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San Francisco hop on hop off tours offer a unique way of exploring the city.

Check out who we think offers the best city tour in San Francisco.

Ready to explore San Francisco? As a city with so many different neighborhoods, many people want to take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to see them all.

With the hop-on hop-off bus tour you have the flexibility of seeing everything in the city at your own pace! We have experienced all of the top hop on hop off tours here in San Francisco so keep reading to learn which are the best!

Why a hop-on hop-off tour?

Many San Francisco hop on hop off tours are led in open-air vehicles. The clear views make for some great photo opportunities — especially if you’re high up on a San Francisco double-decker bus tour!

Not only are there amazing photo stops during these San Francisco hop on hop off tours, but you can get some great combo deals that include San Francisco trolley tickets, Alcatraz tickets, and San Francisco night tours.

Why not a hop-on hop-off tour?

We here at Dylan’s Tours offer standard minibus tours of San Francisco, as we believe that this is the best way to see the city! With a normal and smaller tour company, like Dylan’s Tours, you are going to get exclusive insights from real and local tour guides. This is something hop-on hop-off bus tours simply can not provide. So, if you want to explore the city with real and local tour guides and at the same time getting the exclusive insights, a hop-on hop-off bus tour is not your best choice.

Also generally speaking smaller tours are rated higher in customer satisfaction than hop-on hop-off bus tours!

This doesn’t mean we think all hop-on hop-off San Francisco tours should be avoided! Keep reading to discover our top choices for San Francisco hop-on hop-off tours, and even some fun 100% local alternatives! Our guide to the Best San Francisco Tours reviews the best other tours available in the city, so be sure to check it!

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The Best San Francisco Hop on Hop off Tours


#1 Gray Line Tours San Francisco

Details:

  • TripAdvisor San Francisco Hop on Hop Off Tours: 4 Stars
  • Dylan’s Pick for their Best City Tour San Francisco: San Francisco City Tour & Bay Cruise
  • Price for this San Francisco hop on hop off tour: $87 for adults, $55 for children (5-11)

Gray Line is one of the most recognizable names in the tour industry. Over the past century, Gray Line Tours has expanded to over 700 locations across the globe.

Gray Line Tours San Francisco has one of the most comprehensive collections of combo San Francisco city tours.

With this iconic San Francisco hop on hop off tour company, you can find a combo package with everything from Alcatraz tickets to San Francisco boat tours.

Hop on hop off San Francisco map for Gray Line San Francisco City Tour

See the stops for one of the best San Francisco hop on hop off tours

Gray Line’s San Francisco City Tour stops at iconic sites around the city.

Gray Line San Francisco uses big buses for Muir Woods tours and Wine Country tours. But in the city, you’ll spot Gray Line’s San Francisco trolley tours!

Cover all the classic fun things to do in San Francisco, including neighborhoods San Francisco hop on hop off tours usually overlook, like the Sutro Bath Ruins at Lands End.

 

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Enjoy the perks of hopping off at Golden Gate Park, another one of the best things to do in San Francisco, to explore the Japanese Tea Garden. Or, if the sky is clear, head to the top floor of the de Young Museum Observation Tower!

After your city tour through San Francisco, enjoy an hour-long cruise around the bay on a San Francisco boat tour. From the water, you’ll have unbeatable views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.


#2 Tower Tours San Francisco

Best San Francisco Boat Tours

With Tower Tours, your San Francisco city tour can be combined with a San Francisco boat tour!

Details:

Tower Tours is the most local company of all the big San Francisco bus tour companies.

During the busy summer months, Tower Tours can be a great resource for how to get sold out tickets to Alcatraz because of their many Alcatraz tours options

Tower Tours San Francisco hop on hop off tours conveniently departs from the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. Easily within walking distance to the best hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco.

Hop on Hop off San Francisco Map for Tower Tours San Francisco Grand City Tour with Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Best San Francisco Hop on Hop off Tours

See all the places your San Francisco hop on hop off tour with Tower Tours will take you.

Not many San Francisco hop-on hop-off tours drive up the steep hills to see the views from Twin Peaks, but Tower Tours San Francisco does!

With Tower Tours you will stop for photos at the Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge and the City Hall.

Afterward, head into the bay on a San Francisco boat tour with Red and White Fleet. Even if you can’t get ahold of sold-out Alcatraz tickets, you can at least enjoy a unique view of Alcatraz Island from the San Francisco Bay!


#3 City Sightseeing San Francisco

Details:

City Sightseeing launched over 20 years ago in Seville Spain and has since grown to over 200 locations.

With City Sightseeing San Francisco you can get some incredible photos from the top of their San Francisco double-decker bus tours.

Something many travelers don’t realize about San Francisco hop on hop off tours is that no windows make for some amazing pictures!

Hop-on hop-off San Francisco map for City Sightseeing San Francisco

Best San Francisco Hop on Hop off Tours

Red Route – The Official City Tour – Available on 1 Day , 1 Day PLUS and 2 Day Ticket Green Route – The Sausalito Tour – Available on 1 Day PLUS, 2 Day Ticket Blue Route – Night Tour – Available on 2 Day Ticket City Sightseeing offers one of the most comprehensive San Francisco shuttle tours.

