Chinatown, San Francisco

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Chinatown, San Francisco: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

1. San Francisco Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

Explore the largest Chinatown outside Asia on a 3-hour food tour of San Francisco's Chinatown, and discover a maze of alleys off Grant Avenue and Stockton Street, where traditional techniques that date back centuries are still practiced. See food markets and local restaurants, with a surprise around every corner. Watch artisans making Fortune Cookies by hand, and enliven your senses with new flavors, smells, and aromas. Your guide will help you search out authentic crafts and pottery, explore exotic produce, and learn about herbs and teas from the very people who know them best. Uncover the hidden secrets that only intrepid locals know about. As you taste and see everything from Dim Sum to fortune cookies, teas, incredible antiquities, rare and unique musical instruments, and authentic cookware, you'll know you've really experienced Chinatown. Marvel at statuettes and ritual objects that are literally thousands of years old. Visit a music center where you'll see musical instruments you've never seen before. Try different types of Dim Sum from the oldest Chinese bakery in San Francisco. Go to one of the city's oldest cathedrals, and look inside a Buddhist temple.

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San Francisco: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with Alcatraz Ticket

2. San Francisco: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with Alcatraz Ticket

Get a huge amount of choice for sightseeing in San Fransisco in one go—access to the hop-on hop-off city tour route, a special night tour, and tickets to the Alcatraz Island for a self-guided audio tour of the notorious prison.  Audio guides are available in a variety of languages but the hop-on hop-off tour is only available in English. With open double-decker buses and a guide on each one, you can see just about everything and learn just as much. You can get to all the most famous spots in the city, and 48 hours is enough time to go back and visit your favorites again. Official City Loop highlights include:• The Palace of Fine Arts• North Vista Point where you can take photos of Golden Gate Bridge• Golden Gate Park where you can enjoy the Japanese Tea Gardens• Haight-Ashbury district• San Francisco Downtown, Chinatown• The Civic Center• The Embarcadero• Fisherman’s Wharf• Barbary Coast• The Financial District and the Ferry Building The 90-Minute Night Tour covers many of the attractions on the other routes, but with a whole new perspective. It is not hop-on hop-off and departs from Fisherman’s Wharf at 18:30 all year round with additional departures during the summer months.

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San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

3. San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

Take a small-group day trip by bus around San Francisco. See the Golden Gate Bridge, spend time at the Muir Woods National Monument, and enjoy lunch in picturesque Sausalito. Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 6 hours you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration, enjoying lunch in Sausalito and then spending over an hour in the beautiful Muir Woods National Monument. At the end of your amazing adventure, you’ll be dropped off at the same location where you boarded the bus.  Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations. From beautiful old shipyards, to Boudin's Bakery and the smell of fresh clam chowder, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • City Hall - This beautiful Beaux-Arts monument epitomizes the high-minded American renaissance of the late 18th and early 19th century. The site of Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe's marriage in 1954  • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans and other San Francisco celebrities  • Presidio - Former military base, now a beautiful park that includes Crissy Field, Fort Point, Lucasfilm's headquarters and the Walt Disney Museum • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared "one of the 10 wonders of the modern world," the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Muir Woods* - Muir Woods National Monument is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful trees in the world. Many consider this stop to be the highlight of their trip. The National Monument entry fee is an additional expense to the paid on the day. • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front row seat to the Bay and is a great photo stop. This former military fortification was used during WWII • Tenderloin - Nestled near downtown San Francisco, the Tenderloin neighborhood continues to resist gentrification, all while spearheading the local arts movement. It's a must-see in this modern-day city • Sausalito* - Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, this artistic enclave has the setting and beauty of a European mediterranean town. Enjoy your lunch on the San Francisco Bay • Lombard Street - All tour buses and vans are prohibited from going near Lombard Street, but you can be dropped close by at the end of the tour.

