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San Francisco
Travel Guide

San Francisco is a diverse city that celebrates cultural diversity at every turn.

Today’s San Francisco is one of the world’s leading technology powerhouses and a hub for start-up companies. It’s a total contrast to its reputation as the heart of the counter-culture movement back in the Sixties, but the laid-back liberal vibe from back then still remains. Casual wear has long since replaced the tailored suits and smart ties of the city’s Financial District.

The Golden Gate Bridge springs to mind as one of San Francisco’s most famous monuments and is not to be missed. Walk along this feat of engineering for breath-taking views or hire a bike and cycle the sidewalks toll-free, at any time of day.

The undulating hills and cable cars that criss-cross the city are synonymous with San Francisco. A cable car is an ideal way to see some of the main sights like Fisherman’s Wharf, perfect for souvenirs, Chinatown, the largest outside of Asia, North Beach, formerly a Bohemian part of the city and Union Square with its excellent shopping.

The attractions here are as diverse as the weather. Stroll the Embarcadero, along the eastern sea front where you can dine accompanied by views over the bay or pick up some fresh produce from the farmers’ market. Wander through the 400-hectare Golden Gate Park. Jump on a ferry to the seaside village of Sausalito. Wherever you go, take some warm clothing with you as it gets cold out on the water, even on the sunniest days.

For a change of pace, head to Pier 33 and jump on a ferry to the notorious Alcatraz prison. Book two to three days ahead if you can, as tours tend to get booked up early. The Cell House Audio Tour gives an interesting insight into what life was like on the island known as “the Rock”, with recordings from former inmates and wardens.

The weather in San Francisco can change from one hour to the next and between one neighbourhood and another. For the best chance of catching some sun, visit the city between September and November. During the winter, you’ll experience wind and rain, but it’s also good for deals on accommodation. The city gets crowded in the summer, especially during festivals such as the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade in late June.

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 NZ$161 per night from 8 Mar. to 9 Mar.

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! (2,189 reviews)

"Really clean and staff were very friendly. You have to pay 45 for parking however"…"

Reviewed on 4 Mar. 2021

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
The price is NZ$131 per night from 26 Mar. to 27 Mar.

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! (2,454 reviews)

"I like the location of the hotel. Our room was extremely clean. I didnt want to leave. Housekeeping responded promptly if we needed anything. All around we had a very good experience at your hotel and i would definitely recommend and return to The Hilton. Thank You."…"

Reviewed on 5 Mar. 2021

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
4 out of 5
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is NZ$194 per night from 1 Apr. to 2 Apr.

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! (2,358 reviews)

"Great view of the city. Though I did have to wait a bit for my room to be cleaned to check in"…"

Reviewed on 25 Feb. 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.
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 NZ$203 per night from 7 Mar. to 8 Mar.

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! (660 reviews)

"This places was nice. very clean and quiet. was located in a great location."…"

Reviewed on 1 Mar. 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 NZ$201 per night from 14 Mar. to 15 Mar.

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! (1,072 reviews)

"The main reason for choosing hotel was for the kitchen, staff was friendly and courteous, clean room, no problem with parking, quiet area, breakfast with stay was bonus. WiFi was slow."…"

Reviewed on 23 Feb. 2021

HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, San Francisco
Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, San Francisco
3 out of 5
2620 Jones St, San Francisco, CA

Located in North Beach, this condominium resort is within a 10-minute walk of Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street. Pier ...

4.4/5Excellent! (34 reviews)

"Good sized, clean rooms, friendly staff, excellent location for Fisherman’s wharf / Alcatraz & easy access via cable car/F line to Union Square. No in house restaurant but good options within 5 min walk."…"

Reviewed on 22 Mar. 2020

Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, San Francisco
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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