San FranciscoUnited States of America

Image for San Francisco which includes a bridge and a bay or harbour

Visit San Francisco

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

Union Square which includes a skyscraper and a city

Union Square

4/5Very Good!(237 area reviews)

Fashion puts its best foot forward in one of America’s largest shopping plazas.

Union Square
Fisherman\'s Wharf featuring a city and a marina

Fisherman's Wharf

4.5/5Wonderful!(7 area reviews)

Taste some of the city’s freshest sea food and catch some fabulous views in this waterfront neighbourhood dating back to the time of the gold rush.

Fisherman's Wharf
North Beach showing skyline and a city

North Beach

4.5/5Wonderful!(114 area reviews)

Better known as Little Italy, this neighborhood was once a hotspot for counterculture and features an array of bars, jazz clubs, galleries and cafés.

North Beach
Nob Hill which includes a city and street scenes

Nob Hill

4/5Very Good!(55 area reviews)

Examine architecturally significant buildings, visit the Cable Car Museum and enjoy magnificent views of greater San Francisco in this affluent district.

Nob Hill
Marina District featuring heritage architecture as well as a small group of people

Marina District

4/5Very Good!(72 area reviews)

Visit the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre and marvel at views of the Golden Gate Bridge at this popular waterfront neighborhood.

Marina District
South of Market which includes skyline, a city and a garden

South of Market

3.5/5Good!(99 area reviews)

From baseball games to top-notch art exhibits, find endless entertainment in one of San Francisco’s fastest-growing neighborhoods.

South of Market

Top hotels in San Francisco

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
4 out of 5
1333 Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA
Free Cancellation
NZ$204
per night
Jan 24 - Jan 25

This family-friendly Burlingame hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Bayfront Park, Millbrae Square Shopping Center and Burlingame Museum ...

4.1/5Very Good! (4,286 reviews)

"they have only one restaurants at site, so hope to have more option on in site hotel restaurant"…"

Reviewed on 11 Jan. 2020

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
The Park Central San Francisco
The Park Central San Francisco
4 out of 5
50 3rd St, San Francisco, CA
NZ$266
per night
Feb 7 - Feb 8

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this golf hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Moscone Convention Center. Powell and ...

4.3/5Excellent! (6,521 reviews)

"I plan on staying at this property any timei come to San Francisco, everything was perfect! I consider this to me MY hotel!"…"

Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2020

The Park Central San Francisco
Hotel Whitcomb
Hotel Whitcomb
3.5 out of 5
1231 Market St, San Francisco, CA
NZ$111
per night
Feb 17 - Feb 18

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Orpheum Theater, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and Bill Graham Civic ...

3.3/5 (10,711 reviews)

"Good location - right across from Orpheum Theater."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2020

Hotel Whitcomb

Popular things to do in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge
Image for Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

4.5/5(280 reviews)

One of the most iconic bridges in the world, walk the 2.7-kilometre marvel of engineering for the best views over the bay and the ocean beyond, fog permitting.

Pier 39
Image for Pier 39

Pier 39

4.5/5(296 reviews)

This waterfront location has a mix of thrilling rides and lively street entertainment, but watching the sea lions hanging out in the bay wins the day!

Alcatraz Island
Image for Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

4.5/5(182 reviews)

Take a trip to “The Rock”, home to the infamous and abandoned island prison, and discover how it earned its reputation as a bleak and unforgiving place.

Top activities in San Francisco

San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour
Image for San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour

San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour

NZ$75

Explore San Francisco with a birds eye view of the city by the bay. Cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Learn about the city from our entertaining live tour guides as they provide you with rich history and insider tips. Become a Local Expert on a Big Bus Tour.

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
Image for Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

NZ$242

Spend a day soaking up the natural splendor and breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park on this full-day excursion from San Francisco. Trek to a grove of giant sequoias, marvel at features like El Capitan, and enjoy free time to explore the park's outdoor wonders and historic lodges on your own.

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

NZ$210

For over a decade Extranomical Tours has been creating amazing memories on our Redwoods and Wine Country Escape tour from San Francisco. This award-winning tour combines two of California’s best experiences: Coast Redwoods in Muir Woods and California’s Wine Country! It’s the only Woods & Wine tour to include all wine tasting fees and a gourmet lunch upgrade.

Reviews of San Francisco

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
216
5 - Excellent 43.7246963562753%
4 - Good
230
4 - Good 46.558704453441294%
3 - Okay
33
3 - Okay 6.680161943319838%
2 - Disappointing
15
2 - Disappointing 3.0364372469635628%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 9, 2020

Very funky cool city - our whole family enjoyed it! Cycling the golden gate and Alcatraz were fabulous

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 8, 2020

Great city

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 3, 2020

Great city

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 26, 2019

I highly recommend hiring a car and travelling to muir woods and sausalito. Also visit the pier and wharf areas.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Dec 23, 2019

Looked tired and in need of a good spring clean. On a recent trip to Russia experienced outstanding personal service from a host of friendly Russians. Couldn’t say the same about San Francisco.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 21, 2019

We were close to the Fort and Fishermen's Wharf.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting San Francisco

8 Lit Places to Celebrate Hanukkah Around the World
Image for 8 Lit Places to Celebrate Hanukkah Around the World

8 Lit Places to Celebrate Hanukkah Around the World

Discover how Hanukkah is celebrated around the world.

Where to Take a Date in San Francisco
Image for Where to Take a Date in San Francisco

Where to Take a Date in San Francisco

Romancing our way through the City by the Bay

10 True Crime Vacation Destinations in the US
Image for 10 True Crime Vacation Destinations in the US

10 True Crime Vacation Destinations in the US

For true crime fans, there’s nothing quite like standing in the spot of an infamous murder or strolling the streets once stalked by serial killers.

Other places like San Francisco

Chicago
Image for Chicago
Chicago
Boston
Image for Boston
Boston
Toronto
Image for Toronto
Toronto
Vancouver
Image for Vancouver
Vancouver