Cable Cars, San Francisco

4.5 out of 5 stars 120 Reviews

Throughout the City 311
Don't miss these tickets and tour deals!
Get best Cable Cars rates on Viator
  • packed cable car
    packed cable car
    by mindcrime
  • cable car at Powel street
    cable car at Powel street
    by mindcrime
  • Cable Cars
    by TexasDave

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • egonwegh's Profile Photo

    Cable cars, bookmobiles, fire engines

    by egonwegh Updated Apr 18, 2016

    Cable cars, fire engines, bookmobiles .... What would the city of San Francisco be without its cable cars? From police series such as 'The Streets of San Francisco' we already knew that the streets of the city are alive with the sound of, well, police cars, but also fire engines, and that indeed turned out to be true. I've also thrown in a picture of a book mobile for good measure.

    Address: Throughout the City

    Directions: Throughout the City

    Phone: 311

    Website: http://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/transit

    San Francisco, cable car San Francisco, Fire engine San Francisco, Bookmobile

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Rude barbarians as staff, druggies harrassing you

    by UK30couple Written Feb 26, 2016

    I will make it my mission to share the following message with the world about using the Cable cars AND busses in SF:

    SHOCKED! Drivers and staff are Ghetto style barbarians who are shouting at tourists and generally behave poorly. We expected better from San Francisco.
    Never have I seen staff behave SO poorly towards tourists, with such a terrible attitude.
    Additionally, beggers and dangerous people are left to harrass tourists at the main station on Powell street without any visible security deterrants.

    For a city with such high tourist taxes and transportation prices - this is surely a rotten deal.

    Clean up your act San Francisco! Stop the corruption and DO something with the taxes and fees you receive.

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Cable Cars

    by apbeaches Updated Jan 8, 2016

    We enjoyed riding the cable cars & just plain watching them go by. The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last manually operated cable car system. Of the 23 lines established between 1873 and 1890 only three remain. Ttwo routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, most of the seven million annual passengers are tourists. They are among the most significant tourist attractions and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Address: 1201 Mason St. at Washington

    Directions: There are 4 cable car lines (Hyde, California, Mason and Powell).

    Website: http://www.sfcablecar.com

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    Touristy but a must do !!!!!

    by jlanza29 Updated May 29, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ever since 1873 ... the iconic Cable Cars have been moving locals, travelers, and tourist up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco ..... if you have never been on one ... you must do it ... nowadays mainly tourist take the cable cars for a ride down to Fisherman's Wharf.

    Prices are $5.00 each way for $13.00 for a day pass .... be prepared to wait, wait and wait .... if you take it from Union Station .. waits up to 2 hours are not uncommon ....

    I say do it if you've never done it ..... and you have the time for it ....

    Website: http://www.sfcablecar.com

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Answer to Forum Question - May, 2012

    by riorich55 Written May 26, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    And you've got to try my favorite intro to SF. Riding the length of the Hyde Powell Line Cable Car line starting at Market Street and ending near the bay with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. This was my first introduction to San Francisco almost 27 years ago and still one of most awe inspiring moments was cresting the hill on that line and my first view of the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz island.

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Benson35's Profile Photo

    Cable car journey

    by Benson35 Updated Jan 18, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It was on our 'to do' list while we were in San Francisco to ride a cable car, and what a fantastic experience!
    We borded at the terninal (Firshman's Wharf). Pay for your ticket at the booth and get into the queue. Depending on the time of day, the queue can be huge or non-existant. There is no pushing or queue hopping, everybody just takes their place in line.
    It's great to watch how the cable cars are turned around ready to go back the way they came. The drivers and conductors are friendly and it's a great way to see the city from yet another perspective.
    You can also buy tickets onboard.

    Directions: There are stops all over the city. The cable car will only stop on the flat bit if road which is a junction. Be careful when getting on and off!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Cable car and wineries

    by kjsdegrano Written Sep 24, 2011

    Hi
    I'm Kate, a newbie here. I would like to share some ideas that crossed my mind while reading here. Before I go to travel, I checked on websites, forums, and blogs about the place. I read negative and positive comments, and i sort them all so I know where I put my trust. Regarding traveling in SF, I trusted one of the best travel website i just knew, www.sfchambervisitor.com. And I had the best days during my vacation in SF-wines, cable car, french laundry, food trip, etc..
    Happy vacation, guys!
    Kate

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Jesgrew's Profile Photo

    Getting around Town

    by Jesgrew Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    First thing is catch Bart from the air port into town. Cheaper than a cab.
    Go to visitor's center if possible for free maps and information.
    Figure out where you are in relation to where you want to go.
    Then Get the all day bus - cable car pass.

