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Learn how to get from SFO to San Francisco! If you’re planning a trip to SF, you’ll want to know about these three ways to get from the airport to the city center.

Did you know that San Francisco International Airport (SFO) isn’t actually in San Francisco? It’s located a bit south of downtown, just outside the city limits.

Are you planning to touch down at this airport before heading to the city? If so, you’ll want to line up some transportation from SFO to San Francisco!

As one of the largest and busiest international airports in the US, getting around here can be challenging at the best of times. It’s best to plan ahead, so you can travel efficiently and get to your destination on time.

This airport is popular with locals and tourists alike. So thankfully, there are several forms of reliable public transportation available.

If you’re on the hunt for the best ways to get from San Francisco Airport to San Francisco, keep reading! We’ve outlined our three favorite ways to get to downtown.

SFO to San Francisco

How to Get from SFO International Airport to Downtown San Francisco

Ride Share or Taxi

Did you know that both Uber and Lyft are headquartered in San Francisco?

This means that ride-sharing is very popular here! So, you can be sure to find a driver who will take you where you need to go at almost any time of day or night. Yellow taxis are also pretty common. You can reserve a cab ahead of time, or hail one at the airport.

While you’ll pay more for a taxi or ride-sharing services, this is the best way to go if you don’t want to share the drive with other travelers. You’ll enjoy a clean, private and quiet ride to San Francisco from SFO.

SFO Shuttle Service

You can also use an SFO shuttle service, like the Super Shuttle or American Airporter. We recommend booking ahead for this option. Most San Francisco airport shuttle services allow you to choose between a shared ride or private vehicle, and prices vary depending on your choice. This is a reasonably efficient and budget-friendly way to get from SFO to SF downtown!

BART

Our final, and favorite, option for how to get from the airport to the city is the Bay Area Rapid Transit, aka BART. If you want to travel like a local, save some money, and arrive at your destination quickly, this is the best option for you. It’s by far the cheapest way to get to San Francisco from SFO! Nothing beats the BART system for efficient and budget-friendly transportation between the airport and city center.

Still not convinced to travel via BART? Watch this video to get an idea of just how easy it is to take BART to San Francisco from the San Francisco Airport!

Using BART

If you plan to use BART to cover the distance from SFO to San Francisco, we recommend purchasing your tickets ahead of time. You can get your tickets for the BART transfer here

The BART station in SFO is located in the international terminal. Look for United Terminals 1&3, and the BART station is just a short walk away. There are also signs throughout the airport to direct you to the station. The AirTrain is always a good option for quick transportation between the domestic and international terminals as well.

Once you have your tickets and are at the BART station, simply hop on the yellow San Francisco line. It will make stops at the Embarcadero, Powell Street, the Civic Center, and the Mission district. You’ll be at your destination in no time!

Are you wondering how far is SFO from San Francisco? The airport is about 13.6 miles south of downtown. So, whether you travel by ride-share, shuttle, or BART, your trip won’t take long.

how far is SFO from San Francisco

San Francisco Tours

There’s so much to see and do in San Francisco! So, a guided tour is essential for your stay in the city. Whether you’re here for a quick trip or an extended visit, we think these tour options will make your stay here spectacular.

Dylan’s Famous Tour

If it’s your first time in this city, taking a comprehensive guided tour is a fantastic way to get your bearings. We offer a wide selection of tours, including classic minibus tours, exciting E-bike city loops, and unique tuk tuk experiences. We have a tour for almost every taste!

On all of our tours, you’ll see the city’s most iconic sights and neighborhoods. Several of our routes make stops in Sausalito and Muir Woods, and one of our tours even includes tickets to Alcatraz Prison.

The best part about our tours is that each and every one of them is led by a local guide. You’ll get to learn about the city’s history, culture, and architecture from someone who truly knows it. Plus, your guide will also give you some great restaurant recommendations! 

Trying to decide between booking a tour at the beginning or end of your trip? Our tip is to take one of our tours on your first day here. It’ll help you make the most of the rest of your time in the city!

You can book our favorite San Francisco city tour here!

Book our Famous San Francisco Tour

Brewery or Eatery Tour

Looking to try some amazing food and drink on your visit to SF? The eateries and breweries of San Francisco have been thriving in recent years. A tour is a great way to sample the best of the best! We offer a selection of fun food and drink tours. 

All you have to do is choose between a breakfast, lunch, and afternoon brewery tour. We’ll take care of the rest! One of our local guides will drive you around to our favorite eateries or breweries in the city, telling you all about their history and unique attributes along the way. 

You’ll get to sample plenty of local favorites as you go, so this is one tour you definitely won’t come away from feeling hungry!

While you’re cruising about between stops, your tour guide will tell you all about the historical sights that make San Francisco one of the most unique cities in the US. Your guide will also give you some great restaurant recommendations to try out during the rest of your time in the city.

What makes our brewery tour really unique? Instead of a minibus, you’ll be shuttled around in an open air E-tuk! These eco-friendly vehicles carry up to six people and make every moment of the ride unique and fun.

You can check out our food and drink tour here!

Book a Brewery or Eatery Tour

best way to get from San Francisco airport to San Francisco
National Parks

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some incredible National Parks. Our two favorites are Muir Woods and Alcatraz Prison Island, which is why they are both highlights on our Famous Full Day Tour. 

Muir Woods

If you need a bit of peace and tranquility after the bustle of the city, Muir Woods National Monument is definitely the place for you!

What makes Muir woods so unique? This forest is populated by coastal redwoods. Known for their immense height and fragrant red bark, these trees only grow on the Northern Pacific Coast between the Monterey Bay and Southern Oregon. So, visitors to the west coast won’t want to miss out on seeing these ancient wonders!

There are several things to do in the redwood grove. You can wander through the relatively flat boardwalk paths of the valley floor, or follow some steeper trails that climb to the mountain crest. There’s also a cafe that boasts a menu of delicious local favorites! We’re sure you’ll enjoy spending some time with these magnificent trees.

Several of our tours make stops in this majestic park. You can book one of our Muir Woods tours to reserve entrance into the park. Since Muir Woods is located about an hour north of the city, a tour is also an easy way to get to and from the park!

Alcatraz

Did you know that Alcatraz Prison is one of the country’s most popular national parks to visit? 

Located on a small, rocky island in the San Francisco Bay, this vacant prison is a fascinating sight. After taking a ferry across the bay, you can follow a self-guided or docent-led tour of the island and prison. Be prepared to learn some enthralling facts about US history!

As Alcatraz prison is so popular, tickets do sell out quickly. We recommend purchasing your ferry tickets well in advance from Alcatraz Cruises, or booking a place on our Famous Tour with Muir Woods and Alcatraz to reserve a spot on the island.


Ready to see Muir Woods and Alcatraz? We are the only company in the Bay Area offering a tour that includes both of these in one day!

Book our SF, Muir Woods, and Alcatraz Tour


Need more inspiration for your upcoming trip to San Francisco? Check out our related blog posts below!

What to do if Alcatraz Tickets are Sold Out

Best Muir Woods Tours

Best ways to get to Napa from San Francisco