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San Francisco
Travel Guide

San Francisco showing a bay or harbour and a bridge

Tony Bennett famously left his heart here – and so will you. This city knows how to win your affections and keep you faithful to the last.

Everyone has a favourite picture of San Francisco. Historic trams, known locally as cable cars, rattling up impossibly steep hills; the iconic pillars of the Golden Gate Bridge rising romantically through the mist; hedonistic hippies preaching peace and love in Golden Gate Park; flamboyant street entertainers strutting their stuff along the Embarcadero … the list goes on.

This historic metropolis situated between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean is famously tourist-friendly. Its multicultural heritage and laid-back vibe makes visitors feel immediately at home. Whether you’re heading for the shopping nirvana of Union Square or soaking up the sunshine on Baker Beach, learning about American art in the de Young Museum or making friends with the sea lions on Pier 39, San Francisco will worm its way into your heart.

Take a trip across the bay to fashionable Sausalito, where the bohemian legacy of the artists’ community that thrived here in the 1950s and 1960s lives on in the gaily painted houseboats. Another popular ferry trip will deliver you to Alcatraz Island, site of the notorious maximum security prison where America’s most dangerous criminals were incarcerated. Tour the prison cells of murders and gangsters and feel the claustrophobia of the exercise yard with its tantalising views of the city across the bay.

Back on the mainland, celebrate your freedom with a feast of freshly caught seafood in one of the upmarket restaurants on Fisherman’s Wharf. This historic area, once the hub of the local fishing industry, is still proud of its heritage. Wander along the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building, a famous local landmark dating from the Spanish Colonial era, where the farmers’ market sells home-grown fruit and vegetables and freshly baked bread and cakes.

San Francisco has an unpredictable climate thanks to its proximity to the ocean. It can be scorching hot one minute and blowing a chill wind the next. September to November is usually pleasantly sunny, and winter is a good time to enjoy the superb cultural facilities and benefit from cheaper accommodation. At festival times the city is particularly busy, especially during the famous Pride Celebration and Parade in June, one of the largest events of its kind in the US.

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 €114 per night from 24 May to 24 May
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 ...
4.1/5Very Good! (2,373 reviews)
"Our favorite part was the sitting area outside of the hotel next to the fire pits. It was a nice way to relax and visit after a busy day of touring."

Reviewed on 8 May 2021

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
4 out of 5
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is €149 per night from 9 May to 9 May
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 Pier 39 are ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,277 reviews)
"Excellent service"

Reviewed on 6 May 2021

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €97 per night from 12 May to 12 May
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 ...
3.8/5Good! (2,585 reviews)
"The hotel room walls are very thin, but they DO provide a white noise machine to help with that. Overall most amenities are closed due to COVID, but the location is very prime very close to chinatown and walkable to a lot of great food."

Reviewed on 7 May 2021

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
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.
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 €135 per night from 14 May to 14 May
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 9 miles (15 km) of San Francisco State University ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (687 reviews)
"It was a great experience fast checking. Suit was perfect clean and loved the fact that each bedroom had its own bathroom."

Reviewed on 4 May 2021

Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
3 out of 5
400 Concourse Dr, Belmont, CA
The price is €120 per night from 15 May to 15 May
Situated in Belmont, this aparthotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Los Prados Park, Marlin Park and Hiller Aviation Museum. Laurie Meadows Park and Casanova Park ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,085 reviews)
"Room is spacious for family of 7."

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2021

HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
@ Marbella Lane Duplex Redwood City
@ Marbella Lane Duplex Redwood City
3.5 out of 5
119 Redwood Ave, Redwood City, CA
Situated in Redwood City, this holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Woodside Central Shopping Center and Fox Theatre. Menlo College is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away. ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Unit C was very comfortable.
"It was very clean and organized. Utensils were already provided along with a coffee maker. Netflix and Amazon Prime were free and they had a single burner which allowed for me to cook. Overall, it was very comfortable and at a good location."

Reviewed on 26 Oct 2020

@ Marbella Lane Duplex Redwood City
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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