25 Best San Francisco Tours

Posted on October 5, 2018 |

There are over 300 different companies for San Francisco Tours. Some of these are San Francisco bus tours, others are San Francisco bike tours, and a surprising amount are pretty unique tours in San Francisco.

So, how do you choose the best San Francisco tour with so many options?

Discover San Francisco with the 25 Best San Francisco Tours 🚐💨 Check out our blog for discount codes from San Francisco’s best tour companies: bit.ly/best-sf-tours

Posted by Dylan's Tours on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We’re here to help break down what we consider to be some of the best San Francisco tours around the city.

To help travelers visiting San Francisco better understand what each tour offers we’ll be comparing specific tours.

We’ll also note if these tours stop at some of the must-see locations like: Muir Woods and the 2,000 year old redwoods that grow there, the infamous former prison on Alcatraz Island, the murals of the Mission District, the panoramic views from Twin Peaks, the old hippie hangout Haight-Ashbury, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and the easily overlooked Golden Gate Park on the far western side of the city.

We want you to have all the important info needed to make a decision on what type of tour to do, such as: the type of tour, when it departs, how long the tour is, where the tour begins and ends, as well as all pricing options for each specific San Francisco tour.



Dylan’s Tours: Dylan’s Famous Tour

415-932-6993, info@dylanstours.com

Karl the Fog is no where to be seen — so we hopped onto one of our very own Famous Tours with tour guide Aaron to see just how amazing San Francisco looks when there's is no fog!Book your tour at www.DYLANSTOURS.com and save 10% off Dylan's Famous Tour at check out with discount code KARLISGONE 💰

Posted by Dylan's Tours on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

✔️ Muir Woods

Alcatraz *Combo tour available*

✔️ Mission District

✔️ Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Use promo code BESTOFSF for 10% off this popular San Francisco bus tour


Dylan’s Tours has been leading 100% local San Francisco Bus Tours for over a decade, and this is one of our favorite San Francisco day tours (in fact, it’s one of our favorite Bay Area tours)! 

Their most popular bus tour of San Francisco, Dylan’s Famous Tour, covers the most iconic sites of the SF Bay: Golden Gate Bridge, Haight-Ashbury and the ancient redwood forest at Muir Woods.

You’ll also discover the often overlooked murals of the Mission District, bird’s eye view of the city from Twin Peaks, mansions on Billionaires Row, and lunch across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito.

Learn more here.



San Francisco Excursions:  Ultimate Day in SF

415-760-9681,info@sfexcursions.com

✔️ Muir Woods

✔️ Alcatraz

Mission District

✔️ Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


For those who only have one day in San Francisco, a combination San Francisco bus tour with Alcatraz tickets will be the best way to see as much as possible.

Catching a tour with San Francisco Excursions on their Ultimate Day in SF Tour combines a San Francisco bus tour with a visit to Muir Woods and ends with a ferry ride to Alcatraz Island to explore the former prison.

Learn more here.



Vantigo: San Francisco City Tour

415-123-4567, hello@vantigosf.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz *Combo tour available*

Mission District

✔️ Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


Use promo code “Vwtourtime” for 10% off this unique San Francisco tour


If you’ve already been to Muir Woods and are just interested in a fun San Francisco tour, Vantigo’s San Francisco City Tour explores must-see San Francisco destinations in beautifully restored vintage VW vans.

That’s right, VW bus tours of San Francisco are a thing!

San Francisco bans tour buses that seat eight or more people from some of the most iconic sites in San Francisco, like the “Full House” House in Alamo Square.

These vintage VW vans seat a maximum of seven, which means they can actually go to more places than your typical San Francisco bus tour!

Learn more here.

If you’re a fan of craft beer (because there’s a whole lot of good brews in SF), we’d also recommend you checking out their San Francisco City Brew Tour, which you can find here.



Boutique Traveler, Golden Gate Park & Haight-Ashbury Private Walking Tour

415-548-0526, Contact Form

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


Use promo code DT10 for 10% off Boutique Traveler San Francisco tours


If you’re looking for good San Francisco walking tours, look no further than Boutique Traveler.

