San Francisco is one of the crown jewels of all of California. Here, you can tell you are several hours north of Los Angeles, as the vibe is completely different here. With that being said, it is also one of the most expensive cities in the entire country. While visiting San Francisco, you are most likely going to notice the higher prices with your hotel, but it doesn't mean you necessarily need to feel it while getting around. There are several options available to you, and while some are better than others, it might ultimately depend on what you plan on doing while inside of San Francisco.
Rent a Car
You should only really rent a car while in San Francisco when you need to drive outside of the city. Driving through San Francisco with your own car is going to be a bit difficult, and while the traffic isn't as bad as what you might find in Los Angeles, it isn't the best, and parking becomes incredibly expensive. It does provide an easier way to get to sights like the Golden Gate Bridge (which you actually won't have to pay to park at), but outside of this, you probably want to go with a different option.
The cable cars don't go everywhere in the city, but lets face it, these are what help make San Francisco so attractive to visitors. You just are not going to find running cable cars in very many locations at all throughout the rest of the country. The cable cars are located in specific sections, such as Chinatown and Union Square, this is an excellent way to get around and to just experience something that you might have never tried out ever before.
Renting out a taxi is an option when you don't want to deal with the schedule of public transportation and you are traveling with a group of friends, but it is also going to be more expensive than the other options. On top of this, there isn't the complete overcrowding of taxis in San Francisco as what you might find in a Los Angeles or New York. Due to this, if you need a cab during rush hour, you need to make sure and call ahead.
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Also known as BART, the rapid transit system is an excellent way to get around the majority of San Francisco. You might find that it doesn't really go to the more tourist districts, but for general transportation, this is an excellent option available to you and is something you really need to utilize as it is also one of the least expensive options as well.
When visiting the city of San Francisco there are many different transportation options available. Even with these listed options you are able to use the city bus system, the F Line Trolly or even walk or rent out a bicycle, as all of these different options provide their own perks and possible advantages.