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

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is €110 per night from 21 Nov to 21 Nov
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! (3,215 reviews)
"Amazing! one of the best stays I’ve had at a hotel! Comfortable beds did not want to get up."

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2021

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
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 €123 per night from 16 Nov to 16 Nov
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! (3,222 reviews)
"Very clean and a close walk to everything. You had to show your vaccination card to eat the free breakfast or you have to do the grab and go to eat out side or in your hotel room."

Reviewed on 21 Oct 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 €156 per night from 18 Nov to 18 Nov
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 Lombard Street ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (2,334 reviews)
"I loved the view!"

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2021

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
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.
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 €103 per night from 21 Nov to 21 Nov
Located in The East Side, this aparthotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 6 miles (10 km) of Cow Palace and Serramonte ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (277 reviews)
"Very new, clean and spacious. Front desk and free breakfast were great, too! I’d definitely stay here again."

Reviewed on 5 Oct 2021

Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
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 €141 per night from 27 Oct to 27 Oct
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 Serramonte Center and ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (841 reviews)
"Well stocked and very friendly."

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2021

Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
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 €108 per night from 1 Nov to 1 Nov
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 9 miles (15 km) of Cow Palace and UCSF Mission ...
3.9/5 Good! (1,005 reviews)
"Great place! Service is outstanding."

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North
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