San Francisco

Travel Guide
San Francisco showing a bridge and a bay or harbour

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

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The price is CA $152 per night from Nov 17 to Nov 17
Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Alcatraz Island are ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (3,191 reviews)
"Location to Fisherman's Wharf is perfect. Staff was kind and helpful."

Reviewed on Oct. 17, 2021

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
The price is CA $156 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
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 ...
3.8/5 Good! (3,190 reviews)
"The restaurant was not open and signs in the elevator still promotes a happy hour. The bar isn't open either...take the signs down. The checkin staff were pleasant but not as helpful as on previous visits. The onsite parking was a plus, but expensive."

Reviewed on Oct. 17, 2021

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
4 out of 5
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $192 per night from Nov 19 to Nov 19
Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Moscone Convention Center, Ferry Building, and Oracle Park. Chase Center and Lombard Street ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (2,328 reviews)
"Great experience, even in the midst of COVID. The hotel was very clear about all safety protocol, and seemed to follow it closely. The rooms felt incredibly clean, and the staff was all incredibly friendly. Alvin, at the front desk, even upgraded my room upon check-in so I spent a week with the most ..."

Reviewed on Oct. 18, 2021

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
3 out of 5
550 Gateway Blvd, South San Francisco, CA
The price is CA $131 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
Located in The East Side, this aparthotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 6 mi (10 km) of Cow Palace and Serramonte ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (276 reviews)
"Very new, clean and spacious. Front desk and free breakfast were great, too! I’d definitely stay here again."

Reviewed on Oct. 5, 2021

Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
3 out of 5
1350 Huntington Ave, San Bruno, CA
The price is CA $177 per night from Oct 20 to Oct 20
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 9 mi (15 km) of Serramonte Center and Cow ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (838 reviews)
"Property was clean and we like the idea of 2 separate rooms for party of 4 or 5. Shower and sink water was strong. Parking sometimes is limited specially if you come back late at night. The only bad about it is we can smell marijuana use in our room coming from the other room AC vent. Other than ..."

Reviewed on Oct. 12, 2021

Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North
3 out of 5
2000 Shoreline Ct, Brisbane, CA
The price is CA $136 per night from Oct 25 to Oct 25
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 9 mi (15 km) of Cow Palace and UCSF Mission ...
3.9/5 Good! (1,004 reviews)
"Great place! Service is outstanding."

Reviewed on Aug. 11, 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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