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“A Must!!!”

Big Bus San Francisco
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$27.00*
and up
Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour
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$110.00*
and up
Big Bus San Francisco Sightseeing and Alcatraz Combo
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$27.00*
and up
Big Bus San Francisco Night Tour
Ranked #42 of 294 Tours in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy the beautiful city of San Francisco on top of an open top, double-decker bus. Experience the diverse culture of the city by visiting the unique neighborhoods including Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, Haight/Ashbury District, Union Square, SoMa, Civic Center, Alamo Square.Journey through Golden Gate Park and cross the infamous Golden Gate Bridge! Hop on and hop off at any of our 20 stops located throughout the city. All tickets include free bike rental and walking tours of North Beach neighborhood and Chinatown. Visit us at our San Francisco Visitor Center at 99 Jefferson Street in Fisherman's Wharf.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

WE LOVED our Tour guide James. The days we went went to San Farcisco was extremely cold. But James had us laughing, when didnt want to get off the bus just to hear him tell us the fun facts and trivia of San Fran. We told all of our frineds and family of him, and because of the great time we had we had we will do it again.

Thank Da A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,462 - 4,466 of 5,412 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2013

we took the tour on a sunny august day but beware of the wind on the top deck!! loved the sights and comments we could hear over headphones. very informative and good to get an overview if you're the first time in san francisco

Thank josieontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We chose the Alcatraz (triple) Combo package @$90 (£56) pp, inc 48 hour ‘Big Bus’ Opentopsightseeing (stand-alone $45pp), and Panoramic Night Tour ($55pp for the double combo). Big Bus includes 2 Free walking tours of Chinatown and North Beach (Little Italy), a one-hour free rental of a Blazing Saddles bike, and the Night Tour on the Sightseeing bus.

- 48 hour Big Bus : On the first day, at 9.50am, we got the first bus from Stop 1, crnr Mason and Jefferson. Buses run every 20 minutes. Our live guide, Chris, was very good, and talked continuously. We stayed on for the whole route, which ended at 12 noon (2h 10m). - In the afternoon, and the next day, we used the bus as transport to take us to some of the areas we wanted to explore on foot. Some buses have 'earplugs' to pick up by the door, and plug in for the commentary in 8 different languages (very irritating music, like when a company keeps you you on hold, on the phone!). Several of the sockets in the seatbacks didn’t work, and we sometimes found ourselves with no commentary, or sharing with one ear each!

- The Chinatown Walking Tour is twice a day, from Union Square. On our 3pm tour there was just us and guide Thadeus. We entered Chinatown by dragon-adorned Pagoda Gates, on Grant and Bush. The tour lasted an hour and the guide was very nice, but we didn’t see a great deal. We walked round Chinatown a little more on our own, and also went back the next day. (We didn’t do the other free walking tour, as we thought we could probably see and learn just as much on our own.)

- Night Tour on Sightseeing bus : 5.45pm, only 4 people ahead of us, and bus came almost immediately – our guide was a large black lady called Gail. A few other people joined us, and the tour started promptly at 6pm, in just dimming daylight. Went some places where we had not been before on the day bus route : along Letterman Drive and Lincoln Bd. through the Presidio, also down some of Polk St and some of California, Nob Hill, past the Cathedral, through SOMA, and past the AT&T baseball stadium and the Bay Bridge. The tour ended about 7.20pm, and we were absolutely frozen, specially legs and feet! (Wear legwarmers, or something?)
- Not impressed with the guide. Gail told us, twice, that she was the best guide in the universe, and asked us to give her 5 stars on tripadvisor!. She had, however, read the whole thing and, often, she paused mid-sentence, while she turned the page or found her place. She did read it quite well, and was very up-beat, but i don’t know how she would have coped if someone had interrupted her and asked a question! It is however the best way to see the city lights, nd I do recommend it.

Alcatraz Cruise : As instructed, we were in line 30 minutes early, for the 1.20pm Alcatraz Cruise ($28pp as a stand-alone tour). The boat journey takes about 10 minutes. Once everyone was off the boat and assembled, a Park Ranger gave a talk about what we would be seeing, and how to proceed. (There is a little train available for those who find walking uphill difficult.)
- After walking up the hill at your own pace, there is a queue for an excellent audio-guide which is included in entry (also only $1 for a paper guide). Because the audio-guides are handed out one by one, and to everyone, the progress round the prison is perfectly controlled. Audio-commentary is by a narrator as well as former guards and prisoners which, put together with very good background sounds, really helped to recreate the atmosphere. When you return to the foot of the hill, there is a theatre where you can watch a very good little video which is on a loop, and then a little museum place to visit. 5 stars for the Alcatraz Cruise!

VERDICT : the sightseeing bus tour is good – but you either like these or you don’t. If town seems busy and queues are long, I suggest you just do the one-day ticket. The walking tours are maybe not the best use of your time. The night tour is worth doing, with or without a decent guide. Alcatraz, we were told by our Concierge that Alcatraz tickets are hard to come by, unless you buy a package like this, and Alcatraz is definitely worth doing!

2  Thank eleanola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Gayle was funny and informative on the Big Bus Tour of San Francisco. . Her narration was not only informative but witty and engaging. She pointed out all the points of interest and made the whole trip warm by her wit and friendliness.

She told us all to go on Trip advisor and vote for her as there is a competition for the best guide and she wants to win it. Good luck, Gayle. You certainly deserve to win.

It was the coldest I've ever been crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

I shall remember this tour because of Gayle and if ever I should return to San Francisco will sign up for a Big Bus Tour.

Kate from Brighton, UK

Thank Kate F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

This was a great way to do the whole of San Francisco in under 3 hours - really good if you're under time constraints and have a max 2 days staying in San Fran. Our tour guide was James and our driver was Greg - they were great! James was extremely funny and his facts were interesting and I'd definitely do it again!. Highly recommended!

Thank Arry0790
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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