5 hills worth climbing for the view in San Francisco

1) Telegraph Hill

You’ll find so much more than just the views from up here. Exquisite homes, garden-filled stairwells and squawking wild green parrots await. For even better views, take the elevator up to the observation deck of Coit Tower and enjoy the breathtaking, panoramic landscapes, especially of the North and East Bays.

view from the Telegraph hill in San Francisco

2) Bernal Hill

Head to the top for clear, 360-degree panoramic views of the city, including downtown, the Golden Gate Bridge, the peninsula and the East Bay. You’ll also find a rope swing and a painted rock that continuously gets a colorful and humorous makeover. The latter is located on the north side of the hill.

top view from Bernal Hill

More hidden secrets of San Francisco?

Experience San Francisco like a local: discover the city's hidden gems, handpicked by a local, in this inspiring guide. Includes interesting facts, maps & index.

Buy the book or ebook

3) Billy Goat Hill

Enjoy a pretty vista of the city from up here, and cross your fingers there’s a rope swing. It feels as if you’re swinging into an abyss. Often it gets cut down, then some kind person will set up another. Even without it, it’s a nice climb and a perfect spot to perch down for a bit.

Billy Goat Hill in San Francisco

4) Twin Peaks

At 280 meters high, these two adjacent peaks are the busiest of San Francisco hills. Expect many pedestrians, cars and busses to be convened at top for postcard views of the city, but the climb is worth it. It is also located at the geographical center of SF and provides a perfect lookout in all directions.

view from Twin Peaks in San Francisco

5) Russian Hill

You’ll need to trek some steep hills to get to this spot and you won’t be disappointed. From this tiny park is one of the best viewpoints in the city. You’ll see a spectacular stretch of SF – from Coit Tower to Salesforce Tower. Close by are charming green stairwells and passageways to explore, including historic Macondray Lane.

the view down Russian Hill in SF

Liji Jinaraj

at: Ina Coolbrith Park, Vallejo and Taylor Street


Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up