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Free Walking Tours of San Francisco

We are local volunteers who love the City, its history, lore and legends...and we're ready to share it all with you.
Start by reading our Frequently Asked Questions. Then see our list of tours, current schedule or select a tour by neighborhood.

Our free (donations welcome!), regularly scheduled tours are open to the public but NOT open to parties of 8 or more. If you plan to bring 8 or more walkers to a regular tour, please book a private group tour.

City Hall Ghost Walk

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Ghost Walk at City Hall occurs on Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 PM

The architecture and history of City Hall are impressive, but they don't hold a candle to the paranormal activity reported by employees, engineers and deputies! Uprooted cemeteries, assassinations and other ghostly lore form the focus of this tour. Hear details of chilling paranormal activity. You will be amazed--and thrilled. Who - or what - lurks around the corner? Wednesday, 10/30, beginning at 6:30 PM. Tour duration approx. 30-45 mins.
Allow time for security checks. Travel lightly - full security, including bag searches, will be in effect.

October Neighborhood Tours

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During the month of October, City Guides will offer additional tours of some lesser known San Francisco neighborhoods. Go off the beaten path and discover hidden treasures in communities like the Excelsior, Parkside, or Visitacion Valley.

Click here to see a list of our special October walking tours

Gold Rush City

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Relive the early history of the instant city, that was Yerba Buena. Hear how the Vigilance Committee served up frontier justice, and learn how the ghost fleet of abandoned ships became the foundation of The City. Walk the streets of Emperor Norton, Bummer, Lazarus and the original 49ers. For more information, click here.

Fairmont Hotel Tour


Oh if the walls of the Fairmont could only talk, the tales they could tell. Walls can't talk but your City Guide can and will. There are tales of mistresses, murder, fraud, drunkards, and prohibition. The walls hold stories of Presidents and politicians, royalty and dignitaries, and the rich and famous all woven into the history of the Fairmont Hotel. Register for this tour and you will discover the secret tales of the "Grand Dame."
Note: This tour is offered on a registration basis only. You must register on line. Click here to see available dates and make (or cancel) a reservation for the Fairmont Hotel tour.

Diego Rivera Mural at the Stock Exchange Tower


The Diego Rivera mural "Allegory of California" is in an area normally closed to the public. Once each month, however, this mural can be viewed by participants in a reservations only City Guides tour Click here for more information and to see available dates and make (or cancel) a reservation for the tour.

Golden Gate Park Tours

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San Francisco City Guides and San Francisco Parks Alliance have joined forces to offer enticing new tours of Golden Gate Park. The first tours to be offered are:

Private Group Tours

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Play tourist on your own turf and explore San Francisco the best way possible - on foot with City Guides. For a modest donation, let us arrange a private tour for your group.

Click here for more information.

School Tours

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San Francisco City Guides offers a unique opportunity to enhance your students' classroom experiences. For your next field trip, join a trained volunteer guide on a tour of San Francisco.

Click here for more information.

Our Guides Write

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GuideLines is the monthly newsletter for City Guides containing historical articles written by our tour guides.

Click here to learn more about the fascinating history of San Francisco.

APPLY TODAY TO BECOME A CITY GUIDE!!

Become a guide

San Francisco City Guides is looking for volunteers to give our famous historical neighborhood walking tours. As the official ambassadors of San Francisco, locals and visitors love City Guides volunteers and the stories they share. Fill out an application today!

But it's not just about history! Since 1978 our free walks have created something far more important, a sense of place. In an ever-changing city our impact is so important!

Click here for more details

Keep In Touch

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Have you been on a City Guides tour lately? Let us know what you thought about it. Click here to leave your feedback and suggestions.

Support City Guides by making a tax-deductible donation. By becoming a sponsor you will receive regular updates of our tour schedule and a number of other benefits. Click here for more information.

