The Golden Gate Bridge, the landmark of San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of California's most iconic monuments. A technological feat built between 1933 and 1937, it is now one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. The Golden Gate is instantly recognisable by its orange colour and its two towers. A symbol of the city, the bridge has become an element of popular culture, appearing in numerous films. Unfortunately, it is often destroyed in films such as Pacific Rim, Superman, Godzilla and others.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco

- © engel.ac/Shutterstock

The Californian monster

Measuring almost 2,800 metres in length, it remained the world's largest suspension bridge until 1964. Suspended 67 metres above the sea, it spans the bay between San Francisco and Sausalito and is one of California's major roads. Since its construction, more than two billion vehicles have crossed it.

Vue aérienne du pont et de ses 6 voies de circulation

- © Chisanu Liengpan / Pixhound / 123RF

Today, the crossing costs 6 dollars on the way to San Francisco, but it's free the other way. There are car parks at each end of the bridge, ideal for leaving your car and admiring the bridge on foot. The crossing takes around two hours, and although it can sometimes be tricky because of the wind and cold, the views are well worth the effort.

Several types of visit

The sheer size of the Golden Gate makes it visible from all the high points around the north of San Francisco Bay. You can admire it from a number of vantage points, including Alcatraz Island and Bonita Lighthouse Road near Sausalito. For those who don't like walking, it's also possible to take a boat trip under the bridge, usually lasting 1 hour.

🛥️ Boat cruise in San Francisco Bay San Francisco

🛥️ Boat cruise in San Francisco Bay

A 1-hour boat trip on San Francisco Bay to discover the bridge from another angle, audio guide included.
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£43 / person
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For even more breathtaking views, take a helicopter ride over the bay for an uninterrupted view of the bridge. It's an experience you won't soon forget!

Find out more about the different ways to visit here

Titanic maintenance

The city of San Francisco often has to cope with difficult weather conditions, particularly high winds and fog. So, to maintain optimum visibility, the bridge, originally steel-coloured, has been repainted orange. Its colour is maintained every week by 25 painters, who brush it with 4,000 litres of paint, or 20,000 litres a year, a costly operation.

Golden gate covered in autumn morning fog

- © Albert Pego / Shutterstock

An award-winning monument

Thanks to its modern architectural and technical prowess, the bridge has been awarded a prize by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is listed as one of the most extraordinary constructions of the 20th century. An unusual fact: the chief engineer had no experience of building a structure of this scale, which amplified the challenge that the Golden Gate Bridge represented in 1933.

Where to sleep nearby?

Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco
Booking.com

Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio

Located less than 1 minute's walk from the Presidio National Recreation Area in a quiet area of San Francisco, this motel offers views of the city centre.
8.2 Very good
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£178 / night
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by Editorial Team
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