Cable Cars
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Since 1873, cable cars have run up and down the hilly city, though after the 1950s, these cars have been kept in operation more out of historic nostalgia. Seventeen miles of track remain and have been deemed a historical landmark.
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The area
Neighbourhood: Nob Hill
Swanky and stylish, Nob Hill sits in the heart of the city and is home to amazing architecture and views. The hike to the top can be a challenging workout for those who forego a cable car ride, but they will be rewarded with some of the city’s most beautiful architecture adorning its peak. Originally populated with mansions after the Gold Rush, most if not all were devastated in the 1906 earthquake and fire that followed. Luckily all is not lost; storied hotels and Grace Cathedral surround Huntington Park. Having a drink or dinner while taking in the sunset and views at the "top of the Mark" is tough to beat.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Jess
    4 contributions
    Fun!
    We enjoyed using the street cars as a way of transportation. We bought a three day pass. We were surprised by the long wait to get onto the car after seeing 5 cars empty and waiting. We were not given an explanation as to why such a delay.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 19 March 2023
  • Anthony T
    Billingshurst, United Kingdom117 contributions
    A Must-do In San Francisco
    We bought an all-day ticket for travel in the city on the cable cars. Bear in mind that they do get very busy. That apart they are a great way to get about and, if you get the right conductor, a very humorous one. It really gives you an appreciation of how steep the hills are.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 1 April 2023
  • lcal303
    Denver, Colorado110 contributions
    Fun, but be prepared to wait
    If you are travelling along the Powell and Mason line at the end of the line, be prepared to wait for quite a while! Each trolley doesn't hold many, and they run every 10-15 minutes. Many times the in-between stops did not have any room on the trolley to pick up any more passengers. Almost all of the trolley engineers were very nice and helpful to the tourists.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 24 April 2023
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, Minnesota3,419 contributions
    A Must When Visiting San Francisco
    You can't visit San Francisco and not ride on a cable car. The cable cars are iconic and it's quite exhilarating to stand on the side platform as you travel up and down the steep streets of the city. I personally like the Powell/Hyde line that takes you from Union Square to near Fisherman's Wharf. There is usually a wait if you queue at either end of the line. However, you can board at many designated stops along the line. Maybe we got lucky but as we were walking to Powell and Market to board at the cable car turnaround, we were able to hop on one at Powell and Geary not long after it had left the turn around. $8 for a single ride but $13 for an all day pass that also includes riding on the historic street cars along the Embarcadero. You need to get the App and purchase your pass online but it's easy.
    Visited October 2022
    Written 27 April 2023
  • Julie F
    Edmonton, Canada41 contributions
    A 'Must Do' in San Francisco
    So much fun! A great way to see San Francisco. I recommend downloading the app and purchasing a day pass, which is unlimited use for the day $13 per person. Otherwise, you pay $8 one way. There is other options for multiple days also. It's a true emmersion into old San Francisco and a real fun thing for the entire family
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 May 2023
  • Pegers
    Northern Ireland, United Kingdom75 contributions
    A ride back in time
    Having seen the cable cars so many times on TV or in movies we had to take the cable car. We had to wait for about an hour and it wasn't too warm but we did eventually get a ride. We were somewhat surprised when we had travelled about 100 yards that the cable car driver stopped and allowed four people to get on, they hadn't paid or queued and found it quite amusing. However the trip was really good fun, particularly the down sections and the near misses with passengers on on-coming cars. A must do experience but just a slight disappointment with the 'free riders'.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 May 2023
  • Bob R
    Grand Lake, Colorado81 contributions
    Fun, historic ride
    This is a gotta do for a San Francisco trip. You can actually use them to get around, we just did a roundtrip to enjoy the views and the experience. Try to sit up front in the open area and observe the car man (Grabber) as he operates the levers to grip and release the cable pulling your car or to set the brakes. Try to allow time for the cable car museum so you'll understand how this whole thing works. Be prepared for long lines/waits to ride. On a roundtrip, you'll have to get off and get in line to get back, so just plan to lose some time (30 minutes for us on a not so crowded day.)
    Visited May 2023
    Written 24 May 2023
  • Truereds
    Barnsley, United Kingdom89 contributions
    Great experience and great staff 👏
    Jumped on at Beach Street initially for our cable cars experience. Initial short wait but then headed towards union Square. Great experience to be able to stand on the side whilst seeing the scenic views. We then spent time in Union Square then jumped on a couple more Cable cars so the kids could enjoy the experience. Great staff whom made the experience really enjoyable. A must if you’re visiting San Francisco 👍
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 May 2023
  • Ray McGuire
    Portimao, Portugal368 contributions
    Wonderful Cable Car Ride
    One of things that we really want to do when we came to San Francisco was right on a famous cable car. So we went to Union Square and caught the Powell Street cable car. We got lucky and were able to ride on the rail which is on the outside of the car which really made it a cool experience. We rode Powell Street up the hill for several blocks. We got pictures of us on the cable car and also while we were riding it. It was great experience and some we were really looking forward to. We would really recommend this to anyone wanting to ride the classic San Francisco cable car.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 6 June 2023
  • nzwestie
    Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand457 contributions
    Worth the wait - loved the ride!
    After a very very long wait we got onto the tram, down the wharf end of SF. We raced to the front of the tram so we could be standing and holding onto the rails. Finally on our way. Great trip. Loved it. Watching all the sites as we went by etc. We paid the money and was under the impression it was for a round trip. Yes the trip will be a round trip when you get to the other end then re pay for the next trip back. Once we got to the end of the line we got off and thankfully there was not another long wait. Back on and rode the tram back to the wharf area. Loved it as it is something you must do in SF.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 1 July 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Venture754838
Ingersoll, Canada425 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
We purchased the one day passport for $16 each. We took the cable car to just outside Fisherman’s Wharf. The weather was idyllic and we had the opportunity to see quite a lot during our ride.
After spending the day in Fisherman’s Wharf, we lined up to take the cable car back to downtown San Francisco.
Not sure why we had to wait so long to depart at both ends. Especially after being informed that it departs every 20 minutes.
Written 15 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael B
Sydney, Australia77 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
You cannot go to San Francisco without going on the cable cars. Not only are they an experience, they get you around the town pretty efficiently for a sightseer. You can also get the ride included as part of a munimobile purchase which allows you to travel all the cable cars for the day and all other public transit like the classic old street cars. We were able to travel right across SF and headed out to Haight Ashbury as part of our ticket.
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matild K
Hollywood, California, USA46 contributions
Jan 2024 • Solo
Great ride! Very friendly cable car operators. The ride through the city is great and ending at the Fisherman’s Warf is super. Love it 😍
Written 11 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kendra G
7 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
We were fortunate enough to visit San Francisco in the quiet season and the Cable Car was one of the highlights of our trip. Easy to use, just purchase your ticket next to the tram stop and off you go. For USD8 you can ride all day. There are 3 lines with 2 of them running straight from Fishermans Wharf to Union Sq. Compared to other attractions in Fishermans Wharf this was by far the best value. You can get on and off or just ride them. You are allowed to stand outside which my teens loved. We rode all 3 lines then the Fishermans Wharf line again after dark, the city lights were spectacular and the cold if the night added to the experience. The drivers are masters of their craft and handling these cable cars up and downhill is an art still practiced today as they have done for 150 years as is watching them turn around on the turntable once they reach the end. Highly recommended and an unforgettable experience.
Written 10 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

