Top Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Couple looking at maps on a Big Bus Tour

    Where can I buy a ticket for the tour?

  2. Where can I buy a ticket for the tour?

    You can purchase tickets either on this website, on the bus, from a member of Big Bus staff, or at most hotels.

  3. People on an open-top bus

    What time do tours start and how often do buses run?

  4. What time do tours start and how often do buses run?

    Day Tour (Red Route): the first bus departs Stop #1 - San Francisco Visitors' Center (Fisherman's Wharf) at 9:00am. A full circuit is 2 hours. Buses arrive every 10-20 minutes.
    Night Tour (Blue Route): buses depart Stop #1 - San Francisco Visitors' Center (Fisherman's Wharf) at 6:30pm and 7:00pm (and 7:30pm between April - October). A full circuit is 1 hour.
    Sausalito Tour (Green Route): the first bus departs Stop #22/#13 - Vista Point North at at 10:15am. A full circuit is 2 hours. Buses arrive every 15-30 minutes.

  5. Couple looking at maps on a Big Bus Tour

    Where can I start the tour?

  6. Where can I start the tour?

    Day Tour (Red Route): The starting point for the tour is at Stop #1 - San Francisco Visitors' Center (Fisherman's Wharf), but you can hop on and hop off at any stop.
    Night Tour (Blue Route): buses depart from Stop #1 - San Francisco Visitors' Center (Fisherman's Wharf)
    Sausalito Tour (Green Route): The starting point for the tour is at Stop #22/#13 (Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point North), but you can hop on and hop off at any Sausalito Tour stop.

  7. Passengers on a tour bus in San Francisco

    How long does the tour take?

  8. How long does the tour take?

    Day Tour (Red Route): a full circuit takes about 2 hours if you don't hop off the bus.
    Night Tour (Blue Route): a full circuit takes 1 hour. Please note that the Night Tour isn't a hop-on, hop-off tour.
    Sausalito Tour (Green Route): a full circuit takes about 90 minutes if you don't hop off the bus.

More Questions & Answers

Tell me about Big Bus Tours San Francisco

Big Bus Tours San Francisco operate flexible and exciting city sightseeing tours on open-top double-decker buses. In addition to amazing views of the city's famous landmarks and attractions, guests can enjoy entertaining commentary about the history, culture and architecture of San Francisco, delivered by expert live guides. Alternatively, tune in pre-recorded digital commentary, offered in several languages via complimentary headphones distributed on board the bus. Guests are free to hop on and off the bus tour at any stop, or they can choose to relax and remain on board for the full tour circuit. Three different tours are offered; During the day, discover the city of San Francisco on the Day Tour (Red Route), and then switch to the Sausalito Tour (Green Route). After dark, don't miss the opportunity to see the sights of the city on the Panoramic Night Tour (Blue Route).

What can I see and visit?

During your Big Bus Tour, you'll pass through famous San Francisco neighborhoods like Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, Haight Ashbury, Golden Gate Park and the Embarcadero. See landmarks like the Transamerica Pyramid, City Hall, and of course, feel the wind in your hair as you travel over the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. Simply hop on to discover, and hop off at any stop to explore further. We stop at over 20 convenient locations, each selected because it provides easy access to an attraction or place of interest. You can hop on and hop off the tour as much as you like, or choose to stay on board for the entire circuit. To read more about San Francisco's landmarks and things to do, visit our Discover San Francisco page. To begin creating your own personalized San Francisco adventure, browse our new range of attraction tickets.

On which days does the tour operate?

The Big Bus tour of San Francisco operates every day of the year.

How do I redeem my ticket?

Following your transaction, you will receive a confirmation email. Please print your ticket and present it to a member of Big Bus staff at any one of our hop-on, hop-off stops before you start your tour.

How does the discount work?

Discounts are only available on tickets purchased online, in advance. Tickets purchased on-street or on the day you intend to travel will be full price. Some special ticket offers are only available for a certain period of time.

Do I need to specify a date of travel?

No, you can use your ticket on any date. If you purchase a 2-day or 3-day ticket you must travel on consecutive days.

You are welcome to buy your ticket on the day if that is your preference, but please note that our online discounts are not available on street.

