San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – tickets, prices, what to expect, top attractions, benefits, insider tips, FAQs

San Francisco has a distinct culture, beautiful views, and various neighborhoods.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Twin Peaks, and Alcatraz Island are a few of its most well-known tourist destinations visited on a sightseeing HOHO bus tour. 

Along with these attractions, it contains a wax museum, a marine park, a chocolate factory, and a zoo.

San Francisco hop-on hop-off tour is a popular sightseeing option for visitors to the city, as it offers a flexible and convenient way to explore San Francisco’s many attractions.

This is especially useful if you need more time or want to spend more time at a particular location.

The tour offers various ticket options, from 24-hour passes to multi-day tickets. 

The hop-on hop-off San Francisco bus tour is an excellent way to see the city’s top attractions on your terms. 

With its flexible schedule, informative commentary, and variety of ticket options, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular choice among visitors to the city.

This article shares everything you need to know before buying your tickets for San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tours.

Top San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours Ticket
# Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
# Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour
# Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Ferry & Alcatraz Tour
# Go City Explorer Pass with 2-5 Attractions
# Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Golden Gate Bay Cruise

HoHo San Francisco

What is a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Watch this video to know how the hop-on hop-off tour works.

A hop-on hop-off San Francisco bus tour is a sightseeing tour on a double-decker bus where you can hop on and hop off at every stop.

The sightseeing HOHO bus tour allows you to take in the sights and sounds of the city while riding around.

You can stop your trip whenever you want and resume it later, hence the name “hop-on hop-off.”

Each stop usually has a map or brochure with information about nearby attractions and landmarks, making it easy for passengers to plan their itinerary.

These San Francisco sightseeing bus tours consist of a closed-loop circuit or predetermined routes. A HOHO tour bus fleet continually runs along the designated route at fixed intervals.

The hop-on hop-off San Francisco ticket is valid for a certain period, such as 24 or 48 hours, allowing passengers to take the tour over multiple days if they wish.

A hop-on hop-off bus tour is a flexible and convenient way to see San Francisco’s main attractions and landmarks.

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Where to buy tickets for San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

You can purchase tickets for the San Francisco hop-on hop-off tour online, where the bus tour starts (the main station) or at each bus stop.

However, booking your tickets online is recommended to save the hassle of lining up and wasting time. 

Additionally, booking tickets online can help you get great discounts and offers.

Booking online also helps avoid last-minute disappointment and delays.

Go to the hop-on hop-off San Francisco ticket booking page, select your preferred date and the number of tickets, and buy the tickets right away.

After the purchase, you will receive the tickets in your email. 

Best Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours in San Francisco

San Francisco offers many kinds of sightseeing bus tours, and we have handpicked four of our favorites for you. 

We explain them below –

Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

HoHo San Francisco Sightseeing Tour

Explore San Francisco at your own pace from the upper deck of a hop-on hop-off bus. 

With a 24- or 48-hour ticket, you may see the Transamerica Pyramid, the Golden Gate Bridge, and many other undiscovered attractions.

Enjoyable digital audio will help you learn about the city’s past and untold stories.

Learn about the history of places like Fisherman’s Wharf and Haight-Ashbury.

From the top of an open-air sightseeing bus, take in a unique culture, lovely parks, spectacular architecture, and picturesque views. 

Get off at any time and plan your journey at your convenience.

Choose the 48-hour ticket for free bike rentals or the USS Pampanito entrance. 

Explore this WWII submarine’s history in detail, or cross the Golden Gate Bridge on a bike to Sausalito. 

The decision to embark on your own San Francisco adventure is entirely up to you.

Ticket Prices

24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and Chinatown Guided Walking Tour

Adult ticket (13+ years): US$66
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): US$57

48-Hour Ticket, Walking Tour, & USS Pampanito or Bike Rental

Adult ticket (13+ years): US$77
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): US$68

Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour

With this package deal for an Alcatraz Island tour plus a premium hop-on/hop-off ticket, you save a lot of money and see more San Francisco. 

