San Francisco is an easy and fun city to explore with kids. Its steep, often winding streets may look daunting at first but the excellent city public transport system makes getting around easy and fun. here are our top tips to get around San Francisco with kids.
Getting around San Francisco by bus, metro and street cars
The company running San Francisco public transport system is called Muni and operated buses, metro lines and street cars (trams).
The bus and metro system is extensive and easy to use: tickets can be bought at all metro stations where both cash and cards are accepted or on the buses themselves, all equipped with ticket machines (cash only).
You can buy individual tickets but the cheapest way to negotiate San Francisco’s public transport is to buy a Clipper Card. These are rechargeable, must be scanned when entering/leaving the bus /metro and offer significant savings compared with standard single journey fares.
San Francisco by cable car
Cable cars are San Francisco’s historic public transit cars. Cable cars are located downtown and run on several lines serving what are now some of the city’s main landmarks.
They are a fun way to explore the city and albeit touristy one of the best ways to mix transport with a travel experience! Tickets can be bought in advance from the kiosks beside the main stops or on board (on board purchases require cash only).
San Francisco by BART
The wider San Francisco area is served by BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transport system. This is an excellent system for visitors with accommodation outside the city centre and also connects the city centre with SFO airport.
Tickets can be bought at the many BART stations or you can access BART with the convenient Clipper Card.
San Francisco Visitor Passport & CityPASS
Depending on the length of your stay you may want to invest in a San Francisco city pass. These allow for unlimited rides on Muni, Muni Metro, historic streetcars and cable cars for three consecutive days. At the time of writing the following options are available
- 1-Day Visitor Passport
- 3-Day Visitor Passport
- 7-Day Visitor Passport
- Adult CityPASS
- Children ages 5-11 CityPASS
How to get from San Francisco Airport SFO to Downtown
San Francisco International Airport is located 13 miles south of downtown.
The easiest way to get to downtown from San Francisco is go by BART. The BART station is well signposted inside the airport and the train will bring you to many locations in the Bay Area.
Ticket machines are available in the station. Fares are based on distance covered.
Private transfers /Uber
Private transfers and Uber/Lyft vehicles can be booked in advance via relevant apps. They usually pick up passengers at the curb just outside the arrival terminal.
These services can be a convenient way to get to your San Francisco accommodation but not all cars are equipped with car seats, compulsory in private vehicles: make sure you bring your own.
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