Often billed as the "crookedest street," San Francisco's Lombard Street is, in fact, neither the crookedest nor the steepest street in the city, let alone the world. Oddly, that fact doesn't deter the hordes of tourists who come every year to see this famous street, built with eight switchbacks on a 40-degree slope.
The main attraction of Lombard Street is watching people drive down the crooked, one-block section, or driving down it yourself. On a busy day, a seemingly-endless stream of automobiles and scooters buzz down, their passengers squealing in mock fear at every turn. If you're on foot, you can walk down (or up) the sidewalks and watch the show.
Lombard Street is one of San Francisco's top-rated sights. Find out what the rest are.
The best place to photograph Lombard Street is from the bottom, looking up.
ReviewWe rate Lombard Street 3 stars out of 5. This "crookedest street" is often among visitors' must-sees, and I've had out-of-town passengers squealing in delight as we drove down it, but delays are often too long to justify the short ride.
POLL: What do you think of Lombard Street as a tourist attraction?
San Francisco's Real Crookedest Street
If you want to find the street that's really San Francisco's most crooked, try Vermont Avenue at 20th Street.
Details for Visiting Lombard Street
- Hours: Any time, but please respect the residents and be quiet at night
- Reservations: Not required
- Cost: Free
- Location: A few blocks uphill from Ghirardelli Square, see the directions below
- How Long: Allow a half hour at most to watch the people and take a few photos, longer if you want to drive down on a busy day
- Best Time to Visit: The flowers are nicest in spring and summer, and morning is the best time for photographs
Between Hyde and LeavenworthThe "crooked" section of Lombard is between Hyde and Leavenworth, just a few blocks above Ghirardelli Square.
San Francisco, CA
The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of Lombard Street. You can also get there by walking up Hyde (very steep) from Ghirardelli Square, up Leavenworth (one block east, less steep) or by walking west from North Beach on Lombard Street, but the best way to get here depends on where you're coming from. Check out all the other options.
If you plan on driving, approach from Hyde Street. Lombard Street is one-way, and you can't drive up from Leavenworth.