Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

If you’re going to San Francisco

Let’s put a remix on an old classic:

” If you’re going to San Francisco

You’re gonna see some interesting things

Bring lots of money to San Francisco

And you’ll find lots of transportation treats”

Alright, I should probably keep my day job instead of becoming a song writer, but seriously, if you find yourself on a trip to this coastal city, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at various transport ways you can enjoy.

Let’s start with the most unusual (to me anyways) – The Go Car – this 2 passenger, 3-wheel joy ride is a GPS guided tour. Topping off at 35 miles per hour, this short, squatty number will run off with your $63 per hour rental. At least parking should be easy!

allaponomareva-gocar-sanfrancisco

Another type of San Francisco public transport (more like a tourist attraction) are the famous Cable Cars.  Invented in 1873 by Andrew Hallidie due to him witnessing a horrific accident involving a carriage of 5 horses, these cable cars are able to carry goods or people on a steep grade of 21%. Not to brag, but it is the oldest manually operated cable car system in the world, which, has only had 3 female operators (due to the demands of physical strength). One way will cost you around $7, or treat yourself to a free admission at the Cable Car Museum, where you can learn more about these neat inventions. allaponomareva-sanfrancisco-cablecar

Cable cars are not to be confused with street cars (trams and trolleys). Just so you know, both run on steel rails, but street cars are propelled by electric motors and draw electricity from overhead wire, while cable cars are mechanical.

If you’re like me – a city person, who would rather hang out at the city’s parks, then check out the next form of entertainment San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has to offer. Rent a boat to enjoy a leisurely afternoon, watching the ducks, turtles and passers-by at the Stow Lake. There are various types of boats available, row boats start at $21.50 per hour.

Did you know that there are over 5000 different types of plants at the Golden Gate Park? It is a literally a breath of fresh air.

There is another way to get around Golden Gate Park – the newest invention of moving to and fro – The Segway! Just lean and go, but don’t forget to pay. Various tours around the city and their prices can be found here.

allaponomareva-sanfrancisco-segway

If two wheels and a saddle is what you’re after, spend your money on a good old Bike to make your way around the city. You can rent the public bikes at designated stations or visit a bike tour company to get a custom tour or bicycle. Prices vary from company to company, but public bikes (no helmet, light or lock included) start at $9 for a 24-hour rental fee, with the first 30 minutes free. Additional time will cost you! Start your search here.

allaponomareva-sanfrancisco-bike

The neatest way to see San Fran is, undoubtedly, via the double-decker bus. Yes, they are touristy. Yes, they are pricey. Yes, they are freezing – especially when you’re crossing the infamous bridge, but hey – if you’re only seeing San Francisco for 1.5 days (like we did), you’ll see most of the city and it will be memorable as #@$! Try to get the 2 day Big Bus Package, it includes a free night excursion as well as other freebies. 1 day Big Bus Tour will set you back around $47, 2 days – $60.

Certainly, there are other forms of getting from here to there for both sightseers and locals such as the Muni Metro,  Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)(takes a little getting used to when purchasing a ticket and fare is based on the distance traveled), Trolleybuses (hello USSR, I’ve missed ya!), as well as ferries, buses, taxis, cars, as well as UBER and LYFT services (which are cheaper than taxis).

As you can note, dear traveler, there are what seem like endless ways of seeing the best of San Francisco. So if you find yourself in this hilly city, walk around and you’re bound to find a way to transport yourself!

So, which of these ways have you enjoyed the most? Which would you like to try? Leave a comment below!

Or if you enjoyed this post from, take a look at some other places I visited recently.

Pinning is winning!

allaponomareva-sanfrancisco-transport

17 comments

  1. I love this! My little sister spent a summer working in San Fran and loved it so much! I’d really like to visit myself one day, too! Great to know that I can do it in 1.5 days 🙂

  2. Of all the options, I guess price wise and convenience wise, I would gladly choose the traditional bike. But if I would like to try something new in San Francisco, the Go Car is something new to me, so I guess I would be very interested for that, But it’s too xpensive though? Does it require professional driving skills? Cause I can’t drive. hahah

  3. Of all the options, I guess price wise and convenience wise, I would gladly choose the traditional bike. But if I would like to try something new in San Francisco, the Go Car is something new to me, so I guess I would be very interested for that, But it’s too xpensive though? Does it require professional driving skills? Cause I can’t drive. hahah

  4. Whoa! You’re not kidding about bringing money along. All of those sound as though you might as well rent a car in the busy city. We actually walked around San Francisco for the most part. It’s a great city, but I visited as a child. I had to idea it got so pricy!

  5. San Francisco is definitely on my list of places to visit. I’ve never been to California even though I lived in the US most of my life! Golden Gate Park looks beautiful. You’ve given me a little more travel motivation 😉

  6. I haven’t been to San Francisco yet, but I hear it is lovely! I’ll make sure to save my $$ so I can try out some of these transport methods – those little cars look like tons of fun! I’m a fan of the double-decker bus tours (except for the one in Seoul), as they are a great way to see the highlights when you are short on time! Thanks very much for sharing this post!

  7. Haven’t been to San Francisco. Was considering to tag along with hubby on his business trip last summer but the mommy in me can’t leave my boys behind. Boating around the Golden Gate Park would be my choice:-)… And the cable car!

  8. The cable cars and double decker buses are probably the most famous, Ive heard of both of them, they like to feature them in movies that are set in Sans Francisco.
    If I go, I,d go for both of them for the heck of it. Haha

  9. I tried something similar to the Go Car in Barcelona and had a mini freak-out so I tip my hat off those who try it. I’m definitely a fan of double decker buses, these are some great transit options, if I ever visit San Francisco!

Like what you see? Comment below