Last Updated on December 14, 2022
That old song said that if you go to San Francisco, you should wear flowers in your hair – but it never actually described just how marvelous, how beautiful, how special San Francisco is as a city of the United States.
Truth be told, there are a lot of things to do in San Francisco – but what are the best things to do in San Francisco?
We have some tips for you – so read on and find out more.
#1. The Golden Gate Bridge
By far the most famous landmark of the city, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge is truly one of the very best, top things to do in San Francisco. In fact, this is so famous that you simply cannot miss out on it.
The Golden Gate Bridge was built between 1933 and 1937 and it is 227 meters tall. The bridge is 1.6 kilometers long and it connects the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, carrying the U.S. Route 101 and the California Route 1 across its strait.
To get to the Golden Gate Bridge, you can take several means of public transportation – such as 76, 72, and 56 (and you will have to walk a bit once you get off the bus). If you want to, you can also take a ferry and see the Golden Gate Bridge from the water.
If you want to transverse the Golden Gate Bridge, it will take anything between a few minutes and a bit more, depending on what means of transportation you are using. Also, this landmark is free to see if you don’t decide to take a ferry (which will cost you up to $13).
#2. The Alcatraz Prison
It seems weird to associate San Francisco, a city of peace, with one of the most famous penitentiaries in the world – but if you go to San Francisco, you should definitely visit the Alcatraz Prison.
Despite its fame, the Alcatraz Prison only operated for 29 years, from 1934 to 1963. Rather than the duration of its operations, the Alcatraz is better known for the fame of its prisoners – including renowned Al Capone himself.
These days, you can visit Alcatraz every day from 8:45 am to 9:45 pm. To get there, you will have to take a ferry from Pier 33. There are full tours of the place (that include the ferry ride as well) and they cost around $78 for adults and around $52 for children.
#3. Visit Chinatown
You might have seen Chinatowns before, but none will ever beat the original one, the one in San Francisco, which makes it one of the best places to see in San Francisco.
With its Dragon Gate and the myriad of streets and stores here, this Chinatown is truly one of the biggest and most famous ones in the entirety of the USA. The place abounds with shops, herbalists, and all sorts of interesting places to eat, and things to see. This is, without doubt, one of the top things to do in San Francisco!
To get to Chinatown, you will have to get the 30-Stockton (or the 45-Union) SF Muni bus from the Post Street. Obviously, it doesn’t cost anything to walk through Chinatown in San Francisco – but you can pay for a tour of San Francisco that will include Chinatown as well.
The prices for these tours vary a lot, depending on what they include, how they are done, and even when they are done.
#4. The Walt Disney Family Museum
There’s an eternal fascination for Walt Disney and everything he was. If you are curious to know more about him, you can visit the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best places to see in San Francisco.
You can get to the Walt Disney Family Museum by going to 104 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA. If you want to take public transportation, you can take Bus 43 to this destination.
The museum is open every day except for Tuesdays, from 10 am to 6 pm. General admission costs $25 for adults and $15 for children (age 6 to 17), and if you want to visit the Mickey Mouse exhibition too, prices will go up a little: $35 for adults and $20 for children between 6 and 17 years of age. All kids under 6 can enter for free.
#5. The California Academy of Sciences
If you want to visit something genuinely interesting and wondering what to do in San Francisco, the California Academy of Sciences is perfect if you love science and technology.
This is a natural history museum and a research institute rolled in one, and it was established in 1853. Among the exhibitions you can see here, we will include presentations of the world’s rainforests, coral reefs, and an entire dome planetarium that will mesmerize you.
To get to this museum (55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA), you should get Bus 44 (but you can get there by car as well).
Do keep in mind that the California Academy of Sciences is open every day from 9:30 am to 5 pm, except for Sunday, when they open at 11 am (and close at 5 pm as well). They also keep it open for longer on Thursdays, until 10 pm. Tickets range around the $30 mark, depending on the specific day you want to visit.
#6. The Cartoon Art Museum
If you are a kid at heart (or if you travel with kids), this is very likely one of the best fun things to do in San Francisco!
The Cartoon Art Museum was built in 1984 and ever since it has exhibited collections meant to preserve cartoons and comics in all their forms. It will be a trip to the past and an immersion into your childhood for sure!
The Cartoon Art Museum can be found on 781 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA. The museum is open every day from 11 am to 5 pm, and tickets cost $10 for adults and $4 for children over 6 years of age. Definitely worth a visit!
#7. The Muir Woods National Monument
By far one of the prettiest and most amazing natural attractions in San Francisco, the Muir Woods National Monument is a real pleasure for the eyes. Part of the Golden Gate Recreational Area, this place was established 111 years ago and it still attracts people by the thousands.
To get to the Muir Woods National Monument (1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA), you can take a shuttle bus, or you can simply drive up there (either rent a car or by your own car if that’s how you came to San Francisco). The entrance fee is about $15 for adults that are over 16, and if you want to park your car in the area, it will cost $8 for every vehicle.
San Francisco is a treasure trove of beauty and abundance, diversity and elegance. It is more than worth spending at least a few days in the area, to discover everything it has to offer – and we guarantee you will definitely fall in love with it! Lovely, lovely city you will never forget – in fact, so lovely that you will always yearn to come back again, and again, and again!