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San Francisco

A city made for love, not walking – San Francisco is known for its great counter-cultural history and incredibly steep hills.

Conjuring up images of peace signs, psychedelic rock music and hippies with flowers in their hair, the San Francisco of today is all that – and now even more.

With such a rich history, the hippy dream is still alive and well in San Francisco but it has been somewhat replaced by the city’s growing reputation as a global technology and innovation powerhouse. Indeed, a tie-dyed shirt would look positively out of place in the city’s financial district! This said, the new San Francisco remains one of America’s most liberal and progressive cities and retains every bit of the laid back Californian atmosphere it’s so well known for.

Given the city’s remarkably steep hills, the San Francisco cable car system is a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way to get about. Of course, it can be very enjoyable to simply walk but it can be surprising just how tiring traversing even a few blocks can become!

San Fran is known for both the distinctive nature of its neighbourhoods and the quality of its tourist destinations. If you’re new to the city, Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to find your bearings and sample a little of San Francisco’s famously fresh seafood.

The Wharf is also home to several of the city’s most popular attractions such as family friendly Pier 39 with its shops aquarium, as well as the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Wharf even boasts its own wax museum! From there it’s just a short walk toward Union Square to indulge in some serious retail therapy.

Diversity is a very important characteristic for San Francisco, which is why simply exploring the various neighbourhoods can be very rewarding in itself. San Fran is home to the US’ largest Chinatown which can be explored independently or part of a walking tour. Little Italy is also a popular destination for tourists looking for a little something different, something that can also be found in Japan Town.

For a more traditional San Fran experience, the Embarcadero on the eastern seafront offers spectacular views across the bay and countless charming restaurants. If you’d prefer to make something for yourself, the Embarcadero also features an impressive farmer’s market selling the best in fresh local produce.

With so much going on, you may find yourself needing a place to relax. The Golden Gate Park (beside the iconic bridge) features 1,000 acres of delightful green space to wander about in – or for something very different indeed, why not head to Pier 33 and take a tour of the notorious Alcatraz prison island? Thankfully the ferry offers return tickets.

San Francisco Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in San Francisco

Union Square which includes a high rise building and a city

Union Square

4.5/5Wonderful!(7 area reviews)

Known for its charming cafés and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Union Square. Check out top attractions like SHN Curran Theatre and Westfield San Francisco Centre, and jump on the metro at Powell St & Geary Blvd Stop or Powell St & Post St Stop to see more of the city.

Union Square
Fisherman\'s Wharf featuring a marina and a city

Fisherman's Wharf

Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39 are top sights in Fisherman's Wharf, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Jones St and Beach St Stop or Jefferson St & Taylor St Stop to see more sights in the area.

Fisherman's Wharf
Nob Hill featuring street scenes and a city

Nob Hill

4/5Very Good!(1 area review)

Travelers love Nob Hill for its popular shops, and you can see more of San Francisco by jumping on the metro at Washington St & Leavenworth St Stop or Washington St & Jones St Stop. You might spend time checking out top sights like Van Ness Avenue and Grace Cathedral.

Nob Hill
Civic Center

Civic Center

1/5(1 area review)

Noted for its shopping and restaurants, there's plenty to explore in Civic Center. Top attractions like San Francisco City Hall and Civic Center Plaza are major draws, and you can hop on the metro at Market St & Van Ness Ave Stop or Van Ness Station to see more of the city.

Civic Center
Marina District showing heritage architecture as well as a small group of people

Marina District

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

The beautiful waterfront views and popular shops are just a few highlights of Marina District. Make a stop by Palace of Fine Arts or Fort Mason while you're exploring the area.

Marina District
North Beach featuring a city and skyline

North Beach

4.5/5Wonderful!(4 area reviews)

Pier 39 and Exploratorium are top sights in North Beach, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at The Embarcadero & Bay St Stop or Beach St & Stockton St Stop to see more sights in the area.

North Beach

Top hotels in San Francisco

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
InterContinental San Francisco
InterContinental San Francisco
4.5 out of 5
888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is P5,545 per night

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Westfield ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,130 reviews)

"The hotel has done a pretty good job maintaining hygiene and social distancing. I felt very safe being here. The room was amazing and very clean. The only hassle was parking was full so I had to park in the structure behind and I was not very confident regarding the safety of my car being there. ..."…"

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2020

InterContinental San Francisco
SFO Airport Hotel, El Rancho Inn BW Signature Collection
SFO Airport Hotel, El Rancho Inn BW Signature Collection
3 out of 5
The price is P3,244 per night

Situated near the airport, this motel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Millbrae Square Shopping Center and within 3 miles (5 km) of Artichoke Joe's Casino and The Shops ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,397 reviews)

"They should have microwaves in the rooms. Generally with an airport hotel, the great are usually traveling. Makes eating in the room easier."…"

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2020

SFO Airport Hotel, El Rancho Inn BW Signature Collection
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
The price is P4,961 per night

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ferry Building, Lombard Street and Pier 39. Oracle Park and Palace of Fine Arts are also ...

3.9/5Good! (2,045 reviews)

"I spent 200 for the night after parking fees it was like 190 actually. Dang virus because covid no bar or restaurant and I found a burger place open at 4:30 because I woke up so hungry."…"

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2020

Hilton San Francisco Financial District

Popular places to visit in San Francisco

Pier 39
Image for Pier 39

Pier 39

This waterfront attraction offers all the fun of a traditional pier with rides, street performances and entertainment courtesy of a colony of resident sea lions!

Golden Gate Bridge
Image for Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

This iconic bridge, with its distinctive burnished red colour, is probably one of the world’s most instantly recognisable landmarks.

Alcatraz Island
Image for Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Home to the world’s most notorious prison, tour this famous landmark to understand why it gained its reputation as such a cold and unforgiving place.

Top things to do in San Francisco

San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour
Image for San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour

San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour

P2,774
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island
Image for Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island

Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island

P2,108
Per adult
78% of travellers recommend
Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay
Image for Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay

Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay

P2,274
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Bridge 2 Bridge Tour: Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge
Image for Bridge 2 Bridge Tour: Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge

Bridge 2 Bridge Tour: Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge

P2,209
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
Image for Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

P8,065
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Private City Tour of San Francisco
Image for Private City Tour of San Francisco

Private City Tour of San Francisco

P2,533
Per adult

Reviews of San Francisco

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
6
5 - Excellent 40%
4 - Good
7
4 - Good 46.666666666666664%
3 - Okay
2
3 - Okay 13.333333333333334%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

8 Jan 2020

San Francisco weather is great! A lot of places to visit and a lot of things to do. Our recent trip to San Francisco was already our third time in ten years and we will keep on coming back to San Francisco!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

6 Jan 2020

Tons of things to see in the city may it be via driving and walking in the city :) Will definitely come back :)

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

3 Jan 2020

I’m A cyclist. I bought my bike with me. If one likes to cycle like i do, San Francisco is bike friendly city. You can bike from SF to nearby Sausalito and Marin county. Love the weather!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

4 Jul 2019

Fisherman's Wharf is so disappointing, lot of homeless around. Streets are dirty as well.

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