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San FranciscoUnited States of America

Streetcars rattle up and down the city famous for steep hills, hippie history and the toughest place to make a jail break.

Once the center of the counter-culture movement of the sixties, San Francisco is now one of the world’s technology powerhouses and a hub for start-up companies. Although you'll no longer find Janis Joplin or the Grateful Dead singing to sold-out crowds, the laid-back liberal atmosphere remains. Fleece jackets and tennis shoes long ago replaced suits and ties in the city’s Financial District.

San Francisco is known for its distinctive neighborhoods and tourist areas. Hitch a ride on cable car as it hauls you over the city’s steep hills to Fisherman’s Wharf. Here you can try fresh seafood or a bowl of creamy clam chowder. Browse bohemian bookshops and soak up some music history in Haight-Ashbury. Stroll through Union Square for some serious shopping, or hang onto your hat as you walk the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

The attractions here are as diverse as the weather. Experience the city’s multiculturalism in Little Italy or Japan Town. Take a walking tour of North America's largest Chinatown. Along the eastern seafront, stroll the Embarcadero, where you can dine with views over the bay or grab some fresh produce at the farmers’ market. Wander through the 1000 acres (405 hectares) of Golden Gate Park. Board a ferry for a trip to the seaside village of Sausalito. Don't forget your jacket as even on the sunniest day it gets cold out on the water.

For a change of pace, head to Pier 33 and jump on board a tour to Alcatraz Island. Listen to fascinating, personal accounts of life at one of the world’s harshest prisons or stroll the grounds and the old cellblocks. Tours are popular, so it's best to book ahead.

Weather in San Francisco can change by the hour and from one neighborhood to the next. For the best chance of consistent sunshine, visit September through November. Winter means wind and rain, but also the best deals for accommodation. The city is crowded in summer for festivals such as the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade in late June. This is one of the biggest celebrations of diversity in the country.

San Francisco Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in San Francisco

Union Square featuring a city and a skyscraper

Union Square

4/5Very Good!(525 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 showing a city and a marina

Fisherman's Wharf

4/5Very Good!(6 area reviews)

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

4.5/5Wonderful!(124 area reviews)

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 which includes heritage architecture as well as a small group of people

Marina District

4/5Very Good!(111 area reviews)

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 showing skyline and a city

North Beach

4.5/5Wonderful!(303 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 CA $151 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! (1,129 reviews)

"Staff is very courteous and friendly. Room was nice and clean."…"

Reviewed on Jul. 31, 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
1100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA
The price is CA $98 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
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
The price is CA $136 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! (2,037 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

4.5/5(778 reviews)

This waterfront attraction offers thrilling rides, innovative street performers and colorful souvenir shops, but it’s the sea lions that win the day. 

Golden Gate Bridge
Image for Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

4.5/5(771 reviews)

Cars trundle across it and ships sail under it, but the best way to experience this iconic bridge is on foot. 

Alcatraz Island
Image for Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

4.5/5(387 reviews)

Escape to “The Rock,” home of the infamous and abandoned island prison, and discover how it earned a reputation as a cold and unforgiving place.

Top things to do in San Francisco

Napa Valley & Sonoma - Wine Country Tour from San Francisco
Image for Napa Valley & Sonoma - Wine Country Tour from San Francisco

Napa Valley & Sonoma - Wine Country Tour from San Francisco

CA $175
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Go San Francisco All-Inclusive: 25+ Attractions in 1 Pass
Image for Go San Francisco All-Inclusive: 25+ Attractions in 1 Pass

Go San Francisco All-Inclusive: 25+ Attractions in 1 Pass

CA $106
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco
Image for Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco

Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco

CA $251
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

CA $57
Per adult
78% of travellers recommend
Redwoods & Wine Country Escape to Sonoma & Napa with Optional Gourmet Lunch
Image for Redwoods & Wine Country Escape to Sonoma & Napa with Optional Gourmet Lunch

Redwoods & Wine Country Escape to Sonoma & Napa with Optional Gourmet Lunch

CA $196
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
6-Hour Private Wine Tasting Tour with Pre-Set Stops
Image for 6-Hour Private Wine Tasting Tour with Pre-Set Stops

6-Hour Private Wine Tasting Tour with Pre-Set Stops

CA $638
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

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