You are here

Travel Applications Make Navigating San Francisco Easier Than Ever

The San Francisco Travel Association has compiled this list of travel-related applications for both visitors and locals alike.


July 19, 2013 — Whether in search of a farm-to-table meal, on a quest for a first-class food truck, or simply on a hunt for a photogenic view—there’s an app for that. Hundreds of phone applications (apps) are available to help San Francisco locals and visitors navigate its 49 square-miles. The San Francisco Travel Association has compiled this list of travel-related applications for both visitors and locals alike.

San Francisco International and Oakland Airports

“Gate Guru”
Who says the airport can’t be fun? Gate Guru makes it easy to view itineraries, track flights, uncover the perfect layover lounge and receive updates on unexpected crowds and delays.Not to mention, this app also lists airport food, shops and services.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

Meet the virtual personal assistant, WorldMate. Forward confirmation emails for flights, dinner reservations, or tours to and the app generates a customized trip itinerary. Upgrade to the premium version and the app will generate real time alerts for flight delays or gate changes.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)


“Food Truck Fiesta”
Hunting down a San Francisco meal-on-wheels can be a task and a half. Food Truck Fiesta is the app that maintains a catalog of food trucks on a live map using each truck’s Twitter feed making it easy to locate favorites without walking all of San Francisco’s 49-square miles.
Available on iPhone ($.99) and Android ($.99)

“Local eats”
To try one restaurant per day, it would take nearly 15 years to experience all of San Francisco’s approximate 5,500 eateries. Where does one start? Consult Local Eats. Unlike most apps, Local Eats points users in the direction of locally-owned dining establishments—a niche for which San Francisco is world-famous.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

“Sweet Spot”
The amount of bakeries, candy shops, and ice cream parlors crammed into San Francisco’s 7-square miles is remarkable; perhaps even overwhelming when in a desperate pinch for a salted caramel macaroon. Sweet Spot helps quickly locate local bakeries, candy and ice cream shops.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)


Finally learn who painted that favorite neighborhood mural. With ArtAround, users are able to explore and engage with the city’s artwork. Make comments on pieces, ask questions and suggest new art discovered around town.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

“San Francisco Stairways”
One has not truly experienced San Francisco until they have conquered the 400 steps of Coit Tower, or encountered a wild parrot on the Filbert Steps of Telegraph Hill. Spend a day exploring the unique stairways of San Francisco with the help of the San Francisco Stairways app. Search staircases by neighborhood, length and special features.
Available on iPhone ($.99) and Android ($.99)

“San Francisco Travel and Photo Guide”
Wondering where to go to get the perfect panoramic shot of San Francisco? Or a postcard worthy snap of the Golden Gate Bridge? Consult the San Francisco Travel and Photo guide for help finding picture-perfect locations in one of the most photogenic cities in the world.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

There’s nothing worse than learning a favorite band was in town…yesterday. Never miss a show again with Thrillcall, the app that allows users to scroll through hundreds of San Francisco concerts and venues, hear samples of their music, and purchase tickets at unbeatable prices.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)


“Free San Francisco”
Discover more than 40 listings of free or nearly free San Francisco activities ranging from museums, walking tours and performances throughout the city. Available on iPhone (free) “SF for Kids” This is an insider's guide to the places and activities that families with kids in San Francisco enjoy every day. It includes playgrounds, parks, museums and even kid-friendly restaurants.
Available on iPhone (free)

In a world where a 10 percent tip is deemed generous in one city, and insulting in the next, it’s important to know how much to leave after each San Francisco meal. This clever app will spare visitors from using their fingers and excessive scratch paper by calculating the tip according to the bill. Note that the standard of tipping in the City by the Bay ranges between 15-20 percent.
Available on iPhone ($.99) and Android ($.99)


Shopping in a city regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world is thrilling. Knowing where to start, however, can be terrifying. This locally designed app will point visitors in the right direction of boutique shopping in neighborhoods such as Hayes Valley, the Mission and the Marina. Preview each store’s inventory beforehand and even request to put an item on hold.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

Tours and Attractions

“Beat Generation Tour”
Take a walk through San Francisco and visit some of the historic places of the Beat Generation. The tour starts in North Beach and allows users to experience locations made famous by names like Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassaday, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and many more.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

A guide to dim sum parlors and restaurants, bakeries, souvenir shops and traditional stores, festivals, walking tours, churches and temples and historic sites between Grant Ave. and Stockton St. considered the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

“Golden Gate National Parks Map”
Explore the Golden Gate National Park Recreational Area including campgrounds, coastal defense batteries, forts, visitor centers, beaches, overlooks and more.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

“Landmark Finder”
Discover noteworthy landmarks within both walking and driving distances from specified locations.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

“Landmarks: San Francisco”
Lists the more than 200 official landmarked buildings and sites by proximity, address, or just by clicking on the map.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

“San Francisco Waterfront: Bridge to Ballpark”
Explore one of the most popular parts of San Francisco, the waterfront. Discover where to dine and sleep, how to ride a cable car, visit Alcatraz, catch a Giants’ ballgame, stroll the Golden Gate Bridge, or where to take the kids and the best places to watch America’s Cup.
Available on iPhone (free)

“Top 25 San Francisco Attractions Guide & Free To Do”
Top 25 San Francisco Attractions Guide & Free Things To Do is a pocket-sized San Francisco guide created by city experts Extranomical Adventures.
Available on iPhone (free)


Flailing one arm about in the midst of oncoming traffic isn’t a good look for anyone. Hailing a taxi has never been easier thanks to Cabulous, the mobile app that uses a map to help summon the closest taxi.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

Consider this app an “on-demand private driver.” Request one of four types of vehicles (taxi, mid-range car, high-end sedan, or SUV) and voila—a driver will be notified and curbside within minutes.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

Managed by Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, iCars is a service made up of luxury cars, and SUV’s. This network is accessed through a mobile application that allows riders to book and pay for on-demand, private and eco-Iuxury transportation service.

Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

Travel Guides

“City Guide”
Discover the best places to go, such as where to eat, sleep, local culture and history.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)

“San Francisco Exploration Guide”
This guide to the city features photos, concise descriptions, maps, directions, cab fare estimation and other pertinent exploration details. Included are many of San Francisco’s major attractions - Alcatraz, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, as well as many of the city's hidden gems, such as the Beastie Boys' favorite record store or San Francisco's oldest brewery.
Available on iPhone (free) and Android (free)