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Things to do in San Francisco

Hop on a historic cable car and visit the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge. Meet the seals at Pier 39 and dive deep into the heart of the lively city!

Top 10 things to do

#1
California Academy of Sciences

Combine marine life, planets, tropical biomes and natural history in San Francisco

4.7 (442 reviews)
#2
Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay is located at San Francisco's popular PIER 39. Its focus, as the name suggests, is local aquatic animals from the San Francisco Bay (and nearby waterways). There are three main exhibit areas, each with a specific point of focus. The most thrilling is the underwater tunnel, though the touch pools and naturalist talks also help make this an exciting and interactive way to get to know the bay.

4.5 (143 reviews)
#3
San Francisco Zoo

San Francisco Zoo is open 365 days a year, rain or shine. Stretching over 100 acres of peaceful gardens, it's home to over 2000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals from 250 species. The Pacific Ocean backdrop makes it truly special, and the kid's play zone and exciting animal feedings make it one of the best family attractions in San Francisco.

4.4 (242 reviews)
#4
San Francisco Cruises

Explore San Francisco via its most unique trait: the water. With the best San Francisco boat tours, you’ll get within photo-worthy proximity of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and catch the city and its symbolic crossing at its best angles. Through the Golden City's trademark mist, you’ll see lazy sea lions lounging on the pier, seagulls swooping from above, and you may even get lucky to see evidence of the larger marine life, like whales and dolphins. With so many San Francisco Bay cruises to choose from, there’s no wrong way to see the Bay Area. Hitch a ride out to the infamous island of Alcatraz, a prison designed to be inescapable due to the rip currents and great white sharks rumored to patrol the rough waters.

4.6 (144 reviews)
#5
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

The Snøhetta expansion (completed in 2016) doubled the amount of exhibition space at the SFMOMA. The seven-story structure also expanded the gallery areas and outdoor public spaces, giving a big injection of destination architecture to San Francisco's South of Market area. The SFMOMA's permanent collection is a whopping 33,000 works, and there are always temporary exhibitions as well. When in San Francisco's SoMa make time for the SFMOMA.

4.7 (155 reviews)
#6
de Young Museum

From the stunning copper façade right through the collection, San Francisco's de Young Museum is a journey into the world of contemporary art and design. The California Academy of Sciences is nearby, as is the Botanical Gardens, and of course the whole complex is surrounded by the beautiful Golden Gate Park.

4.5 (68 reviews)
#7
Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is an interactive museum in San Francisco that lets you get wacky with over 650 hands-on exhibits! Explore the world through science, art, and human perception and prepare to be wowed by inquiry-based experiences. The Exploratorium is located at Pier 15 on The Embarcadero.

4.7 (74 reviews)
#8
Legion of Honor

Overlooking the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in Lincoln Park, the Legion of Honor is San Francisco's most beautiful museum. See a collection spanning 4,000 years of ancient and European art, plus mummies, sculptures, and Rodin's The Thinker in an incredible setting. If you're taking public transport, the #18 bus goes directly to the Legion of Honor.

4.7 (52 reviews)
#9
San Francisco Bike Tours

Pedal away and marvel at the beauty of San Fransisco on some exciting bike tours

4.8 (55 reviews)
#10
Alcatraz

Once a notorious offshore prison where some of America's most infamous criminals, like Al 'Scarface' Capone, and 'Birdman' Robert Stroud were incarcerated, Alcatraz is now a visitor attraction operated by the National Parks Service. Reachable by ferry, the island is the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the U.S. and home to large colonies of gulls, egrets, and cormorants, which add to the island's atmosphere as they circle overhead.

4.8 (46 reviews)

Experiences in San Francisco recommended for

Hand-picked combinations in San Francisco

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City Pass San Francisco

  1. Audio Guide App for San Francisco by POPGuide
  2. California Academy of Sciences
  3. de Young Museum

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