top of page button
Back to destinations

San Francisco, California

 Also known as the "City by the Bay," San Francisco is diverse, colorful, and vibrant. Famous for its steep hills, colorful Victorian houses, year-round fog, beautiful panoramic vistas, and excellent cuisine, the city attracts visitors from all corners of the world due to its beauty, culture, history, and dynamic ambiance. Its eclectic mix of architecture, sandy beaches, ethnic and cultural diversity, and entertainment for all ages make San Francisco a great choice for a vacation.

currency

U.S. Dollar, $1 = 100 cents

phone

911

newspaper

San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Examiner

hours

Shops: 9h - 21h
Banks: Mon - Fri 9h - 17h
ATM: 24 hours

population

884,363 (2017)

info

San Francisco Visitor Information Centers
900 Market Street - San Francisco, CA
+1 415 391 2000
Mon - Fri 9h - 17h
Sat - Sun 9h - 15h

San Francisco, California, USA Skyline.

The City

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, the "Golden Gate City," is situated on the tip of a peninsula in northern California.

San Francisco’s charm lies in its neighborhoods, which give the city its utter uniqueness. Union Square is in the heart of the city and the hub of the shopping district. North Beach is known for its Italian heritage, bakeries and restaurants. The Marina District has some of the most elegant homes in San Francisco, and the waterfront is where shopping and dining are at their best.

The Haight, famous for the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets, is the location of former homes of Counterculture icons like the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Unique shops, music, bookstores and cafés line many of the Haight’s streets. Alamo Square is best known for the beautiful turn-of-the century Victorian homes called the "Painted Ladies." SoMa (South of Market) includes unique nightclubs, restaurants and museums.

The Castro District has the highest concentration of gay/lesbian population of any city in America. Steep streets and brightly painted Victorian houses, imaginative boutiques and bars, and the largest Gay Pride Parade are found in this area. Yerba Buena Gardens is the cultural heart of the city, where community, entertainment, arts and pop culture come together.

Typical San Francisco Neighborhood, California

Do & See

San Francisco is a diverse destination, encompassing nature, history, art, science and some of the most beautiful scenery along the West Coast of the United States. Pop culture and old traditions are neatly packed into this one fabulous city. Wander around the distinct neighborhoods, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, ride the cable cars and explore everything San Francisco has to offer.

Golden Gate Bridge

Exploratorium

San Francisco Cable Cars

Fisherman’s Wharf

Aquarium of the Bay

Lombard Street

Alcatraz

Walt Disney Family Museum

Legion of Honor

Cable Car Museum

San Francisco Zoo

Chinatown

Ocean Beach

City Segway Tours of San Francisco

Asian Art Museum

Golden Gate Park

Lands End Lookout

Twin Peaks

Angel Island State Park

Friends eating friends at an outdoor restaurant - San Francisco, California

Dining

With over 4,400 restaurants, San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world for dining. Food from every corner of the world can be found here, from Afghan to Tibetan, Bolivian to Russian. From the small corner cafés to elegant Michelin-star restaurants, there is something for every taste and every pocket. San Francisco Sourdough Bread and the Dungeness Crab are two "absolute musts" for visitors to try and enjoy. Furthermore, San Francisco’s close proximity to the Napa-Sonoma wine country ensures the availability of excellent California wines.

Scala’s Bistro

Cafe Bastille

Mo's Grill

Benjarong Thai Cuisine

The Slanted Door

House of Prime Rib

Nopa

Calzone's Restaurant

La Ciccia

Twenty Five Lusk

Kokkari Estiatorio

Hog Island Oyster Co.

Fior d'Italia

Yank Sing

Cliff House

Super Duper Burgers

Burma Superstar

Bar Crudo

Girl drinking a cup of coffee in a cafe - San Francisco, California

Cafés

San Francisco boasts one of the finest and most vibrant cafe cultures of any American city. There are plenty of cafes on street corners, from big chains like Starbucks and Peet’s to small locally owned coffee shops. San Francisco cafes are great for trying new and experimental varieties of coffee, such as the icy mint mojito.

Buena Vista Café

Warming Hut Bookstore & Cafe

Deli Board

Dottie’s True Blue Café

Boudin Bakery Cafe

Artís Coffee

Squat & Gobble Cafe

San Francisco aerial view

Bars & Nightlife

The bar scene in San Francisco is as varied as the city itself. From wine and champagne lounges to rocking sports bars, finding one to fit any personality is quite easy here. The Mission District is great for bar hopping and North Beach for hideaway bars. The nightlife rocks in San Francisco and, like much in the city, nightlife varies from district to district: SoMa for hip-hop, Marina District for more elegant spots, and North Beach for lots of neon lights. Gay-friendly bars are not confined to the Castro District.

