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Cable Car Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 1201 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108-1071
Phone Number:
+1 415-474-1887
10:00 - 18:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Fee: No

A museum to San Francisco's beloved cable cars, with a subterranean walkway...

A museum to San Francisco's beloved cable cars, with a subterranean walkway that lets you see the moving cable.

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Private Tour: San Francisco Sightseeing - 3 Hour
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San Francisco Sightseeing

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 1311
  • 769
    Very good
  • 138
  • 13
  • 5
An interesting look at how the Cable Cars actually work

If you're taking a tour, make sure it stops here. Fascinating look at how these marvelous machines operate.

Reviewed yesterday
Glenn L
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
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2,830 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,236: English reviews
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

If you're taking a tour, make sure it stops here. Fascinating look at how these marvelous machines operate.

Thank Glenn L
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

As the museum runs the cable cars, this is an extremely loud place. Interesting to see the mechanics of how the cable cars run, I had expected it to be a larger place than it was, but hey, it's free! What more can you complain about!

Thank Monica H
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The museum is part of the power factory which moves the cables for the cable cars. You are able to see the machines and the cables in action, learn the history of the place and learn how the cable cars move in the city. It has free entrance and is open everyday.

Thank Georgios B
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Don't overlook this small but quaint historical gem. It's not a graveyard but the functional focal point for all cable car lines in the city. Observe the mechanical innards of the cable car system and learn the timeline for the transportation evolution in the city and how it affected urban devlopment. There's some hands on stuff for all ages, and... More 

Thank Julie S
Shepparton, Australia
Level Contributor
426 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Only a small but a working museum this gives an insight into how the cable car system works. If you have any interest in transport don't miss visiting

Thank Robert H
Central Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
369 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 315 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

This is actually where all the cable cars are powered from. As you look at the exhibits, you watch each line's cable rolling along at 9.5 mph, powering the cable cars up and down San Francisco's hills

Thank amosesq
Roswell NM
Level Contributor
294 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

After spending a few days riding the cable cars, we decided to hop off and visit the free Cable Car museum. Not only is it a museum, the building is the 'brains' of the cable car system. EDUCATIONAL!!! watch the big pulleys that run the four lines. Amazing to see how everything works from the cable to the grips that... More 

Thank takrafty
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This is a cable car museum with a twist. Best news is it is free! Hooray!! Second, you will find that you can see the actual cable mechanism in action. Giant turbines whir below which you can literally see over a balustrade. There are a couple of genuinely old cable cable cars. There are fascinating photos and explanations on the... More 

Thank toby b
Floridian in Switzerland
Level Contributor
72 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This is a great little museum. I think you can see everything in about an hour (unless maybe you are a die-hard fan)....and it is free!! My 10 and 11 year olds were very interested in understanding the well presented history but especially seeing the live and working mechanisms under the ground. When we left, we were trying to decide... More 

Thank ufgator27
Brasilia, DF
Level Contributor
135 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Loved the Cable Car Museum. It was my first stop since it was close to the hotel and on my way to Fisherman´s Wharf. It´s small but with interesting information about the San Francisco landmark. It was great to see the old cable cars, understand how they run and how the lines worked in the past.

Thank JujuBsb

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Staying in Nob Hill

Neighbourhood Profile
Nob Hill
Swanky and stylish, Nob Hill sits in the heart of the city and is home to amazing architecture and views. The hike to the top can be a challenging workout for those who forego a cable car ride, but they will be rewarded with some of the city’s most beautiful architecture adorning its peak. Originally populated with mansions after the Gold Rush, most if not all were devastated in the 1906 earthquake and fire that followed. Luckily all is not lost; storied hotels and Grace Cathedral surround Huntington Park. Having a drink or dinner while taking in the sunset and views at the "top of the Mark" is tough to beat.
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