Moving to SF and want to travel San Francisco? Here are some tips for travel that’ll make you a pro like the locals in San Francisco!

San Francisco is a vibrant and bustling city that offers so much to explore and discover. From its iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge to its diverse neighborhoods and renowned culinary scene, there is something for everyone in this city by the bay. But with its notoriously hilly terrain and complex transportation system, getting around San Francisco can be a bit daunting, especially for first-time visitors.

But don’t worry, this blog post has all the essential information you need to know about navigating the city’s public transportation, including buses, cable cars, and the famous Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. So grab your map and let’s embark on an adventure through the charming streets of San Francisco in 2024!

Public Transportation: How to Get Around San Francisco Without A Car

Traveling in San Francisco is a means to explore its network of public transportation, cycle lanes, and pedestrian-friendly streets. This means you can totally get around without a car. (Plus, those notorious hills make life a lot more…interesting).

Here’s everything you need to know about the city’s public transportation system:

1. Muni Transit

Muni is the most common way to get around San Francisco as its both the bus and metro system of the city. Run by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Muni’s an extensive network of public transportation that includes city buses, cable cars, and the historic streetcars and trolleys.

Source: SFMTA

Whether you’re traveling across town or just down the street, be prepared for the occasional delay or unexpected sight, warn locals.

Related: How To Make A Travel Budget & Stick To It?

2. BART and Caltrain

BART, or Bay Area Transit, is another popular public transit option run by SFMTA. It’s the country’s fifth busiest heavy rail rapid transit system. The BART connects the heart of SF with numerous cities in the East Bay and suburbs in the south. In 2023, there was 48 million ridership on BART, so it’s no surprise SFMTA has plans to update the trains to be cooler, more comfortable and less noisy.

Roomi’s tips for travel: The locals have an unspoken code of conduct for BART riders (no eating on the train, keep conversations and coughs to a minimum, let people exit before you get on, and don’t take up too much space). Definitely something you should familiarize yourself with before you become that rider.

Finally, Caltrain is a another commuter train similar to BART. It’s perfect for traveling between San Francisco and San Mateo and Santa Clara. This is your best bet if you’re trying to get to Silicon Valley from SF. Whereas you might want to take the BART if you’re just going to Oakland. Fares for Caltrain vary depending on the zone you’re traveling between, the number of rides you need, and how you’re paying. Essentially, using a Clipper Card is cheaper than a physical ticket. It’s best to check before hopping on-board.

3. Taxis and Ride-Sharing Apps

Like in all cities, San Francisco also has its fair share of taxis (mostly downtown), and ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. This may be one of the easiest ways to get around the city, it isn’t the cheapest.

The base fare starts at $4.15 with an additional $0.65 per one-fifth mile and each minute of waiting or traffic delay. The pick-up fee in San Francisco is also $5.50.

4. Ferry

Ferries are a fun way to tour San Francisco. It allows you to go to the Ferry Building and have a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are also a lot of ferry services in San Francisco that can bring you to different places around the Bay Area:

  • Golden Gate Ferry: going to Angel Island State Park and Larkspur to the north
  • Giants Ferry: to Oracle Park
  • Warriors Ferry: to Chase Center
  • San Francisco Bay Ferry: going to Oakland/Alameda, Richmond and Vallejo in the East Bay
  • Alcatraz City Cruise: departs from Pier 33 to “The Rock” or Alcatraz
  • Blue & Gold Gate Ferry: to Tiburon and Sausalito from Pier 41

5. Cable Cars

Source: Unsplash

Another option to get around San Francisco is by cable cars. It’s a bit more historic, so cable cars have limited reach as compared to other modes of transportation. The cable car has three routes:

  • California Cable Car: Goes from Embarcadero to Van Ness
  • Powell/Hyde Cable Car: Goes from Powell and Market to Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Powell/Mason Cable Car: Goes from Taylor and Bay to Powell

To buy tickets to Muni, Caltrain, BART, ferries, and cable cars, you can use a Clipper Card. It’s the all-in-one transit card in San Francisco that you can add to your Apple Wallet or Google Wallet, or order a physical card online for free.

Going Around SFO The Healthy Way

Perhaps the best news about getting around is SF is you can reasonably forgo all modes of modern transportation. The city is considered as a walker’s paradise with a 99 walk and biker score. It’s convenient to walk around the city, with easily accessible stores and shops all around.

Further, San Francisco has an extensive system of bicycle paths and lanes. Some of which are parallel to traffic and shared with pedestrians — some that are completely separate from both. Thus, walking and cycling form as efficient tips for travel in San Francisco.

Traveling in San Francisco: Extra Hacks

With all the transportation options, now it’s time to consider the actual places and things to do in the city. Here are a few extra hacks that can come in handy when traveling to San Francisco.

1. Use Roomi to find cheap and quality places to stay in

Finding a place to stay in, no matter how long, can be a bit difficult if you’re not looking at the right places. Thankfully, Roomi can help you find cheap accommodation across the city in only a few clicks. You can even filter and decide the monthly rent, duration, layout, type of property, number of bedrooms, and amenities.

Source: Roomi

More than that, Roomi keeps your information safe with GlobalID and avoids fraud by conducting background checks and ID verification. The in-app messaging feature also secures your privacy and data.

Related: How San Francisco’s Eviction Protections 2.0 Protects Renters

2. Eat at local restaurants

San Francisco has a ton of restaurants with exceptionally good food. But if you’re on a budget, eating at local restaurants can do the trick without spending too much on a single meal. Check these restaurants out:

  • Swan Oyster Depot
  • Super Duper
  • Sam Wo Restaurant
  • Pork Store Cafe
  • Original Joe’s

3. Check out free events

With a city as big and busy as San Francisco, surely there are free events and activities to do for tourists. Usually, the city’s museums have days where they offer free entrance, some parks and mountains where you can hike to, and even live concerts at Union Square.

Time to Travel to San Francisco!

Getting around San Francisco in 2024 doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little planning and the right information, navigating the city can be an exciting and enjoyable experience. This guide has provided you with all the tips and insights you need to make the most of your time in San Francisco.

Source: Roomi

Additionally, to make your trip to the Bay Area complete, use Roomi! It’s a user-friendly room and roommate finder perfect for anyone traveling to San Francisco. The app has filters to narrow down your search, matchmaking algorithms to match you with the perfect roommate, and secure privacy settings to keep you from being scammed.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity – sign up today and get ready to explore the wonders of the city by the bay!

Get Around San Francisco with Ease by using Roomi.