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San Francisco

A city made for love, not walking – San Francisco is known for its great counter-cultural history and incredibly steep hills.

Conjuring up images of peace signs, psychedelic rock music and hippies with flowers in their hair, the San Francisco of today is all that – and now even more.

With such a rich history, the hippy dream is still alive and well in San Francisco but it has been somewhat replaced by the city’s growing reputation as a global technology and innovation powerhouse. Indeed, a tie-dyed shirt would look positively out of place in the city’s financial district! This said, the new San Francisco remains one of America’s most liberal and progressive cities and retains every bit of the laid back Californian atmosphere it’s so well known for.

Given the city’s remarkably steep hills, the San Francisco cable car system is a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way to get about. Of course, it can be very enjoyable to simply walk but it can be surprising just how tiring traversing even a few blocks can become!

San Fran is known for both the distinctive nature of its neighbourhoods and the quality of its tourist destinations. If you’re new to the city, Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to find your bearings and sample a little of San Francisco’s famously fresh seafood.

The Wharf is also home to several of the city’s most popular attractions such as family friendly Pier 39 with its shops aquarium, as well as the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Wharf even boasts its own wax museum! From there it’s just a short walk toward Union Square to indulge in some serious retail therapy.

Diversity is a very important characteristic for San Francisco, which is why simply exploring the various neighbourhoods can be very rewarding in itself. San Fran is home to the US’ largest Chinatown which can be explored independently or part of a walking tour. Little Italy is also a popular destination for tourists looking for a little something different, something that can also be found in Japan Town.

For a more traditional San Fran experience, the Embarcadero on the eastern seafront offers spectacular views across the bay and countless charming restaurants. If you’d prefer to make something for yourself, the Embarcadero also features an impressive farmer’s market selling the best in fresh local produce.

With so much going on, you may find yourself needing a place to relax. The Golden Gate Park (beside the iconic bridge) features 1,000 acres of delightful green space to wander about in – or for something very different indeed, why not head to Pier 33 and take a tour of the notorious Alcatraz prison island? Thankfully the ferry offers return tickets.

San Francisco Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in San Francisco

Union Square showing a city and a skyscraper

Union Square

4/5Very Good!(287 area reviews)

Known for its charming cafes and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Union Square. Check out top attractions like SHN Curran Theatre and Westfield San Francisco Centre, and jump on the metro at Powell St & Geary Blvd Stop or Powell St & Post St Stop to see more of the city.

Union Square
Fisherman’s Wharf showing a city and a marina

Fisherman's Wharf

5/5Exceptional!(4 area reviews)

Travellers love Fisherman's Wharf for its popular shops, and you can see more of San Francisco by jumping on the metro at Jones St and Beach St Stop or Jefferson St & Taylor St Stop. You might spend time checking out top sights like Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39.

Fisherman's Wharf
Nob Hill showing a city and street scenes

Nob Hill

4.5/5Wonderful!(78 area reviews)

Gourmet restaurants Chinatown and top sights from Van Ness Avenue to Grace Cathedral – discover Nob Hill, a destination also famous for its shopping.

Nob Hill
North Beach showing a city and skyline

North Beach

4.5/5Wonderful!(129 area reviews)

Travellers love North Beach for its popular shops, and you can see more of San Francisco by jumping on the metro at The Embarcadero & Bay St Stop or Beach St & Stockton St Stop. You might spend time checking out top sights like Pier 39 and Exploratorium.

North Beach
Civic Center

Civic Center

Noted for its shopping and restaurants, there's plenty to explore in Civic Center. Top attractions like San Francisco City Hall and Civic Center Plaza are major draws, and you can hop on the metro at Market St & Van Ness Ave Stop or Van Ness Station to see more of the city.

Civic Center
Marina District showing heritage architecture as well as a small group of people

Marina District

4/5Very Good!(80 area reviews)

The beautiful waterfront views and popular shops are just a few highlights of Marina District. Make a stop by Palace of Fine Arts or Fort Mason while you're exploring the area.

