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Monday, December 25, 2023

Golden Gate Bridge: How to visit the famous bridge in San Francisco?

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023

If you happen to be in San Francisco on your trip to California, a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge is a must Seeing it from afar or borrowing it is not enough. You are interested in it closely, it is worth the detour because this Art Deco style bridge is unique in the world.

How to visit the magnificent Golden Gate of San Francisco and enjoy its exceptional view? Here we give you a brief overview of its history and the information you need to know for a successful visit.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden gate bridge
Golden gate bridge, San Francisco, CA

3 things you need to know before visiting the Golden Gate

San Francisco is a city that attracts millions of tourists every year. One of the reasons for this craze is undoubtedly the visit to the Golden Gate Bridge. We have listed 3 things you need to know before planning a visit to the bridge.

1. There is a toll for cars entering San Francisco through the bridge, but no toll for cars exiting. This fee is the primary source of revenue for the maintenance of the building and other public infrastructure in San Francisco.

2. The width of the bridge is 30 meters, with six central lanes for cars and two lanes on each side for pedestrians and cyclists. The bay side lane is for pedestrians only and the Pacific side lane is for cyclists only.

3. Only vehicles travel on the bridge at night, it is closed from evening to dawn to pedestrians and cyclists.

See also:

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco, California: Interesting Facts

How long to visit the Golden Gate Bridge?

Between photos, stroll on the bridge and contemplation of the bay, you can plan between 2 and 3 hours to discover this marvel of architecture. However, there are many ways to visit this famous building. You can bike across the bridge to Sausalito, ride it seated on the panoramic roof of a Big Bus, fly over it in a helicopter, or spend an hour there at dusk. 🔗Golden gate bridge Wikipedia.

How to get to the bridge?

For a visit to the Golden Gate in San Francisco, you have to go to the Battery Lancaster. It is located at 963 Lincoln Boulevard.

We advise you not to drive to Battery Lancaster. Parking is inconvenient and expensive compared to other magnificent viewpoints in the area. We recommend Crissy Field, Fort Point or Baker Street instead.

Therefore, public transport is the most convenient way to get to Battery Lancaster. Several bus lines from the city center stop at the "Golden Gate Bridge" stop.

How to pay the bridge toll?

To enter San Francisco over the bridge, you have to pay a toll when driving.

There are no toll booths at the entrance to the bridge, everything is done automatically using cameras that record license plates.

To pay your right of passage, you must do so on the site, indicating the time and day of your passage as well as your license plate number.

If you cross the bridge without paying the toll, you have 48 hours to regularise your passage.

The price of the toll in 2022 was $8.60

Visit an iconic West Coast landmark

The Golden Gate is recognisable at first glance. It is characterized by its symbolic orange color, its location and its surprising architecture.

Landmark of the West Coast of the United States, this famous suspension bridge crosses the Golden Gate Strait into San Francisco Bay. It thus marks its extreme limit towards the majestic Pacific Ocean.

Built at the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, it connects the Californian city to other cities further north such as Sausalito located at the southern end of the peninsula in Marin County.

Its architectural success is recognised worldwide. It holds in its construction on two steel pylons and this “international orange” paint. The color is the choice of Irving Morrow, an American architect. He wanted to make the bridge visible to all boats or ships arriving in the bay. The tourist attraction of this historic monument in San Francisco is also due to the view it offers. From the bridge, you can admire a superb panorama of the strait, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

What to do, what to see at the Golden Gate Bridge?

A visit to the Golden Gate begins with the Battery Lancaster site (also called South Vista Point) where you have to go to reach the bridge by bike or on foot. This is where the Golden Gate Welcome Center is located, the starting point for organized tours for visitors.

You can cross the Golden Gate from Battery Lancaster. Breathtaking views of the bay, the strait, the bridge and the Pacific Ocean await you. The bridge has 6 traffic lanes and 2 lanes (one for pedestrians and another for bicycles).

Good to know: these two alleys are only accessible during the day.

You can continue your discovery tour by going to Baker Beach and Crissy Field. Both cities are on the side of San Francisco from which the view of the building is unique.

Baker Beach is southeast of the bridge near Gibson Road, Crissy Field is further west near Mason Street. Both have gorgeous beaches, dining amenities, and huge parking lots (free at Baker Beach and paid at Crissy Field).

The privileged sites to have a beautiful view of this wonder of the modern world are not lacking:

Fort Point south of the bridge: The site is accessible free of charge and open every day (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
China Beach at the end of Sea Cliff Avenue near Baker Street.

The Lands End Trail: it can be traveled on foot or by bike with a starting point at El Camino Del Mar. Parking is free.
Point Cavallo and Battery Spencer from the city side of Sausalito. Point Cavallo is at Marina Road in Sausalito itself (parking is free). Battery Spencer can be seen after a short walk from the Conzelman Road car park.

Hawk Hill 2.5 kilometer above Battery Spencer. It offers an incredible view of the bridge and its magnificent orange color.

These panoramic sites are accessible on foot, by bike, by car or by public transport. You also have the possibility to see the bridge from Alcatraz Island which is another characteristic historical site of the city of San Francisco!

Cruises are organized in the strait to admire the monument from the bay. The Blue & Gold Fleet cruise line offers tours included in the transportation package called the San Francisco City Pass. Their starting point is at Pier 39.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge: An Original Story

At the beginning of the 20th century and despite the earthquake of April 18, 1906, San Francisco was booming thanks to decades of gold rush.

Its location to the north of a peninsula would require ingenuity in the development of new road transport infrastructures and means of developing trade flows. The boats and ferries providing the crossings were unsuitable, causing accidents due to the overloading of goods or passengers.

It was in 1916 that the idea of ​​building a bridge connecting the strait appeared; attractive at first, it was quickly considered a real challenge given the natural requirements of the environment. The environment consists of violent waves, uncontrollable winds and the corrosive risk associated with sea fog.

Aware of the challenge, the city of San Francisco embarked on this unprecedented project. In 1919, city planning engineer Michael M. O'Shaughnessy named it the "Golden Gate Bridge" and commissioned Chicago engineer Joseph Strauss to build it in 1921.

For nearly a decade, the two engineers would fight tirelessly to get their construction plans passed in the face of fierce opposition from California. It was in 1933 that work began in a difficult context. To everyone's surprise, four years later, the bridge was inaugurated on May 27, 1937. The two pylons 227 meters high took up the challenge of connecting the 2737 meters that separated the two banks.

The signature color and lighting are the work of architect Irving Morrow. Like Joseph Strauss, he was harshly criticized throughout the country. Many Americans were in favor of black with yellow stripes or the color aluminum. Fortunately, the "Orange International" ends up winning the support of the majority.

So what's the best way to see the Golden Gate Bridge?

A discovery of the Golden Gate Bridge begins with the site of the Battery Lancaster also called the South Vista Point. You can continue your visit by Baker Beach and Crissy Field from which the view is unique. Cruises are organized in the strait to see the bridge from San Francisco Bay.

See also:

San Francisco Attractions | Best places to visit in san francisco bay area

Useful information

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA


  • Bus: Golden Gate Bridge/Parking Lot (28, 101, 114, 130, 132, 150, 154, 172)
  • Parking: on site (limited) and nearby

web resources:

See the Visitor Center

See the San Francisco Office of Tourism

See official website

More interesting article about california state:

• Santa Rosa, California

• City of Sunnyvale

• Griffith Observatory

• Yosemite national Park 

• City of Riverside

• Calico, ghost town - California, 92311


Thanks for reading Golden Gate Bridge: How to visit the famous bridge in San Francisco?

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