Free things to do in San Francisco

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Calling all cash-strapped travelers who still want to experience the City by the Bay.

Calling all cash-strapped travelers who still want to experience the City by the Bay: Check out these five free things to do in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge (Image: Salim Virji used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Golden Gate Bridge (Image: Salim Virji used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

San Francisco’s most iconic landmark is free to cross, so grab your camera and take in the sights with a 1.7-mile walk over the bay. Don’t forget to kick off your stroll with a visit to the Visitors’ Center at the base of the bridge.

Cable Car Museum

Cable Car Museum (Image: Steve Parker)
Cable Car Museum (Image: Steve Parker)

San Francisco’s famous hills are best traveled on board one of the city’s famed cable cars, and you can learn all about these nostalgic cars (just don’t call them trolleys) at the Cable Car Museum, which is always free to visit. The museum offers a look into the history of the cable cars with various exhibits and views of the actual cables that pull today’s cars.

Walking tours

Who doesn’t love a free walking tour? San Francisco City Guides offers an impressive selection of free daily tours, covering everything from architecture and notable neighborhoods to ghost walks and Hitchcock’s San Francisco. Tours are offered for free throughout the year.

San Francisco Botanical Garden

San Francisco Botanical Garden (Image: Austin Risbeck Photography)
San Francisco Botanical Garden (Image: Austin Risbeck Photography)

Soak up the city’s natural beauty at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, where you can lose yourself in endless acres of gardens, blossoms and greenery. More than 50,000 plants fill the Botanical Gardens’ 55 acres, with special collections taking inspiration from Asia, California and the Mediterranean. Nature walks, garden workshops and other events are held throughout the year.

Brewery tours

If you fancy yourself a beer lover, make reservations early for one of the free weekday tours at Anchor Brewing. Two tours are held each weekday, taking you on a 45-minute journey through the brewery’s three floors. Tours are topped off with a tasting session of Anchor Brewing’s best flavors.

(Main image: TimeLapseBlog.com)

Free things to do in San Francisco was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.