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Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine provided by Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine

Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine

Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine
5
Book in advance
from
$30.00
per adult
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Skip the usual walking tour for one led by an eccentric fictional historical figure, Emperor Norton
Duration:
2h
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
10
Wheelchair accessible
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
  • Duration:
    2h
  • Taking Covid-19 safety measures
  • Group size:
    10
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Ticket type:
    Mobile
  • Free cancellation
About
Instead of navigating the streets of San Francisco alone on foot, let a larger-than-life historical figure introduce you to the city. Your guide—the fictional Emperor Norton—takes you to landmarks near Union Square, including Lotta's Fountain, Maiden Lane, and Portsmouth Square. Listen to the emperor tell stories you may not hear otherwise while you walk past some of San Francisco’s top points of interest.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Highlights
  • See most of downtown San Francisco’s historical attractions in a few hours
  • Hear interesting historical stories you might not otherwise
  • Choose between a morning and afternoon tour to fit your schedule
What to expect
  • Meet your guide—an 1800s San Franciscan named Emperor Norton dressed in a feathered hat and full regalia—at Union Square and set off on your tour of downtown San Francisco. The emperor is a colorful character who has also named himself the Protector of Mexico. Walk about 2-miles (3.2 kilometers) to historic landmarks including Union Square, Maiden Lane, Portsmouth Square, the Old Mary Cathedral, and Jackson Square. While you walk, the Emperor tells stories about the devastation of the 1906 fire and earthquake, and the beloved stray dogs of the 1860s, Bummer and Lazarus. Visit the historical buildings that are not on any tourist map, and learn the backstory of the city’s eccentric history.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • See most of downtown San Francisco’s historical attractions in a few hours
  • Hear interesting historical stories you might not otherwise
  • Choose between a morning and afternoon tour to fit your schedule
What to expect
  • Meet your guide—an 1800s San Franciscan named Emperor Norton dressed in a feathered hat and full regalia—at Union Square and set off on your tour of downtown San Francisco. The emperor is a colorful character who has also named himself the Protector of Mexico. Walk about 2-miles (3.2 kilometers) to historic landmarks including Union Square, Maiden Lane, Portsmouth Square, the Old Mary Cathedral, and Jackson Square. While you walk, the Emperor tells stories about the devastation of the 1906 fire and earthquake, and the beloved stray dogs of the 1860s, Bummer and Lazarus. Visit the historical buildings that are not on any tourist map, and learn the backstory of the city’s eccentric history.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 19479P1
Call +1 855 275 5071
Important information
Inclusions
  • Professional guide
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Entry/Admission - Union Square
  • Entry/Admission - Jackson Square
  • Entry/Admission - Maiden Lane
  • Entry/Admission - Lotta's Fountain
  • Entry/Admission - Portsmouth Square
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Duration
2h
Departure details
  • Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA We meet under the Dewey Monument in the center of the square. If that is blocked, we meet of the corner of the square at Powell and Geary.
  • Old Saint Mary's Cathedral, 660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA Old St. Mary's Cathedral
Additional information
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Masks and social distancing required.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
Inclusions
  • Professional guide
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Entry/Admission - Union Square
  • Entry/Admission - Jackson Square
  • Entry/Admission - Maiden Lane
  • Entry/Admission - Lotta's Fountain
  • Entry/Admission - Portsmouth Square
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure details
  • Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA We meet under the Dewey Monument in the center of the square. If that is blocked, we meet of the corner of the square at Powell and Geary.
  • Old Saint Mary's Cathedral, 660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA Old St. Mary's Cathedral
Duration
2h
Return details
  • Old Saint Mary's Cathedral, 660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA Old St. Mary's Cathedral
Additional information
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Masks and social distancing required.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    Union Square
    Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
    We meet under the Dewey Monument in the center of the square. If that is blocked, we meet of the corner of the square at Powell and Geary.
    See address & details
  • 1
    Barbary Coast Trail
    Stop: 60 minutes
    See details
  • 2
    Union Square
    Stop: 20 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 3
    Jackson Square
    Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 4
    Maiden Lane
    Stop: 15 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 5
    Lotta's Fountain
    Stop: 20 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 6
    Portsmouth Square
    Stop: 15 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 7
    Old Cathedral of St. Mary
    Stop: 5 minutes
    See details
  • You'll end at
    Old Saint Mary's Cathedral
    660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
    Old St. Mary's Cathedral
    See address & details
+
Popular mentions

5.0
51 reviews
Excellent
51
Very good
0
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Jill H
Summit, NJ2 contributions
I’ve done a few of the wonderful tours offered by the Emperor and they’re always a delight. He is witty, wise, and really helps you see the city with new eyes. San Francisco has so many layers and it’s impossible to even scratch the surface without a knowledgeable guide. The Emperor gives some of the best walking tours I’ve ever taken in any city.
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carolyn K
1 contribution
May 2021
The tour was informative, very fun, refreshing + a delight. As someone who lives in SF I learned so many new things, the editing of the stories told was excellent, very engaging, interesting + for a tourist or sf native that may pass by some of these landmarks daily + didn't realize the history. The only shame is that Giradelli Chocolates does not have the Emperor Norton's sundae on the menu any longer. Bring it back!! I would recommend this tour to my friends + family, and you too. 3 cheers to emperor Norton tour! The guide is clearly passionate, a history buff + eccentric channeling of the spirit of the Emperor!!
Written May 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Richard W
Richmond, IN12 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
I saw a story in an Alaskan Air magazine while flying. I looked like fun. I knew I had some things to plan to do so a stop by San Francisco to try this looked doable. Thing you look forward to with great expectations rarely satisfy. This surpassed my expectations. Please this is a must do. No visit to “Frisco” would be complete with out it. Sorry couldn’t help the “Frisco”. Show up and find out.
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

