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The Painted Ladies: An Iconic San Francisco Site

Updated: April 2, 2024
 By Britt

Whenever I lead a walking tour in San Francisco, I almost always get asked about the Painted Ladies, those colorful Victorian houses that have adorned postcards for decades.

That's why I wrote this post about these iconic houses, also known as the Seven Sisters.

In addition to directions to the Painted Ladies, I explain a bit of their history and architectural style, the best spot for that perfect picture, and what tours you can take to see inside one.

I even tell you which house is from the TV show Full House!

Lastly, at the bottom of this post, I include tips and comments from members of San Francisco travel groups on Facebook, like our own, San Francisco Travel Tips.


The Painted Ladies are located at 710-720 Steiner Street between Grove and Hayes Streets across the street from Alamo Square Park in the Alamo Square Park neighborhood of San Francisco. 

You can use this Google Map to get directions from your departure point to the houses.

The Painted Ladies are a stop on several hop-on-hop-off tours.  Be sure to read our post comparing the different bus tour companies.

By public transportation, take the #21-Hayes Muni bus from Market Street to Alamo Square, getting off on Steiner St.

You'll see Alamo Square to the left and the Painted Ladies on your right, about halfway up Steiner Street.

The ride from Fisherman's Wharf is approximately 40-45 min.

If you are new to the city, read our post on how to ride the Muni buses.


It's best to take photos at midday to get a clear view of Downtown San Francisco in the background of your picture.

You'll recognize the most popular view of the houses if you go inside Alamo Square Park where there is a rise in the landscaping.

When there is no fog, you can see the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid from the park.

Below, we have embedded a photosphere taken from a previous visitor.

Despite the fog, you can take a look around the area by putting your cursor on the image and moving it around.

For other amazing skyline views, check out our post on the Top 10 San Francisco Photo Locations.


Millions, plural. However, one of the homes sold in 2014 for $900K less than asking the price! 

As of 2023, many of the homes are estimated to be worth between $2 million to over $4 million.

The variation in value is due to the different amenities and sizes that affect the value.

While these historic homes are icons of San Francisco, owners have to deal with thousands of photo-taking tourists - not an appealing aspect of one's home.

They are almost all at least a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom house with a garage - all with a story behind it.

Here's a tour of one of the Painted Ladies put up for sale in 2022.

TIP: Want to learn about why these houses are the way they are? Read below about their glorious architecture!


Although these homes are privately owned, there have been companies, like Take Walks, that from time to time have offered tours.

Currently, the only tour available is through one of the homeowners.

Tour of the Interior of 712 Steiner Street

As of 2021, the owner of 712 Steiner Street, George Horsfall, has been offering 90-minute tours of his house.

For $30 a person, you can see the top three floors of the home. Tours run daily at 4 pm.

Find more details on his Instagram account @bluepaintedladyhousetour.

You can also book this tour as an Airbnb Experience. Check out the rave reviews!

Take Walks

In addition to getting access to one of the Painted Ladies, you'll also enjoy a tour of the area providing details about the history of the Victorian houses.

  • $39/Adults, Students | $34/Children
  • Spring Availability: Sundays at 10 am
  • Summer/Fall Availability: Sun & Fri at 10 am
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes admission to a Painted Lady.
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Reviews indicate that this tour is quite entertaining and the opportunity to step inside a Painted Lady has been described as an "eccentric adventure."

Visitors are typically very impressed with their tour guide, describing them as both knowledgeable and friendly.

NOTE: As of April 2024, this tour is not currently available.

How to Get a Sneak Peek Inside the Painted Ladies

At an Open House!

If you're in luck, maybe one of them will be on the market!

In 2022, the owner of the pink Painted Lady listed the house at $3.55 million. It's 2,996-square-foot with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths.

As you can see from the video, this house is a fixer-upper!


If you watched television in the early '90s, you will probably recognize these homes from the opening credits of Full House.

This well-known scene leads to the homes being referred to as the Full House Houses, but actually, the Full House is quite a distance away - still in San Francisco, though!

Within the row of seven houses, viewers are never told which one is meant to be the Tanner's home, and the actual house used to film the exterior shot - the Victorian House with the red door isn't even one of those houses.  

The Full House house is located at 1709 Broderick Street, a 20-minute walk from Alamo Square.

Read our details post to help you find the Full House house.


Full House isn't the only place you may have seen these homes!

It is estimated that they have been used in over 70 films and TV Shows.

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  • Junior (1994)
  • Full House (1987-1995)
  • Bicentennial Man
  • Dirty Harry
  • The Five-Year Engagement
  • So I married an Axe Murderer
  • Not exactly filmed at the Painted Ladies, but only located about one mile north of Alamo Square at 2640 Steiner St., the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire was shot on this and other San Francisco locations.
  • Other films that have used Alamo Square are Murder in the First, Nine Months, and The Conversation.
  • Author Alice Walker (The Color Purple) used to live in one of the homes - even having house concerts until the neighbors complained about the same song being played over and over.

Want to learn more about some of the historic sites in San Francisco? We offer walking tours throughout the city - Free Tours by Foot San Francisco Walking Tours.


The Painted Ladies are one of the most iconic attractions in San Francisco.

This row of seven colorful Queen Anne-style Victorian homes is known as “postcard row” because they appear on countless postcards.

What makes these homes so beautiful, besides their jovial colors, is the array of Victorian architectural features they all have.

They are 2 or 3 stories tall and have multiple balconies, large porches, gingerbread-style gables, overhanging eaves, detailed brackets, front-facing gables, cutaway bay windows, and stained-glass paneling.

To clarify, it is not just these houses that are known as ‘The Painted Ladies’. Any Victorian house with 3 or more colors is considered a ‘Painted Lady’. 

There are Painted Ladies in other U.S. cities, like Baltimore, Maryland, Cape May, New Jersey and Cincinnati, Ohio.

In fact, there are more Painted Ladies in San Francisco, in Haight-Ashbury. They just aren't as famous!


We always do our best to provide helpful information, but sometimes we might miss a few things. That's why we have a San Francisco Travel Tips group on Facebook!

Our group and others like San Francisco Travel are a great resource for advice from locals and visitors to the Bay Area.

Here are a few of the most helpful suggestions we found in these Facebook groups.

A common question is if the Painted Ladies are worth a visit. 

Most comments indicated that they were, but that the best way to enjoy them is to spend some time in Alamo Square across from the houses.

As we mentioned above, this is where you can get a great photo of the Painted Ladies.

What if you have a minted amount of time to see the best sights in San Francisco? Should the Painted Ladies make it into your itinerary? 

This reply said that unless you’ve seen the best sights in San Francisco first. If there’s time left over, then a visit is worth the time.

Another popular question is if the hop-on hop-off buses, like Big Bus, go past the Painted Ladies.

Indeed, the buses do not go past the houses but do stop nearby, giving people the opportunity to walk over and take a look.

For those who want to see the houses, it is necessary to get off as the houses cannot be seen from the bus.

As for how much time to spend at that particular stop, these commenters feel that not much time is warranted.

Essentially, hop off at the Painted Ladies stop. Head over to see them, then head back to the same stop they hopped off.

Those visiting San Francisco with their car wanted to know if it is possible to see the Painted Ladies by driving past them or if it is necessary to stop. 

This commenter replied that while you can drive past them, your experience (and photos) will be better if you stop and park, even if for a short time.

For more helpful advice on the Painted Ladies or any San Francisco topic, check out our San Francisco Travel Tips on Facebook.


About The Author


Britt is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has spent 25 years in this magical city. He has traveled to over 30 countries, and has never found a place he loves as much as this one! If you come to San Francisco, you might join one of Britt's tours of the city. A graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Southern California, he has been leading tours for Free Tours by Foot since 2015.
Updated: April 2nd, 2024
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