Ferry Building Facade


Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is a famous landmark typically unknown by the first-time San Francisco traveler. Most people know of the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and clam chowder — but the Ferry Building? Oddly enough, it’s one of the more famous landmarks of the city, home to specialty shops, pillow fights and a damn good-looking exterior.

To make up for the lack of traffic through the doors since 1930 (when the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges were constructed), a series of specialty shops were created inside the building — including everything from the Acme Bread Company to the Blue Bottle Coffee Shop. The Ferry Building, basically, has turned to a point of leisure rather than a thriving transportation hub. But it’s still a landmark of the bay.

The Ferry Building was one of the few edifices in San Francisco to survive the 1906 earthquake, and at one point, it carried the most foot traffic in the world. So why isn’t the building more famous on an international level?

Ferry Building Outside

Today, when locals talk of the Ferry Building, it’s more than just an historic building; it’s a central location — a gathering point, home to weekly farmers’ markets and even home to San Francisco’s annual Valentine’s Day pillow fight, where you can dual to your heart’s desire. But most importantly, the historic Ferry Building is in the hearts of locals.

The historic Beaux Arts design of the building, including a 245-foot clock tower, modeled after the Seville clock tower in Spain, is a dead giveaway you’ve arrived in San Francisco.

So when you visit San Francisco and view a giant blue clock tower, see not just a regular blue spire—instead, see what the locals see—the Ferry Building of San Francisco. We hope you’ll remember it.

Ferry Building Shops

How Do I Find the Ferry Building?

  • The Ferry Building is located on the San Francisco Bay at the end of Market Street. If you look down Market from 4th, 5th and 6th Streets, you can see the blue tower standing proudly in the distance.
  • Use public transportation routes 1, 2, 7, 9, 12, 14, 14L, 20, 21, 31, 41, 71, the F-Line, Underground K, L, M, T, J and N, the California cable car line and BART to reach the Ferry Building. It’s still a major transportation hub of San Francisco; naturally many transportation routes can reach the building.
  • To reach the Ferry Building from Union Square you can ride the F-Line or take the underground K, L, M, N, T or J. They’re by far the easiest and most stress-free ways to reach the landmark. Hop off at the Embarcadero Station.

Ferry Building Clock Tower

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

The Ferry Building is one of the more famous landmarks in San Francisco. It survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes and has several specialty shops for your enjoyment. It’s a nice addition to a walk on The Embarcadero.

Location of the Ferry Building