focusport22
171 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
We decided to ride the cable car when we were heading back to the hotel. We opted to stand on the side for the experience. We had a great time and would do it again.
Written 27 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

guennie3
Cambridge, UK246 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Absolutely loved the SF cable cars. We went from Fisherman’s wharf to Union Square and back. Hopped off at the museum-it is free and so interesting. You see the mechanism working the cars there. Heard that the other route to Union Square was steeper and more fun so did that later. We also watched the turn around. Not so busy at the end of November. Bought $13 day passes on the MuniMobile app. Very simple to set up and use.
Written 30 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomo61
Tewkesbury, UK508 contributions
Jan 2023 • Friends
If there are two or more of you - ride the line one way and Uber back - it’s much cheaper. $7 each one way on the car if I remember
Written 16 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wombatdavid
Hobart, Australia2,549 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Buy a day pass for $13 and it pays for itself if you do 2 trips. We also used our pass on the street cars. We were disrupted by APEC but still did a partial ride to the wharf area. A lot of fun!
Written 13 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Buddy
Sydney, Australia201 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
We went yesterday and on both trips the staff were rude, unhelpful and ruined the experience for everyone on board, humiliating customers and just being downright awful.
Written 5 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Moni S
Columbus, OH20 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
A must when you visit San Francisco. I took the cable car from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf. I really enjoyed it, especially when I was able to move to an outward facing seat. A couple of tips; 1) You have to pay with cash or download the MuniMobile and pay for an online ticket. 2) Avoid boarding at the turn arounds as you will wait over an hour. There are stops every few blocks, and you can catch a car much faster.

With all the hills in SF, it made for a very enjoyable ride.
Written 30 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cable Cars (San Francisco) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Cable Cars