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San Francisco Cable Car Museum

History Museum
Nob Hill, San Francisco
  • Jared Z.
    "you can see the giant wheel that winds the cable here, super cool."(13 Tips)
    Doug A.
    "Free admission, open 7 days / week, see the machines that..."(5 Tips)
    Estefanía L.
    "A must to understand (and actually see) how the cable car works."(4 Tips)
    Bennett W W.
    "how the cable car system functions."(5 Tips)
71 Tips and reviews
  • museums
  • free admission
  • car system
  • historic sites
  • winding wheels
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  • Recent
  • Bennett W W.
    Bennett W WongNovember 7, 2014
    If you're majoring in electrical or mechanical engineering, then this is a good spot to visit. It's a definite go to spot when you want to enhance your knowledge on how the cable car system functions.
    Upvoted Jul 3
  • Andrew C.
    Andrew CasperJuly 20, 2016
    The museum is small but very cool to see old school cars and informative about the history, challenges, and changes of the whole system!! BEST PART - it's free!!!
  • Makinder C.
    Makinder ChahalSeptember 30, 2015
    Free admission. Amazing historical look at the much loved cable cars. Some great photo restoration in here too. Definitely worth a visit to appreciate what goes into the uphill battles.
  • Fran S.
    Fran SuApril 23, 2016
    Very interesting to see the inner workings of a functioning cable car system and learn about its history. Free admission helps too.
  • Caroline D.
    Caroline DengMay 29, 2016
    It's a small museum exhibit with free admission on the history of the cable car. You can even see the cables that pull the cables for each of the three lines!
  • Ms H.
    Ms HeleneJune 7, 2015
    Historic building and houses the cables that run the whole system today, models of old cars and history. Free.
  • JulienF
    JulienFNovember 1, 2012
    Excellent museum, you got to see the first cable car back in 1873, many historical pictures and as well the engines and winding wheels who pulls the cables. Amazing and all this for free !
  • Geoff R.
    Geoff ReinhardtAugust 31, 2014
    Free museum! Go downstairs to see the actual gears that power the trolley cars. Then hop on the Hyde line one block north for views of Lombard Street on the way to Fisherman's Wharf. Trolley costs $6
  • Olga B.
    Olga BrezoMarch 21, 2013
    It's US National Heritage. Cannot be sold or privatized by he government, that's why it's free. (And the reason why an employee may feel up to explaining you the workings of the system ;-D)
  • Nathan S.
    It's great to be able to see operational aspects of the system rather than just static displays, though those are well done as well!
  • Tristan T.
    Tristan TranOctober 27, 2014
    Very interesting if you want to learn a lot about the cable car history in less than an hour!
  • Exploratorium
    ExploratoriumSeptember 12, 2011
    Did you know that San Francisco has last permanently operating, manually operated cable car system in the world? Check out our Science in the City video to learn more about SF's cable cars! Read more
  • kelly f.
    kelly figJune 11, 2013
    free museum that shows how the cable cars work. interesting and historical. made my ride on a cable car much more memorable once i knew what made it go!
  • Jeepin' Jeff
    Jeepin' JeffSeptember 17, 2013
    Free museum. Fascinating to see how the cable cars work, see the motors and cables under the streets, etc. really cool.
  • Olga B.
    Olga BrezoMarch 21, 2013
    Museum closes at 5pm (at least in March). If you are lucky, you may get invited into the barn by an employee, who shows and explains you how the cable, wheels and system works.
  • SF Weekly
    SF WeeklyMay 24, 2011
    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2011 Winner – Editorial Pick – BEST MUSEUM TO SPEND YOUR LUNCH BREAKSThe mesmerizing highlights of the museum are the gargantuan "winding wheels" that pull the eponymous cables.. Read more
  • Michael L.
    It's amazing to get to see the mechanical aspects and history behind San Francisco's storied Cable Cars!
  • Jared Z.
    Jared ZimmermanNovember 6, 2012
    The trolly cars work by grabbing on to a big set of cables that run under the city. you can see the giant wheel that winds the cable here, super cool.
  • Sarah D.
    Sarah DunnJuly 4, 2016
    It's free! Very quick and informative. Walk in and check it out! Also they have bathrooms
  • Gareth W.
    Gareth WattsNovember 3, 2009
    If you've ever ridden a cable car in SF (and if not, why not??) and wondered how it all works you really must come here and see the 500HP motors in action for yourself; awesome place - and free!! Read more
  • Stefano G.
    Stefano GuidolinMay 7, 2014
    This is the place to be to learn everything about the cable car system. If you have an interest in engineering and its history, you'll love this place!
  • Bashar A.
    Bashar AbdullahMarch 11, 2016
    Live view of machine in motion, and for free! Small place, but still worth it.
  • Abby C.
    Abby CJuly 1, 2015
    Very interesting. For free admission it is a must do if traveling to SF and taking cable cars.
  • Todd N.
    Todd NilsonNovember 16, 2015
    Really great place to stop and learn about cable car history
  • Doug A.
    Doug AlesJuly 5, 2015
    Free admission, open 7 days / week, see the machines that pull the cable car cables
  • Santiago R.
    Santiago RiveraMay 16, 2014
    This is the cable mechanism which moves the cable cars thru the streets and up & down the hills of San Francisco.
  • Don O.
    Don OtvosNovember 29, 2016
    Best free thing to see in San Francisco!
  • Ali A.