San Francisco private tours are always a good idea to really see the city at your own pace, especially if that tour comes with a photographer! 

Catching a San Francisco walking tour with Boutique Traveler means your tour comes with professionally edited photos captured on your tour.

This unique private tour of San Francisco tour begins in Golden Gate Park and leads you through the infamous hippie hangout, the Haight-Ashbury.

After the tour, your guide-ographer will send you 10 edited photos from your private walking tour in SF!

Learn more here.

We also highly recommend their private San Francisco walking tour of the Castro & the Mission, if you enjoyed their Golden Gate Park and Haight-Ashbury tour. You can find it here.



City Running Tours: 3mi/5km Golden Gate Bridge Run

877-415-0058 x15, coleman@cityrunningtours.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


If San Francisco bus tours seem too traditional, you might want to consider a San Francisco running tour.

City Running Tours offers tons of different runs through San Francisco, but their Golden Gate Bridge Run begins in the heart of the massive National Park home to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio of San Francisco.

Catch an early morning run along San Francisco’s waterfront on this intimate small group tour.

Learn more here!



SF Adventure Tours: “Fogcutter” Urban Adventure

415-323-6180, Contact Form

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

✔️ Mission District

✔️ Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


Use promo code 8Y9SR1IY for 15% off this 4 hour San Francisco city tour


SF Adventures Tours do not offer your typical San Francisco bus tour, mainly, because there isn’t really a bus involved.

Instead, on one of the more unique tours in San Francisco, you’ll discover the city in a pick-up truck converted into an open air adventure vehicle!

This four-hour tour takes you off-the-beaten-path to discover the hidden gems of San Francisco and so many of the must-see locations for a really comprehensive San Francisco city tour.

Learn more here!



SF Native Tours: Revolutions & Local Beer Tour

415-797-7368, contact@sfnativetours.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Ever since the Gold Rush, San Francisco has been a city of transplants, which makes San Francisco natives a lot like unicorns — something spotted so rarely they’ve become mythical.

This makes SF Native Tours pretty special, because all tours are designed and run by locals. So, if you’re looking for tours by locals in San Francisco, SF Native is a good tour company option. 

Discover the wild histories of the Summer of Love and LGBT movements that have helped shape the San Francisco of today — with a few pints along the way.

Learn more here!

And, don’t forget to check out their Original SF Native Tour as well!



Avital Tours: Mission District Food Tour

(415) 355-4044, info@avitaltours.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

✔️ Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Explore San Francisco’s Mission District on a culinary experience with Avital Tours.

Passionate storytellers share the history of Mission District murals and lead tastings to discover the story behind the food at local restaurants in the Mission.

Enjoy four tasting stops in three hours and be sure to upgrade to the drink pairings for a fun way to sample a couple of craft cocktails or beers on this San Francisco food tour.

Learn more here.

Avital also offers a great North Beach Culinary experience that combines Italian foodie finds with a San Francisco wine tour. You can find it here.



Painted Ladies Tour Company: San Francisco City Tour

415-843-1217, Contact Form

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

✔️ Mission District

✔️ Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


If you’re looking for stylish bus tours from San Francisco, look no further than the Painted Ladies Tour Company.

Tour San Francisco is a VW van with Painted Ladies Tour Company on their three hour San Francisco City Tour.

This fun San Francisco tour is known around town as “colorful vans with eyelashes”. That’s right, these vehicles are pretty loved everywhere they go because of the iconic eyelashes on the headlights.

Since these vans are smaller, they can go to places other San Francisco bus tours are banned from. Places like the iconic Crooked Street and Alamo Square — home to the “Full House” House!

Learn more here.



