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Riding a Cable Car

San Francisco
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Tribes: Who likes this place?

Who Likes This Place?

What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Family Travelers
  • 76%
    Local Culture
  • 65%
    Budget Travelers
  • 64%
    History Buffs
  • 56%
    Adventure Travelers
  • 55%
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 55%
    Art & Design Lovers
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Member Reviews (201)Write a review

Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    Nina H.
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    + 10
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    5 Jul 11, 2014

    So much fun but a bit scaring! You have to experience the cable car ride when you're in SF. You also have to hang onto the outside poles for the real deal.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersLocal CultureFamily Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    walking wanderer
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    5 Jun 25, 2014

    This is definitely a must do. It's amazing to see how they traverse the steep hills. But be prepared to wait. Lines are long. Ride in the back beside the brakeman if possible.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersGreen TravelersHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    Lauren Baker
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    + 4
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    5 Nov 07, 2013

    This is one of the few typical tourist experiences that surpasses expectations. Riding the cable cars up and down the impossibly steep streets with the wind blowing through your hair is something that just can't be replicated. An absolute must do.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersLocal Culture
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    Ingrid Katz
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    + 2
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    5 Apr 15, 2014

    It is fun for children and grown ups to ride with those open cable cars up and down the San Francisco hills.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    Travis Katz
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    Nightlife Lovers
    5 Aug 12, 2013

    Better than starring in your own Rice-a-roni commercial! These cable cars are a really fun way to see the city and tackle some of the biggest hills! Get a spot hanging off the side for the best views.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Xu Yin
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    + 4
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    5 Oct 14, 2013
    Recommended for:Art & Design LoversFamily TravelersLocal Culture
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    Daniel L.
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    + 7
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    4 Mar 26, 2014

    Worth the high price just for the experience. Although the wait can be long at times, it is nice to slow down and just enjoy the anticipation. I like to stand on the side since it is more exciting.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersHistory BuffsLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Scott Daly
    5 Jul 04, 2012

    Riding a cable car in San Francisco is something you just have to do at least once in your life when your in this great city. There is just something so nostalgic about hopping on that car and hanging on to the outside as it travels the busy streets. It's also a very popular thing to do and can get crowded but just find some time to try this with that cool air blowing through your hair and it just may make you feel like a kid once again.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    Thais Guimaraes
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    + 3
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    4 Jun 19, 2014

    Getting to ride a cable car is a bit of a nightmare. Be ready to stand at least one hour in line to get your chance, but it's absolutely worth it.
    As you stand, you get to see the cable car riders turn the cable cars around on the tracks to make the trip back, it's actually kinda entertaining.
    Once you're on board, pay attention to the bell ringing. Each rider has his own style and if you're hanging out on the sides, when the cars cross each other, watch your back.
    Once you get to the top, whichever way your're coming from, enjoy the view, you can almost see the entire bay area around you. Both rides also give you the chance to see the main landmarks of San Francisco like the Transamerica Tower, Coit Tower, Alcatraz and of course, Lombard Street. Hop off on Lombard Street to get your pictures, if you must, then hop back on to finish your trip.
    California line is much less crowded than the Powell lines and once you've gotten enough of the cable cars, I really recommend you taking the bus.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersHistory BuffsOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Riding a Cable CarAmbassadorPro 2014
    Kat Sun
    Member of
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    + 9
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    4 Mar 17, 2014

    It's expensive, so I recommend buying a day pass for $14 and get off/on all day. One way is $6. Get a good seat on the outside for amazing views as you go up/down hills!

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersFamily TravelersHistory Buffs
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  • Riding a Cable CarPro 2014
    D'Maris Coffman
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    + 7
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    4 Aug 31, 2013

    brings out the kid in everyone! for extra fun run to catch it. great way to negotiate the hilly streets

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersLocal CultureStudents
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Veronica Sartori
    4 Jul 04, 2012

    When I was a kid and lived abroad, there were a couple of things that came to mind when I thought of San Francisco - riding a cable car was one of them!

    Up to this day, all my foreign relatives & friends are always excited about the opportunity to ride the cable car. While I do think it's a fun way to explore the city and catch some of the best views on the steepest & tallest hills, it's kind of difficult to actually get around the city relying on this method of transportation.

    Be aware, all cable car stops get super crowded, with downtown/Powell probably being the worst. However, it's a MUST experience to try when in San Francisco!

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Lisa Markuson
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    + 6
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    4 Sep 07, 2013

    Don't pay.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Gogobot Editors' Choice
    Member of
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    + 11
    • Budget Travelers
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    5 Sep 13, 2013

    Riding a Cable Car is a quintessential SF experience, made even more memorable when watching pure joy light up the face of your child. There's nothing like hopping on and hopping off the line as it slides through the most interesting parts of this classic city. The California Line is a favorite, with the timeless view from the top of Nob Hill overlooking downtown. But the Hyde and Mason lines, with their views of the Bay, Lombard Street, and opposite ends of Fisherman's Wharf are also popular. Grab your kids and your camera, and hold on tight!

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Avi Tzurel
    Member of
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    5 Sep 13, 2013

    Kids love being on the cable car, it's a great experience and you really have to do it when you are in SF for the first time

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Todd Waldorf
    Member of
    Family Travelers
    5 Sep 13, 2013

    This was our favorite thing to do in San Francisco. The kids loved it. It was a lot of fun, and the views are pretty good. Get an all day pass, it was worth it.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    travel33
    5 Sep 13, 2013

    My most favorite thing to do whenever I'm in San Francisco. I have very good childhood memories of riding it with my dad. I think it's incredible, I love the feel of riding on it, it brings a huge smile to my face (silly, I know!). I guess being from Los Angeles, we don't really have public transportation so I find the cable car is a fun, unique way to get from point A to B.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Barbara Britschgi
    5 Sep 13, 2013

    THIS is truly a must, where else can you experience san francisco , except on a trolley car. If you have children with you,,absolutely give them a thrill they wont forget,well not really a thrill,but a good memory.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Giesele Bohn
    5 Aug 26, 2013

    A must! Enjoyed every bit of this... What a wonderful experience, the air, the ringing of bell, the feeling.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersBackpackers
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  • Riding a Cable Car
    Connie Pistilli
    Member of
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    + 5
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    4 Aug 07, 2013

    Skip the Powell Street cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf or Ghirardelli Square, and avoid the long waits for the overly touristy destinations. Instead, take the California Street cable car. You can hop on with ease at the stop near the Ferry Building and ride through the Financial District, Chinatown, and Nob Hill to its final stop at Van Ness Ave. Then take a 15-minute walk over to Fillmore Street for lunch & boutique shopping or explore Japantown.

    Recommended for:BackpackersGreen TravelersFamily Travelers
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OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
201 members' reviews
2,829 people visited Riding a Cable Car

Description

San Francisco's cable cars have been running since 1873, invented to replace the horse-drawn carriage (a mode of transportation that became treacherous on San Francisco's steep hills, especially in rainy weather). Today, there are 3 main lines. Two, the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde leave from Powell & Market Streets and take different routes and finish near Fisherman's Wharf. The California Line ... read more
runs through the Financial District, through China Town and over Nob Hill to Van Ness.

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