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 cafes 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) is a go-to for nightclubs, restaurants and museums.
The Castro District has the highest concentration of LGBTQA+ population of any city in America. Steep streets and brightly painted Victorian houses, imaginative boutiques and bars are found in this area. The largest Gay Pride Parade takes place here, too.
Yerba Buena Gardens is the cultural heart of the city, where community, entertainment, arts and pop culture come together.
When it comes to proper waste disposal, air quality, carbon emissions, eco-friendly buildings, and transportation, San Francisco has become a role model as one of the most environmentally-conscious cities in the United States as well as in the world.
In fact, a 2021 report from WalletHub ranking America's greenest cities put San Francisco in second place, right behind San Diego. The City by the Bay had already ranked first place in 2017 and then second place the following year.
San Fran's commitment to environmental sustainability has made the city a pioneer in the movement. In 2007, it became the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags. Then, in 2014, the city took another step toward tackling the issue of plastic pollution and became, once again, the first city in America to prohibit the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.
A couple more interesting facts is that San Francisco sends less trash to landfills than any other major city in the U.S. And thanks to eco-conscious governmental policies, San Franciscans now use the least amount of water in California.
San Francisco has also embraced a sustainable approach to tourism. Restaurants are dedicated to the farm-to-table movement and often have menus that vary by the season, while more than 1,000 hotels have been ranked as eco-friendly.
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.
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 small corner cafes to elegant Michelin-star restaurants, there is something for every taste and pocket.
The San Francisco Sourdough Bread and the Dungeness Crab are two "absolute musts" for visitors. Furthermore, San Francisco’s close proximity to the Napa-Sonoma wine country gives you the opportunity to taste some new and exciting wines.
The bar scene in San Francisco is as diverse 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 while North Beach for hideaway bars. The nightlife rocks in San Francisco and, like much in the city, it 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.
Have a great time and make new friends at any of these excellent bars in San Francisco:
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located 8 miles (13 km) south of the city and 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
Caltrain Commuter Rail provides rail service between San Francisco and San Jose.
Taxis and ridesharing apps offer door-to-door service to any destination within San Francisco and surrounding communities.
Address: San Francisco International Airport
Phone: +1 415 650 821 8211
Oakland International Airport (OAK)
Oakland International Airport (OAK) lies 20 miles (32 km) east of the city.
BART trains connect Oakland International Airport with downtown San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and many other Bay Area destinations. Oakland Airport BART station is located next to the Terminal 1 baggage claim area.
There are also several bus lines connecting OAK to several Bay Area destinations.
Address: 1 Airport Drive, Oakland, CA
Phone: +1 510 563 3300
San Jose International Airport (SJC)
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
Phone: +1 408 392 1150
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. The main event usually takes place in the end of June.
Is San Francisco a bad place to visit?
— San Francisco can sometimes feel unsafe to travel to, but these feelings are largely due to the cultural images of people experiencing homelessness and drug addiction that appear in the media.
Why is San Francisco so expensive?
— San Francisco is an incredibly diverse, dynamic, progressive city with a host of activities, restaurants and sights. The region's culture, economy and natural beauty makes it an appealing place to live. Prices are increasing rapidly as more people move here. The housing supply has not caught up. Heavy regulation makes it incredibly expensive to build new housing in much of the Bay Area.
Can you drink the tap water in San Francisco?
— Yes! The tap water in San Francisco is safe to drink and locals swear it is the best in tasting tap water in the U.S.
What is the best part of San Francisco to stay in?
— San Francisco is an exciting and scenic city, but if you're hoping to see the sights, you should probably stay downtown, because it's one of the most densely populated parts of the city.
San Francisco is in the Pacific time zone, and all times are reflected in Pacific time.
San Francisco has the most extensive public transit system on the West Coast. The MUNI-Metro, a light rail system, operates six lines (plus one shuttle line) that crisscross the city. The cash fare for Muni Metro, like Muni buses, effective January 1, 2020, is $3 for adults. Clipper and MuniMobile fares are lower than cash fares. Their fares are $2.50 for adults.
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. To ride, purchase a Clipper card from a ticket machine; 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.
More Information: www.bart.gov
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.
Address: Yellow Cab Of San Francisco
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 are 8am–5pm on weekdays and 9am–1pm on Saturdays. There are a few that are open on Sundays.
All power sockets in the United States provide a standard voltage of 120V with a standard frequency of 60Hz. Plug type A has two flat parallel pins.
Country Code: +1
Area Code: 415