Bay Voyager: Touch of Gold Excursion

510-612-1251, Contact Form

View this post on Instagram

Bay Voyager is happy to announce the opening of our new location at Pier 39 in San Francisco! The range of tours offered by Bay Voyager include viewing historic ships, visiting former mooring sites of abandoned gold rush ships, and experiencing active estuaries populated by cargo ships and tug boats. You’ll see the San Francisco waterfront, cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz, Under the Bay Bridge to the Port of Oakland, past AT&T Park (Home to the San Francisco Giants) and Back to Pier 39. While Bay Voyager does have specific routes, deviation is an integral part of the experience, making each adventure an engaging and exhilarating encounter.According to owner and captain, Charles Jennings, “we feel there is a need to provide more intimate and individualized tours that travel closer and give more in depth guided tours. By being in a small and agile vessel, guests can have an up close and personal adventure while traveling to all corners of the always-fascinating bay.”#traveling #travelgram #travellover #travelcalifornia #explore #explorecalifornia #instagramcalifornia #lonelyplanet #atlas #atlasglobal #world #worldatlas #visit #visitcalifornia #lovelife #lifestyle #visitlosangeles #discovery #discoverycalifornia #lover #instagram #fun #bar #room

A post shared by World Atlas (@world.atlass) on

Muir Woods

✔️ Alcatraz (view from water)

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

✔️Golden Gate Bridge (view from water)

Golden Gate Park


Some of the best views of San Francisco are from the waters of the San Francisco Bay, and we’re confident in saying that this is one of the best San Francisco bay tours. 

Hop aboard Bay Voyager at historic Pier 39 for a San Francisco Bay boat tour on their Touch of Gold Excursion.

This rigid inflatable boat offers some unbeatable views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge making for a truly unique San Francisco boat tour.

Learn more here.



Dandy Horse San Francisco Bike Tours & Rental: SF Food & Mural Art Bike Tour

415-890-2453, Contact Form

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

✔️ Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Trying to choose between a San Francisco bike tour and a San Francisco food tour? You might want consider Dandy Horse’s SF Food & Mural Art Bike Tour through the Mission District.

This neighborhood has always been known for good food and even better street art. With Dandy Horse you’ll be able to explore both like a local — by bike.

Learn more here.



Segway Electric Tour Company: Official Golden Gate Park Segway Tour

415-474-3130, info@electrictourcompany.com

View this post on Instagram

Waterfalls in San Francisco !! Yes this waterfall and many other hidden gems can be found on our Golden Gate Park segway tour. It's a beautiful day in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Tick off an item on your #bucketlist and book a private segway tour with us. Perfect for your group of 2 to 8 guests to explore the park with your own personal tour guide. We are number one in TripAdvisor for a reason- find out today! . . #sfsegway #segwaytour #sanfrancisco #sanfranciscosegwaytours #sanfranciscosegway #segwaytour #segways #seglife #numberoneontripadvisor #sanfranciscotourism #segwaytour #numberoneontripadvisor #goldengatepark #ggpark #tourguide #privatetour #japaneseteagarden #alwayssf #summeroflove #summeroflove50 #visitcalifornia

A post shared by San Francisco Segway Tours (@sanfranciscosegway) on

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


Use promo code “Dylan10off” for 10% off Public Segway & Electric Scooter Tours


Golden Gate Park is massive. It’s about 20% larger than Central Park in NYC and is the largest city owned park in America.

The park is over 4 miles/6.5 kilometers long and covers over 1,000 acres/400 hectares of former sand dunes that lead to the Pacific Ocean.

One of the best ways to discover all the hidden gems of Golden Gate Park is on one of the private Segway tours of san francisco – the Official Golden Gate Park Segway Tour with TripAdvisor’s top rated Segway Electric Tour Company.

In less than three hours you’ll explore parts of Golden Gate Park some locals haven’t even explored before. In our opinion, this is the best Segway tour of San Francisco.

If you want to explore on your own, there’s always the option of booking a San Francisco Segway rental here. Golden Gate Park Segway rentals are a great way to explore the park on your own terms if you’re a more independent traveler.

And if Golden Gate Park isn’t enough and you’re not Segway’d out, a fun way to experience the Golden Gate Bridge is to go on Segway Electric Tour Company’s Golden Gate Bridge Segway tour. You can find it here.



Extranomical Tours: Muir Woods Expedition PM

1-866-231-3752, reservations@extranomical.com

✔️ Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


This is the best Muir Woods tour for anyone looking to spend as much time as possible in the redwood forest!

The Muir Woods PM Expedition from Extranomical Tours is less of a San Francisco bus tour and more of a Muir Woods shuttle.

