The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the main attractions and things to see in the city of San Francisco in California. This gigantic suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate, the strait that connects San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.
Although it is not the largest bridge in the city (the Bay Bridge exceeds it by far), it is the one that enjoys the most popularity, becoming the symbol of San Francisco over the years.
The construction of the Golden Gate was begun in 1933 and was completed in 1937. Its opening made it possible to cross the strait on foot or with the vehicles of the time, which previously only happened with ferries.
Its dimensions are impressive, especially considering the age of construction. It has a length of 1280 meters, a height of 227 meters and the diameter of the cables that support it is almost one meter.
Without a doubt, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the main places to visit in San Francisco. Its exaggerated size amazes the tourist and visitor, also for being an undisputed world symbol, made famous by many films, advertisements and TV series.
How to get to the Golden Gate Bridge
Visit the Golden Gate on foot
If you want to cross the Golden Gate on foot, the bridge has very safe sidewalks on both sides of the road for pedestrians and cyclists, while in the center there is the road for vehicles.
The visit on foot it is the one that takes the most time. With a length of 1280 meters, the round trip is about 3 km. Much more if you walk from downtown San Francisco.
Therefore, it is advisable to arrive by public transport or by car, park and continue on foot. Maybe on the way back, if you are tired, take a bus that will take you to the parking lot or into downtown San Francisco.
Visit the Golden Gate by bike
Crossing the Golden Gate by bike is the most popular choice for tourists. There are various shops in the city of San Francisco that rent bikes for a few hours or for the whole day.
The cost of renting the bike for each hour is about $ 5-10, while for the whole day it goes from $ 25 to $ 40. These rental companies also organize guided tours, which are very convenient if you are unfamiliar with getting around.
Getting to the Golden Gate by bike is very simple. Just go down the downhill streets of San Francisco and hit the waterfront. When you reach the seafront, continue to the left using the wide cycle path. The bike ride will be very pleasant.
Visit the Golden Gate by car
Crossing and driving through the Golden Gate Bridge is very exciting and fascinating. If you leave the city via the bridge there is no toll, while if you enter there is a toll of 8 dollars.
Visit the Golden Gate by bus
You can also cross the bridge by public transport, such as public buses or tourist buses that go around the city and also include a visit to the bridge.
What to see in the surroundings
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is a huge green space with a beautiful central lake. The park is located about 5km south of the bridge.
It is a wonderful place to spend pleasant hours outdoors. There are so many things to see, including 2 botanical gardens and the Buffalo Paddock, a reserve where a herd of indigenous bison live in their natural habitat.
In addition, you can rent a boat and take a leisurely ride in the park's large circular lake. Often in the area there are musical, theatrical and dance performances.
Golden Gate National Recreation
This park is instead located in the area north of the bridge. As well as being one of the best places to see the bridge and the city of San Francisco, Golden Gate National Recreation offers interesting things to do and see.
Among the things to see: a public bath built in 1896, an amphitheater dating back to 1937 and an ice skating rink used between the end of the 800th century and the beginning of the 900th century.
If you suffer from vertigo it is better to avoid the visit on foot or by bike and prefer this by car or bus.
A visit to its surroundings is also recommended. There are so many other things to do and see in your surroundings, and this can make your visit even more fascinating.
If you cross it by car, it is better to do it when you leave the city. This saves you from paying the toll and then continues your journey north or south in California.