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Frequent Asked Questions

Who are we at StaySF.com?
How do we get to Alcatraz?
How do we get to Fisherman's Wharf?
How do we use Muni (cable cars, buses, metro)?
Is there a discount transit pass?
How do I get information in a foreign language?
We will be in San Francisco for only one day. What should we do?
How do we get to Yosemite and information on accommodations?
How can we obtain information on guided tours?

 

 "Who are we at StaySF.com?"
The StaySF.com team is dedicated to bringing you the most up to date information about San Francisco. Hot tips, cool places to stay, sizzling city attractions for one and all to enjoy. We want people to experience San Francisco like none other; its people, its culture and the other wonderful things that this great city has to offer. Our “Places to Stay” section features San Francisco’s most unique and amazingly well located hotel properties. These are hand-selected hotels with a commitment to hospitality, comfort, and value and are conveniently located for both business and leisure travelers. Our “Things to See & Do” section will give a detailed guide to San Francisco's top rated attractions including helpful insights from recent San Francisco visitors. Our “Maps, Transportation, & Tips” section gives access and the option to print various maps, driving directions and useful tips. The “Frequently Asked Questions” section will answer common questions that you might have about San Francisco. Please let us know if you have a tip, question or piece of information that we should include on our website - we are constantly trying to improve our website to be a better resource for the San Francisco visitor.  Feel free to email us at: info@staysf.com

"How do we get to Alcatraz?" 
To reach Alcatraz Island, you travel by ferry from Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33. The ferry ride will take you approximately 20 to 25 minutes. The ferry is easily reached from Union Square by bus 30 Stockton, by cable car (Powell-Mason line), or by the "F" line streetcar. Or you may take the shuttle from Fisherman’s Wharf to Alcatraz Landing. The shuttle picks up and drops off at locations throughout Fisherman's Wharf from 12 pm to 5 pm daily. Shuttle fee is $2 for adults, free for ages under 12.
Once you arrive at Alcatraz Island, you must walk up a steep hill. A free shuttle service is available for visitors with mobility or health concerns. The shuttle runs once an hour from the dock to the prison building, and once an hour from the front of the prison back to the dock. Boarding is available on a first come, first served basis.
Once on the island, there is a self-guided audio tour of the island or you may tour the island on your own. An elevator is available to provide accessibility to each level of the cell house that is on the audio tour.
Round trip with Audio Tour: Adult (18-61) $24.50, Junior (12-17) $24.50, Senior (62+) $23.25, Child (5-11) $15.25, Toddlers (0-4) Free.

There is no longer an option, at the time of ticket purchase, to "opt out" of the audio portion of the cellhouse tour. However, if you prefer not to take the Cellhouse Audio Tour, Island staff are happy to provide a coupon toward an interpretive product in the retail store or refund the audio tour portion of the ticket price. Please let a supervisor know at the entrance to the Cellhouse if you do not want to take the audio portion of the Alcatraz tour and they will honor the request at that time.
To reserve your tickets, book online at www.alcatrazcruises.com, call 415-981-ROCK (415-981-7625) or visit the ticket booth at Pier 33. Try to book your reservations as far ahead as possible, up to 30 days. Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco's most popular attractions and tours frequently sell out a week or more in advance. Tickets are rarely available for same-day sailings.

"How do we get to Fisherman's Wharf?"
To get to Fisherman's Wharf from Union Square you can travel either by cable car or bus.
Cable Car:
You may take either the Powell-Hyde or the Powell-Mason lines to reach Fisherman's Wharf. TRIP TIME: 20-25 minutes.
Bus:
If you do not wish to wait in line for a cable car, you may wish to consider taking a Muni bus. You may board line 30-Stockton at the corner of Kearny and Market Streets. Line 30 travels through Chinatown and North Beach, two of San Francisco's most colorful neighborhoods. Line 30 operates on North Point Street from Columbus Avenue west to Van Ness Avenue and serves Anchorage Square, The Cannery and Ghirardelli Square. Or board the "F" line streetcar at Market and Fifth Streets. TRIP TIME: 25-30 minutes.

"How do we use Muni (cable cars, buses, metro)?"
The Citywide public transportation agency is the San Francisco Municipal Railway, better known as Muni. It operates the world-famous cable cars, buses, trolley buses, a metro system, and historic streetcars (trams).

