Market Street Tours
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One of San Francisco’s main thoroughfares, ever-pulsating Market Street cuts a diagonal line from the Embarcadero on the city’s northeastern edge to the Twin Peaks neighborhood. It’s home to everything from big-name shops, restaurants, and cafés to offices, theaters, and plazas—attracting visitors and locals both day and night.
Market Street spans 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) and is where much of the action takes place in San Francisco, from both a working and visiting perspective. Union Square, Civic Center, and the Financial District are on the drag’s northern side, and the South of Market (SoMa) and Castro districts lie on the southern side. Book a hop-on hop-off bus tour to explore the sights at your own pace, or jump aboard the F-Market MUNI line to ride down Market Street in a vintage streetcar.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Being a main artery of San Francisco, Market Street is a virtually unavoidable experience for all visitors to the city.
- Market is flat and walkable from the Embarcadero through the downtown area; it starts to get hilly as you near the Castro and Twin Peaks.
- With heavy pedestrian traffic, bus lanes, and streetcar tracks, Market Street is busy and can be a stressful driving experience for first-timers.
- Market’s sidewalks are well maintained and accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
A variety of public transportation options ply Market Street, including several MUNI bus and train lines, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, and the San Francisco Cable Car, which runs down Powell Street to Market. There is plenty of metered street parking available, but pay attention to posted signs about prohibited parking during rush hour.
When to Get There
Market Street bustles all day long—go in the late morning or afternoon for shopping or lunch, or have dinner at a popular restaurant such as Zuni Café. The street is quieter at night, when locals head home after post-work happy hour. You’ll get the best photos in the early morning, before the 9-to-5 crowd arrives.
Across the Embarcadero from the end of Market Street sits the Ferry Building Marketplace, a haven of gourmet goodies nestled amidst stellar views of San Francisco Bay. Eat your way through the historical building, tasting cheese, oysters, bread, wine, coffee, and ice cream, or try your luck at getting a table at the Slanted Door, one of the city’s best Vietnamese eateries.
Address: Market St. begins at The Embarcadero, USA
9 Tours and Activities to Experience Market Street
Explore San Francisco and Alcatraz on this 2-in-1 tour. Hop aboard a ferry for a scenic ride to Alcatraz and enjoy the award-winning audio walking tour. Plus, enjoy a coach tour with a knowledgeable local guide. Learn about the City by the Bay through visits to top attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the Presidio, and the Palace of Fine Arts.
Take a San Francisco half-day tour to pack in the city’s top sights in a convenient way that leaves you with plenty of time to spare so you can enjoy the city however you wish. With a driver-guide, travel the city by bus, stopping at major attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks and neighborhoods like North Beach and Chinatown. Plus, you can upgrade to include a San Francisco Bay cruise, a half-day bike rental, or admission to Aquarium of the Bay.
Combine two of San Francisco’s top tours into one Super Saver, which provides a comprehensive look at the best of the Bay Area. Travel by bus to Muir Woods, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on the way, and be wowed by the towering redwood trees of the old-growth forest. Then visit the waterfront town of Sausalito before returning to San Francisco for a deluxe city tour that takes in major attractions like Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, and Twin Peaks.
This small-group beer and bike tour of San Francisco introduces you to a variety of unique neighborhoods, with stops at three local bars or breweries along the way. Enjoy craft brews (first pint included) and discover the cultural history of each characteristic area, including SOMA, SF's Arts District and the quirky Mission District. Numbers are limited to 12 people for a more personalized experience with your informative guide on this leisurely ride.
Find out how San Francisco became the tech capital of the world! Why did everything start here? What is the secret recipe for success that everyone comes to learn? This tour will take you on a 2-hour journey through the Financial District of San Francisco. All of these questions and many more will be answered and you’ll be able to feel the startup spirit as we walk through the city. We will talk about the people that came here as college dropouts, made it big and are changing the world today.
Get acquainted with the City by the Bay during this 3.5-hour San Francisco tour, including a 1.5-hour cruise around Alcatraz Island. First make your way through the city’s most popular neighborhoods, and see main attractions, such as Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. Then, hit the water on a cruise around Alcatraz Island, and learn about the history and the former inmates of the notorious penitentiary.
Voted Best Walking Tour in San Francisco 2017, 2018, 2019. SK Morton was born in San Francisco and possesses, not only, knowledge and love of San Francisco, but also, the ability to make stuff up when he's stumped. The Lousy Tour gives in depth information about San Francisco history, culture, architecture, and even current events. And you'll be able to follow along with all of the stories on your own phone or tablet with pictures from SK's library of thousands of historic images and recordings.
Join a festive 1.5-hour tour of San Francisco’s holiday lights aboard a vintage open-air Mack fire engine. Hear commentary from your enthusiastic guide and holiday music as you travel to Fisherman's Wharf, the Embarcadero, Market Street, and Union Square to see festive holiday light displays at top sightseeing attractions. Ride with a small group limited to 12 people for a more intimate family-friendly experience of San Francisco. Have the option to wear the provided firefighter gear to stay warm and look great in photo ops!
Visit Alcatraz and go on a beer-themed cycling tour through some of the city's hippest neighborhoods. This full-day excursion combines San Francisco's history; a ferry ride to Alcatraz and an audio tour of 'The Rock', with its modern craft brewing scene; a bike tour of the city's breweries and bars. With a local guide and a small group limited to 12 people or less, you'll enjoy personalized attention. Use of a bike and helmet is included, as well as one pint of craft beer.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Market Street?
The best ways to experience Market Street are:
- Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour
- San Francisco Grand City Tour Including Free Walking Tour
- San Francisco Super Saver: Grand City Tour plus Muir Woods & Sausalito Day Trip
- Small-Group Craft Brews and Bike Tour in San Francisco
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