San Francisco
Architecture Tours

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Our most recommended San Francisco Architecture Tours

San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

1. San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

See both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on a single boat tour with personal headphone audio included. Explore San Francisco's famous landmarks, history, natural history, architecture, and Native American culture on board this unique bay cruise. During the 90-minute round trip cruise you'll depart from Fisherman's Wharf, one of the city's busiest tourist attractions. From there, sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate is one of the world's most famous and beautiful bridges, and was at one point the largest suspension bridge in the world. Cruise past Alcatraz Island, once home of one of the world's most infamous prisons, and take the chance to enjoy the stunning San Francisco waterfront. The boat will pass along the harbor before heading under the colossal San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Then it's time to head back to the charming city of San Francisco by the sea.

San Francisco: Evening Ghost Tour

2. San Francisco: Evening Ghost Tour

Set off on a San Francisco ghost tour through 8-12 different sites around the downtown area. Meet your experienced tour guide at Union Square and embark on a one-hour tour through the Nob Hill area. Perfect for first-time visitors and locals alike, this tour is great way to see the amazing sites of the affluent neighborhoods while getting a feel for the city's ghostly atmosphere.  See a side of the city seldom witnessed. Take a walk past by haunted hotels, streets, clubs, and office buildings. Learn about the ancient Mayan secrets of the Sutter buildings, the famous tragedies that haunt The Westin St. Francis, and the devastation and heartbreak that followed the great earthquake of 1906, which has literally and figuratively haunted the city for over a century. Find out about the terrible night that lead to Fatty Arbuckle's blacklisting from the film industry. After the gold rush of 1849, San Francisco became a beacon of hope and prosperity, but not everyone can strike gold, and inevitably, many people seeking fame and fortune found tragedy instead; their stories are likely to disturb and frighten you. These events throughout history continue to have an impact on the area, and the accounts you'll hear on this tour reveal that these hills have just as much horror as happiness.

1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

3. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

The Official city tour begins in Fisherman's Wharf heading towards the ferry building, then downtown Union Square. Go on a shopping spree with the top brands in the world and take lots of pictures with the heart of San Francisco. The tour will then continue to the Civic Center which houses the City Hall, Opera House and Symphony Hall. Moving on, you will be at Alamo Square with the world famous attraction 'painted ladies' (Victorian houses) and taken back in time to 'Summer of Love' at Haight & Ashbury. Next stop will be Golden Gate Park which holds the California Academy of Sciences, De-Young Museum, Japanese Tea Gardens, Conservatory of flowers and many more attractions. From here, you will be taken to the most iconic attraction of San Francisco, The Golden Gate bridge. Don't forget your cameras to capture the great views of the bridge, Alcatraz Island and the Bay. On the way back to downtown, you will pass The Palace of Fine Arts. Continuing through Van Ness Ave, down to Chinatown with lots of restaurants and souvenir gift shops, bustling cultural shops and the famous Chinatown Gates. At the end of your tour, you will return to the Fisherman's Wharf area with Pier 39, San Francisco Dungeons, Aquarium of the Bay, Madame Tussauds, etc.

San Francisco: 6-Hour City and Muir Woods Tour

4. San Francisco: 6-Hour City and Muir Woods Tour

Meet the tour operator outside Fisherman’s Wharf. After a brief roll call board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 6 hours you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity, and geography of the area. Exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration of the area.  Stops include San Francisco's famous China Town and Little Italy. There will be several amazing photo opportunities including two stops to view the Golden Gate Bridge. Other areas of interest include Tenderloin, a neighborhood central to the local art scene, and Haight Ashbury the birthplace of the "Summer of Love." You will also spend over an hour in the majestic Muir Woods Redwood National Park admiring the redwoods. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to enjoy lunch in the Mediterranean atmosphere of the Sausalito waterfront. 

Golden Gate Bridge: 3-Hour Sausalito Cycle Tour

5. Golden Gate Bridge: 3-Hour Sausalito Cycle Tour

Enjoy this 3-hour guided tour that departs from Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll be outfitted with a current model bike, front handlebar bag, lock, helmet, rear gear rack, and takeaway map, and then be ready to head out on tour! With your guide you’ll follow the San Francisco waterfront past Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, the Marina, and the Presidio, through Crissy Field and to Fort Point. You’ll cross the Golden Gate Bridge on a wide bike path, and then proceed to Vista Point and on to Old Fort Baker. The cycling tour comes to an end in Sausalito where you’ll have time to enjoy the shops, the many art galleries, and the delicious food. You can return to San Francisco right after the tour ends, with the ferry, at your own cost, or choose to bike back. Alternatively, you can keep the bike until the shop’s closing hours and enjoy additional time exploring this fascinating area on your own. Note that the tour follows bike paths and the riding is mostly on flat terrain.

