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History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District

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San Francisco, United States
History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Harken back to San Francisco’s days as a Gold Rush boomtown on a 2-hour walking tour of the Financial District, once known as the rowdy Barbary Coast of California. Hear tales of buried ships, fortune hunters, and Wild West saloons as you explore the city’s former waterfront, and learn how it transformed into the business hub of modern-day San Francisco.
  • 2-hour walking tour of the Financial District in San Francisco
  • Follow the path of the former Barbary Coast, a notorious district of saloons and brothels
  • Hear legends from the city's days as a Wild West boomtown
  • Learn how the once-seedy area transformed into an international banking and business center
  • Optional stop for tea at the historic Palace Hotel
  • Choice of morning or afternoon departure
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Guided walking tour
Fully-narrated tour
Local guide
Food and drinks
Gratuities
Transportation to/from attractions
555 California St , 555 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco , 2 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA

Palace Hotel at Market and Montgomery

Meet your guide in Union Square in the midmorning or early afternoon, and set off at a leisurely pace among the historic buildings and modern skyscrapers of the Financial District. Learn how this neighborhood once formed the water’s edge during the 19th century and served as the entry point to California for shiploads of miners, merchants, fortune seekers, and immigrants from across the globe.

Visit the Bank of America Plaza on bustling California Street, where a symbol of the modern financial world towers over the site of one of the first ships to arrive during the Gold Rush, where it was abandoned in the bay like many others and later buried by the growing city. Follow the trail of the infamous Barbary Coast, once known as the most dangerous part of town and lined with hundreds of saloons, brothels, and miner’s outposts that popped up nearly overnight after the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada.

Trace the development of the area as land gradually filled in the old waterfront and San Francisco's red light district became an international center for banking and trade. At the end of the 2-hour tour, conclude at the historic Palace Hotel on Market Street, where you can make an optional stop for tea in the landmark’s elegant atrium cafe (own expense).
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Hobnob Tours
Your tour of this historic area begins at the Bank of America Plaza on California and ending on New Montgomery.
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • A moderate amount of walking on mostly flat terrain is involved
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Covid 19 guidelines: Masks required of all guests. Plastic gloves will be provided. Guides wear masks and gloves. Guests must be healthy (temperatures will be taken) and social distance as much as possible. Your safety is important.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Hobnob Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District?
A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District?
A:The policy on sanitization is:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
See all safety measures taken by History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by History and Architecture Walking Tour of San Francisco Financial District.

Traveler Photos

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Reviews

5.0
star-5
17 Reviews
3 stars
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2 stars
0
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Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 reviews
star-4
Useful introduction to SF downtown
Pamela_B
, May 2022
Useful tour to get your bearings and see some amazing historical architecture. Guide was knowledgeable and well prepared
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Thank you for taking time to write a review. We appreciate that you enjoyed our important architecture and our City.
star-5
Stimulating historical experience
Cynthia_F
, May 2022
Colorful stories of historical figures. Beautiful buildings. Hidden gems pointed out in spite of having been in this area many times
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Thank you for taking time to write a review. We are glad you appreciated hearing about our historical characters and their architectural achievements.
star-5
Historical Tour of San Francisco’s Financial District
Walt_F
, Mar 2022
Thoroughly enjoyed the stories that Valerie shared regarding the history of the buildings and the people who designed and owned them!
icon Response from Host , Mar 2022
Thank you for taking time to write a review. Hobnob tours is passionate about our San Francisco history and we are pleased that our guests enjoyed their tour. Safe travels.
star-5
Stories of the city
Ian_F
, Jan 2022
Valerie was the perfect guide: friendly, informative, with a wonderful story-telling style. The tour was fascinating & brought so much of the early city history to life by visiting the original buildings.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2022
Thank you for taking time to write a review. Hobnob makes an effort to bring our wonderful San Francisco history to life while exploring our outstanding architecture. Hope to see you on another tour.
star-5
Great tour!
William_L
, Oct 2021
Great tour! Really enjoyed it. I learned so much about the history of San Francisco. I would definitely recommend this tour!
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Thank you for taking time to write a review. We strive to make our San Francisco history interesting and informative. Hobnob is glad you had a positive experience. Safe travels.
star-5
Great tour!
km1410
, Oct 2021
Valarie was a great tour guide! She had a tremendous amount of knowledge about the history and architecture of San Francisco.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Thank you for taking time to write a good review. At Hobnob we strive to bring the history of our city alive. Safe travels. We hope to see you on another tour in the future.
star-5
Beautiful Buildings in the Financial District
Cynthia_B
, Sep 2021
Great stories of past characters and a nice tour of beautiful buildings in the Financial District of SF.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2021
Hobnob tours is glad you enjoyed your visit to San Francisco’s financial district. Thank you for writing a review. Safe travels.
star-5
SF Architectural Gems
VISITOR
, Jul 2021
Very enjoyable tour. If appreciate history and architecture, strongly recommend. Valarie was both knowledgeable and personable.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Thank you for taking time to write about your experience. I am glad you enjoyed San Francisco history and our architecture. Safe travels.
star-5
Thank you
Thomas_S
, Jan 2020
Pleasant guide, very accommodating, knowledgeable, and had given the tour many times. I've lived in SF 40 years and learned many new things about areas I've been in innumerable times and had no idea of the history. She took us inside many buildings in learn about its history and to appreciate architecture and design. Flat surfaces, some stairs, but generally accessible.
star-5
The best tour
sean0225
, Oct 2019
It was a Quiet Sunday morning in San Francisco business district. It happened that I was just kne person who signed up however the agency didn't cancel. Andrea was a guide and she was great! She made this 2 hrs walk very interesting that I didn't feel the time. She took me back to times when everything started in SF. She told me a lot of interesting information about people and places. The only thing that majority of buildings and banks closed on Sunday. So I plan to come back during weekdays to see decorations inside buildings. Highly recommended tour.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We appreciate your comments as Hobnob tours strives to make a memorable tour for every guest. We hope to meet you again. Safe travels.
star-5
Fun and informative
Linda_T
, Aug 2019
The whole family enjoyed this tour, there was something for everyone. It's amazing the places you can easily walk right past that Andrea pointed out and explained.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Thank you for taking time to write a review. At Hobnob tours we strive to present an interesting tour that will appeal to everyone. I am glad we succeeded.
star-5
Excellent history and architecture tour
Brian_J
, May 2019
My wife and I enjoyed the tour. My wife is a history teacher so the tour was good to understand the history of SF. I enjoyed both the history and architecture aspects. The city has really evolved thru time and understanding the history and forefathers was engaging. Check this out.! Also watch for idiot drivers when crossing the street on the tour.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2019
Thank you for your positive comments about your tour. Hobnob strives to make our walking tours a great experience for our guests. I apologize for our crazy rude drivers. We take our guests safety seriously.

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