    Ali AndersonJune 23, 2015
    Free! And worth 30 minutes of your time if you're curious about the cable car scene in SF
  • Jeremy J.
    Jeremy JacobowitzAugust 22, 2014
    Well its free! Pretty interesting, but not much there. I loved the info video they played that was made in like 1979
  • Erik B.
    Erik BrokSeptember 25, 2016
    This small museum is free and definitely worth a bit of time.
  • Geoff G.
    Geoff GreenAugust 23, 2014
    Documents the history of the cable cars and you can see the current system in action.
  • The Bold Italic
    The Bold ItalicJune 2, 2011
    Watch the hilariously dated movie from the 1970s that plays in the corner of the gift shop, explaining how the cable car works. Read more
  • Estefanía L.
    A must to understand (and actually see) how the cable car works. Really interesting!
  • Mr. Stone
    Mr. StoneJune 28, 2012
    I really love this place, the CORE of the Cable Car since... almost always.
  • Nick B.
    Nick BaerFebruary 7, 2013
    5 people injured and taken to the hospital today because of the cable car and now I've wasted my time and money... Not happy with first cable car experience.
  • James C.
    James CJuly 29, 2013
    Great History. Short sweet and to the point.
  • Rachael G.
    Rachael GreenMay 14, 2013
    jump off at Mason and see the free cable car museum! Leave about an hour to enjoy.
  • Ricky A.
    Ricky AJuly 3
    It's free. Pretty interesting museum. The heavy equipment is pretty impressive.
  • Roma F.
    Great pictures, interesting to see the history of these amazing cable cars!
  • Justine C.
    Justine Chevrier-LordAugust 27, 2014
    Very interesting from a mechanical and from a historical point of view!
  • Alex D.
    Alex Dobyan1 week ago
    Worth it because it's free, and has a lot of interesting city history.
  • Tim U.
    Tim UngerMarch 7, 2012
    It's free and only takes a few minutes to see this amazing museum.
  • Debra
    DebraMarch 22, 2015
    Lovely little fascinating place and free!
  • Emiliy M.
    Emiliy MarinoSeptember 17, 2014
    It's free! Learn about SF's history and see the cables in action.
  • Kaitlyn K.
    Kaitlyn KSeptember 3, 2012
    Free! Plus a bathroom, so a good tourist stop all around.
  • WorldStrides
    WorldStridesApril 7, 2011
    In 1869, Andrew Hallidie witnessed a horrible accident as a horse drawn streetcar slid backwards down a steep slippery San Francisco street. 4 years later, he introduced the city to its 1st cable car
  • TheRealArno
    TheRealArnoJune 1, 2013
    Great place to see, and it's free!
  • Amanda M.
    Amanda MarshallJune 12, 2010
    If you spot the grey kitty that hangs around, be sure to give him a friendly scratch behind the ear - he loves it!
  • Lisa
    LisaJuly 28, 2009
    Been here 50+ times
    visit the free cable car museum and cable car barn (where the cars live!) in san francisco. learn the history and watch the actual works in motion.
  • Shreyas J.
    Shreyas JhaveriJuly 7, 2014
    Small museum but get to learn some very interesting facts about the SFO cable car
  • Mariana D.
    Mariana DomeneMarch 28, 2011
    Nice place to go in SF! You can see how it system works!
  • Jeffrey M.
    Jeffrey MJanuary 11, 2013
    $10 minimum to use credit card at gift shop. Lame for a tourist spot.
  • Tommy A.
    Tommy AdamsJuly 6, 2014
    Worth the stop. Surprised these things are still running.
  • Doug A.
    Doug AlesJuly 5, 2015
    Actual working museum, open 7 days / week
  • Jens H.
    Jens HeimNovember 4, 2011
    It's free (I guess the only thing in SF that is for free)
  • Lynette K.
    Lynette K.August 21, 2011
    i love cable car parking, it means i'm about to see my lova!
  • Paul
    PaulFebruary 27, 2013
    Great place to go if you have given up on life
  • Patty H.
    Patty HicksJuly 16, 2016
    Very interesting and it's free!!
  • Scoutmob
    ScoutmobNovember 28, 2011
    San Francisco cable cars are the only moving National Historic Landmark.
  • Siddarth C.
    Siddarth ChandrasekaranFebruary 9, 2013
    Insanely cool.
  • Brighty
    Brighty2 weeks ago
    Interesting and free!
  • katherine k. r.
    one of the coolest places in sf that no one has ever been to. i like to take all my visitors here to learn about the unique transit of our city. and smells great!
  • EmilyPosts
    EmilyPostsApril 16, 2012
    Free. Nice photos and info about the quake and fire. Loud.
  • Ken
    KenOctober 13, 2015
    Ever wonder what drove the cable cars?
  • Jon P.
    Jon PughApril 27, 2010
    Amazing! Totally unique to San Francisco
  • Nahid A.
    Nahid AshriAugust 7, 2015
    Good but not intresting
  • Nick B.
    Nick BaerFebruary 7, 2013
    Pos broke down... 30 mins so far
  • Lisa
    LisaJuly 24, 2009
    Been here 50+ times
    go downstairs in the (free) cable car museum and watch the cables run!
  • Otto G.
    Otto GeldermanJanuary 11, 2010
    Nice place to see how the cable car system works Read more
  • Sada
    SadaAugust 6, 2015
  • Alexey S.
    Alexey StepanovSeptember 9, 2014
    Исторические трамваи, оборудование и наглядные образцы доступны бесплатно.
686 Photos

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