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San Francisco City Guides

Certificate of Excellence
Civic Center
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Address: 100 Larkin Street, SF Public Library - Main Branch, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone Number: 415-557-4266
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Mon - Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No

City Guides are local volunteers who love the city, lore and legends...

City Guides are local volunteers who love the city, lore and legends and they will share it all with you--for free. There is a large selection of tours available all over town and lasting 90 minutes to 2 hours.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 264 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 237
  • 20
    Very good
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
Best bargain in SF!

My friends and I took three of these walking tours during our recent trip to SF - the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Chinatown. Each of them... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Huntington Beach, CA

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264 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Huntington Beach, CA
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

My friends and I took three of these walking tours during our recent trip to SF - the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Chinatown. Each of them was good and interesting but special recognition has to go to our guide at the Tea Garden, Robin Seeley. I would rate her among perhaps the... More 

Thank profesora42
Level Contributor
63 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

First, it is free. Second, the information given is well presented and factually interesting. It is truly a gem in this wonderful city. You can check out the website for listenings of all of the programs by date. You have so many from which to choose, depending on your particular interest. You can also get directions and an indication of... More 

Thank Jefferson H
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I discovered these tours 3 years ago and was thrilled with them. The first time I did 4 tours and this time we did the Coit Tower Murals tour. They are so well organized - the guide is there to greet everyone and gives you a great overview of the subject matter. Many also include extra items such as a... More 

Thank nancy405
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I am a native of SF. 3 years ago I started taking my friends/family who are visiting on these walking tours. They are great. Free. Informative and no advance reservation needed...just good walking shoes. I now do these just for my own fun. The amazing thing is most San Franciscan don't know about these.

1 Thank NormaLee_13
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
117 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

We stopover annually in San Francisco on the way home from the East Coast or Europe and before facing the long cross-Pacific flight back to New Zealand. We love the city and one of our regular things to do here is to go on a free City Guide walking tour. We have now gone on seven of them and always... More 

Thank TimSWellington
Woodstock, Georgia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2015

These tours are free; they take up a no-pressure collection at the end. Our tour guide was very good. She told the history of Fisherman's wharf with lots of stories, so it wasn't dry and boring! They have quite a list of different tours so be sure to check them out. We will definitely be taking another tour if we... More 

Thank Lynn K
McLeansville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2015

Since 2006, my wife and I have taken 18 different City Guides tours while visiting San Francisco. During this time, we have also taken many other well known tours of the city. Without a doubt, the City Guides tours have been the best. Late this summer, we were afforded the opportunity to take part in four tours during our week's... More 

Thank Retired Educator
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
301 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2015

These City tours are awesome. They are free and there are many to choose from in various parts of the city. It's great they are run by volunteers who care about the city and knowledgeable to share with visitors about the community. We arrived for the Chinatown tour and information about Tongs and Associations a few minutes before. We were... More 

Thank LovingSunandSand
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015

Recipe for a perfect day: 1. Pick a day, any day. 2. Go to the SF City Guides web site. 3. Consult the list of that day's tours. They're offered every day. 4. Pick one. Perhaps ask your friends to join you. It's a fun thing to do alone or with friends. 5. Show up on time, ready for what's... More 

Thank redtayres
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015

I have taken over 10 of the walking tours. The guides are wonderful. They give you a historical background of the neighborhood you are touring, but also give practical tips to restaurants, etc. Every year I go to SF, I always try to take a tour or 2. Not to be missed. You can donate to the organization but you... More 

Thank Pam-travelfan

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

Staying in Civic Center

Neighborhood Profile
Civic Center
Civic Center is the seat of power for all things government and performance-related in the city. Although its streets are best walked during daytime, numerous cultural gems are within close proximity to one another. The symphony, opera, ballet, and jazz center offer year round entertainment within the shadow of the city’s Beaux-Arts crown jewel: the gold tipped dome of City Hall.
Explore this neighborhood