Travel News Travel Guide: Welcome to San Francisco

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Travel Guide: Welcome to San Francisco

San Francisco lures millions of tourists each year. The hills of the city famously peep through the fog to reveal the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, colorful Victorian buildings, and cable cars. With attractions such as Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, green spaces, and numerous bars, restaurants, and nightlife opportunities, you will find something to interest everyone.

 
  

  

  

  

  
  
  
  
  
  
  

  

  

  

  

  
  
  
  

  
  

  
  
  
  

  

  

  

  
  
  

  

  
  
  

  
  
  

  

  
  
  

  
  
  

  

  

  
  

 

##Top Attractions in San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge is arguably the most famous landmark in the city. The bridge is open to pedestrians and cyclists during the day. You can get amazing views of the bridge from Nob Hill on one side and from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area on the other side. Underneath the southern span of the bridge, you can see the the Fort Point civil war fortress, with several former gun batteries.

When creating your San Francisco itinerary, be sure to include a trip to Alcatraz Island. Visit the famous federal Alcatraz prison where Al Capone, Robert “the Birdman” Stroud, and George “Machine Gun” Kelly were inmates. The prison opened in 1934, closed in 1963, and was opened to the public as a tourist attraction in 1973. The audio tour includes voices of former prisoners and guards, ensuring an experience to remember. Alcatraz Island was also the site of the first lighthouse on the Pacific Coast in 1854.

Sixteen miles north of San Francisco lies the Muir Woods National Monument. The Californian Redwood trees are the tallest in the world and an iconic representation of California’s landscape. Six miles of trails are open for exploration in Muir Woods. Adults (16 years and older) pay a $10.00 entry fee.

Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods National Monument are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Located across the Golden Gate Bridge from downtown San Francisco, this 80,000-acre area has something to offer to all visitors. Choose from beaches, parks, trails, forests, and historic sites such as Sutho Baths and Fort Baker. It could take months to see all the amazing sights, so be sure to plan to see places that interest you the most. 

[![enter image description here](https://content.skyscnr.com/6d77e6a236cf23c0d559cc1d9abab29e/GettyImages-510871741.jpg “enter image title here”)](https://www.skyscanner.com/flights-to/sfo/cheap-flights-to-san-francisco-international-airport.html)

##Other Things to Do in San Francisco

For the ultimate San Francisco experience, take the cable car from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf. Visit the famous Pier 39 to discover great seafood restaurants, shopping, and the opportunity to watch sea lions at play. Learn more about local marine life at Aquarium of the Bay, and visit the recently opened San Francisco Maritime Park’s Visitor Center at Pier 45, where you can tour the USS Pampanito, a World War II Balao class fleet submarine, and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien.

If you are visiting San Francisco with children, a visit to California Academy of Science represents great value, as it contains an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, all in the same place. The Exploratorium at Pier 15 has six galleries of interactive exhibits that will inspire and educate the whole family.

With so many things to see and do in the city, use Skyscanner to help [plan your San Francisco itinerary](https://www.skyscanner.com/news/10-best-things-do-san-francisco). 

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##Eating and Drinking in San Francisco

San Francisco boasts many amazing dining options, from budget take out to multiple Michelin starred restaurants. Each neighborhood has famous places to eat. For authentic, affordable Chinese food try Hunan Home’s or Sam Wo Restaurant in Chinatown, and for Japanese food head to Ino Sushi or Waraku in Japantown. For high-end cuisine, including Michelin starred restaurants, Cotogna and Tosca Cafe are some of the famous restaurants you’ll find at Jackson Square.

Nopalito, found at both Broderick Street and 9th Avenue, is the go-to for traditional Mexican cooking. For the freshest seafood, you can’t go past Fisherman’s Wharf. Alioto’s signature Cioppino spicy shellfish stew, whole barbequed Dungeness crab from Blue Mermaid, and Mac Nut Mahi from Chart House are just a selection of the tantalizing offerings. In order to experience all the culinary delights that San Francisco has to offer, try a different cuisine each day.

[![enter image description here](https://content.skyscnr.com/f9982e8b9cb89bedeea2e4a0ca2bc33c/GettyImages-498378956.jpg “enter image title here”)](https://www.skyscanner.com/flights-to/sfo/cheap-flights-to-san-francisco-international-airport.html)

##Nightlife and Entertainment

There is a multifaceted party scene in San Francisco; no matter what you prefer, you’ll find it here. There are numerous cocktail bars, such as Tradition in Tenderloin, Horsefeather in Nopa, and Trick Dog in Mission. It is said that the Martini was invented in San Francisco. Dance clubs abound, with DJ’s and live bands from every music genre. Microbreweries, wine bars, speakeasies, and dive bars with cheap beer, pool tables, and graffitied walls, are among the selection of watering holes.

For a more culture-inspired evening, the San Francisco Ballet season runs from January through May. The San Francisco Opera, situated in the historic War Memorial Opera House, has been delighting patrons since 1923. The San Francisco Symphony performs in Davies Symphony Hall, while the SFJAZZ has nightly jazz performances.

##Transportation

San Francisco has multiple public transport options. The buses, trains, cable cars, and the F-line heritage street car are operated by Muni (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency). Downtown, cable cars run on three lines: Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason, and California Street. Taxis, Uber, and Lyft are also available, or for the ultimate in flexibility, [rent a car](https://www.skyscanner.com/car-rental-in/sfoa/car-rental-in-san-francisco.html).

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##San Francisco Climate

San Francisco has a temperate climate. Summers aren’t too hot — the highs reach between 60 and 70 degrees — while the winters are mild, with lows between 45 and 50 degrees. It rains a lot between November and March.

##When to Go

September is a great month to go to San Francisco, with warm fall temperatures but not so many visitors. Summers are very popular with tourists keen to visit the beaches, so visiting the city in spring may be a better option to avoid the crowds. In order to get better prices for your accommodation,[ book your hotel in San Francisco](https://www.skyscanner.com/hotels/united-states/san-francisco-hotels/ci-27546320) in advance.

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##Flying to San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport has four terminals and is located 13 miles south of downtown. There are numerous [cheap flights to San Francisco](https://www.skyscanner.com/flights-to/sfo/cheap-flights-to-san-francisco-international-airport.html) from within the United States as well as many overseas destinations. The AirTrain is a free shuttle service that makes regular connections between all terminals, car parks, the Rental Car Center, and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Station.

For an unforgettable visit to San Francisco, with its iconic attractions, natural beauty, and world-class dining, download the Skyscanner app today.

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