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 $127 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
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! (3,572 reviews)
"Great location"

Reviewed on Jan. 21, 2022

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 $141 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
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! (3,349 reviews)
"Nice place to stay with nice front desk staff!"

Reviewed on Jan. 18, 2022

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
4.5 out of 5
335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is CA $203 per night from Feb 4 to Feb 5
Located in Downtown San Francisco, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of SHN Curran Theatre and Warfield Theater. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,854 reviews)
"Safe hotel, friendly staff, and in a prime location!"

Reviewed on Jan. 24, 2022

The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
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.
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 $141 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Cow Palace, Oracle Park, and Twin Peaks. Chase Center and Mission Dolores Park are also ...
3.9/5 Good! (1,023 reviews)
"Clean Quiet easy freeway access"

Reviewed on Jan. 8, 2022

Homewood Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North
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 $200 per night from Jan 26 to Jan 27
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 San Francisco State University ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (901 reviews)
"Very nice hotel with friendly staff and clean room. The breakfast is great with safe arrangements: order anything you like such as sandwiches,cereals, fruits, and bakery and they bag them for you to eat in your room or car. During pandemic, this is very good. It is also very convenient close to SFO. ..."

Reviewed on Jan. 9, 2022

Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
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 $153 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Located in The East Side, this aparthotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 9 mi (15 km) of San Francisco State University ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (314 reviews)
"Very clean and spacious"

Reviewed on Jan. 17, 2022

Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
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.

Popular places to visit in San Francisco

Top things to do in San Francisco

Reviews of San Francisco

4.4

Top destination

5 - Excellent
579
5 - Excellent 50.30408340573415%
4 - Good
461
4 - Good 40.05212858384014%
3 - Okay
91
3 - Okay 7.90616854908775%
2 - Disappointing
17
2 - Disappointing 1.476976542137272%
1 - Terrible
3
1 - Terrible 0.26064291920069504%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 21, 2020

The number of amazing sights and restaurants makes SF a must go to. The people and the culture make this place great Yes, there is a heavy homeless population. But many keep to themselves or their group and don’t bother you.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 7, 2020

I really liked it there, the friendliness of the people and the sight seeing. There is no shortage of things to do and I particularly liked a rock concert I went to at a nearby theater.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 29, 2020

Our favourite city: people, food, things to so, climate and overall vibe. We love it!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 21, 2020

Great place! Lots to do

4/5 - Good

Ja

Feb 19, 2020

San Francisco is great city when you know which areas to avoid. It can quickly get uncomfortable with the amount of homeless people, however, it's a beautiful city otherwise and lots of great places to go and see.

5/5 - Excellent

Chris

Feb 16, 2020

Nice

Cities near San Francisco