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Aerial shot of Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center and the Golden Gate Bridge

Apr 6, 2024

Getting to the Golden Gate Bridge in the Presidio

Discover Golden Gate Bridge access: transit, parking, trails.

On an average day, 112,000 motorists will cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Fortunately, it’s just as easy for visitors to find their way to this legendary San Francisco landmark for a peek, a few photos, a walk or bike ride, or to pick up a memento. Learn how to reach this modern marvel of nature and engineering by car, bus, shuttle, or bicycle with our handy all-in-one guide to getting to the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Ready to have an unforgettable day at the Golden Gate Bridge? In addition to packing sunscreen and some picnic items, you’ll need to decide on how you’d like to get there. Utilize the guide below to ensure your travels to the Golden Gate Bridge are a breeze, leaving you free to make the most of your time at the Presidio — including grabbing a bite at the nearby Round House Café and learning a bit about the bridge’s history at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center! 

1. By Public Transit 

exterior shot of Muni Bus at the Transit Center

Here at the Presidio, we love public transit, which can be good on your pocketbook and the environment. In addition to offering a complimentary shuttle service, visitors can also hop on a Muni 28 bus (19th Avenue route) and take it to the Golden Gate Bridge Tunnel/Merchant Road stop. This will place you at the south end of the bridge, toward the Golden Gate Bridge parking lot, on the San Francisco side. Please see the Muni 28 route page for scheduled times and stops. Costs: $3 per adult rider.  

Learn more about Muni fares and discounts. 

Additionally, visitors can also access the Golden Gate Bridge’s South and North Ends via bus routes run by Golden Gate Transit, a public transportation system serving multiple counties across the San Francisco Bay Area. Details and route info for reaching the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Marin, and Sonoma Counties via Golden Gate Transit can be found on the agency’s official website. Costs for rides varies depending on distance/road tolls incurred.  

2. By Presidio Go Shuttle 

Image of Presidio GO Shuttle on the road with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

To reduce emissions and promote accessibility, the Presidio of San Francisco is proud to offer a free Presidio Go Shuttle service, providing complimentary transportation services within the park and beyond! Need a lift from downtown San Francisco? Catch the Downtown Route shuttle at Beale and Mission to the Presidio Transit Center. As the central hub of our shuttle service, you can always catch any Presidio Go Shuttle route – Downtown or South Hills – back to the Transit Center. From there, it’s a 1.6 mile walk west on the scenic Presidio Promenade Trail to reach the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

If a moderate walk isn’t viable, park visitors can alternatively reach the Golden Gate Bridge from the Presidio Transit Center by taking a Muni 43 bus (Munich + Geneva route, fare required) to Lombard and Divisadero. From there, transfer free of charge to the Muni 28 bus (Fisherman’s Wharf route) and ride it three stops to the Golden Gate Bridge. 

3. By Automobile 

Little yellow tour cart with two people riding in it in front of the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center

Owing to the extremely limited amount of parking available in the Golden Gate Bridge’s southeast and northeast visitor areas, particularly on weekends, tourists and locals alike are encouraged to utilize public transit or other means of transportation wherever possible when planning a visit to the bridge.  

For those arriving by automobile (this includes a Go Car!), the Southeast Side Visitor Parking Lot (San Francisco side) offers parking rates of $5 per hour with a maximum stay of three hours. Additionally, the Northeast Side Parking Lot (Marin County side) offers complimentary parking with a four-hour limit. For detailed driving directions to both lots, visit the official Golden Gate Transit website. 

4. By Bicycle 

Man on a bike riding near Crissy Field

While bicycling is permitted across the bridge, it’s important to check the Golden Gate Bridge District’s website for the latest approved bicycle access hours for the bridge’s east and west sidewalks. Note: electric scooters, roller blades, skateboards, and roller skates are not permitted on the bridge’s sidewalks at any time. 

Importantly, if you want to ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll need to have your wheels ready as no rentals are available on-site. Fortunately, there are several Bay Wheels bike share stations within the Presidio where you can rent a bicycle beforehand, including a spot next to the Transit Center and options at Crissy Field. Additionally, Sports Basement at Crissy Field also offers bikes for rent.  

5. By Foot 

Group of people walking up the stairs of the Batteries to Bluffs trail

Strolling the span of the Golden Gate Bridge (and back again) is a time-honored tradition. Measuring 1.7 miles long, it takes about 35 minutes to go from one end of the bridge to the other. Thus, it’s best to pencil in at least 70 minutes if you plan to do a round-trip walk across the bridge. 

There are also numerous trails that connect the Golden Gate Bridge to other popular attractions in the Presidio. They include the California Coastal Trail, the Bay Area Ridge Trail , the SF Bay Trail/Golden Gate Promenade, and the Presidio Promenade. Along these trails, you’ll find even more stunning viewpoints of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as a chance to spot some of the native plants and animals that call the Presidio home. 

6. Bonus: Fancy a Ferry Ride? 

Before the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, ferries were the dominant form of transportation for those looking to get to various destinations around the Bay Area. Today, these ferries continue to offer a whimsical yet surprisingly practical way to get around the Bay.  

Operated by Golden Gate Transit, ferries departing from multiple locations in Marin County, as well from Oakland/Alameda, and make frequent daily trips to and from the historic San Francisco Ferry Building. For a fun throwback trip, take a ferry to San Francisco’s Ferry Building, then walk across the Embarcadero to the Muni station and catch an F Train (Fisherman’s Wharf route, fare required) to Embarcadero and Sansome Street. Cross over to Sansome Street and Lombard Street and take the Golden Gate Transit 114 bus (Mill Valley route, fare required) eight stops to the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center stop. 

Learn more about Golden Gate Transit ferry routes and fares.