Marina District

Top hotels in San Francisco

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport Waterfront
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport Waterfront
3.5 out of 5
150 Anza Blvd, Burlingame, CA
The price is SG$159 per night

Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is 5.9 mi (9.5 km) from Crystal Springs Golf Course, and within 12 mi (20 km) of San Mateo County Event Center and Cow ...

4.1/5Very Good! (3,288 reviews)

"This hotel is a gem and is located on most beautiful waterfront property"…"

Reviewed on 2 Jun,2020

Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport Waterfront
Park Pointe Hotel
Park Pointe Hotel
2 out of 5
245 S Airport Blvd, South San Francisco, CA
The price is SG$73 per night

Located in The East Side, this hotel is 1.9 mi (3 km) from The Shops at Tanforan, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Oracle Park and San Francisco Museum of Modern ...

3.2/5 (1,205 reviews)

"Everything was great during my stay. Great service"…"

Reviewed on 2 Jun,2020

Park Pointe Hotel
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
3.5 out of 5
1500 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA
The price is SG$180 per night

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Van Ness Avenue and The Regency Ballroom. San Francisco City Hall and Lombard Street ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,224 reviews)

"The service desk was so rude and denied to give us the free"…"

Reviewed on 26 May,2020

Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

Popular places to visit in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge
Image for Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

4.5/5(362 reviews)

Don’t drive it, walk it. Walking this 2.7 kilometre iconic bridge is a real experience, best appreciated on two legs.

Pier 39
Image for Pier 39

Pier 39

4/5(364 reviews)

Head to the waterfront for thrilling rides, captivating street performers and plenty of souvenir shops. But the main draw has to be the resident sea lions.

Alcatraz Island
Image for Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

5/5(247 reviews)

Now a National Park, this rocky island was once home to one of the most feared prisons in the United States.

Top things to do in San Francisco

Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island
Image for Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island

Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island

78% of travellers recommend
SG$59
Per adult
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

94% of travellers recommend
SG$148
Per adult
Go San Francisco All-Inclusive: 25+ Attractions in 1 Pass
Image for Go San Francisco All-Inclusive: 25+ Attractions in 1 Pass

Go San Francisco All-Inclusive: 25+ Attractions in 1 Pass

88% of travellers recommend
SG$110
Per adult
Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
Image for Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

92% of travellers recommend
SG$227
Per adult
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

92% of travellers recommend
SG$183
Per adult
San Francisco CityPASS: Admission to Top 4 Attractions
Image for San Francisco CityPASS: Admission to Top 4 Attractions

San Francisco CityPASS: Admission to Top 4 Attractions

92% of travellers recommend
SG$107
Per adult

Reviews of San Francisco

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
311
5 - Excellent 52.801358234295414%
4 - Good
219
4 - Good 37.18166383701188%
3 - Okay
48
3 - Okay 8.149405772495756%
2 - Disappointing
7
2 - Disappointing 1.1884550084889642%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.6791171477079796%

5/5 - Excellent

JudyFrumin

30 Mar 2020

It was great although the Corona virus had started,we were there from March 6th to 10th.It’s a fabulous place and we managed to do many things before it went into lockdown.Recommended Must do things once it opens up again.Alcatraz,SFMOMA and more

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveller

20 Mar 2020

Expedia sucks, worst company ever.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Feb 2020

Very nice City worth for visiting

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Feb 2020

LIKE 4 TIMES BIGGER BRIGHTON IN UK! LOVED MARINA AREA! AND NORTH SANFRANCISCO

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

23 Feb 2020

The main tourist areas are good to see. We won’t return though. We saw a lot of drug taking on the streets (injecting heroine and crack pipes). Many groups of men hanging around on corners asking for money. Very frightening and intimidating.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

23 Feb 2020

Nice - but lots of homeless people

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