If you happen to be coming from the south the absolute best way is to drive up Highway 1, right along the coast. But once in the city the best way to get around (the most fun and scenic anyway) is to take the trolley car. You have to do it at least once. This pic is taken from the back of a trolley (thus the blur).
There are many public garages and lots to park in. Prices range from a few dollars (US) an hour to flat rates (usually at night) from about $5 and up. Free Street parking can be difficult to find but it's usually worth a look before settling on a lot or garage.
If you do chose to drive, then you must go over the Golden Gate Bridge at least once. While driving over it, you can fully realize how beautiful the city is. As you can imagine, there can be many auto accidents around this area. I remember almost having our car side-swiped by a bus. I guess being alert while driving is another important tips for travelers here.
Well if you are coming from the east by car this is your point of entry. The Oakland Bay Bridge. Currently in overhaul this bridge is the one more visiters use and not the Golden Gate.
Once in San Francisco that's not easy to find a place on the street to park the car. It might be a good idea to look for a Parking Lot and then take a taxi to move from there.
GG gets all the attention, but I probably spend more time driving to / from east bay on the Bay Bridge.
When travellers arrive the city,most of them like rent a car,it very useful for them travel the bay area.
I know that the parking is BAD in San Francisco, but I really enjoy having my car.....I would never get such cool pictures without it!