Famous Landmarks in San Francisco

Overwhelmed by the tours in San Francisco? We’ve collected an essensial list of famous landmarks of San Francisco to help you check out the sights after completing your high tech escape room challenge. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of tours available in San Francisco, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Use our list as a jumping off point to create your ideal itinerary and make the most of your time in this vibrant city. 


A city full of incredible sights and landmarks, but with so much to see, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the tour options available. Fear not! We’ve put together a list of essential landmarks that will help you navigate your way around the city with ease. With this list in hand, you can be sure to make the most of your trip within San Francisco. 

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a feature of the San Francisco skyline and is one of the most famous bridges in the world. Though it is often overshadowed by the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge is an impressive feat of engineering and design in its own right. The bridge spans across the San Francisco Bay, connecting San Francisco and Oakland, and is a major transportation hub, with more than 240,000 vehicles crossing it daily.

The bridge also offers stunning views of the city’s skyline, particularly of downtown San Francisco, and is considered a landmark of the region. Despite experiencing significant damage during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the bridge has undergone extensive renovations and remains an important gateway to the Bay Area. Whether driving across or simply admiring it from afar, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a must-see feature of any visit to San Francisco. 

Ferry Building Marketplace

The Ferry Building Marketplace is a historic landmark in San Francisco that attracts visitors from all over the world. Originally built in 1898, the Ferry Building served as a transportation hub for commuters crossing the San Francisco Bay to Oakland and beyond. Today, the Ferry Building has been transformed into a vibrant marketplace, where locals and tourists alike can enjoy diverse food options, artisanal shops, and lively events. Located on the San Francisco waterfront, the Ferry Building offers stunning views of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate.

In addition to its culinary offerings, the marketplace also features shops selling unique gifts, books, and kitchenware. The Ferry Building Marketplace is a must-see destination in San Francisco, where visitors can experience the city’s culture, taste culinary delights from acclaimed chefs and vendors, and admire the historic architecture of this landmark.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. Situated in the heart of the city of San Francisco, it is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city. The museum is known for housing an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art from some of the most renowned artists in the world. Apart from its impressive art collection, the building itself is a sight to behold.

The museum has undergone major renovations in recent years, resulting in an architecturally stunning building. Visitors are greeted by a striking mural designed by artist Julie Mehretu on the building’s exterior. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco and is a must-see for anyone interested in art or architecture. It is undoubtedly one of the most notable landmarks in the city and a testament to SF’s commitment to the arts. 

Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers is a botanical garden located within Golden Gate Park. The Conservatory is home to rare and exotic plants and flowers from all around the world. Built in 1878, the Conservatory is one of the oldest buildings in Golden Gate Park and is a San Francisco landmark. This Victorian-style greenhouse is comprised of a sequence of smaller gardens, each with its distinct collection of plants.

Visitors to the Conservatory can explore galleries and exhibits filled with tropical plants such as orchids, ferns, and palms. In addition to its striking architecture and extensive collection of flora, the Conservatory is also home to a variety of butterflies and bird species. It’s a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast or lover of architecture and history. Overall, the Conservatory of Flowers is a fascinating and beautiful place that offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of SF’s busy city life.

Mission Dolores

Mission Dolores, also known as Mission San Francisco de Asís, is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco, California. It was established in 1776 by the Spanish Franciscan Order. The mission was named after St. Francis of Assisi, who was the founder of the Franciscan Order. The building is a beautiful example of early California architecture, with its adobe walls, red-tiled roof, and bell tower. Over the years, Mission Dolores has gone through many changes. It has been both a functioning church and a national historic landmark.

Despite the fact that the church has seen many natural disasters over the years, including earthquakes and fires, it has survived and is still a popular park for tourists and locals alike. During the 1906 earthquake, the church served as a refuge for those who lost their homes. As a result, the church played an important role in the reconstruction of the city after the disaster. Today, Mission Dolores remains an important part of San Francisco’s cultural heritage.

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic attraction and a must-visit place for tourists visiting San Francisco. Connecting San Francisco with Marin County, this suspension bridge offers a beautiful view of the city and San Francisco Bay. Built in 1937, it is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world and has become an engineering marvel. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area surrounds the bridge and attracts millions of visitors every year.

Tourists can take a stroll or cycle across the bridge and enjoy the picturesque view of the bay and the city skyline. The bridge’s orange color looks impressive against the blue waters of the bay, especially at sunset. It also offers panoramic views of Alcatraz Island and the Pacific Ocean. Whether you are interested in engineering, history, or photography, the Golden Gate Bridge is an excellent place to visit for everyone.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a must-visit area and historic landmark in San Francisco. It is one of the most popular destinations in the city and offers a wide range of activities for tourists. The wharf is a vibrant place to visit, with numerous restaurants, souvenir shops, and street performers. It is also a national historic landmark and has played a significant role in the history and development of SF’s fishing industry.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the wharf and enjoy the stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. The area is also home to a colony of sea lions, further enhancing the area. Fisherman’s Wharf is a part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, and its neighboring attraction, Telegraph Hill, offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. Overall, Fisherman’s Wharf is a must-see destination for anyone visiting San Francisco.