yny579
Los Angeles, CA7 contributions
Feb 2020
As the first major city on the West Coast, San Francisco holds a lot of interesting history in its relatively small area (looking at you, Los Angeles). With diverse people and colourful figures throughout, there's definitely something you can learn about the rich history of this intriguing city. Although the city is once again up-and-coming as a hip destination since the 1970s and especially the 1990s, its most glorious days are still long ago in the past before the Second World War, and you can bet that you can learn about that. Apparently 70% of guests are San Francisco (never Frisco) locals, and I guess that tells you all you need to know about how much you can learn on the tour.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TerriM0212
San Jose, CA16 contributions
Feb 2020
We did the waterfront tour yesterday, and It was great! The Emperor really does very informative and fun tours. This was our second tour with him. Two years ago we went on the tour that starts at Union Square, that one was my favorite. We all learned so much about San Francisco! We’re going to book a Food Safari tour in the near future, I’m sure it will be another good time.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Garrett C
2 contributions
Jan 2020
My wife and I really enjoyed our hike with our guide. He was very knowledgeable of the history and neighborhood and very engaging. We highly recommend following the Emperor!
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Regina L
Los Angeles, CA29 contributions
Dec 2019
I was in San Francisco for 4 days, and I went on several walking tours with Free Tours by Foot, Wild SF, and San Francisco City Guides. While I enjoyed all of the tours, the best overall tour was with Emperor Norton. He does a great job of comparing the old and new in San Francisco, giving a great overview of the city, and doing so with enthusiasm and flair. I bought a Groupon for my friend and me, so it was an especially good deal. If you like walking tours with some fun and theatricality, you won't be disappointed in Emperor Norton. I would take the tour again in a few years. Go!!
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Barb
San Jose, CA3 contributions
Dec 2019
Great way to spend my birthday! It was fun and very interesting at the same time to hear the history and to be at the actual places where the events occurred. I recommend it.
Written December 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joan J
San Francisco, CA40 contributions
Dec 2019
Walking tours are the best, especially when you get an "authoritative" narrative from a local, and nobody's more San Francisco local than Emperor Norton. You will see things and go places you'd never think to see on your own. My only complaint is that the Emperor did not have good control of the weather. But this was great fun even in the rain.
Written December 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BroadwayFanForever
North Attleboro, MA14 contributions
Oct 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed our fantastic 3-hour time machine walking tour with Emperor Norton. It was a perfect introduction to the history of the downtown area, including Union Square, the Barbary Coast, and Chinatown. Dressed nattily as only an emperor can, we eagerly followed him through the streets and alleyways, soaking up all the information he offered with great interest. The Emperor even recommended restaurants in Chinatown for a post-tour meal. The one we chose, the House of Nanking, was a winner. Young and old will thoroughly relish this one-of-a-kind experience with his eminence, Emperor Norton!
Written October 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 51
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine
ap5150
ap5150
00
I might be mad, but I am brilliant!
The Emperor leads you on a grand walkabout through his haunts on the Barbary Coast, sparing no detail about its del
lzybeth
lzybeth
00
See the real SF with the Emperor!
A very enriching and educational tour! The Emperor has exceptional knowledge of San Francisco history, adding his
CalifTravelerOne
CalifTravelerOne
00
No wonder this tour gets such a high rating!
To be honest, I would never sign up for a tour like this but we got this as a gift and loved it. The Emperor reall
Maggie C
Maggie C
00
Don’t miss this
We had a fabulous time with Emperor Norton on this walking tour. Only wish we’d done it when we first arrived in SF
Crisgraaff
Crisgraaff
00
A trip through time and San Francisco
What a nice and different way to experience San Francisco. This town is amazing for its ability to create the futur
Caitlyn S
Caitlyn S
00
Fantastic!
The Emperor was nice enough to show my friend and I, along with many others, the beautiful city that is San Francis
Jernae K
Jernae K
00
I LOVED this tour
This walking tour was recommended to me by a member of a travel community on Facebook and I'm so glad I listened! T
jessjmott
jessjmott
00
Don't skip this one!
I was enthralled from beginning to end! Charismatic, educational, and truly a special peek into San Franciscos past
dougtheonetruedoug
dougtheonetruedoug
00
Emperor Norton not to be missed
I took ‘The Emperor Norton Time Machine Walking Tours - Tour That Never Ends’. It was a special rare event. A six h
Suzanne C
Suzanne C
00
A great way to visit San Francisco!
Touring with the Emperor is probably one of the best tours we have done while travelling. Norton was interesting a
Marilyn Z
Marilyn Z
00
Emperor Norton's City Walk Tour
Great way to see and learn about San Francisco! Our tour guide was 'Emperor Norton', complete in costume. Very know
Tracy T
Tracy T
00
Don’t miss this tour
Fantastic tour of San Francisco. The guideis so very well-informed and brings the history of the city, neighborhoo
Johnny V
Johnny V
00
The emperor is simply Charming
This was a wonderful review with full of history and knowledge of San Francisco. Damper is simply charming and very
Lisabeth B
Lisabeth B
00
We love the Emperor!
Traveling through time with Emperor Norton was the highlight of our trip to San Francisco. He led us through the st
mmul21
mmul21
00
Great way to explore SF!
A very enjoyable and informative afternoon spent walking the streets of downtown San Francisco with Emperor Norton.
Frequently Asked Questions about Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine

Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine will start at 11:00 AM. Discover and book Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine on Tripadvisor


Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine price starts from $30.00. Discover and book Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine on Tripadvisor

Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine on Tripadvisor