Fisherman's Wharf

A neighbourhood with Italian roots, this area has seafood restaurants aplenty.

TravelCurious Tip

Beware the World Famous Bushman, a local street performed who startles people who walk by. He’s been at it for thirty years… don’t be alarmed!

Fisherman's Wharf more or less encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco. It earned its name during the city’s early years in the mid 1800s when Italian fishermen came to the city by the bay to sell fresh fish to a population that was booming because of the gold rush. Many of those fishermen ended up settling here and, despite the area’s redevelopment as a tourist attraction, it is still home to many active fishermen and their fleets.

Since that redevelopment, Fisherman's Wharf has been one of San Francisco’s best known tourist spots. Here you can find Pier 39, which the goofy sea lions have made their home, Ghiraredelli square, Aquarium Bay, and a various famous museums and parks. The best museum is probably the Musee Mechanique, with over a 100 vintage mechanical games from the last century, alongside classic arcade games from the 80s.

Fruits of the Sea

Given the area’s legacy, it’s no surprise you can find many excellent seafood restaurants here. Ever since the days when you could buy clams, oysters, mussels and an aquarium’s array of fish straight out the bay, then have them boiled, grilled, or steamed in front of you, this has been the place for seafood in San Francisco.

The stalls are a great place to try the famous Dungenes crab and clam chowder, served in a sourdough bread bowl. But head to Cioppino’s if you want to sit for a proper meal, and don’t miss their signature namesake dish, cioppino, a seafood stew in a tomato base.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in San Francisco
Pier 39
Pier 39 is a popular shopping built on a San Francisco pier, in Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood. Pier 39 is known for its sea lions, we can also find shops, restaurants, and street entertainment.
Ghirardelli Square
The Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco used to b the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory. The buildings have been renovated to hold shops, restaurants and galleries.
North Beach
The Little Italy of San Fran, North Beach hosts some fantastic Italian restaurants and is one of the city's best nightlife districts.
Italian Desserts
Treat yourself to an Italian espresso, freshly made cannoli or gelato as a way to sate your sweet tooth.
Washington Square Park in North Beach
This beloved park with view of Saints Peter and Paul church located in North Beach is one of the city's oldest parks, established in 1847.
Coit Tower
An emblem of the city skyline, this 65 metre tower provides a 360 degree view of the city.

Related Tours

San Francisco in a Day: Private Full-Day Tour including Alcatraz
Immerse yourself in the heart of San Francisco, one of the most iconic cities in the world, on this private full-day tour where you will discover the history and culture of the city before embarking on a journey through some of its most famous landmarks, including a visit to Alcatraz Island to uncover the secrets of the infamous prison. 

On your private tour of San Francisco, you will:

  • Explore Union Square— San Francisco's bustling shopping area;
  • Discover Chinatown, passing through the magnificent Dragon Gate, the entrance to the largest Chinatown outside of Asia;
  • Visit Nob Hill, and after a short tram ride, take a stroll down North Beach and learn the fascinating history of this Italian-American enclave,;
  • Immerse yourself in the customs, cuisine, and curiosities of Chinatown;
  • Take a cable car across town for fantastic cityscapes and soak up the San Francisco skyline from the top of iconic Nob Hill;
  • Visit Ghirardelli Square, with breathtaking views, fantastic shopping, dining options, and of course - world-famous chocolate!
  • Enjoy striking views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the atmospheric Fisherman's Wharf;
  • Walk around the historic Pier 39, and see the famous seals basking in the sun;
  • Dig into some of San Francisco's famous seafood - like clam chowder soup in a sourdough bread bowl (not included);
  • Finally, the guide will depart as you take a ferry to visit the world’s most notorious island penitentiary: Alcatraz, where you will enjoy a self-guided audio tour of the island or choose to join one of its small ranger-led tours when you disembark.

Your Private Full-Day Tour of San Francisco Highlights will take you through an urban landscape, set on the northern tip of a peninsula, shaped by glaciers, earthquakes and the Pacific’s rolling waves. 

At the top of Nob Hill, soak up an extraordinary cityscape at cable car height. Set on San Francisco's picturesque steep slopes, enjoy a stunning skyline across streets crisscrossed by streetcars, yellow taxis, and jogging trails. 

Wander through some world-class shopping malls in Union Square, where big-name brands and local stores nestle amongst chic boutiques. 

Lastly, Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, lined with seafood cafés, are home to basking sea lions, jugglers, and mime artists, with striking views across the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Angel Island. Enjoy lunch at one of the many eateries on Pier 39 before your guide takes you to Pier 33, where you will board a pre-booked ferry ride to Alcatraz Island. 

Please note: your guide will not be joining you on the island, as private guides are not permitted to operate on the island. On arrival at Alcatraz, take an audio tour at a leisurely pace to hear tales of notorious felons such as Al Capone and Robert Franklin Stroud in this former fort, a military prison and maximum-security federal penitentiary. Once you are finished exploring Alcatraz Island (most people spend about 2 hours), you can hop any return ferry to San Francisco, where you will be dropped off at Pier 33. 


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