Free Tour Heroes - Free Walking Tour in San Francisco

Free Tour Heroes - Free Walking Tour in San Francisco

We’ll soon be announcing the winners of the awards 2019, honoring those Free Tour Heroes who offer the best free walking tours and experiences around the world, as decided by your ratings, feedback and reviews. Until then though, we bring you the eighth installment of our current series shining a spotlight on the places, people and passion behind some of those city tours which have previously won a award. This time we’re in San Francisco with the excellent Free SF Tour.


In the Spotlight: Free Tour of San Francisco

A local initiative by a team of San Fran-loving people, Free SF Tour offers a twice daily free walking tour of San Francisco, as well as a Spanish language free tour five days a week. Having been awarded in the Best Free Tour in North America category two years in a row, we got some insight to their tours and their love of the city.


A group of tourists on a free walking tour in San Francisco


What stop on your free tour do visitors like the most?

“The most fascinating story is about the buried ships below the Financial District. There are forty-seven ships laying down below, under the buildings. On the tour we see some of the artefacts from one of those buried ships”.

The eastern shoreline of San Francisco used to extend inland to where the famous Transamerica Pyramid now stands. The California Gold Rush brought an incredible amount of vessels here which were later, effectively, abandoned and ‘built over’ as the city grew immensely in the latter part of the 1800s.  Every day, people walk above this ‘ship graveyard’ without any idea of what’s beneath them, while thousands of commuters on the underground street-cars unknowingly pass right through the hub of a 19th Century ship.

View of San Francisco bay at dusk


Other than your Free Tour, what things should visitors to SF not miss?

“Well, At the end of the Free SF Tour we give them our Bucket List - a list of places and activities to experience while in San Francisco. Among them is, of course, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, as well as the California Academy of Sciences - you could spend the whole day here and discovering everything from the creation of universe to the deepest secrets of the oceans. We also highly recommend MOMA SF, it’s the best place to see incredible modern art in the city”.


Sounds cool! What other lesser-known SF attractions do you share?

We tell them about secret stairs that glow in the night, gorgeous hikes with amazing views, how to do all the touristy things, but for less and without waiting in line”. 


What are your three local tips for food and dining in San Francisco?

  1. “The Ferry Building Market has lots of stalls by local food vendors, with loads of free samples to taste”

  2. “Parada 22 has the best Puerto Rican food in town”.

  3. “If you want something quick, go for the sandwiches with rotisserie chicken from a place called ‘Bite’ - best sandwiches in SF!”


What makes Free SF Tour award-winning?

“Because of the passion and love we have for the city! Ours is the original San Francisco free walking tour, we started in 2015 and we tell the stories from our perspective and point of view. We introduce people to the city as we would do with our friends from abroad. All the tour guides in Free SF Tour are from different backgrounds and professions - some are actors, stand-up comedians, designers or students - but what we all have in common is a deep love for San Francisco”.

“As well as that, It's fun, educational and free!”

tour group on a free walking tour in San Francisco with their city tour guide


Indeed, this rings true as Free SF Tour is a hit with the community, with user’s feedback often citing this free walking tour as the best they’ve ever been on:

“Best tour I’ve ever done”

“Even it was raining Filip made a world class tour…has a lot of knowledge about hidden corners, places to discover, where to eat, drink...he is like a local friend showing you his city and why he loves it, so you are going to enjoy it in a way you would never do on your own or with a big company”

“…You are really sad when the tour gets to an end (after 2:30h!). Highly recommended! You will get to know SF in a way that you cannot replace by reading in your travel guide book!” (sic)

“…I’ve done a few other walking tours in Boston Sydney and Bogotá, but this was the best. Kevin’s stories were fascinating, and his city knowledge excellent. Would recommend to all ages”.

You can read more reviews and traveler feedback on Free SF Tour’s profile.


A street in central San Francisco


If you’re San Fran bound, make sure to book your spot on the award-winning Free SF Tour, as well as many other city tours in San Francisco, for free on or Free Tour app on android or iOS. You’ll get instant booking confirmation and can rate and review the tour afterwards, assisting your fellow travelers and helping to decide the winners of the upcoming awards 2019 too.

Next time, in the last of our current Free Tour Heroes series, we’re in Riga with local award-winning tour guide, Andis Artmanis, to get the local lowdown on the biggest market in Europe, located in old Zepplin hangars, black balsam, and the Art-Noveau capital of the world. Until then, happy touring.
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