San Francisco: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Ferry & Alcatraz Tour

6. San Francisco: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Ferry & Alcatraz Tour

Get a huge amount of choice for sightseeing in San Fransisco in one go—access to the hop-on hop-off city tour route, a special night tour, and tickets to the Alcatraz Island for a self-guided audio tour of the notorious prison.  Audio guides are available in a variety of languages but the hop-on hop-off tour is only available in English. With open double-decker buses and a guide on each one, you can see just about everything and learn just as much. You can get to all the most famous spots in the city, and 48 hours is enough time to go back and visit your favorites again. Official City Loop highlights include:• The Palace of Fine Arts• North Vista Point where you can take photos of Golden Gate Bridge• Golden Gate Park where you can enjoy the Japanese Tea Gardens• Haight-Ashbury district• San Francisco Downtown, Chinatown• The Civic Center• The Embarcadero• Fisherman’s Wharf• Barbary Coast• The Financial District and the Ferry Building The 90-Minute Night Tour covers many of the attractions on the other routes, but with a whole new perspective. It is not hop-on hop-off and departs from Fisherman’s Wharf at 18:30 all year round with additional departures during the summer months.

San Francisco Double Decker Bus Night Tour

7. San Francisco Double Decker Bus Night Tour

This live narrated 60-90 minute tour of San Francisco includes the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city, such as the Financial District, Chinatown, Nob Hill, and Embarcadero. Departing from Fisherman's Wharf, the tour covers all the major attractions of San Francisco during the evening hours, with spectacular views from the top of an original open top double decker Bus. Exact highlights may vary according to the season, weather conditions, and San Francisco's famous traffic, Chinatown, and Union Square, San Francisco’s shopping Mecca. You will also go to Treasure island, across the Bay Bridge, to get spectacular views of the skyline of San Francisco. On your return, you will see the ferry building, Alcatraz Pier, Pier 39, and more on your way up Embarcadero. Depending on the time of the year, it may not be entirely dark on this tour, but you will either see the city glittering at night, or in the lovely light of dusk.

Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

8. Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

Cross San Francisco Bay on a journey to the notorious Alcatraz Prison by ferry. This world-famous prison served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman. Take the award-winning 45-minute Cellhouse audio tour and hear the tales of those who lived in Alcatraz. This tour brings history alive through the recounting of tales from correctional officers and prisoners. Your bike tour will take place the previous day at 11:00. On this 4-hour bike tour you’ll explore the back alleys of North Beach’s Little Italy and have up-close views of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building. See Barbary Coast and San Francisco’s historic supper clubs. Find out how the neighborhoods have transformed from scandalous to sparkling.  You’ll ride around the Giants’ Oracle ball park, and into the culturally rich Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods. See ever-changing street art and the locals that rule each area and make each community unique.  Cruise Nopa and take in the charming Painted Ladies of Alamo Square before visiting the Civic Center. Ride through Polk Gulch, which is San Francisco’s original gay neighborhood, and finish your ride at Aquatic Park. The tour ends at festive Fisherman’s Wharf. Important note: All bike tours take place one day prior to your selected Alcatraz departure. The date and time selected on your confirmation is for your Alcatraz tour on the second day.

San Francisco: Exclusive Bike, Beer, and Boat Tour

9. San Francisco: Exclusive Bike, Beer, and Boat Tour

Experience the best of the San Francisco bay with this combination tour package. This half-day adventure begins with a guided bicycle tour through San Francisco, beginning at the picturesque Aquatic Park in Fisherman’s Wharf. Take a peek at the famous sea lions before heading down the National Park bike path through Fort Mason, the Marina, and the Presidio. From there, you’ll cycle across the iconic Golden Gate bridge and into Sausalito, a charming bayside town known for its quirky architecture and stunning waterfront views. After all the biking, you'll sate your appetite with the included $20 restaurant voucher, good for any food or beverages at a local hotspot known for their spit-roasted chickens and award-winning burgers. Wet your whistle with a house-made soda or your choice of local beers and wines. The guided portion of the tour ends here, but your all-day bike rental allows you to keep exploring at your leisure. Once you’re done criss-crossing through Sausalito, hop back on a scenic ferry ride to San Francisco, taking in the views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline. With recommendations from your guide, continue your venture through San Francisco, and return your bike when you’re ready.

San Francisco: 2-Hour Private Convertible Jeep Tour

10. San Francisco: 2-Hour Private Convertible Jeep Tour

Embark on a fun and unique tour experience as you explore San Francisco in an open-air convertible Jeep. See more of the city in less time, visit famous locations, and enjoy entertaining commentary from your local guide along the way. Tick off all the sights on your bucket list, choosing between 23 of the most iconic landmarks in San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Ferry Building, and Alamo Square. Enjoy an intimate private tour experience in a comfortable open-air vehicle as you explore the diverse terrain and sights of the Bay Area.

Frequently asked questions about San Francisco Architecture Tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

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What people are saying about San Francisco

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 627 reviews

The staff were extremely friendly. The boat was very convenient and safe for family (we went with an infant and felt safe). Highly recommended. The location is not hard to find either. The parking near the Fisherman's Wharf is expensive and might have hard to find. So prepare to walk a few blocks depending on where you get the parking. Look for street side parking. They are cheaper than the parking garage.

I was guided by Marciano, I'm so happy because in my limited time we can do so effective visit and take a great pictures. Highly recommended if you want to visit here.

The tour gave us a great look around San Francisco and it was very easy to find and get on and off.

Excellent tour, great experience! Would do it again in a heartbeat.

Great interesting narration. Comfortable seating inside and out.