  • Cable Cars:
    There are three cable car routes in San Francisco. Two of these routes, the Powell-Hyde and the Powell-Mason, begin at the corner of Powell and Market Streets, upstairs from the Visitor Information Center, and run north-south to and from Nob Hill and Fisherman's Wharf. At Fisherman's Wharf, you can board the Powell-Hyde line at Hyde and Beach Streets and the Powell-Mason line at Bay and Taylor Streets. The third line is the California line running east-west on California Street between Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, serving the Financial District, Chinatown and Nob Hill. This line tends to be the least crowded. The transfer point for all three lines is at Powell and California Streets. Cable cars can be boarded at any designated stop along the route. However, during the busy summer months, it is a good idea to join the queue at the terminus, as the cable cars usually fill up at the beginning of the line. Please be aware that you may experience a 45- to 60-minute wait during the summer.
  • Buses/Trolley Buses:
    Muni's buses and trolley buses run all over The City in frequent intervals (usually every five to 20 minutes). Each route has a number and a name, i.e. 5-Fulton, 24-Divisadero, 42-Downtown Loop, which are prominently displayed on the front and side of the bus, along with the route's destination. Some routes, such as 38L-Geary Limited or 14L-Mission Limited, make only limited stops along their routes. Others, such as 9X-San Bruno Express or 31AX-Balboa "A" Express, operate nonstop from downtown to the outer regions of The City. For more clarity on Muni service, we recommend purchasing a Muni map for $3.26 (includes tax) at the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau's Visitor information Center or at various stores throughout The City.
  • Historic Streetcars (Trams):
    You can travel back in time on our distinctive worldwide collection of historic streetcars which have been gracing The City with regular service since 1995. Each car is painted in its original livery, be it from Boston, Chicago or Milan. You can find these beautiful streetcars running along the center of Market Street between the Castro District and Fisherman's Wharf. They are collectively known as line F-Market.
  • Metro:
    Beginning downtown, the Muni Metro's six underground streetcar lines (J-Church, K-Ingleside, L-Taraval, M-Ocean View, N-Judah, and T-Third) take you under Market Street to various points of interest in the western and southern regions of the City. The T runs from Sunnydale to Castro. The N runs from the Caltrain station to Ocean Beach. The J and N lines branch off after Van Ness station and operate on the surface, and the K, L and M continue underground to West Portal Station before splitting into their own separate surface lines. In the subway section of the system, J and N cars are often coupled together, as are K, L and M cars.

Single Fares: Cable Car $5, under age 5 free. Bus, Streetcar, Metro $1.50, 50 cents under age 17, under age 5 free.
Please have the exact fare ready when you board; Metro faregates do not accept any dollar bills.

Transfers:
A two-part transfer slip is provided when you pay your fare on buses, streetcars and Metro lines. This transfer allows you to transfer two more times to any bus, streetcar or Metro line within a 90-minute timeframe. No transfers are given or accepted on cable cars; single fares must be paid each time you board.

"Is there a discount transit pass?"
Muni offers three discount transit passes, subject to availability. All can be purchased at the Visitor Information Center at 900 Market Street, downstairs from the Powell/Market cable car terminal. Just walk to Powell and Market. The banners hanging above the cable car terminal will point you to the Center.
The Muni Passports include the cable cars, Muni buses, Muni Metro and the F-Market streetcars. You can travel anywhere within San Francisco with the Passport. In addition, you will receive savings on your entrance fees at most city museums and many of our city's attractions when you show your Muni Passport.
One-day Passport $11
Three-day Passport $18
Seven-day Passport $24

"How do I get information in a foreign language?"
The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau's Visitor Information Center has multilingual staff and literature available to you when you arrive in San Francisco. We speak German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and, of course, English. Or you may call any of our five information hotlines and listen to current events in these language (all area codes 415):
English 391-2001
Deutsch 391-2004
Français 391-2003
Español 391-2122
Italian 391-2002
Japanese 391-2101

 

"We will be in San Francisco for only one day. What should we do?"
If you can, stay longer. One great way to explore the city is by taking a San Francisco City Tour - The front desk can arrange your tour (with or without a trip to Alcatraz) and have the tour-bus pick you up and drop you off right in front of our Inn. Tickets are available from the front desk.

If you so choose, there are also city tours available in the following foreign language: German, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese and Korean. The front desk can also provide information on a number of other tour packages to sites outside of San Francisco such as Napa Valley, Sausalito, Muir Woods, and Monterey / Carmel.

"How do we get to Yosemite and information on accommodations?"

  • By car: From San Francisco, take the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge heading east to Interstate 580. Continue east on Interstate 580 to Highway 205 east, which will take you to Highway 120 east. Highway 120 enters Yosemite.
  • By train: Call AMTRAK at 800-872-7245 for information.

Reservations are required during summer; please call Yosemite Concession Services Reservations at 559-252-4848.
Campground information line: 800-436-7275.
Winter road condition information: 800-427-7623.

"How can we obtain information on guided tours?" 
Please inquire with front desk regarding all tours. They should be able to assist you with any information regarding guided tours.