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San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

4. San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

Explore San Francisco with a 1-day ticket, that includes two most popular hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours. You can hop on and off the bus at any of the designated stops to explore all the major sights of San Francisco at your own pace. The Official City Tour - Hop On, Hop Off This 2 hour tour provides the best views of San Francisco's Downtown, Union Square, The Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park from a Double Decker Bus. Be sure to bring your camera, there will be plenty of photo opportunities to commemorate your visit to the city by the bay.  Official City Tour Highlights: Ghirardelli Square – Over 40 shops and restaurants, including the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, world famous for its ice cream sundaes. Palace of Fine Arts – Built for the World Fair has been a favorite wedding location for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Also a popular location for many festival celebrations, orchestras and events. Golden Gate Bridge – A great place to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge or visit the Presidio and its former Military establishments Golden Gate Park – An exciting place to visit a number of museums and attractions such as The Conservatory of Flowers, The California Academy of Sciences and The deYoung Museum. Haight/Ashbury – More commonly known as the “Hippie District”, Haight maintains the Summer of Love feel with its numerous shops and murals dedicated to the 1960’s. City Hall – Great photo opportunities of the San Francisco City Hall structures near to the Opera House, Symphony Hall and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Union Square – The central shopping district in San Francisco, featuring Macy’s, Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, Victoria’s Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, and hundreds of other major retailers. Fisherman’s Wharf – Located on the northern waterfront, this area is best known for Pier 39 (shopping, restaurants, sea lions and much more), San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Cannery Shopping Center, Alcatraz Landing, and many other attractions. San Francisco Night Tour This live narrated bus tour shows you the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city at night. Enjoy panoramic views of San Francisco from the top of a double decker bus from Treasure Island. The tour will be led by knowledgeable guides, to make your evening in San Francisco unforgettable.

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San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

5. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

Start your tour near the Ferry Building with a view of what was once one of the busiest ports in the world. Then catch an iconic San Francisco cable car from a favorite stop and learn what makes this very unique public transport so special. Disembark atop Nob Hill and learn about the industrial tycoons who built the city as you wander through Huntington Park. Visit the beautiful gothic interior of Grace Cathedral. Enter the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and the oldest Chinatown in North America. Taste fresh fortune cookies and see hidden landmarks like the Tin How Buddhist Temple as you learn how the neighborhood went from being a seedy red-light district to one of the most vibrant enclaves in the city. For a little treat, pop into the legendary Golden Gate Factory for an insight into the art (and logistics) of fortune cookie making. Receive a special custom-made cookie to take home. That’s not the end of the delicious snacks either - you'll also get advice on where to eat if you want to come back to try the world-famous dim sum. Then, visit Lombard Street, called the "most crooked street in the world", Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. See Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the old docks, and smell the fresh bread in the famous Boudin Bakery. Your tour will also pause at Ghirardelli Square for a sample of famous chocolate. After this, continue on to your final highlight of the day - a gorgeous bay cruise of the historic waterfront. Admire beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline in every direction and sail past the famous Pier 39 sea lions, right under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island (the closest you can get without booking a ticket). A perfect end to a San Francisco day. Effective August 20, 2021, proof of Covid-19 vaccination (over the age of 12) is required to enter sites on this tour (currently, Alcatraz does not require proof of vaccination). Everyone (over the age of 2) is required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status while indoors. For full requirements, please the San Francisco Government website.

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San Francisco: Alcatraz and Big Bus City Tour Ticket

