San Francisco is a popular tourist hotspot. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is an all time tourist favorite. You can enjoy the cable car rides that are very popular here. You can get to experience the city life by visiting the Union Square. The list of places to visit at San Francisco is endless. San Francisco has something for everyone and we guarantee you that our list of San Francisco travel tips will acquaint you with handy tricks to make your trip memorable.
San Francisco Travel Tips
Planning a trip can be daunting for a lot of people. Our list of 11 San Francisco travel tips will acquaint you with tricks to make your USA trip memorable:
1. San Francisco: Choose the right place to stay
Selecting an accommodation is sometimes the most difficult job. The place is new to you, and you don’t know much about how the hotels and resorts function there. So the best thing you can do is read about the locality in which the place is situated. Do your research prior to the bookings and look for things like how easy is it to travel from your stay to all the touristy location, if you are travelling with family, how family friendly the area is. The hotels in the Van Ness and Lombard Street in San Francisco are popular but they cause a little inconvenience and can be bit noisy for a lot of people. A good location to stay at is at Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf.
2. San Francisco: Know the climate and weather
It is difficult to anticipate the weather of a place beforehand. But thanks to technology, we have got a host of apps that can tell us the weather of a location. So check the temperature at the time of your travel and pack clothes accordingly. But one thing to keep in mind is that San Francisco is cool even in summers, so it is a good idea to pack some sweatshirts in case the weather gets chilly.
3. San Francisco: Use public transport
It is very tempting to rent a car and drive in a new place. But here in San Francisco it is a good idea if you refrain from renting a car. The first and foremost reason for this is that the sites are not very far away from each other and you can walk to some of the destinations. Even if walking is not an option, the public transport is very well equipped and you can use the buses, taxis for your commute. Moreover, you will have to pay a lot of money for parking at some locations. So it will be in your best interest that you do not rent a car.
4. San Francisco: Prior reservations for Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island is one the popular tourist destination. And since it is a popular site, the tickets and tours get sold out super quick. So you have to be on your toes and make sure that you get to the tickets counter super quick to avoid being disappointed due to selling out of tickets. Other thing that you should keep in mind is that what sort of package they are offering. Sometime the package only includes sailing past the island and not the actual stay there. So you have to be careful while booking the tickets.
5. San Francisco: Take a stroll on the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge is indeed a treat for the eyes. It is really stunning and that is the reason it has so many admirers from all over the world. And since you are at the Golden Gate Bridge, it is quite possible that you will be overwhelmed by its beauty. But one thing that you should not forget is that apart from looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, you should actually go for a way at its sidewalk. You can even drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. But walking on the sidewalk is going to give the real feel of the place.
6. San Francisco: Choose a right guide
Since you are not familiar with a new place, it is given that you would want someone who is acquainted with the place to help you know the area better and guide you around. The guides come in very handy at such time. While you are at San Francisco it is a good idea that you skip the bus tours. Bus tours are quite stringent when it comes to the places that they take you. A better idea is that you hire a guide from a local travel company. You get an opportunity to personalize the trip according to your wants and needs.
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7. San Francisco: Do not worry about the dressing
San Francisco, USA has a very open culture. They are quite accepting of others. So there are no restrictions that you will need to follow here. People are usually dressed up casually. You can dress up the way you want. But do carry comfortable clothing and good footwear.
8. San Francisco: Look out for free events
Travelling out of one’s own country can cost a bomb. There are so many expenses that are involved. From flight tickets to accommodation, a lot of money is spent here. And these are such expenses that you cannot omit. So to get the best of a location, do keep an eye for the free things that you can do at a place. In San Francisco there are museums that offer free entry day, check the dates to see if they align with your dates of visit. There is Dolores Park where you can go and relax or can go hiking at Presidio which are totally free of cost. If you are going during the summers, you can experience live concerts at the Union Square.
9. San Francisco: Save money on food
San Francisco is every foodie’s dream come true! There are many places that you can dine at and experience some of the best cuisines. But these places cost a lot. So while you can go to eat at these places a few times, you should also not miss out on the food trucks that also sell mouth watering dishes. The best part is that they are clustered around the town, so you will always find a truck or two at most of the location.
10. San Francisco: Opt for passes
If you are at San Francisco for multiple days, and you are looking to explore the city, then you should take a pass that offers unlimited rides on cable rides and public transport. This is a good idea as you are able to save a lot of money and avail a lot of discounts and offers if you take a pass.
11. San Francisco: Explore on foot
For many places here in San Francisco, you should try to explore more so that you get the best of a place. Say you are at Fisherman’s Wharf, instead of spending time looking at the boats, a wiser idea is to go deeper and look at what does the wharf actually look like. Similarly China Town is another quite popular place to explore. Make sure to go there early.
Being a tourist is exciting and sometimes can be nerve wrecking because you are not familiar with do’s and don’ts of a place. And the last thing you want is to go wrong on your vacation. So we hope that this list of San Francisco travel tips comes in handy on your trip to USA in terms of preparing well for your trip. We hope that you have a pleasant trip!
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Frequently Asked Questions About San Francisco Travel Tips
Which is the best time to visit San Francisco?
The months of September to November is the perfect time to visit San Francisco as you get to enjoy the warm weather, fewer crowds and amazing deals on flights and hotels.
What are the best places to visit in San Francisco?
A few of the most stunning places to visit in San Francisco are:
1. The Golden Gate Bridge
2. Alcatraz Island
4. Alamo Square
5. Twin Peaks
What should I know before traveling to San Francisco?
If you are traveling to San Franciso for the first time, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Pack a few warm clothes even if you are traveling in summer
2. Public transport is the best way to get around in the city
3. Beware of pickpockets at Pier 39
4. You can find the best food in San Francisco at small street shops.
5. Make sure your hotel does not charge you hidden fees.
How safe is San Francisco for tourists?
San Francisco is pretty safe for tourists, but there is a high chance that you encounter pickpockets.
What parts of San Francisco should I avoid?
Some of the areas in San Francisco that should be avoided are:
1. The Tenderloin
2. Bayview-Hunters Point
4. Potrero Hill at night
5. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
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