Is there a discount available for groups?

For information on group discounts please contact us at agentsf@bigbustours.com.

Is it possible to hire one of the open-top buses for a private event?

Yes, buses are available for private hire. Please have a look at our Private Hire page to find out more, or contact us on infoSF@bigbustours.com to discuss your requirements.

What time is the last bus?

The last bus departs Stop #1 - San Francisco Visitor Center at 5:00pm.

How will I know where to get off?

Our live guides and pre-recorded commentary will communicate upcoming stops. You can also download our free App for more information on routes and times, and what to see and do at each stop location. The App is available from the App Store or Google Play.

What is the child ticketing policy?

A child ticket is available for children aged between 5 and 15 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Children aged 4 years and under may travel free of charge. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Strollers and pushchairs must be folded and stowed on the lower deck.

Are accommodations available for persons with disabilities?

Are accommodations available for persons with disabilities? Yes, we operate wheelchair accessible vehicles with lifts that can accommodate a weight up to 650 pounds. Please be advised that our entire fleet in San Francisco is not wheelchair accessible. If you or your travelling partner(s) requires an ADA accessible vehicle, please contact us 48 hours prior to your planned tour commencement. We can then arrange for a suitable vehicle to be available at the time and location required. If you require a different accommodation, please also contact us 48 hours prior to your planned tour commencement so we can make arrangements for an accommodation. Please note that messages left on the office general voicemail do not constitute confirmed arrangements. Please also note that passengers with mobility impairments may not be able to access the upper deck on our buses. We cannot guarantee the accessibility of the various attractions along the tour.

What is the policy on bringing pets?

No pets are allowed on board the bus, except ADA service animals.

What is the food and drink policy?

No food or alcohol is permitted on board the bus. Non-alcoholic drinks in screw-top bottles are permitted.

There are no buses running due to weather conditions, what do I do?

Firstly, check the validity of your ticket. If you have bought your ticket online and have yet to have this scanned by our of our on-street representatives – it will still be valid for use for up to 6 months from the point you have purchased. If your ticket was bought on-street or has already been scanned by one of our on-street advisors, and we have cancelled our services due to weather conditions, you will be able to apply for a refund. Check out Term & Conditions for full details.

How can I find the stop nearest to me?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I bought the ticket but it’s for someone else. It has my name on it, is this ok?

You're all set! Simply show your voucher(s) to any member of on-street staff who will scan the QR code and hand over your yellow Big Bus Tour tickets. Don't lose them, they're like gold (cash) and cannot be replaced.

Can I buy tickets on the bus?

The easiest place to buy our bus tickets are in advance by booking online or from the Big Bus Tours app. If you want to buy when you’re in city and in person, Big Bus representatives are located at the majority of our stops. They will be able to sell you a ticket before you hop-on to the bus.

Where does the tour end?

You can hop-on and off at any of our stops (unless it’s a panoramic ‘non-stop’ tour). Download the Big Bus Tours app to discover all of our routes, stops and nearby landmarks & attractions.

Does one ticket cover all routes?

For the majority of our tickets, that’s a BIG YES. Look out for this when you’re booking your ticket online or buying in person. Each ticket will state how many routes are included. Typical exclusions are one-loop tours such as Night Tours which are usually panoramic ‘non-stop’ tours.

I bought my ticket but now can’t make that date, can I use it on another day?

Bus tour tickets purchased online or via the app are typically valid for six months up until the point of the ticket being scanned (redeemed) – then the clock starts ticking and you’ll need to enjoy your tour within the time purchased. This is usually, one, two or three days.

Can I use a two or three-day pass on different days?

You’ll need to enjoy your pass across consecutive days, so a two-day pass redeemed on Monday means your pass is valid Monday and Tuesday.

How do I know when the next bus is coming?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I am waiting at a stop and can’t see any buses, what do I do?

Hang in there! BIG cities like to throw all sorts of challenges at our drivers, who are doing their best to get to you as quickly (but safely) as possible. If you haven’t already, download the Big Bus Tours app to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking.

Contact us

For general enquiries, please get in touch using our contact form. For more specific answers please select one of the options below.