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 Upcoming Tours    

Thursday October 17    
10:00 am - South Beach and the South End Historic Warehouse District
11:00 am - Landmark Victorians Of Alamo Square
11:00 am - Golden Gate Bridge
1:00 pm - Fort Mason To Aquatic Park
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
2:00 pm - Land's End: Sutro Heights
2:00 pm - Nob Hill
4:00 pm - Art Deco Marina
4:00 pm - Theatre In San Francisco

Friday October 18    
9:30 am - Japanese Tea Garden
10:00 am - Club Land - Architecture and Culture of San Francisco's Grand Old Clubs
10:00 am - City Scapes And Public Places
10:00 am - South of Market Architecture Stroll
11:00 am - Fisherman's Wharf: A Hidden History
11:00 am - Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco
1:00 pm - City Hall and the Civic Center
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
1:00 pm - Presidio: From Military Post to Earthquake Refuge to National Park
1:30 pm - Gold Rush City
1:30 pm - City Scapes And Public Places

Saturday October 19    
The Fairmont Hotel tours for October 16, 2019 and October 19, 2019 have been cancelled.
10:00 am - Ferry Building
10:00 am - North Beach (Tour Cancelled)
10:00 am - Mission Murals
10:00 am - Chinatown
10:00 am - Omni Hotel Walk
11:00 am - 1850's San Francisco: Paris Of The Pacific
11:00 am - Pacific Heights Mansions
11:00 am - Landmark Victorians Of Alamo Square
11:00 am - Castro: Tales Of The Village
11:00 am - Coit Tower Murals
1:00 pm - Presidio: From Military Post to Earthquake Refuge to National Park
1:00 pm - Telegraph Hill Stairway Hike
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
2:00 pm - Japantown
2:00 pm - Land's End: Sutro Heights

Sunday October 20    
10:00 am - Inner Richmond: Part I
10:00 am - Cow Hollow
10:30 am - Russian Hill Stairways
11:00 am - Art Deco Marina
11:00 am - Japanese Tea Garden - 11AM
11:00 am - Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco
11:00 am - Mission Dolores Neighborhood
11:00 am - Haight-Ashbury
11:00 am - Castro: Tales Of The Village
11:00 am - Downtown Deco
11:00 am - Dogpatch and Potrero Point
11:00 am - Golden Gate Bridge
11:00 am - Billionaires' Row: Outer Broadway Architecture
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
1:00 pm - American History in Golden Gate Park
1:30 pm - Noe Valley: A Village Within the City
2:00 pm - Corona Heights Stairways (Castro)
2:00 pm - Land's End: Sutro Heights
2:00 pm - Gold Rush City (Tour Cancelled)
2:00 pm - Nob Hill
2:00 pm - Victorian San Francisco

Monday October 21    
    Click here for reservation information for the Diego Rivera Mural at the Stock Exchange Tower tour
9:30 am - Japanese Tea Garden
10:00 am - Chinatown
10:00 am - 1906: Earthquake And Fire
11:00 am - Japanese Tea Garden - 11AM
11:00 am - Fisherman's Wharf: A Hidden History
11:00 am - City Hall and the Civic Center
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
1:00 pm - Palace Of Fine Arts/Marina
1:30 pm - Chinatown
3:00 pm - Diego Rivera Mural at the Stock Exchange Tower (RESERVATIONS ONLY!)

Tuesday October 22    
10:00 am - North Beach
11:00 am - Castro: Tales Of The Village
12:00 pm - Ferry Building
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
1:30 pm - Historic Market Street: Path Of Gold
2:00 pm - Corona Heights Stairways (Castro)

Wednesday October 23    
    Click here to register for the 11:00 am Fairmont     Hotel Tour
9:30 am - Japanese Tea Garden
11:00 am - Coit Tower Murals
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
1:30 pm - Gold Rush City
2:00 pm - Mission Bay: Hidden Waters
2:00 pm - Nob Hill

Thursday October 24    
10:00 am - Historic Market Street: Path Of Gold
10:30 am - Chinatown Family Associations, Tongs and Gangs: A Historic Look
11:00 am - Golden Gate Bridge
1:00 pm - Japanese Tea Garden
1:00 pm - 1906: Earthquake And Fire
1:00 pm - Sacred Places In San Francisco
2:00 pm - Nob Hill

next week

Want even more San Francisco history?
Check the SF history events calendar

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