Ride the Cable Cars

Riding the iconic cable cars is a must-do tourist attraction when visiting San Francisco. The cable cars transport passengers up and down the city’s steep hills while providing a scenic view of the city’s picturesque streets. The cable cars operate throughout the day and serve a number of popular tourist destinations, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ferry Building, and Lombard Street.

Starting from the Fisherman’s Wharf, tourists can ride the cable car to the Ferry Building, which is another popular attraction in the city, and is a hub for ferries to different parts of the Bay Area. Lombard Street, famously known as the “crookedest street in the world,” can also be accessed via a cable car ride. The experience not only gives tourists a unique mode of transportation but also a glimpse into SF’s rich history and culture.

San Francisco’s Chinatown

Chinatown is an attraction that draws tourists from around the globe. Established in the 1850s during the California Gold Rush, it’s the oldest and largest Chinatown in North America. The historical landmarks and top attractions in this area showcase the rich cultural heritage of this community. Some of the famous places to visit include the Dragon Gate, the entrance to Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, where visitors can learn how to make fortune cookies.

St. Mary’s Square is a beautiful park in the heart of Chinatown, and it’s home to the stunning Chinatown Pagoda, a perfect spot for photos. The shops and restaurants offer a glimpse into Chinese culture with their unique offerings and delicious cuisine. The annual Chinese New Year Parade, celebrating the arrival of the lunar new year, is an unforgettable experience not to be missed. A visit to Chinatown is a must for those looking to experience one of the most vibrant and interesting neighborhoods in the city.

Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts is a beautiful attraction located in San Francisco, California. It was originally constructed for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 and has since become a must-visit attraction for tourists and locals alike. In fact, it is so significant that it has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can admire the striking Greco-Roman architecture while strolling along the carefully manicured grounds.

Moreover, the Palace of Fine Arts boasts some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay in the city. As one of the most cherished historical landmarks in San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts continues to be an important reminder of the city’s rich cultural and artistic history. Anyone visiting the city should make time to stop by and appreciate its unparalleled beauty.

San Francisco City Hall

San Francisco City Hall is an iconic symbol of San Francisco’s famous history and is one of the most famous buildings in San Francisco. It was built in 1906 and is a national historic site. The building stands tall and grand, with a beautiful dome that can be seen from the top of Twin Peaks. The City Hall’s architecture is impressive, with its Beaux-Arts style, grand staircases, and ornate details. It has survived earthquakes, fires, and even celebrated the end of World War II with a grand victory celebration in front of its steps.

The San Francisco City Hall is significant not only for its architectural beauty but also for its role in the city’s history. Its design and construction have helped shape the city’s identity and have become an integral part of SF’s cultural heritage. Visitors to San Francisco must visit this famous landmark and marvel at the grandeur of the city’s history. 

Coit Tower and Lombard Street

 Coit Tower and Lombard Street are two must-see landmarks to visit when traveling through San Francisco. Coit Tower stands atop Telegraph Hill, providing an incredible panoramic view of the city from the deck at the top. The tower was built in honor of Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who left a substantial amount of money to be spent beautifying the city she loved. On the other hand, Lombard Street, one of the best neighborhoods to visit in the city, is famous for its winding, crooked stretches, making it a fun and unique driving experience.

To see the top of Telegraph Hill and Lombard Street are two of the most iconic tourist attractions in San Francisco, offering stunning views of the city’s famous hills and historic buildings. Whether you are looking for a great photo opportunity or just a leisurely stroll, Coit Tower and Lombard Street are the perfect places to take in the beauty and history of San Francisco.

Alcatraz Island

 Alcatraz Island is a tourist attraction that is considered to be one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks. Located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, this island has a rich history that dates back to its use as a military fortification and a federal prison. Today, visitors can tour the island and explore the infamous prison and its cells, as well as enjoy panoramic views of the Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

The island also houses a museum of San Francisco’s history, making it one of the many fascinating places to visit in San Francisco. Tours of Alcatraz Island are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, as it provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about the island’s history and its role in shaping the city’s culture over the years. Those planning trips to San Francisco should not miss the chance to visit this fascinating island, which offers a unique glimpse into the city’s past.

Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral is an iconic cathedral in San Francisco, and one of the most visited places in San Francisco. Known for its stunning architecture, beautiful stained-glass windows, and intricate mosaics, it is undoubtedly one of the most famous cathedrals in San Francisco. It is not only a religious center but also a cultural and artistic hub, hosting a variety of concerts, art exhibitions, and public programs throughout the year.

From its prominent hilltop location, it offers magnificent views of the city and the Bay Area. Grace Cathedral’s labyrinth, outdoor meditative gardens, and spiritual retreats provide a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the iconic San Francisco streets. A visit to Grace Cathedral is a must-see in San Francisco, where visitors can enjoy both the spiritual and artistic beauty of this magnificent landmark.


San Francisco is a city of iconic landmarks that are not to be missed. Visitors should definitely make the effort to stay in San Francisco and take time to explore the famous San Francisco Bay and the Pacific. Some of the most notable landmarks to see in San Francisco included here, but there are also many hidden gems to discover, such as the Sutro Baths ruins.

This guide has highlighted 15 famous landmarks, but there are countless others that are worth exploring. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just stunning vistas, San Francisco has something for everyone. So be sure to put this beautiful city on your travel bucket list and start planning your trip today!