In San Francisco you can sign up for lots of free walking tours of the city given by local volunteers who love the City, its history, lore and legends and are always ready to share it all with you. The San Francisco City Guides, a non-profit organization, boasts more than 200 trained volunteer walking tour guides, sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library.
Tours are offered in San Francisco’s most famous (or, in some cases, infamous) districts, and in some hidden neighborhoods. You’ll have your choice from among approximately 30 different walks each month, including SF Chinatown, Japantown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill, Haight-Ashbury, the Ferry Building, and each of the San Francisco districts.
How can these tours be free? As you might suspect, most of their funding comes from donations made by people taking their tours, as well as from individual sponsorships and modest grants. So yes, these walking tours a free, but if you really enjoy your tour, you might feel compelled to tip your tour guide.
Know Before You Go
WHAT: San Francisco City Guides always Free Walking Tours of San Francisco, CA.
WHERE/WHEN: Varies, with many SF walking tours available. Check the Current Schedule on the official website (linked above).
TYPES OF TOURS: Follow the link above to the official site, or see a sample of the free tours offered on any given day (which can change without notice.
Sample Free Tours by SF City Guides
Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden
Coit Tower Murals
Pacific Heights Mansions
SOMA & Yerba Buena Gardens
Telegraph Hill Stairway Hike
Gold Rush City
Fort Mason To Aquatic Park
City Scapes And Public Places
Fisherman’s Wharf: A Hidden History
Scandalous Murals of Rincon Center
Murals And The Multi-Ethnic Mission
Silent Film San Francisco
Land’s End: Sutro Heights
Making Waves on the Waterfront
Castro: Tales Of The Village
Theatre In San Francisco
Victorian San Francisco
American History in Golden Gate Park
Historic Market Street: Path Of Gold
South of Market Architecture Stroll
Presidio: From Military Post to Earthquake Refuge to National Park
1850’s San Francisco: Paris Of The Pacific (New Tour)
Billionaire’s Row: Outer Broadway Architecture
Chinatown Family Associations, Tongs and Gangs: A Historic Look
Rising Steel: 20th Century Downtown Architecture
SAN FRANCISCO TOUR DISCOUNTS: Some of the best San Francisco tours aren’t free but may come with special offers and discounts. Here are a few I can recommend.