Take a magnificent night trip and two days of sightseeing.

Visit historic Alcatraz Island by ferry and take the self-guided audio tour there.

Take a lovely trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to calm and unwind.

An entertaining and educational walking tour of Chinatown will allow you to discover one of San Francisco’s most fascinating districts.

You can contact an agent for the sites and schedules of the daily tours. 

Additionally, Players Arcade Drink and Game Tokens are included, along with a bonus 1-hour bike rental (with the purchase of a 1-hour rental).

Ticket Price

US$150 Per Person

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Ferry & Alcatraz Tour

With a hop-on, hop-off pass and an Alcatraz Island tour, explore San Francisco. 

Use your hop-on hop-off ticket to see the infamous prison and explore the city and its attractions leisurely.

Enjoy the scenery across the Golden Gate Bridge in an open-top bus.

Explore the infamous prison of Alcatraz while taking the complimentary ferry there.

Discover all of the city’s well-known locations. Choose the ones that catch your attention since you’ll have 48 hours to revisit your favorites.

Ticket Price

Adult ticket (13+ years): US$150
Child ticket (up to 12 years): US$110

Go City Explorer Pass with 2-5 Attractions

With the Go City Explorer Pass, you can select 2, 3, 4, or 5 tours and attractions in San Francisco and explore them at your own pace.

Your options include taking a Francisco Bay Cruise, a hop-on hop-off big bus tour, or a trip to the Aquarium of the Bay.

The Go City Explorer Pass is valid for two months.

Explore the underwater glass tunnels and touch pools of the Bay Aquarium and learn about the natural world at the California Academy of Sciences.

Save up to 60% off compared to buying individual attraction tickets and enjoy instant delivery of your pass directly for your phone or to print off.

Ticket Prices

San Francisco Explorer Pass: 2 Attractions

Adult ticket (13+ years): US$64
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): US$49
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): Free

San Francisco Explorer Pass: 3 Attractions

Adult ticket (13+ years): US$74
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): US$64
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): Free

San Francisco Explorer Pass: 4 Attractions

Adult ticket (13+ years): US$94
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): US$79
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): Free

San Francisco Explorer Pass: 5 Attractions

Adult ticket (13+ years): US$104
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): US$89
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): Free

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San Francisco’s top attractions


The San Francisco sightseeing bus tour covers a variety of top attractions throughout the city. 

Some of the most popular stops on the HOHO bus tour of San Francisco include:

Golden Gate Bridge: The iconic suspension bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin County is a must-see attraction. The bus tour usually stops at a viewpoint near the bridge where visitors can take photos.

Fisherman’s Wharf: A bustling waterfront area that offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, including Pier 39, the Aquarium of the Bay, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Visitors can also take a ferry to Alcatraz Island from here.

Alcatraz Island: The former federal prison that housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals is now a popular tourist attraction. Some bus tours include a ferry ride to the island, while others offer views from the water.

Union Square: This bustling commercial and cultural center is home to many high-end shops, restaurants, and theaters. Many bus tours make stops in the area for shopping and dining.

Chinatown: San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the largest and oldest in the United States. On a walking tour, visitors can explore the shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.

Haight-Ashbury: This neighborhood is famous for its role in the counterculture movement of the 1960s and is still a hub for art, music, and activism. Many bus tours make stops in the area for visitors to explore on foot.

Golden Gate Park: This large urban park has many attractions, including the Japanese Tea Garden, the California Academy of Sciences, and the de Young Museum.

Lombard Street: Known as the “most crooked street in the world,” Lombard Street features a steep, winding road that is a popular tourist attraction.

Palace of Fine Arts: This beautiful building was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition and is now a historical landmark with a stunning rotunda and colonnade and a theater and exhibition space.

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Benefits of Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour in San Francisco

The tour operates on a loop, with buses stopping at multiple locations throughout the city, including iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz Island.

One of the key benefits of the hop-on hop-off San Francisco tour is its flexibility. 

