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San Francisco City Guides

Certificate of Excellence
Civic Center
Sponsored by:
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Address: 100 Larkin St, SF Public Library - Main Branch, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102-4705
Phone Number: 415-557-4266
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
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 and...

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 313 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 270
  • 23
    Very good
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
Awesome walking tours of the city.

Went on 2 walking tours in a week-overall this is an excellent tour company as the guides were on time, informative and fun! The tours are free, but the guides ask for donations... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Vancouver, Canada

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313 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 300: English reviews
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Went on 2 walking tours in a week-overall this is an excellent tour company as the guides were on time, informative and fun! The tours are free, but the guides ask for donations towards administration costs at the end so you pay what you think it was worth (or nothing if you want). I gave $10 each tour, as I... More 

Thank sweet_431
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

The SF library offers a large number of free guided walking tours throughout the city. Our first tour was the Billionaires Row tour which is conducted on Sunday's at 11am, and begins at the corner of Lyon and Broadway streets. Our guide (a volunteer) was on time and promised a tour that would touch on architecture, history and gossip, all... More 

Thank U028477
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We did the 1906 Earthquake and Fire walking tour in August and thoroughly enjoyed the tour. It was interesting to learn more detailed information about the earthquake and fire, and how the city and people dealt with the aftermath and rebuild. Our guide Kathryn was great and her enthusiasm and interest was clear to see. I would highly recommend this... More 

Halle (Saale), Germany
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We took two tours: the Gold Rush and The Mission. The Gold Rush was small (5 people in all), whereas the Mission had about 20 participants (maybe also because it was on Sunday? locals showed up, too). We liked both tours, and particularly enjoyed The Mission because of the lively anecdotes and the chance to actually see most of the... More 

Thank mirmiru86
Newark, Delaware
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

These free walking tours are a service of the public library and run by trained volunteers. I only had time for one and it was excellent. Manuel was the tour guide and was entertaining and knowledgeable. I learned a lot of interesting information about the history of the city and especially the area near Chinatown. Please make a donation. It... More 

Thank MLFB
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

For the past 10 years, I have been trying to take all the tours offered and some I have taken 2 times because of the wonderful variety of presenters. I HIGHLY recommend these tours for their ability to present interesting SF history and not a ton of walking. Make sure you make a donation for these free tours so they... More 

Thank willietino
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
53 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I just happened to google this tour a half hour before it started. So glad we made it! Our tour guide, Fred, was so informative and personable! It made the Castro that much more interesting to us! The tour lasted about 1 1/2 hours. We learned about the history of the Castro, the sad tale of Harvey Milk, saw some... More 

Thank Unicent
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2016

I have gone on several of the City Guide walking tours and have really enjoyed each one (Market Street, Fairmont Hotel and the Victorian Houses). The tour guides are super friendly and all volunteers who enjoy telling the stories of the city. The walks last around 2 hours each and you walk around and stand for the talking parts (be... More 

Thank Camille H
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
250 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2016 via mobile

I took 3 separate tours during my stay, the golden gate bridge tour, chinatown tour, haight-astbury tour. It was a great way to focus on a particular area of san fran and learn all about the area and its history from enthusiastic and knowledgable guides. I felt that taking them added so much to my experience in each of these... More 

1 Thank Adam K
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2016 via mobile

I loved this tour! Our guide - Jay - had an energy & enthusiasm for Hitchcock and San Francisco that was infectious. He did a great job taking us around the locations from Hitchcock's movies and was really engaging and informative. It was my first City Guide walk and it was a brilliant way to pass 2 hours on a... More 

Thank Beth S

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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