San FranciscoUnited States of America

Image for 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

Union Square featuring a city and a skyscraper

Union Square

4/5Very Good!(511 area reviews)

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

Fisherman's Wharf

4/5Very Good!(6 area reviews)

Fisherman's Wharf
North Beach showing skyline and a city

North Beach

4.5/5Wonderful!(287 area reviews)

North Beach
Nob Hill featuring street scenes and a city

Nob Hill

4.5/5Wonderful!(122 area reviews)

Nob Hill
Financial District - Ferry Building

Financial District

4.5/5Wonderful!(75 area reviews)

Financial District
Marina District which includes heritage architecture as well as a small group of people

Marina District

4/5Very Good!(106 area reviews)

Marina District

Top Hotels in San Francisco

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Whitcomb
Hotel Whitcomb
3.5 out of 5
1231 Market St, San Francisco, CA
CA $94
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Orpheum Theater, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and Asian Art Museum of San ...

3.3/5 (10,819 reviews)

"Good service, clean beds, spacious rooms. Great parking made all the difference. Like the fact that you can text service."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 18, 2020

Hotel Whitcomb
RIU Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
RIU Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
CA $158
per night
Feb 19 - Feb 20

Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf Cable Car Turnaround. Ghirardelli Square and ...

3.9/5Very Good! (5,607 reviews)

"Very nice staff. Lovely new hotel with pool and workout facility. Starbucks coffee bar in lobby. Though parking is extra it is right at the hotel and you have in and out privileges."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 14, 2020

RIU Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
4 out of 5
250 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA
CA $168
per night
Feb 19 - Feb 20

Located in North Beach, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of USS Pampanito and Pier 39. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 15 ...

4.1/5Very Good! (5,085 reviews)

"We loved this trendy hotel! The location was great and we appreciated the steps they are taking to be more eco friendly (including the stations to refill your reusable water bottles). Very fun place to stay overall."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 18, 2020

Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

Popular things to do in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge
Image for Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

4.5/5(760 reviews)

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

Pier 39
Image for Pier 39

Pier 39

4.5/5(762 reviews)

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

Alcatraz Island
Image for Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

4.5/5(383 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 activities 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

CA $73

Explore San Francisco with a birds eye view of the city by the bay. Cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Learn about the city from our entertaining live tour guides as they provide you with rich history and insider tips. Become a Local Expert on a Big Bus Tour.

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 $158

Join us on a fun and relaxing Napa Valley Wine Tour on one of our luxury coaches. During our full day tour from San Francisco, you will visit renowned Napa Valley and Sonoma Wineries for tasting, learn about winemaking techniques, and shop for wines and souvenirs in local shops.

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 $184

For over a decade Extranomical Tours has been creating amazing memories on our Redwoods and Wine Country Escape tour from San Francisco. This award-winning tour combines two of California’s best experiences: Coast Redwoods in Muir Woods and California’s Wine Country! It’s the only Woods & Wine tour to include all wine tasting fees and a gourmet lunch upgrade.

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
Image for Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

CA $213

Spend a day soaking up the natural splendor and breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park on this full-day excursion from San Francisco. Trek to a grove of giant sequoias, marvel at features like El Capitan, and enjoy free time to explore the park's outdoor wonders and historic lodges on your own.

2-Day, 2-Tour Alcatraz & Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito
Image for 2-Day, 2-Tour Alcatraz & Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito

2-Day, 2-Tour Alcatraz & Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito

CA $139

Catch a boat ride to Alcatraz, cruise over the saffron spans of the Golden Gate Bridge by bicycle, and coast down winding roads to the charming streets of Sausalito on this 2-day guided tour.

Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour Around San Francisco
Image for Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour Around San Francisco

Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour Around San Francisco

CA $67

Itinerary Day 1: San Francisco Hop On Hop Off Stop At: 1070 Lombard Street between Jones St and Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109 Hop On Hop Off every 20 to 25 minutes Duration: 20 minutes No meals included on this day. No accommodation included on this day.

Reviews of San Francisco

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
559
5 - Excellent 50%
4 - Good
449
4 - Good 40.16100178890876%
3 - Okay
91
3 - Okay 8.13953488372093%
2 - Disappointing
16
2 - Disappointing 1.4311270125223614%
1 - Terrible
3
1 - Terrible 0.26833631484794274%

5/5 - Excellent

Chris

Feb 16, 2020

Nice

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Feb 16, 2020

Expensive

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 12, 2020

What an amazing city with down to earth people, lots of amazing dining and something for everyone to do. Everyone was very friendly and easy going despite the big city vibes!

5/5 - Excellent

User

Feb 12, 2020

Great spot lots to do. Alcatraz is a must.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 3, 2020

Just loved the vibe

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Jan 29, 2020

Food and shopping options are unparalleled!

Read travel guides and advice on visiting San Francisco

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