6. San Francisco: Alcatraz and Big Bus City Tour Ticket

Tour the famous prison that has played a role in jailhouse folklore and the historic evolution of the West Coast. Explore the island of Alcatraz and learn about its history as a U.S. Army asset as well as a federal prison. You'll learn more about the 14 unsuccessful escape attempts by over 30 prisoners and their fates. Your Premium Big Bus hop-on-hop-off pass is a great way to see the sights of San Francisco. Listen to commentary by live English-speaking guides, or enjoy pre-recorded audio commentary in 10 languages. Your ticket is valid for 1 full day of unlimited hop-on-hop-off, 1 walking tour, and a 1-hour panoramic night tour. Explore one of San Francisco's most fascinating neighborhoods on a fun and informative walking tour of Chinatown. The tours are offered daily, and you can ask an agent for locations and time schedules. Also included are a bonus 1-hour bike rental (with the purchase of a 1-hour rental) and Players Arcade Drink and Game Tokens. Hop-on, hop-off tour stops include: Stop 1: Corner of Jefferson & Mason StreetStop 2: Holiday Inn Northpoint b/w Jones & ColumbusStop 3: Washington Square - Columbus & Union StreetsStop 4: Embarcadero Center - Corner Clay & Battery StreetsStop 5: Ferry Building - Market St b/w Stuart & Spear StreetsStop 6: Union Square South - Geary St across from Macy’sStop 7: Hilton Hotel - Corner Mason & Ellis StreetsStop 8: Civic Center - Fulton St b/w Larkin & Hyde StreetsStop 9: Alamo Square - Corner Fell & Pierce StreetsStop 10: Haight Ashbury - Haight & Shrader StreetsStop 11: Golden Gate Park - Music Concourse Drive Golden Gate ParkStop 12: Golden Gate Bridge- North Vista PointStop 13: Palace of Fine Arts - Richardson & Francisco StreetStop 14: Marina Neighborhood - Lombard & Fillmore StreetsStop 15: Lombard Street Corridor - Lombard & Gough StreetsStop 16: Union Square North - Post & Powell StreetsStop 17: Chinatown Gate - Grant and Bush StreetsStop 18: Portsmouth Square - Kearny & Clay StreetsStop 19: Pier 35 Cruise Terminal - The EmbarcaderoStop 20: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf (then return to Stop 1)

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GPS Talking Tour Cars: Chinatown/Downtown Loop

7. GPS Talking Tour Cars: Chinatown/Downtown Loop

Take a GPS-guided tour in the Storytelling Car® and see for yourself why TIME Magazine called GoCar "The Most Amazing Invention of the Year!" Let GoCar be your guide through an exciting loop of San Francisco's Chinatown and Downtown. GoCar, The Cure for the Common Tour®, lets you experience the beauty of San Francisco and visit places tour busses cannot go – all at your own pace! Fold up your map, put away the guidebook and let the GoCar show you what most visitors never see! Zip around in a cute, yellow Storytelling GoCar as it takes you on your own GPS-guided tour. The GoCar is easy and fun to drive. Since it is GPS-guided, the car knows where you are – even if you don’t. With you in the driver’s seat, it not only tells you where to turn, it tells the stories that bring the city to life. Let the car direct you, or for those more adventurous, blaze your own trail! Your tour’s length may vary due to circumstances such as departure time and location, traffic and your itinerary. If you do take additional rental time, this will be billed in 15-minute increments at our retail rates. You may visit all or some of the tour’s highlights. If you are unsure of which tour to book, just book according to the amount of time you think you would like to spend. We can customize a tour especially for you, with the sights you want to include, when you come into our shop. PRICING IS PER VEHICLE NOT PER PERSON. EACH VEHICLE SEATS 2 PEOPLE. GoCar Tours, a CarbonNeutral® Company Gocar Tours is certified CarbonNeutral® by offsetting all CO2 emissions from vehicle operations, electricity use, business travel and employee commuting across global operations in Europe and the United States.

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San Francisco: City Sights, Muir Woods & Alcatraz Day Tour

8. San Francisco: City Sights, Muir Woods & Alcatraz Day Tour

Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 3 hours, you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity, and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration. At the end of the adventure, you will be dropped off at Fisherman’s Wharf or North Beach, where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and explore Lombard Street. You can also take in stunning views over the city from the Coit Tower or watch Pier 39 infamous sea lions. Your guide will recommend restaurants and must-see locations during your break. After lunch, walk over to Pier 33 to depart for Alcatraz. Upon arriving to Alcatraz Island you will take the official tour and have the opportunity to explore additional exhibits at your convenience. Lastly, return by ferry from Alcatraz back to Pier 33 where you are free to enjoy the rest of your evening. Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Alcatraz* - Used as a federal prison between 1933-1966, Alcatraz housed some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, including Al Capone, James "Whitey" Bulger, and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Featuring unbelievable views of the San Francisco peninsula, a visit to the island is essential when in town • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations - from beautiful old shipyards to Boudin's Bakery and of course, the sea lions of Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front-row seat to the San Francisco Bay. This former military fortification was used during both the Civil War and World War II • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared one of the 10 wonders of the modern world, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans, and other San Francisco celebrities • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food, and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • Haight Ashbury* - The origin of the hippie culture and the birthplace of the “Summer of Love.” From the stunning Painted Ladies to the homes of music’s favorite 60’s bands, this district started the counter-culture movement across the USA • Tenderloin - Nestled near downtown San Francisco, the Tenderloin neighborhood continues to resist gentrification, all while spearheading the local arts movement. It’s a must-see in our modern-day city • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared “one of the 10 wonders of the modern world,” the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco

