"Every man should be allowed to love two cities – his own and San Francisco," once said author Gene Fowler. San Francisco, also known as the City by the Bay, is a diverse, colorful, and intriguing destination luring visitors from all corners of the world with its beauty, culture, history and dynamic ambiance. It is best known for its steep hills, beautiful panoramic vistas, and excellent cuisine. The eclectic mix of architecture, sandy beaches, ethnic and cultural diversity, and entertainment for all ages makes San Francisco a great choice for a vacation.
U. S. Dollar, $1 = 100 cents
San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Examiner
Shops: 9 am-9 pm
Banks: 9 am-5 pm. Mon-Fri (Some are open half-days on Saturday)
ATM: 24 hours
Visitor Information Services
900 Market Street, San Francisco (Lower Level of Hallidie Plaza)
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm. Sat-Sun 9 am-3 pm
+1 415 391 2000
San Francisco is a peninsula washed by the Pacific Ocean. It is said to be the crossroads to everywhere, with 16 million visitors every year.
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. 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).
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 diverse neighborhoods, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, ride the cable cars and explore everything San Francisco has to offer.
Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Cable Cars
Aquarium Of The Bay
Walt Disney Family Museum
Legion of Honor
Cable Car Museum
San Francisco Zoo
City Segway Tours of San Francisco
Asian Art Museum
Golden Gate Park
Angel Island State Park
With over 3,300 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 four-star restaurants, there is something for everyone. San Francisco Sourdough Bread and 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.
Twenty Five Lusk
Hog Island Oyster Company
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 coffee shops owned by locals. San Francisco cafes are great for exploring new and experimental varieties of coffee (such as icy mint mojito, for example).
Buena Vista Café
Dottie’s True Blue Café
Super Duper Burger
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 easy. 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.
Blondie’s Bar and No-grill
Holy Cow Nightclub
Boom Boom Room
Fig & Thistle Wine Bar
Blush! Wine Bar
Fat Angel Food & Libation
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.
Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf
Westfield San Francisco Center
City Lights, Booksellers & Publishers
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
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
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 dr Oakland
Phone: +1 415 510 563 3300
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
Phone: +1 415 408 392 3600
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.
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. Offers unlimited rides on busses, historical streetcars and cable cars.
Phone: +1 415 333 3333
There is at least one post office location in each of the major neighborhoods. Hours vary slightly but are generally 08.00 to 17.00. weekdays and 09.00 to 13.00 on Saturday. There are a few that are open on Sundays.
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
Phone: +1 415 397 4800
110 to 120 volts AC (60 cycles), two flat-pronged plugs.
Country Code: +1
Area Code: 415