Get a comprehensive two day San Francisco sightseeing pass with City Sightseeing San Francisco.

With this San Francisco hop on hop off tour, you’ll actually be joining one of the San Francisco comprehensive shuttle tours that covers more ground than any other of the big bus companies.

As you can see in the map, three different lines run for this San Francisco sightseeing bus: their Official City Tour, the Sausalito Tour, and their most popular San Francisco night tour.

Which makes this one tour with the most hop on hop off San Francisco stops!

#4 Hornblower Classic Cable Cars

 

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After a brief hiatus from Instagram and the search for our password…we’re back! This is one of our favorite views of the Golden Gate Bridge, just north at H. Dana Bowers Memorial Vista Point ?

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Details:

San Francisco trolley tours are one way to travel around the city like a celebrity.

Hornblower Classic Cable Car Tours are legendary in San Francisco since they actually look like our iconic cable cars cruising around town.

In fact, these San Francisco hop on hop off trolleys are actually San Francisco cable cars from the 1800s and 1900s!

Back in 1958, Arnold Gridley walked away from a San Francisco auction with authentic cable cars from the California Street line.

Gridley modified these cable cars into motorized vehicles and launched Cable Car Charters. The first of its kind.

For nearly 50 years the Gridley family maintained Cable Car Charters until shortly after Arnold Gridley’s passing in the early 2000s.

Hop on Hop off San Francisco Map for Big Bus Deluxe San Francisco Tour

Best San Francisco Hop on Hop off TOurs

See the city in style with San Francisco trolley tours!

Even though the San Francisco hop-on hop-off tours with Hornblower Classic Cable Cars are normally used for private charter events, there are public San Francisco trolley tours departing daily from Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square!

San Francisco excursions with Classic Cable Cars skirt around San Francisco’s tour bus ban by incorporating San Francisco walking tour segments into their tours.

This means you’ll be able to hike into Alamo Square Park for photos of the most famous Victorian homes in San Francisco — The Painted Ladies.


#5 Big Bus San Francisco

Details:

  • TripAdvisor San Francisco Hop on Hop Off Tours: 4 Stars
  • Dylan’s Pick for their Best City Tour San Francisco: San Francisco Tour Hop On Hop Off Tours
  • Price for this San Francisco hop on hop off tour: $66.30 for adults, $57.80 for children (3-12)

Big Bus Tours started leading sightseeing tours in London in 1991.

These days, Big Bus San Francisco is about as iconic of a San Francisco hop on hop off tour as it gets.

This San Francisco double-decker bus tour offers unique photo opportunities from the top an open-air vehicle.

Hop on hop off San Francisco map for Big Bus Deluxe San Francisco Tour

Best San Francisco Hop on Hop off Tours

Cover most of the city on a Big Bus San Francisco Tour.

The very first stop of the hop-on hop-off Big Bus Tour deluxe ticket is within walking distance to some of the best hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco.

Hop-on hop-off San Francisco style has never been easier with Big Bus San Francisco and their three different tour lines.

Create the perfect San Francisco 1 day itinerary with this San Francisco hop-on hop-off tour by combining their Red Line San Francisco Day Tour with their bus from San Francisco to Sausalito Green Line.

The highlight of this San Francisco deluxe sightseeing pass is the Big Bus San Francisco night tour which goes across the Bay Bridge for photos of the city from Treasure Island!


#6 Bonus Alternative: Dylan’s Famous Tour

Dylan's Famous Tour is an great way to avoid hop on hop off tours

Details:

  • TripAdvisor San Francisco Hop on Hop Off Tours: 5 Stars
  • Price for this San Francisco hop on hop off tour: $99 for adults, $69 for children (0-11)

Not convinced San Francisco hop-on hop-off tours are for you? We get it.  As we mentioned above, hop-on hop-off tours are great for a casual tourist, but what if you want more?

This is where Dylan’s Tours come in.

As one of the top-rated tour companies in San Francisco, we offer small group tours to the hot spots in San Francisco all led but a 100% local guide.

This means that when we make stops during the tour our guide comes with you to give you the history and background of the place and answers on any of your questions that you might have.

We also offer a small group setting of fewer than 30 people so you feel like you are part of the tour itself!

Check out our Dylan’s Famous tour here.


Still looking at other tour options?

If you haven’t found where to stay in San Francisco, be sure to check out our guide to the Best Hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco. No need to TripAdvisor Best Hotels in San Francisco when your local friends in the city have already found pet friendly hotels, family-friendly hotels and more importantly the only hotels with a pool in Fisherman’s Wharf!

Once you’re in town, use our Guide to Beer Tasting San Francisco for help with discovering the best San Francisco breweries and beer halls. We’ve got you covered with San Francisco breweries and Bay Area beer halls pouring the best Northern California breweries?

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