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a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

San Francisco

Hop on Hop off

We're not going to have a car for our visit. We normally like to walk but because of the hills not sure what to expect as far as walking. I've seen the hop on hop off in NYC but never used it. We just walked everywhere. I would love opinions on the Hop on hop off for San Fran. Seems like a good idea for our busiest site seeing day. Thanks!



36 Answers  (showing 1 - 30)


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Naperville

I have been to San Francisco many times on business in the 80's and 90's and my wife and I have been to San Francisco several times on vacations (the last one being in November 2010). We have never taken the Hop On Hop Off since I know the city very well, but I think you might want to strongly consider it if you are a first time visitor.

I just had a look at a website and it looks like they have a 2 days for the price of 1 special right now.
allsanfranciscotours.com/bod...




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

oh my gosh, thanks for that link. I would have shopped around but the first quick check that I took was a buy one get one free that was twice the price of that. thanks




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Naperville

I was going to recommend another tour (a 2 hour walking tour of the financial district) that we took back in 2010 for $20 per person. But I just checked out the website and he now gives the tour for $40. Good tour, but I'm not sure if I'd spend $40 for a 2 hour walking tour. Here was my review of that tour.

[original VT link]




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

ya, that seems a bit expensive




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

BTW, do I really have to keep my camera out of site or it will get stolen?




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Naperville

Who told you that??? My wife and I both have cameras and I bring along my video camera and iPad. We have them in Camera Bags and are obviously tourist where ever we go. You should be aware of your surroundings, but I've never had a problem. I will tell you though that when I'm taking pictures or videos in highly traffic places I will put my back against a wall, so nobody can approach me from the rear.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Dorset

Did not use the Hop on Hop off bus in San Francisco, but we have used it in Sydney and Singapore on a recent visit.To my mind i think it a great way to see many places in a city in a short time.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

55 wrote:

Who told you that??? My wife and I both have cameras and I bring along my video camera and iPad. We have them in Camera Bags and are obviously tourist where ever we go. You should be aware of your surroundings, but I've never had a problem. I will tell you though that when I'm taking pictures or videos in highly traffic places I will put my back against a wall, so nobody can approach me from the rear. Oh gosh, seen in several sites, "Keep wallet in front pocket, dont carry a purse over your shoulder, watch your cell phone , watch your camera"




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

why cant I figure out this quote and answer???




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis

I haven't used the HoHo but instead opted for a visitor's MUNI pass on my last trip: SF has excellent public transit! They come in 1, 3 or 7-day increments and provide unlimited rides on streetcars, buses and cable cars and cost $14, $22 or $28 respectively: less than the HoHo, and with more flexibility of routes/times. I don't usually recommend the 1 day unless planning to use transport a LOT but a three or 7-day passes can easily pay off.

sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passpor...

I also did a lot of walking but used transport to get to certain sites a little quicker, or when my feet just gave out at the end of the day! HA!

No, don't worry about your camera: just keep a good hand on it and don't go laying it down in busy places. I would actually be a lot more concerned about use of a Smartphone as a camera as theft of those is epidemic worldwide: they're very easily snatched from the hand when held away or above the body for taking snaps. And take the usual precautions you would anywhere else with your cash/credit cards: never in a pocket or purse but tucked away somewhere under your clothing.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

I saw that on the news about the smartphones. You're right, it's a problem all over. Unreal. Good thing I have a basic phone , haha




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Bookmarking because I'm visiting SF in the summer.

But I'll note that you'll see exactly the same advice for every tourist-popular destination, whether in the US or Europe or anywhere else. It's just normal city common sense to take precautions with cameras, phones etc.

'Watching your camera' doesn't mean keeping it out of sight all the time: it means stay aware of it and your surroundings, don't put it in your ordinary bag (where it can be easily stolen), don't leave it on the cafe table. etc etc.....

Or maybe I'm wrong and SF really is a place where you risk your visible camera being snatched from your hand? If it is, I need to know....




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis

J, no need to worry about your camera there than anywhere else you've been.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Naperville

When you use the "Quote and Answer" you have to type your response below the blue line. It is not very intuitive. I've already pointed this out to the VT technical staff. When you are through answering like I'm doing here click on the Blue "Post" Button on the bottom.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Naperville

It's not any different in SF, J. You are going to be there this summer. Make sure you take a look at Kate's site along with mine.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Didn't really think it would be any different to anywhere else. Just requires the application of normal city common sense, as per.

Will def look at both lots of pages but my visit is too far away to look now. I'm just focusing on Krakow and Amsterdam. :-)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Spokane

I haven't taken it there, but I have been on a number of hop-on, hop-off busses in other cities. I really like them. It is an easy way to get to a number of the main sites, and the narratives are usually interesting and fun. Sometimes I ride one around all the way, and then start hopping off on a second round.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from La Gouesnière

Mind they don't pinch you for the "white slave trade, I've heard on lots of sites that they are searching for solo women under- er well they are.anyway....




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

gotcha! the blue line isn't visible unless you "arrow down" thanks for the info




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis

Now that I think about it, a 1 day MUNI pass can absolutely be worth the $14 if you plan on taking any cable cars. They're sort of a novelty and I really didn't use them after my first trip but first-timers usually like to give 'em a go. At $6 a single ride, just two hops + one ride on streetcar or bus and you're up to $14. :O)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

When are you going to San Fran? July here. Where are you staying? HIlton Union Square here. I can't wait. Sounds like you are doing alot of traveling this summer.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I'm doing as much travelling as I can before I can't do any, if that makes sense!

I'll be in SF in late July, staying just off Union Square (unless I change my mind and my hotel!). :-)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

Ya, I was thinking the pass isn't much more than a cable car ride. Now I know I have to take the ride on the the cable car, and I really want to, but if the line is too long I may pass. I'm not a fan of waiting in lines




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Naperville

You have to ride on the Cable Car. Just don't get on at the spots where the Cable Cars turn aournd. Get on at other stops and you won't have to wait in lines at all.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Naperville

One last link and then I've got to get some other things done today or my wife will have my head.

[original VT link]




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

when you say turn around do you mean the beginning or the end? i would have thought getting on where it turns around would be best




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

yes it makes sense...i'm doing the same thing!




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis

No, the lines are longest at the turnarounds: Union Square is particularly bad. People will be hopping off at points along the way and freeing up space: it's at the main turnaround/loading points that the most people will be waiting to get on for rides up/down the hills.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Rochester

oh boy am i glad i saw this first. one evening we may go to dinner at the Big 4 then drink at the Mark and had planned on taking the cable car that night. I figured we would start out early and have a drink before dinner. staying at the hilton union square, where should i attempt to get on the cable car?




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis

One more note: the California line is a little less traveled than Powell-Mason or Powell- Hyde (it goes east/west) so might be the best choice for avoiding the longest lines.




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