Riding the San Francisco Cable Cars
For a quintessential San Francisco experience, catch a ride up and down the city's hills on a classic cable car. From the views of the bay to the charming historic cars, this is one of the best ways to see the sights in SF. Here are your options.
See the best of San Francisco on its most iconic form of transportation.
Ride the official cable car on its established routes, or take to the roads in a motorized cable car for more flexibility.
Many tours will combine a cable car ride with other means of transportation to cover a lot of ground while still offering the iconic cable car experience.
Motorized cable car tours often include commentary featuring San Francisco history and fun facts.
Independent Cable Car Rides
Three main cable car lines run through the city: California, Powell–Mason, and Powell–Hyde. Lines to purchase tickets are often long, as each car only carries about 30 passengers. Book a city tour that includes a cable car ticket so you can explore independently without having to wait in line for your ticket, or choose to ride the less crowded California line rather than the ones that run up Powell.
Sightseeing Cable Car Tours
See the city and tackle its famous hills from the comfort of a motorized cable car. You'll pass top sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman's Wharf with flexibility to hop on or off as you'd like. Or, choose a more structured tour with an expert guide, either a group tour or one with a private chauffeur.
For extra flexibility, select a tour that combines a ride on a hop-on hop-off motorized cable car with a visit to Alcatraz. Other cable car tours also include a bike rental so you can cycle along the San Francisco waterfront and see areas unreachable by road.
2 Tours and Activities
- How to Get Off the Beaten Path in San Francisco
- Food Lover's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area
- San Francisco Museums After Dark
- San Francisco Dining Cruises
- Don't-Miss Dishes in San Francisco
- How to Spend a Rainy Day in San Francisco
- Biking Across the Golden Gate Bridge
- Riding the San Francisco Cable Cars