The only stop outside of the forest is for photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, which means you get nearly two hours to explore the 2,000 year old redwoods of Muir Woods!

Afterwards you’re given the option to end your tour in Sausalito (where you can eat and then catch the Sausalito ferry to San Francisco) or to be dropped off at a hotel in Downtown San Francisco.

Learn more here.


San Francisco by Gilles: Summer of Love & Haight-Ashbury

415-509-4850, contact@sanfranciscobygilles.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Trying to find a guided tour in San Francisco with a non-English speaking guide can be a challenge.

For our French speaking travelers to San Francisco, you’ll want to say bonjour to the French speaking walking tours led by San Francisco by Gilles.

Gilles takes you off-the-beaten-path in one of the city’s most infamous neighborhoods, the Haight-Ashbury, made famous by the Summer of Love in 1967.

Learn more here.


Foodie Adventures: Mission Food Tour

888-498-2008, tickets@foodieadventures.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

✔️ Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Discover the neighborhood that helped put San Francisco on the map as a global food destination — the Mission District.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at some of the Mission’s most iconic Latin taquerias as you meet with restaurant owners around the neighborhood on this San Francisco food tour.

Learn more here!



Wild SF Tours: Free Love Tour

415-580-1849, info@wildsftours.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Free San Francisco guided tours exist? Hell yes!

The Haight-Ashbury is an iconic San Francisco neighborhood famed for its wild musical history during the Summer of Love in 1967.

Discover this quintessential eccentric San Francisco neighborhood with one of the equally unique love tours San Francisco led by local guides equipped with guitars.

This free walking tour of the Haight-Ashbury is a great way to intimately explore this iconic neighborhood. Wild SF Walking Tours has a slew of unique San Francisco tours from ghost tours, food tours and LGBTQ+ tours at modest prices.

Book your spot on the FREE tour here.

And if you love their free tour and you’re a foodie, we’d definitely recommend going on their North Beach and San Francisco Chinatown tour. You won’t be disappointed. You can find it here!

Or if you’re in the mood for a creepy San Francisco night tour, you can’t miss their Ghost Tour of the city. Find it here.



Great Pacific Tours: San Francisco City Tour

415-626-4499, info@greatpacifictour.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

✔️ Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


Enjoy the perks of complimentary hotel pick-up and drop-off with this small family-run tour company.

See the stunning view from Twin Peaks and other iconic SF sites likes the Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Bridge, on this short San Francisco bus tour with Great Pacific Tours.

Learn more here.



Golden Horizons: San Francisco, Muir Woods, and Sausalito Custom Tour

800-210-3008, Contact Form

✔️ Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

✔️ Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


San Francisco tour companies (or rather their large buses) are banned from a lot of famous San Francisco locations – the Crooked Street and the “Full House” House to name a few!

But, if you’re in an SUV on a San Francisco private tour — the entire city it open to you. FYI the bigger your group, the more affordable these private tours with Golden Horizon become.

Learn more here.



Cruisin the Castro Walking Tour: Historical LGBTQ Tour

415-550-8110, kathy@cruisinthecastro.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Use promo code DYLAN for 10% off this historical San Francisco walking tour


Cruisin the Castro has been leading cultural and historical walking tours of the Castro District 1989!

Learn about the first openly gay politician (EVER) and how the Castro became known as the “Gay Mecca”. Discover LGBTQ and civil rights history — both in the city and across the globe.

This affordable San Francisco walking tour offers an intimate and approachable introduction to San Francisco’s infamous gayborhood, the Castro District.

This is one of those San Francisco guided tours that we would definitely recommend in order to learn more about the layered history of the neighborhood. 

Learn more here.



Tower Tours: Muir Woods Tour to California’s Redwoods

415-345-8687, reservations@towertours.com

✔️ Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Enjoy up to an hour and half of exploring the 2,000 year old redwood trees at Muir Woods with Tower Tours.

If you’re looking for a Muir Woods shuttle from San Francisco this will be perfect since Tower Tours offers downtown San Francsico hotel pick-ups and drop-offs — in addition to their headquarters in Fisherman’s Wharf.

