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The 7 Best Walking Tours in San Francisco
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The 7 Best Walking Tours in San Francisco

Explore the beauty of the Golden City with the best 8 San Francisco walking tours.

Roubina Al Abashian

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4 min read

April 12, 2022

San Francisco is packed with historic events, from the 1800s and its Gold Rush, the big earthquake and fires of 1906, and the Summer of Love in the 1960s, to name a few. Every prominent event was followed by change and advancement, and you can spot that in every corner. Just take a thorough look at the city and you’ll realize that there’s more to San Francisco than meets the eye.

Driving through the City By The Bay, you’ll see a lot of beauty and history, but it is only through walking its streets that you’ll learn about the story behind the history. Whether you’re looking for a cultural or historical lesson, a culinary excursion, or a supernatural one, you’ll always find a walking tour that’ll suit your interests. Whenever you’re in the city, either for a weekend getaway or a long vacation, try to cover as many of the best San Francisco walking tours.

The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge took four years. Upon its completion in 1937, it became the world’s longest and tallest suspension bridge.

1. The Golden Gate Bridge Tour

Walking the length of the Golden Gate Bridge is a quintessential thing to do in San Francisco. After all, we're talking about the most photographed bridge in the world. Even if you can see it from miles away, experiencing it up close and personal should be your top priority! Begin your tour at the Welcome Center, where you can view exhibits, learn about the bridge’s history, and buy interpretive merchandise, and then jumpstart your free San Francisco Walking tour and pay extra attention to all the photo ops — the views from one of the seven wonders of the modern world are unmatched in the Golden State.

2. San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Many San Francisco neighborhoods are lined up with colorful Victorian homes, which create the unique charm the city is famous for. Those houses and structures are worth touring, especially if you’re one who appreciates Victorian architecture. With your tour guide, you’ll stroll down the Pacific Height neighborhood, where you’ll see the most iconic architecture in Fog city.  You’ll also pass by a few popular filming locations — “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Princess Diaries” were both filmed in our favorite city. Yet, everyone’s top stop is the Queen Anne Victorian house, where guests get to admire the interior of the structure and learn more about its history. Thanks to this two-hour San Francisco walking tour, you’ll feel like you’ve seen the best architectural beauties in the city.

Haight-Ashbury is the most photographed neighborhood in San Francisco and the prettiest of them all.

3. Hippie To Hipster Walk-San Francisco

The Hippie to Hipster Walk might be everyone’s favorite walking tour in San Francisco and for good reason. The two-hour tour is a California Airbnb experience that can’t be missed. Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill marks the beginning of the tour, after which the tour moves toward the famous Haight Street. Here you’ll see a number of Victorian houses now turned into chic hangout spots. Your guide will tell you all about the famed hippie movement of the 1960s and the 1967 Summer of Love. The best part about walking the streets of Haight-Ashbury though is that you’ll see where legends like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead once lived. Don’t want to follow a guide during your stroll? Just make a self-guided San Francisco walking tour out of your Haight-Ashbury visit. 

No stroll at Golden Gate Park is complete without taking a dozen photos of the Conservatory of Flowers.

4. The Golden Gate Park Walking Tour

Golden Gate Park is arguably the most popular park in California. With gorgeous gardens, breathtaking attractions, world-class museums, and crystalline lakes, there’s way too much to see and enjoy. It’s true that you can use a segway or a shuttle to move across the park, but nothing beats a good walk in nature. Start your San Francisco free walking tour by stopping by two of California’s best museums, the California Academy of Sciences and De Young Museum. From there move towards the gardens and lakes until you make it to Ocean Beach. A day spent at Golden Gate Park is a day well spent.

Start your Chinatown San Francisco tour at the historical archway and move forward from there.

5. The Chinatown Tour

Whether you’re just spending one day in S.F. or a hundred, walking the streets of Chinatown San Francisco is a fun thing you don’t want to miss. Even though you can find a few paid San Francisco Chinatown walking tours, the best way to enjoy the ethnic neighborhood is by strolling it on your own. Walk underneath the red lanterns, have a fortune cookie, and visit the Buddhist temple, all at your own pace. Don’t forget to buy a souvenir or two before you leave. 

6. The Haunt Ghost Tour-San Francisco

Are you into horror? San Francisco has the most exciting experience for you. Arguably one of the best walking tours in S.F. The Haunt’s Ghost Tour is the area’s only real ghost-hunting excursion. Join your fellow ghost hunters after dark and go on an excursion through the city’s Gold-Rush era neighborhoods, where the inexplicable and unforgettable once took place. Learn about scandalous murders, unexplained deaths, and go after the popular spirits and assassins that still haunt Fog City. Your tour guides will provide you with all the night gear you need for a memorable ghost hunting tour.

7. Flavors And Murals Of The Mission

There are a dozen gourmet walking tours in San Francisco, but none beats that of the Mission District. What makes this tour stand out is its combination of good food and even better art. Of course, you can take a self-guided walking tour of the Mission District in San Francisco, but there are stories you won’t fully understand unless you have an educated tour guide with you. Intrepid Urban Adventures takes you on a walking tour of a lifetime. The two-and-a-half-hour excursion starts with a delicious cup of joe and assorted donuts and continues towards the best eateries in the district. The most beautiful part of the tour is the stroll through Balmy Alley, where the city’s most colorful and distinctive murals are located.

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