Getting Around San Francisco

Getting Around San Francisco


Fly to San Francisco

The are three major airports for travel into San Francisco: San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), just across the Bay, and San Jose International Airport (SJC) about 40 miles south of the city. Given the infamous traffic of this often foggy route, and the limited commuting options from San Jose's airport to San Francisco, we'd advise sticking to the other two airports. Both SFO and OAK are relatively close to the city, with SFO only 15 miles south of it. Despite this, the sporadically heinous traffic conditions on the Bay Bridge can significantly increase travel time from Oakland International Airport into San Francisco, so be wary of your arrival time if you're flying into this airport. Finally, the most important tip is having a clear knowledge of how to commute to and from the airports, thankfully, you'll have more than enough options.


  • Shuttle services: Shuttle services from SFO are relatively inexpensive and efficient and will take you just about anywhere within the city limits of San Francisco. Look out for Lorrie's Airport Service and SuperShuttle at the lower level near baggage claim and expect to pay $16 to $18 dollars. You can also check for tickets online prior to your trip. You'll want to do the same for Oakland airport, and check out BayPorter Express for shuttles services to major hotels and door-to-door service.

  • Taxi & car: Taxis to and from San Francisco International Airport will generally cost $50 to $55 dollars and travel time will depend on the general traffic conditions. The same goes for Oakland International Airport, and fares will range from $70 to $75 dollars. Alternatively, you can also use Uber or rent a car.

  • Train transport: With trains arriving every 15 minutes, the BART is another great and inexpensive option of getting into downtown San Francisco in about 30 minutes for a $9 dollar ticket cost. Lastly, bus travel is likely the cheapest via the SamTrans buses, but we do not recommend this whatsoever (just a few too many inconveniences). For OAK the drill is similar, board the AIR BART bus ($3) to the Coliseum/Oakland International Airport BART station and take the train there to downtown, which generally costs less than $5 dollars depending on where you're going.

Getting Around San Francisco

Actually getting around San Francisco can be both difficult, and surprisingly easy. If you've rented a car then you might be in for some frustration when it comes to public parking and rush hour traffic. That said, renting a car is a great way to visit the nearby, and easily accessible, surrounding spots of the Bay Area and the neighboring towns. If you don't have many plans for leaving the city, there's also a few options for transport. The BART is all-around a great way to travel around and out of San Francisco. BART train stations in San Francisco are most accessible in areas of downtown, the Mission district, and a few other high transit neighborhoods. Despite this, fares are generally low (starting at $1.85) and the longest wait times between trains is under 20 minutes. Keep in mind though, morning and rush hour times will mean that trains are largely overloaded, and you might feel a bit like a cramped sardine;—but you'll be fine so long as you're not clausterphobic. For some last tips, know that trying to hail a cab in San Francisco is usually a drudging odessy and soul-shattering experience. For everything else there's Uber.