We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Cable Car Museum

1201 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Nob Hill)
415 474 1887
Improve this listing
Ranked #25 of 376 Attractions in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Description: A museum to San Francisco's beloved cable cars, with a subterranean walkway that lets you see the moving cable.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Write a Review

1,136 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Croydon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2014 NEW

The Cable car museum is helpfully on the cable car route. Admission is free and it is a fascinating insight into tis unique form of city transport. The most impressive thing is the viewing platform from where you can see the mighty wheels and actual cables used to propel the cars in action. An hour would probably suffice as it... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Rochester, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014 NEW

Of course you will ride the cable car and hopefully be curious about how it works. This is the place to learn is much or as little as you wish. Well documented items and stories about the various cable cars lost and restored as well as great footage of the 1906 earthquake and the devastation (in old film footage). This... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Machynlleth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
39 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2014

If you travel on the cable cars you must visit the museum and see how the cable cars operate and what happened during the earthquake in 1906. you actually get to se the cable pulling the cards and the workshops from above. It is difficult to believe this system is about 130 years old

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
31 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2014

It has a fair amount of "glass display case" memorabilia, but it also has a great explanation of the fascinating mechanisms that is used to pull the cars and a chance to see the gears for the three systems in action. The history is actually quite a story, particularly the politics of the push to get rid of the cable... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Accrington, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
12 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2014

I maybe didn't look to be too enthusiastic about visiting here (my OH really wanted to go), but once there I was pleasantly surprised to see how the cars are operated. The entire system is controlled from this relatively small building; by several huge flywheels...amazing feat of engineering! Entry is free and although its small, there are a number of... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Salina, Kansas
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

What a gem to find! This is a working museum that probably looks the same as it did 100 years ago. The operating cable system is right in front of you. The wonderful smell of the metal and grease certainly adds to the experience. The museum helps you understand how the cable car system operates. It also has photos and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bristol, United Kingdom
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

A fascinating piece of SF history. Kids would love it - and then they would want to go for a ride. Prepare for a climb up the hills.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Invercargill, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

The Cable car museum is where all 3 cable car lines end or begin depending on how you look at it. This means it is easy to find. Just hop on a cable car and ride to it. (Depending on which way it is going) It is very compact and people are maintaining things all the time. The wooden breaking... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

I visited San Francisco during early October, 2014 during what by San Francisco standards was a heat wave. Very few buildings are air conditioned in San Francisco and the Cable Car museum was no exception. It was warm outside and hot inside with a smell of metal lubricants which made the air heavy. The museum itself is not overly interesting... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
71 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

This free museum is located just down the hill from Nob hill and right along side the actual cable car line. It was really interesting to learn how the cable cars work and to learn some history behind the only active cable car system in the country. The shop where the cable cars are stored at night is located right... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Cable Car Museum also viewed


Been to Cable Car Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing