Cable cars in San Francisco remain a charming historical attraction especially for out-of-towners. Cable cars actually began running in San Francisco since 1873 and were really necessary for the transportation of passengers. Today cable cars offer rides for tourists and are quite useful for seeing the city. They are mobile historic landmarks operating seven days a week along century-old routes. For a unique tour of the city they run from the Financial District, through Chinatown, and over Nob Hill. They’ve been rolling around since the late 19th century and are great when it comes to navigate the steep hills. The cars run on tracks and are pulled by a cable along three routes -- Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California Street.