    Tourist traps; Fisherman's warf etc if you must go , go early to avoid the crowds.
    Cable car waits can be up to an hour because of the long lines waiting.
    Better choice - catch the F train - it goes where you will want to go for turist stuff. Faster and more reliable than the cable cars.

    Use the all day pass, along with the Muni bus's - hop off one onto the other.

    The street performers - by all means enjoy em, talk to em too. Some are really nutz but It is just a job for most of em.

    Farrish building - Think food court, but it has yummy spots.
    Haight area - Bus 71 will drop you off in that way crazy place - go to www.yummychow.com for good reviews.

    Lots of very special art dealers here, and mental candy to enjoy besides the odd people that live here.

    Find bottle water for your stay and common food stuff cheap in the local drug stores - yep.
    Bring a warm sweat shirt or wind breaker - the weather changes every 10 minutes.

    Pay attention to where you are at all times - enjoy the shopping and food!!

    Address: San Francisco

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Go San Francisco Card

    by jaehunkim Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Go San Francisco Card offers admission to many of the attractions/tours in town as well as many in the East Bay and Wine Country. Also includes discounts at restaurants and shops around the city. Comes with a great guidebook too. A big money saver if you want to see more than one or two attractions while visiting town.

    Some of the admissions included are the Exploratorium, Red and White bay cruise, Gray Line Trolley Hop, Historic Cable Car ride, Zeum, Asian Art Museum, SBC Park Tour, Chabot Science center, Wine tastings, etc.

    Address: All over town and beyond

    Directions: The included attractions are all over town, the east bay as well as wine country. Many of the attractions are in Marina/Fisherman's Wharf area as well as just south of Market Street.

    Phone: (415) 462-1597

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Go San Francisco Card

    by jaehunkim Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Go San Francisco Card offers admission to many of the attractions/tours in town as well as many in the East Bay and Wine Country. Also includes discounts at restaurants and shops around the city. Comes with a great guidebook too. A big money saver if you want to see more than one or two attractions while visiting town.

    Some of the admissions included are the Exploratorium, Red and White bay cruise, Gray Line Trolley Hop, Historic Cable Car ride, Zeum, Asian Art Museum, SBC Park Tour, Chabot Science center, Wine tastings, etc.

    Address: All over town and beyond

    Directions: The included attractions are all over town, the east bay as well as wine country. Many of the attractions are in Marina/Fisherman's Wharf area as well as just south of Market Street.

    Phone: (415) 462-1597

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    CLANG, CLANG, CLANG GOES THE CABLE CAR!

    by travelgourmet Updated Mar 6, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tourists wake up! This cable car ride is San Francisco. It is a rush to hear the clang of the bell, feel the pull of the cable, and hear the clamping of the brake as you climb half way to the stars. Whoa! and down the streets as well leave you with a "hold on" mentality.

    I found the route I enjoyed best was the Powell-Hyde cable car that takes you from downtown at Market and Powell to Fisherman's Wharf at Hyde and Beach. That is where the turntables are located and the turn around starts off with an empty cable car. It may take up to thirty minutes to get on, but you are on. The views are there to see as you climb the streets and even Lombard Street, "the crookedest street in America" is viewed from this route.

    Prices, as of summer 2008 were adults, $5.00 US, one way. There is a one day, three day, and seven day pass available from the San Francisco Cable Car Line that includes riding the muni bus system as well. Worth looking into if you want to see San Francisco by day and night from the cable car.

    Address: 1201 Mason St. at Washington

    Directions: 3 cable car lines; Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason, both start at Powell and Market Streets, downtown San Francisco, ending up on different sides of Fisherman's Wharf and The California Street line that runs a straight east-west line downtown.

