Top Attractions In San Francisco For Free

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful, historic and vibrant cities in the United States and it’s not hard to see why millions of people flock to the Californian city every year.

With top things to see and do in the city such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Painted Ladies, San Fran is a city that’s absolutely teeming with fun attractions and activities.

We’ve put together a list of the 10 best free attractions in San Francisco and the top paid attractions in San Francisco to give you plenty of inspiration when planning your trip there!

Free Things To Do in San Francisco

1. Painted Ladies (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

The Painted Ladies in San Francisco are a top historic landmark within the city renowned for their incredibly beautiful architecture.

The Victorian and Edwardian-style houses have been repainted since the 1960s in three or more vibrant colours that embellish their intrinsic details.

While you can’t actually go inside the houses as they’re peoples’ homes, you can admire the Painted Ladies from outside and enjoy seeing all the beautifully coloured houses lined in a row.

Fans of the hit TV show “Full House” will certainly want to visit the Painted Ladies while in San Fran as the Tanner family are shown to be living in one of these houses so you can visit where the family supposedly live!

Address: Steiner St &, Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94117

2. Golden Gate Bridge (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most famous attraction in San Francisco and is definitely something you’ll want to see while you’re in the city.

There are numerous ways to venture across the Golden Gate Bridge; you can cycle on a guided bike tour, take a boat tour underneath the bridge or even a bus tour.

However, arguably the best way to see and experience the Golden Gate Bridge is to simply just walk across it; and best of all, it’s completely free!

It’s without a doubt one of the most iconic monuments in the United States so get the whole family together, bring your camera and head over the Golden Gate Bridge on foot at your own pace!

Address: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

3. Lombard Street (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

Lombard Street is the most famous street in San Francisco and it’s also one of the most famous roads in the whole of the U.S.!

The street is full of winding twists and turns and it’s almost like a helter-skelter rollercoaster, the way it twists and bends around!

You can drive down Lombard Street and experience for yourself just how winding it is, or if you don’t plan on hiring a car while in San Fran, you can also walk up and down it too!

Lombard Street is also covered with beautiful trees, plants and flowers that line the twisting road and it makes for a very pretty picture!

The whole family is sure to enjoy seeing this weird and wonderful free attraction in San Francisco!

Address: Lombard Street, US 101 between Richardson Ave./Broderick St. and Van Ness Avenue

4. Giants AT&T Park from the promenade (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

The Giants AT&T Park is known for being a baseball stadium that offers lovely views of the bayfront during the baseball season.

However, not only is it notoriously hard to get tickets to a baseball game here, it can also be pretty expensive.

You don’t have to miss out on all the fun however, as you can still see some baseball highlights from the archway along the waterfront promenade!

Even if you’re not particularly a huge baseball fan, it’s still worth a wander along the waterfront when there’s a baseball game on at the AT&T stadium so you can watch a bit of the game!

This free attraction feels so sweet while in San Francisco as it’ll feel like you’re at the game, but you won’t have paid a penny for the privilege!

Address: 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107

5. Pier 39 (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

If you’re visiting San Francisco with the whole family, then a visit to Pier 39 is an absolute must-do free attraction.

Located at Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 is home to plenty of fun-filled, family-friendly activities.

One of the very best free things to see and do at Pier 39 is to watch the sealions that frequent the pier.

This is such a cool way to see and experience sealions in their natural habitat and you can see why they choose Pier 39 as their place to call home; it really is a lovely place in the city!

The sealions will hang out on Pier 39 almost every single day, so you shouldn’t struggle to see at least one or two frolicking in the water and lounging on the boardwalk!

Address: The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133

6. Golden Gate Park (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

For another great family-friendly free attraction in San Francisco, make sure you carve out some time in your travel itinerary to pay a visit to the Golden Gate Park.

Golden Gate Park is located just a couple of blocks south of the Bridge and it’s a place in the city where you could easily spend a few hours enjoying everything it has to offer.

There’s the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, as well as the Conservatory of Flowers which houses some of the most beautiful and exotic species of plants and flowers in the world.

At the Golden Gate Park, you can also enjoy numerous museums such as the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences which is home to an aquarium, an indoor rainforest and even a planetarium!

Address: San Francisco, CA

7. City Hall (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

City Hall in San Francisco is renowned for its Beaux-Arts monument which is the mightily impressive dome that sits atop the building.

San Francisco City Hall houses the government of the city, as well as the county of San Francisco and is a place of true importance within the city.

You can enjoy wandering around inside City Hall, in the places where tourists and guests are allowed.

Alternatively, if you’re not too interested in history and politics, but you do enjoy seeing some beautiful architecture, then you can simply just spend some time meandering around the outside and taking in the impressive building.

This activity probably won’t interest children for too long, so you might not want to spend hours here, but it is a good place in the city for a quick pitstop.

Address: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

8. Cable Car Museum (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

This free attraction in San Francisco is definitely something you’ll want to add to your list of things to see and do in the city.

Located in the Nob Hill neighbourhood of San Francisco, the Cable Car Museum is a free museum that explains in great detail about the history of San Francisco’s cable cars.

While it might not sound overly appealing to some people, the Cable Car Museum features a functioning cable-car barn, as well as various exhibits depicting the history and mechanisms behind these famous carts.

You can find out all about why Cable Cars are used in San Francisco and why they’re such a popular tourist attraction to see when in the city!

Address: 1201 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108

9. Fort Point (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

If you’re looking for somewhere in San Francisco to enjoy an alternative and still incredible vantage viewpoint of the Golden Gate Bridge, then you need to head to Fort Point.

Fort Point was originally built in 1861 to defend the city from Confederate attacks that never actually came!

The spot has also been made famous in more recent years in the film ‘Vertigo’ when the protagonist jumped into the icy cold waters of the bay!

If you’re not really fancying the walk across the Bridge, or you’re travelling with kids and don’t think that they’d quite make the long walk along, then head to Fort Point for still-great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

Address: Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129

10. Clarion Alley street art (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

What you need to know:

Fans of unusual and “out there” artistry are sure to enjoy a walk down Clarion Alley.

The narrow alleyway is famed for featuring a smattering of brightly colourful wall murals that have been created by local and budding artists.

There are numerous paintings and portraits to be seen down Clarion Alley, many of which have strong political themes.

This free attraction might not be to everyone’s taste while in San Francisco, but it’s a great place to visit if you’re in the area as it’s a very cool street full of wonderful and weird artwork!

There’s always new additions to the vibrant murals along Clarion Alley, so chances are you’ll get to see a new painting while you’re there.

Address: 90 Clarion Alley, San Francisco, CA 94110


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