There won’t be much in terms of a San Francisco city tour, but this is one of the easiest ways of getting to Muir Woods without a car!

Learn more here.



San Francisco Shuttle Tours: Premium City Tour

415-123-4567, Contact Form

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge:

Golden Gate Park


San Francisco Shuttle Tours offers a pretty unique combo tour that is part San Francisco walking tour with guided walks through Chinatown and The Crooked Street.

This is also part San Francisco bus tour because they offer stops at Grace Cathedral, the Cable Car Museum and driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, and part bay cruise since your tour includes a ferry across the bay from Sausalito to San Francisco!

Learn more here.



Dylan’s Tours: City Loop Electric Bike Tour

415-932-6993, info@dylanstours.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


Use promo code BESTOFSF for 10% off this popular San Francisco bike tour


Zip up San Francisco’s infamously steep hills on electric bikes with Dylan’s Tours on their 30 mile/32 kilometer Original City Loop E-Bike Tour.

Literally go off-the-beaten-path to discover parts of San Francisco tour buses are banned from!

Bike along the waterfront on this San Francisco bike tour to see the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean where you’ll find the ruins of Sutro Bath and all 4 miles/6.5 kilometers of Golden Gate Park to enjoy lunch in the Haight-Ashbury before stopping for photos at the “Full House” House.

Learn more here.



Dylan’s Tours: Bike the Bridge & Shuttle to Muir Woods

415-932-6993, info@dylanstours.com

✔️ Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

✔️ Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Use promo code BESTOFSF for 10% off this popular San Francisco tour


There might be a lot of tour companies offering San Francisco bike rentals to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, but there’s only one San Francisco tour company who lets you drop off bike rentals in Sausalito and then catch a private Muir Woods shuttle.

Dylan’s Tours Bike the Bridge and Shuttle to Muir Woods is the only combo tour of its kind: bike rental from SF to Sausalito and private shuttle to Muir Woods with drop-off in San Francisco!

Learn more here.



Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine:

(415) 644-8513, emperornortontour@gmail.com

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park


Use promo code “Dylan” for 20% off this unique San Francisco tour


Shortly after the Gold Rush one San Francisco resident, Joshua Abraham Norton, declared he was Emperor Norton I: Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.

How did this early city react? Naturally, we plasted the news all over the front page of our newspapers.

When Emperor Norton issued his own currency, we accepted it. When Emperor Norton made proclamations that anyone referring to San Francisco as “Frisco” should be fined and jailed, we supported it. (Yes, the whole “don’t call it Frisco” debate goes back to the Gold Rush!).

Don’t believe us? Just take a San Francisco walking tour with the time traveling Emperor yourself! 

This is a great option if you’re looking for a unique San Francisco half day tour. Learn more here.


Magic Bus, The Magic Bus Experience

855-969-6244, Contact Form

Muir Woods

Alcatraz

Mission District

Twin Peaks

✔️ Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

✔️ Golden Gate Park


Would you be surprised to learn that San Francisco has not one time traveling tour company — but TWO?

The Magic Bus Experience is, arguably, one of the most underrated tours of San Francisco.

The creator of the Magic Bus, Chris Hardman, is the same person behind the iconic Alcatraz audio tour!

Join this bubble powered time traveling tour bus for a truly immersive and unique San Francisco tour complete with trippy projections and some of the best music from the Summer of Love.

Learn more here!



There you have it, our favorite San Francisco tours! Did we miss any favorite tours of yours?

After being in the San Francisco tourism industry for decades, we feel confident with these recommendations to make the most out of your time in the city, no matter how much time you have here!

And don’t forget your San Francisco Tourist Pass to check off more attractions before or after your San Francisco tours!  


You Might Also Like 

What to Do if Alcatraz Tickets are Sold Out

The 10 Best Alcatraz Tours

Bus vs Minibus: Battle of the San Francisco City Tours

San Francisco Local Traveler Guide!

Submit your email to get our local experts' recommendations

Sign Up

Read More From Blog

How to Get from San Francisco to Carmel

Posted on February 15, 2019

A Guide to San Francisco Boat Tours

Posted on February 6, 2019