Blondies' Bar

Kezar Pub

SF-Eagle

DNA Lounge

Jones

Boom Boom Room

The Monk’s Kettle

Fig & Thistle

Blackbird Bar

Public Works

Blush! Wine Bar

Smuggler's Cove

Fat Angel Food & Libation

panoramic views of san francisco slope streets, california

Shopping

Sometimes, it is not so much what you are shopping for but where you are shopping that matters – nothing could be truer of San Francisco. From outlet malls and department stores to trendy high-end boutiques, there are plenty of choices to satisfy any shopper's taste.

Embarcadero Center

Union Square

Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf

Westfield San Francisco Center

Sacramento Street

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Amoeba Music

Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market

Solve It! Think Out of the Box

The Cannery

Haight-Ashbury

Chinatown

Paxton Gate

Candy Baron

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

Ghirardelli Square

Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito as seen from Helicopter

Essential Information

San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located 8 miles (13 Km) south of the city and it offers a wide range of domestic and international flights.

BART rapid rail runs from SFO to San Mateo County, San Francisco and the East Bay. It is a convenient and quick way of getting to the city center. You will find the SFO BART Station on the Departures/Ticketing Level of the International Terminal (Boarding Area G side). Tickets can be bought at the SFO BART Station upon arrival. (www.bart.gov)

SamTrans offers 24-hour bus service connecting SFO to San Mateo County and parts of San Francisco. Routes KX, 292, 397 and 398 stop directly at the Airport terminals.
SamTrans buses stop at the terminals,:
Terminal 2: Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level, center island adjacent to Courtyard 2
Terminal 3: Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level, curbside adjacent to Courtyard 4
International Terminal: Level 1 at Courtyard A and curbside adjacent to Courtyard
(www.samtrans.com)

Taxis offer door-to-door service to any destination within San Francisco and surrounding communities.

Address: San Francisco International Airport

Phone: +1 415 800 435 9736 / +1 415 650 821 8211

Website: www.flysfo.com

Oakland International Airport

(OAK) lies 20 miles (32 Km) east of the city.

Use the BART transport system to get to and from the airport. Oakland Airport BART station is located next to the Terminal 1 baggage claim area. The line connects the airport and Coliseum stations, the journey lasts 8 minutes.

Address: 1 Airport Drive - Oakland, CA

Email: info@oaklandairport.com

Phone: +1 510 563 3300

Website: www.oaklandairport.com

San Jose International Airport

San Jose International Airport (SJC) is located 40 miles (64 Km) south of the city and is thus the furthest from San Francisco.

The free VTA Airport Flyer connects the airport to Santa Clara's CalTrain station. You can take Caltrain to both San Francisco Airport and downtown San Francisco. This option is free, but most time-consuming. Private van and taxi services are also available at the airport; van pick up may be arranged from any location in San Francisco (inquire about prices when booking).

Address: 1701 Airport Boulevard - San Jose, CA

Email: info@sjc.org

Phone: +1 408 392 1150

Website: www.sjc.org

Passport/Visa

Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.

Best Time To Visit

San Francisco’s climate is influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean. Days are generally cool year-round, and summer days are often foggy in the afternoon. Average summer temperatures range from 59 - 79ºF (15 - 24ºC) and winter from 50 - 59ºF (10 - 15ºC).

Fall is the best period to visit San Francisco, as the weather tends to be pleasantly mild and there are smaller crowds than during the summer. Spring is another good time to visit, and tends to see a lot less precipitation, and that is when the city hosts many festivals including the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the San Francisco Carnaval.

During the summer this already lively city gets even more colorful with the San Francisco Pride Parade, one of the biggest in the world.

Time Zone

San Francisco is in the Pacific time zone, and all times are reflected in Pacific time.

Public Transport

San Francisco has the most extensive public transit system on the West Coast. The MUNI-Metro, a light rail System, operates five routes that crisscross the city. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is the regional transit system connecting San Francisco with outlying communities. A single ride ticket covers 90 mins of travel time. Purchase a Clipper card to make payments easier; 1, 3, and 7-day passes are also available.

The MUNI Passport can be purchased at the airport, online or at several locations inside the city. It offers unlimited rides on buses, historical streetcars and cable cars.
More information on the following websites:

www.sfmuni.com
www.bart.gov

Taxi

Taxis are easily available at shopping malls, hotels and the airport. Other options for lower fares are the rideshare companies Curb, Uber, Lyft and Wingz.

For taxi services call the following number

Yellow Cab

Phone: +1 415 333 3333

Website: www.yellowcabsf.com

Post Office

There is at least one post office location in each of the major neighborhoods. Hours vary slightly but are generally 8h - 17h weekdays and 9h - 13h on Saturday. There are a few that are open on Sundays.

Website: www.usps.com

Pharmacy

Walgreens Drug Store has a number of stores in the city:
730 Market Street
+1 415 397 4800

1301 Franklin Street
+1 415 775 6706

Chain pharmacies (such as CVS) are easy to locate around the city. Check for ones open 24/7 in your area.

Address: 730 Market Street - San Francisco, CA

Phone: +1 415 397 4800

Website: www.walgreens.com

Electricity

110 to 120 volts AC (60 cycles), two flat-pronged plugs.

Telephone

Country Code: +1

Area Code: 415

CONTACT US