Planning a trip to San Francisco? We have a complete San Fran Travel Guide that includes where to stay in San Francisco, when to visit San Francisco, how to get around San Francisco, cost of travel in San Francisco, what to do in San Francisco, San Fran tips and things to know before you go to San Francisco.
San Francisco is full of icons – an iconic prison, iconic bridge, iconic cable cars and iconic landscapes. There are so many reasons to visit this beautiful sunny coastal city.
When to visit San Francisco
When you first start to plan your trip to San Francisco, you will want to know when to visit. Aim for the spring or fall months, with May, June, September and October offering clear skies and pleasant weather. Summer is wonderful and warm but it is tourist season too, so it can get very busy and prices of hotels rise.
Cost of travel in San Francisco
Is is possible to visit San Francisco on a budget, with some hostels available as well as budget hotels. Staying in a budget chain hotel, eating local food and visiting a mixture of paid and free attractions; you can expect to pay around $100 a day. Travelling as a couple, we spend around $120 to $150 a day, including accommodation, when visiting the city.
How to get around San Francisco
San Francisco is fairly compact, so you are able to get around the city on foot or using public transport. If you only have a few days in the city, get yourself a sightseeing bus ticket; allowing you to get around the city on an hop on – hop off bus. Start early and use the bus to see the major sites in the city.
You can also use the cable cars to get around the city.
Where to stay in San Francisco
Because it is so easy to get around San Francisco, it doesn’t matter to much where you stay. If you want to be in the heart of shopping, stay in Union Square, if you would rather stay near the waterside, stay in Fisherman’s Wharf. If you are looking to splurge, stay in Nob Hill or try Haight Ashbury for hippie, relaxed vibes
What to do in San Francisco
San Francisco offers some fantastic attractions and sites for all types of visitors and here are some of our favourite:
– You can’t visit San Francisco without young Alcatraz. This haunting prison offers an excellent audio tour that fully immerses you into the history of the island. Book the first tour of the day to have a quieter experience.
– Golden Gate Bridge is another famous landmark in the city. Walk across the bridge or rent a car and head to the numerous spots nearby for different viewpoints of the city.
– Fisherman’s Wharf and pier 39 are both fantastic areas to explore, especially with family. Visit the little stores here, try some of the delicious clam chowder, head to the Aquarium or watch the Sea lions lounging in the sun.
– Looking to relax? Head to Golden Gate Park near the bridge. This is a picturesque park with lakes, monuments, playgrounds and picnic areas.
– Another fun way to spend an evening in San Francisco is by visiting Chinatown. San Francisco actually has four chinatowns and the one on Grant Avenue is the biggest outside of Asia. Visit here to try Chinese cuisines and soak in the atmosphere.
– Riding the cable cars is an attraction in itself, which is why it is a great idea to under the routes before visiting San Fran, planning which routes you can use the cable cars for – there are only 3 lines left in the city.
– For a fun activity, head over to the AT&T park to watch the San Francisco Giants play baseball. This is one of the most famous teams in the league, wining the World Series 8 times.
– Zig Zag your way down Lombard Street, the iconic bendy street in San Francisco. You can walk along the side of the bendy road, rent a car to drive down it or even rent a go cart.
– Coit Tower is another great spot to visit, standing at the top of Telegraph Hill since 1933. You can get 360 degree views of the city from the top of the tower.
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