With a ticket, you can board the HOHO sightseeing bus at any designated stop and hop off whenever you want, allowing you to explore the city at your own pace. 

Another great feature of the San Francisco hop-on hop-off tour is the onboard commentary. 

As you ride around the city, you’ll be provided with interesting facts and stories about the places you’re passing, giving you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city’s history and culture.

A hop-on hop-off bus in San Francisco is often a more cost-effective way to see the city than taking taxis or other forms of transportation. 

With a hop-on hop-off tour ticket, you can access the bus network for a specific period, ranging from 24 hours to several days.

The sightseeing HOHO bus tour covers all the major tourist attractions in San Francisco, and you can also enjoy panoramic city views from the bus’s upper deck.

The HOHO buses in San Francisco are wheelchair accessible, and most tour operators offer audio guides in multiple languages, making it easy for tourists worldwide to enjoy the tour.

The bus tour is easy to navigate, with clear maps and signage, making it a stress-free way to explore the city.

Taking a hop-on hop-off bus in San Francisco reduces the carbon footprint of your trip, as you are not driving a car or taking a taxi.

The San Francisco sightseeing bus tour is a safe and secure way to explore the city, with trained drivers and modern buses equipped with safety features.

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Insider tips for your tour

HoHo San Francisco Sightseeing Tour

Plan your route: Before starting the tour, look at the map and plan your route based on the attractions you want to see. This will save you time and ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Start early: The bus tours usually start in the morning, so avoiding crowds and long lines is a good idea.

Choose the right ticket: Purchase your ticket online. Different ticket options, such as 24-hour or 48-hour tickets, are available. Choose the one that fits your schedule and budget.

Bring sunscreen and water: San Francisco can be sunny and hot, so be sure to bring sunscreen and water to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.

Enjoy live commentary: Many hop-on hop-off bus tours offer live commentary from knowledgeable guides. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the city’s history, culture, and architecture.

Dress in layers: San Francisco’s weather can be unpredictable, with cool mornings, evenings, and warm afternoons. Dressing in layers will ensure you are comfortable throughout the tour.

Don’t forget your camera: San Francisco is a beautiful city with many photo opportunities, so remember to bring your camera to capture the memories.

Be patient: San Francisco can be busy, and the tour bus may experience traffic delays, so be prepared to be patient and flexible.

Bring a map: While the bus tour is easy to navigate, it’s always a good idea to bring a map to help you plan your route and identify the stops you want to visit.

Bring snacks: While many tour operators provide snacks and water on board the buses, bringing your snacks and water to energize you throughout the day is always a good idea.

Check discounts: Many hop-on hop-off bus tour operators offer exclusive discounts and deals on attractions, restaurants, and other activities in the city. While booking your tickets online, take advantage of these opportunities to save money and enhance your experience.

Ask for recommendations: Don’t be afraid to ask your tour guide or bus driver for recommendations on where to eat, shop, or explore in the city. They may have insider tips and suggestions that can help make your trip even more memorable.
Get a good seat: Try to sit on the bus’s top deck for the city’s best views. Enjoy the trip to the fullest.

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Here are some questions travelers usually ask before taking San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tour:

How does a hop-on hop-off bus tour work in San Francisco?

Hop-on hop-off San Francisco bus tours allow you to get on and off the bus at designated San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus stops and explore important attractions. 

You can hop on and off the bus as often as you wish.

Those who want to tour the city’s top attractions have two options: stay on board for the entire route and enjoy a fascinating, gorgeous voyage, or get off at the destinations to explore more. 

However, that’s not the end of it. 

Tourists can easily continue their tour of the remaining locations by boarding the next bus.

How frequently do the buses run on the San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tour?

The buses on San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tours run every 10 to 30 minutes.

What are the popular routes and stops covered by the hop-on hop-off bus tour in San Francisco?

Some of the popular attractions covered on the San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tour are:

Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman’s Wharf
Alcatraz Island
Union Square
Golden Gate Park
Lombard Street
Palace of Fine Arts, and more.