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San Francisco: Chinatown Food and History Walking Tour

9. San Francisco: Chinatown Food and History Walking Tour

Meet your tour guide at Dragon's Gate, the main entrance to San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood, to begin your walking tour of Chinatown's most famous sights and hidden spots. As you wander this colorful and lively neighborhood, listen to commentary from your guide about Chinatown's history, culture, and present-day authenticity. Stroll down Stockton Street past busy markets selling some of the freshest and most exotic foods in the city. Pass by buildings designed like pagodas and have your camera out as you admire eye-catching Chinese decorations adorning the streets. Gain an understanding of Chinatown's religious culture and history as you visit the Old Saint Mary's Cathedral. Get a chance to taste traditional Chinese cookies and tea of your choice at Eastern Bakery where you can expect to get some inside cooking tips from the bakery owners. Go to Portsmouth Square and learn about the historical significance of this area for the Gold Rush, California's beginnings, and Chinatown's origin. Taste homemade dim sum at Delicious Dim Sum where you'll enjoy some of the best dim sum in the city.  Finish your tour with a memorable visit to a Fortune Cookie factory. Taste the fortune cookie, learn about the cooking techniques, and learn about the historical significance of fortune.

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Night Walking Tour of Chinatown and North Beach

10. Night Walking Tour of Chinatown and North Beach

On their own, Chinatown and North Beach stir your senses. Together, they awaken you to new flavors, new cultures, and to parts of your heart. Explore both on this unique combination walking tour. Start by exploring Chinatown by twilight, including tasting Dim Sum from one of the oldest bakeries in this vibrant neighborhood. You will delve into Chinese mysticism and culture, as you explore local sculpture and architecture and see close up how fortune cookies are made by hand. Tea is to Chinatown as North Beach is to coffee and you will sample both. You will also get the opportunity to search out authentic Chinese and Italian crafts and pottery. We will help you uncover the hidden secrets only intrepid locals know. And you'll be astonished by new finds in secret alcoves. We'll explore the "Beat Generation" of North Beach as we visit the very place where Francis Ford Coppola wrote "The Godfather" screenplay and the location where Bill Cosby and Steve Allen got their start, which has not changed at all since they performed there. Of course,you must try pizza and wine in North Beach, don't worry, we've got you covered! From wine to Dim Sum, fortune cookies, and teas, to cappuccinos in the very places where the Beat Generation started and Barbary Coast history that made San Francisco what it is began. You will feel like you've really experienced Chinatown and North Beach on this fascinating San Francisco walking tour.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Chinatown, San Francisco

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What people are saying about Chinatown, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 670 reviews

The Chinatown and North Beach food tour was fantastic. Tom runs a great operation and Brian is an excellent tour guide. Brian is very knowledgeable about the area, incredibly generous with his time and makes sure you have fun. He has great relationships with the restaurant owners and vendors and his recommendations are first rate. Best ticket I bought in San Francisco.

Brendan was a great tour guide. Very low key & personable. Good history & relevant info about current info. Sausalito stop was good. MuirWoods was special with redwoods. We were somewhat challenged to find the meeting point AND parking. Parking garage was actually close by on Hyde. We paid $35.

The Chinatown and North Beach walking tour is a fantastic experience. Tom runs a first rate operation and Brian is an excellent guide. Brian is very knowledgeable! He really makes sure you have fun and get the most of your experience. This was the best ticket I purchased in San Francisco.

Our minibus tour was very informative and covered many of the famous landmarks in the Bay area. Would definitely recommend to others and will likely take another tour with Dylan's myself in the future.

Cynthia was very knowledgeable and so fun. She added flare to the tour! Highly recommend!