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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: +1 415-557-4266
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 326 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 281
  • 23
    Very good
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
Chinatown tour free!

We were visiting San Francisco and I googled things to do and discovered San Francisco City Guides--volunteers with the San Francisco Library that give free tours all around San... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Debbie N

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326 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 311: English reviews
Level Contributor
61 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We were visiting San Francisco and I googled things to do and discovered San Francisco City Guides--volunteers with the San Francisco Library that give free tours all around San Francisco. We did the Chinatown tour. Our tour guide did a great job of trying to keep our large group together and she even endured the rain without an umbrella! I... More 

Thank Debbie N
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

So going to a new city and wanting to see not only the tourist spots but some off the beaten track places, look into taking a free walking tour with SF City Guides. Find them on the web at sfcityguides.org and choose one of almost 70 different walking tours. Do it early during your stay just in case you liked... More 

Thank eaharryr
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2016

Found this organisation whilst researching our trip to SF. Seemed like a sensible idea to discover a place with a local expert, and as no need to pre-book; if plans do change you havn’t lost anything. Fred our guide has lived in the area for many years, and was so knowledgeable and personable; it was almost like you’d known him... More 

Thank Essex123
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2016 via mobile

I took two tours today, 20th century architecture and Victorian architecture. Both were given by very knowledgeable volunteers with terrific presentation skills. These free tours are a great way to learn all about San Francisco.

Thank Jill T
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2016 via mobile

We went on the Chinatown tour with Ron as our guide. Great tour with fascinating facts about things you'd never otherwise have known. Ron is funny, charming and engaging. And it's all free! We were more than happy to donate to this wonderful organisation.

Thank Caroline W
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2016

City Guides have been around for many years. The guides are well trained, knowledgeabe and often entertaining. There's a tour for just about everyone and in most neighborhoods. This is a must do for locals and visitors alike.

Thank beth k
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2016

We went on two of the guided walking tours offered by the City guides, all volunteers, who offer their services and time free of charge - the one on the Golden Gate Bridge, with David and the one around Fisherman's Wharf with Bethel. Both were informative, and very interesting, with a good mix of hard fact and light stories about... More 

Thank whatsnottaken80
Norfolk England
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2016

We could hardly believe our luck to discover these tours. Mostly no need to book - just turn up. Genuinely enthusiastic and knowledgeable Guides. Over the course of a few days in the City we took 5 of these varied and informative walking tours. They invite donations towards the admin costs - happily given by most people. Hurrah for San... More 

Thank NG54
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2016 via mobile

I have taken many city guide tours and have even taken some more than once. This last trip I took the Alfred Hitchcock, the Omni and the Japanese Tea Garden. They were all great! The guides were incredibly knowledgeable. They made the tours interesting and enjoyable for all of the diverse participants. The Alfred Hitchcock tour had a Hitchcock fanatic... More 

Thank Viajandoconrl
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2016

My wife and I took a close to 2 hour tour of the Presidio with San Francisco City Guides this afternoon. Our guide was very well trained and a local with lots of relevant personal history. We walked a little over a mile in the almost 2 hours so the pace was fine. We learned a great deal of the... More 


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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of San Francisco City Guides and other visitors
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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