Can I get off at any stop and rejoin the tour later?

You can get off the hop-on hop-off bus at any stop, explore the attraction, and get on the next bus to continue your journey.

Is the commentary available on the hop-on hop-off buses in multiple languages?

On most hop-on-hop-off bus in San Francisco, passengers can listen to pre-recorded commentary by expert tour guides, available in multiple languages, like Spanish, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean.

The commentator narrates the city’s intriguing history, facts, figures, and stories about architecture and culture belonging to each landmark the bus passes through.

Can I purchase the hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket in advance, or is it available only on the day of the tour?

Yes, you can purchase San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tour tickets online in advance; you can select your desired date and purchase tickets.

Purchasing tickets online in advance is useful during peak tourist seasons when tours can sell out quickly. 

Moreover, purchasing your ticket online can save time and avoid disappointment on the tour day. This also allows you to secure your spot and plan your itinerary.

Are the buses air-conditioned to provide comfort during the tour?

Yes, the hop-on hop-off buses in San Francisco are generally air-conditioned to comfort passengers during the tour. 

Some tour companies operate open-top double-decker buses so you can feel the wind blowing in your hair as the bus speeds down the city’s sleek roads.

Are there any restrictions on luggage or large bags on the hop-on hop-off buses?

Most San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus operators restrict luggage and large bags, prioritizing passenger comfort and safety. 

Typically, these buses offer limited storage for small bags and hand luggage in overhead compartments or under seats. 

However, larger suitcases or bulky items are generally not permitted onboard. Specific policies may vary among operators.

Can I bring food and drinks on the hop-on hop-off bus in San Francisco?

You can usually bring small snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for personal consumption. 

However, policies regarding bringing food and drinks on hop-on hop-off buses in San Francisco can vary between tour operators. Thus, checking the food and drink policies with the tour operators is recommended.

Moreover, it’s important to be considerate of other passengers and maintain cleanliness on the bus. 

Make sure to dispose of trash properly and avoid bringing food with strong odors that may disturb fellow passengers.

Are the buses wheelchair accessible for individuals with mobility challenges?

Hop-on hop-off buses in San Francisco are wheelchair accessible to accommodate individuals with mobility challenges.

Some hop-on hop-off buses in San Francisco have ramps or lifts to facilitate wheelchair boarding and disembarking. 

These accessibility features allow individuals using wheelchairs or mobility aids to access the bus easily and comfortably.

Can I use the hop-on hop-off bus ticket for unlimited rides during its validity?

Yes, hop-on hop-off bus tickets allow for unlimited rides within their validity period. 

These tickets are designed to provide flexibility and convenience, allowing passengers to hop on and off the bus at various stops as often as they like during the specified duration of the ticket.

During the validity period of your ticket, you can board the bus at any designated stop and disembark at any of the stops along the route.

How can I find out the current bus schedule and any route updates or changes?

You can download the tour bus app in advance to live-track buses, view bus stop locations, and more.

Can I purchase a combined ticket for the bus tour and other attractions in San Francisco?

You can purchase the San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket individually and check which complementary attractions have been added.

If you wish to visit other attractions, you can purchase the entry tickets separately to avoid last-minute disappointment.

Is the San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tour suitable for children?

Yes, the San Francisco hop-on hop-off bus tour is suitable for children. 

These tours are designed to cater to a wide range of visitors, including families with children. 

Children can enjoy the experience of traveling around and seeing the sights from an open-top bus.

Is the ticket valid for 24 hours from purchase or until the end of the day?

The ticket is usually valid for a set number of hours (e.g., 24 or 48 hours) from its first use. So, activating your ticket at 2 pm will be valid until 2 pm on the next day.

Can I use the hop-on hop-off bus pass for public transportation in San Francisco?

The hop-on hop-off bus pass is usually specific to the tour buses and doesn’t grant access to public transportation like trams, buses, or trains in San Francisco.