Classic Walking Tour of San Francisco with Emperor Norton

  • 441 Ratings

Embrace the quirky charm that defines San Francisco. See some of the City by the Bay's most iconic and historic sights—including Union Square, the St. Francis Hotel and more—guided by Emperor Norton I, San Francisco's unofficial mascot.

Duration: 1 hour
Cancellation: 24 hours in advance.

What You Will Do

  • Meet one of the most colorful characters central to the quirky history of San Francisco, self-proclaimed "Protector of Mexico," Emperor Norton I
  • Follow your entertaining Emperor-dressed guide on an interactive sightseeing tour filled with historical anecdotes from his life
  • Gain a unique perspective on the earthquake and great fire of 1906, and other historical events that shaped San Francisco
  • Visit and learn the stories behind Union Square, the St. Francis Hotel, Maiden Lane, Lotta’s Fountain, Bummer and Lazarus, the Palace Hotel, Jackson Square, Portsmouth Square, and the Barbary Coast

What's Included

  • 1 hour walking tour of San Francisco with costumed guide

Additional Information

  • Bring water and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Customer Reviews

  • 441 Ratings

  • Karen

The San Francisco historical information was awesome! We truly enjoyed learning about the city through “personal” stories of Emperor Norton. The time went so quickly. We also took his recommendation for a lunch location & had a delicious meal. This was a fun way to see the city.

January 21, 2019

  • Ellen

We had a wonderful time with Emperor Norton! He wa very accommodating, making a special tour of Chinatown for us. He was punctual, kind, funny, and very knowledgeable about San Francisco’s history and current restaurants! Overall, it was great! We would love to experience his other tours.

January 7, 2019


The Emporer is very engaging and personable. Our group of six was a perfect size. He spoke clearly and loud enough for us to hear his every word. His tour felt like tapping a sip of wine from a full wine barrel. How can all that life experience and knowledge be preserved??? Only drawback was being freezing -- stupid mistake for a local like me. Bundle up! Wish there was an Emporer for every city. After the tour, you'll never be without a friend in San Francisco. I'd go again in a heartbeat.

December 4, 2018
Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
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