before the Alcatraz tour, guests can enjoy lunch in Fisherman’s Wharf, but at their own expense. The price of the tour includes transportation and the Alcatraz Island ticket.

The One Day in San Francisco Tour with Alcatraz

Duration: 9 hours

362 reviews

5. Bike around San Francisco’s most buzzing neighborhoods (from USD 99.0)

Another way to explore the depths of San Francisco is on two wheels. Book this tour and enjoy an electric bike tour of the city. Starting from North Beach, the trip will take you closer to the city’s iconic landmarks. On this 20-mile bike tour, travellers will learn more about the history of the place, see the Golden Gate Bridge, explore the Golden Gate Park, and check out the San Francisco Bay, Alamo Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The tour will be limited to groups of up to eight people, to ensure a more personalized experience.

The Original City Loop Electric Bicycle Tour

Duration: 3 hours

85 reviews

6. Visit famous landmarks and go on a brewery tour (from USD 129.0)

visit famous landmarks and go on a brewery tour

This full-day tour is perfect for both history buffs and craft beer aficionados, as it blends a little bit of both worlds. Travellers will get to visit the iconic Alcatraz prison in the morning and unwind on a flavorful walking beer tour in the afternoon. The tour will start with a 15-minute ferry ride that offers spectacular sights of the Golden Gate Bridge and continues to the Alcatraz Island. Here, guests will see the cells where some of the most famed criminals were housed. You’ll hear names like Al Capone and Robert Stroud. The evening continues in a small group, as San Francisco’s beer history unfolds. Guests will get to check out some of the city’s best taprooms and breweries and sample a variety of IPAs, ales, and pilsners.

Alcatraz Ticket and Walking Craft Beer Tour

Duration: 9 hour

69 reviews

7. Hop on a Segway and tour the famed Alcatraz prison (from USD 150.0)

Touring the hills of San Francisco on a Segway can not only be easier on your feet, but this all-day tour will also make sure you cross the main attractions of the city off your list. After exploring North Beach and Lombard Street, you’ll get to catch the ferry to one of the city’s most-sought spots, the famed Alcatraz Prison. Here you’ll learn about the history behind it on a self-guided audio tour. All the required equipment and a quick training session are included in the price of the tour.

San Francisco Hills Segway Tour and Alcatraz Admission

Duration: 6 to 7 hours

8. Visit Alcatraz Island before it gets crowded (from USD 170.0)

There are many ways to visit Alcatraz, but one thing’s for sure – this iconic landmark should be on every traveller’s list. If you want to explore it early in the morning, before most visitors arrive and the island gets crowded, this tour can be an excellent option. Hop on a cable car that will take you to the island, and enjoy epic sights of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts along the way. The tour also includes admission to Alcatraz Island, an audio tour, lunch, mixed refreshments, and a professional guide. All visitors need to do is be at the departure point before 8 am.

Alcatraz Early Access and Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Duration: 7 hours

1039 reviews

9. Soar over the hills of San Francisco on a heli ride (from USD 255.0)

soar over the hills of san francisco on a heli ride

If you want to capture San Francisco’s beauty, taking in the city sights from up above is an excellent choice. Combining air and sea views, on the other hand, is even better. This helicopter tour offers travellers the chance to soar over the city for 15-20 minutes, and then will take them on a ferry to explore the most famous prison in the US. During the visit to Alcatraz, travellers will also get an audio guide to learn more about the history of the place. Guests can choose between three different tour hours, with pickups from either Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, or Nob Hill.

San Francisco Helicopter and Alcatraz Tour

Duration: 1 day

95 reviews

10. Take a premium tour through the hills of San Francisco (from USD 79.0)

take a premium tour through the hills of san francisco

This five-hour tour will take you up close to some of the city’s most popular attractions, and includes a total of nine stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, Alamo Square, Lombard Square, and the Painted Ladies. The trip continues on water, as the participants will take the ferry across the bay to see the waterfront town of Sausalito. The tour starts around 11 am on Columbus Avenue and includes a professional guide who will offer compelling insights about each of the main landmarks spotted along the way.

5-Hour Premium San Francisco City Tour

Explore San Francisco in different ways

There are many ways to explore San Francisco. If you’re looking to get some physical activity in opt for a Segway or a bike tour, or if you are looking to sit back, relax, and snap the city’s most Instagrammable spots we’ve got you covered too. Just make sure you check out our comprehensive list of the top day tours in San Francisco, California, and choose the one for you.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Karina is a content creator based in Bucharest, Romania. A world traveler, obsessed over F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and a coffee addict, she dreams of one day calling Colorado home. Some of her favorite...Read more

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