8 reasons why seeing San Francisco by car is the best idea

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Visiting San Francisco by car

After reading multiple articles, blog posts and tour guides, one recommendation seems to be given a lot: take public transportation to visit San Francisco. While that is definitely the eco-friendlier version, I personally by far preferred visiting the city by car! Here’s why:

1. It isn't more expensive

Public transport is super expensive, so taking the car doesn’t make a big difference pricewise. We stayed in San Leandro and the one-way BART ticket to San Francisco was 4.50$ per person, which can quickly add up if you’re travelling in a group. You have to pay to cross the bridges (it’s around 5$ per car, and only towards San Francisco), but you can easily park your car for free in the streets. In the city centre, there a tons of car parks, but that would cost more.

Visiting San Francisco by car

2. Parking is fairly easy

Parking isn’t as difficult as you might think. Especially on a week day when people are at work. We drove around the whole day and never had trouble with parking. There a parking lots and spaces, usually limited to 2 hours, so you have enough time for visiting.

3. You can bring clothes to layer

The weather is ever changing and having a car allows you to bring multiple layers without having to carry them around with you all the time. That way, you won't get cold at night, either!

4. It's easier than walking

The city has so many hills that you'll be exhausted if you’re not used to walking uphill. Unless you’re in good shape, which I’m not.

Visiting San Francisco by car

5. You see more things

You get to see much more than by walking within the same amount of time. Even though the size of the city is fairly small, the points of interest aren’t all that close together, and you’ll probably be walking much slower than usual because of all the hills. So if you only have a limited amount of time to see San Francisco, consider driving through the city!

Visiting San Francisco by car

6. It's faster

You can do random stops for thrift shopping or other things that you want to do that aren’t on your route. You could of course take the cable car as well, but I always feel that it’s easier to quickly drive places.

7. Traffic is okay

There really isn't that much traffic once you're in the city, except for the main streets. There are traffic jams on your way over though – but the BART does take a long time, too.

8. Driving down Lombard Street

You can drive down Lombard Street which is a fun thing to do!

Visiting San Francisco by car

Have any of you made any experience with driving in San Francisco?


  1. Good information I would have thought driving would be more difficult. Hope to visit there some day!

    1. I thought so too! But it really wasn't bad. You'll have to let me know how you liked it if you visit San Francisco :)


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