    Website: http://www.sfcablecar.com

    THE FAMOUS SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR CABLE CAR AT NIGHT WAITING YOUR TURN TO BOARD THE CABLE CAR LOMBARD ST.,  A TOURIST STOP ON THE CABLE CAR LINE THE CONDUCTOR WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    cable cars and historic trolleys

    by mindcrime Written Jan 20, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cable cars are icons of San Francisco, and one of the main reasons I visited the city anyway! It was great to see them and but also to ride some of them along the hills. The first ones operated at the end of 19th century at the top of Nob Hill. Although, they are slow, small and noisy and definitely less reliable there are still three routes that run in the SF. The most famous spot among the tourists is definitely at the corner Market and Powell streets. It’s the place where you can watch the cable car turntable. Two routes start from here (Powell>Mason and Powell>Hyde) but they are always packed with tourists, take a ride and enjoy some hair raising turns. We enjoyed much more the one at California Street that runs through Nob Hill just because it is used mainly from locals (you don’t see that much though and there aren’t any turns to get excited with).

    The single ticket costs $5 and can can be purchased at turnarounds or from the conductor as you board. I think the price is extremely high but we didn’t pay anything because we used the CityPass. The cable car can be almost empty (pic 3) in California line (pic 1) or fully packed in Powel lines (pic 2) with people standing on the door (pic 4)

    Don’t miss also some light rail cars, the historic trolleys (pic 5), especially the F line, it is slow and packed with passengers but it’s worth to do the ride just once and see the picturesque itinerary. It’s a great way to approach Fisherman Wharf , going down the Market street turn left at the Embarcadero till it reach the Fisherman’s Wharf. These vintage cars are very old but it’s worth to see one, especially those with the wooden interior, the ticket is the normal one you use for buses anyway.

    Website: http://www.sfcablecar.com/

    cable car at California street cable car at Powel street interior of a cable car packed cable car historic trolley

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • TexasDave's Profile Photo

    Center of Cable Car Universe

    by TexasDave Written Jul 2, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The power plant for the cables which run the 4 lines is also a free museum. You probably won't spend a lot of time there, but it gives an opportunity to see how the system runs and some cable car memorabilia. Souvenirs are also sold.

    Address: 1201 Mason St. at Washington

    Directions: There are 4 cable car lines (Hyde, California, Mason and Powell).

    Website: http://www.sfcablecar.com

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Suzanne123's Profile Photo

    Best Deal in the City

    by Suzanne123 Written May 8, 2009

    Beside the Cable-Car-Turn-around is a Visitor Information Center. It is in Halldie Plaza where there is a MUNI & BART Stop. Pay one BART fare from the airport into the city and stop here at Union Square to get your transportation weekly pass. At this visitor centre you pay $50 to get a one week booklet for:

    1. All muni transportation
    2. Cruise around the bay
    3. Aquarium on the bay (plan visit around shark feeding time 2x per wk)
    4. San Francisco Museum of modern Art
    5. De Yeung museum
    6. Science Academy
    7. Exploratoium (great organic food buffet) Beside the Palace of Arts
    8. Unlimited cablecar rides (usually $5.00 per ride)

    This deal can't be beat and it is cheaper than the San Francisco 7-day GO passes.

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • razorbacker's Profile Photo

    Cable Cars.

    by razorbacker Updated Mar 24, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Classic and fun, this is an absolute "must!" You can see a lot of the sights by taking one or more of these lines. But they are an end in themselves.
    One of my favorite activities was riding the cars in the evenings and gazing into the homes along the route. There was something comforting in that. It was obvious these well-appointed and classy interiors had been decorated not only for the comfort and enjoyment of the residents but for the pleasure of the passers-by as well.
    (*One caveat: buy a City Pass for $59 as soon as you get to town. We got ours at the kiosk on Hallidie Plaza, right next to the Powell Street turnaround. The City Pass - among other great advantages - entitles you to unlimited use of municipal public transport for a full 7 days, including buses, trolleys, AND cable cars. Otherwise a cable car ride is $5 - one way!)

    Address: 1201 Mason St. at Washington

    Directions: There are 3 cable car lines. (Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason, and California Street.)

    Website: http://www.sfcablecar.com

    Turnaround. Cable car operator. Powell Street turnaround. Busy traffic on Powell Street (by Brenda) California St. line in Chinatown (by Brenda)
    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner

Instant Answers: San Francisco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

25 travelers online now

Comments