We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Cable Car Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 1201 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
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.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Tour: San Francisco Sightseeing - 3 Hour
More Info
and up
Nob Hill Walking Tour in San Francisco with Optional Lunch
More Info
and up
San Francisco Sightseeing

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,751 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1261
  • 753
    Very good
  • 135
  • 13
  • 5
Fascinating insight of the cable car system

This museum not only provides a history of the cable car system but also showcases the massive cables and wheels that are in actual operation as part of the Powell Mason line... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Add Photo Write a Review

2,751 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 2,167: English reviews
Level Contributor
76 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This museum not only provides a history of the cable car system but also showcases the massive cables and wheels that are in actual operation as part of the Powell Mason line. It's fascinating to learn about how the the cable car system works and other cool trivia. A great way to spend 1-2 hours, and it's free!

Thank RubinaGan
Level Contributor
86 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

I really enjoyed the Cable Car Museum. It is not only a look into SFO's cable car history but it is where the cables actually come in and you can see them in motion. How cool!! It is a welcome stop out of the sun and is a free museum! What more can you want? Must see place in my... More 

Thank Morgan R
Albuquerque NM
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is museum is a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of the cable cars and cable car system. If you are at all curious about how the cable cars work, then this museum is a must-see. Interesting information about the system's history, and lots of cool cable car system trivia. Plus it is free!

Thank vacationmanic
Indiana, USA
Level Contributor
163 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The Cable Car Museum of San Francisco provides an awesome insight to one of San Francisco's amazing innovations: The Cable Car! The best part about this museum is that it is totally free! San Francisco is know for its cable cars and this will give you the inside guide on how they run and their history. The massive cables are... More 

Thank McCall E
Maitland, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

See the cables actually running to understand how it all works. Make sure you read the panels at the rear of the museum to learn how the cable cars were going to be scrapped and how the people of SF fought to save them. Free entry

Thank Christine C
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

If you ride the cable car when in San Francisco you shouldn't overlook this small museum which is also the central depot for the four cable lines that still run under the streets of San Francisco. All cables meet here and chug along at something like 9 miles an hour all-day long. To see how the whole cable car system... More 

Thank GlobalTrekker4Ever
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
54 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

When you have had your first ride with the cable car you're perhaps wondering how the cars are moving through the streets of San Francisco . Go to this free museum and you will understand how this works and you will also have a good idea about the history and the development of the cable car! It's a short stop... More 

Thank dutchy-abroad
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

If you want to know how it works and how it was made, you must go. IT is really incredible to discover what is behind the Cable car system!

Thank Javier Oswaldo M
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We happened upon the Cable Car Museum by accident and were so happy. A must-see for everyone visiting San Francisco. It is a one-of-a-kind example of history and functionality that lies at the heart of the SF experience. The cables for all of the cable cars originate and are powered by the big GE electric motors that you can view... More 

Thank jhdamm
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

I encourage everyone to make a quick stop to view the workings of the cable ca system. I heard many riders wonder about how it all works and recommend this stop.

Thank Sue B

Travellers who viewed Cable Car Museum also viewed


Been to Cable Car Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Cable Car Museum and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Cable Car Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

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.
Explore this neighbourhood