Getting Around San FranciscoSan Francisco is a small city, only 7 miles on a side, and you don’t need a car unless you’re going on an excursion outside the city. We strongly recommend sticking to public transit or taxis/Lyft/etc.
Public Transit: BART and Muni
Via BART you can easily access both airports (SFO and OAK), the hotels (and Friday/Sunday events), and the Women’s Building.
The hotels (and Friday and Sunday events) are about a 7-minute walk from the Powell Street Station; the Women’s Building is about an 8-minute walk from 16th Street Mission; and it’s about a 4-minute ride between the two.
Muni gives you access to the rest of the city, albeit sometimes very slowly.
Muni has three types of vehicles: buses, streetcars, and the famous cable cars (which at this point are basically just for fun). Streetcars run partly aboveground and partly underground, and share stations with BART between Embarcadero and Civic Center, making it convenient to transfer when you’re downtown.
To find your way on Muni, we recommend using Google/Apple Maps to find a route, and use nextbus.com (there's also an app) to get real-time departures for nearby buses and streetcars.
Taxi, Lyft, etc.
Taxis are more expensive than Lyft (or the other one), but you’ll generally get superior driver knowledge—and convenience, if you’re in a busy area and one passes by.
If you need to call one, 415-333-3333 is an easy number to remember.
Lyft etc. of course also work, and if you’re not in a hurry shared rides are very inexpensive (and carbon-saving).
Things To DoHere’s a list of some things we like, or have heard about, in San Francisco.
In the Mission
Murals: There are murals throughout the mission. Clarion Alley (between 17th St and 18th St off of Valencia and Mission) and Balmy Alley (between Harrison and Treat off of 24th St and 25th St.) are particularly interesting, with murals covering both sides of the buildings for a whole block.
In the Castro
- GLBT Historical Society Museum
- There are multiple self-guided or guide led walking tours of the Castro
Tours: There are multiple bus tours of the city (we've never been on them, but it seems like a good way to see a lot). https://freetoursbyfoot.com/which-san-francisco-bus-tour-is-best/"
Golden Gate Park
It's pretty to walk around, and there are also two museums, The De Young (an art museum) and the California Academy of Sciences, which are both excellent.
The Golden Gate BridgeYou can walk across or rent a bike and bike across.
There are many hills to walk up in San Francisco; some of our favorites are:
- Twin Peaks
- Telegraph Hill—if you are lucky you'll see some parrots
- Bernal Hill