San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the US. There’s always something new and exciting going on. It’s a city of fun neighborhoods, each with their own unique feel, and diverse restaurants with delicious food. The weather is quite tricky. We visited in july and it was still quite chilly. Best tip that I can offer you: dress in layers and always carry a jacket, no matter what season.
We did so much in this fantastic city that I’m struggling to fit everything in one post. So, I decided to split it up. Keep an eye open for my next posts regarding Alcatraz, our bike the bridge challenge to Sausalito, Muir Woods and Napa Valley.
Our flight arrived early morning. Since we had business class seats, and managed to sleep 12 out of 15.5 h of flight, we were full of energy and ready to see all that San Francisco has to offer. We went to leave our bags at our Airbnb and then we started our sightseeing tour. Airbnb is a great way to arrange accommodation during your trips and offers a variety of apartments and rooms for rent at very good prices.
In my opinion, the perfect way to tour the city and experience various neighborhoods in San Francisco is by riding the cable cars. They are fun to ride and will save you lots of time and energy walking up and down those hills (the ticket will cost you 7$ for a single ride). While riding the cable cars, make sure to jump off at Lombard Street and wander on the world’s crooked street. Watch the cars how they navigate their way around 8 sharp turns. Be mindful that it gets quite crowded, as everybody wants to see it. Especially for cars, there is a line forming quite early in the morning and it only gets longer during the day!
Another major city landmark is Coit Tower, on top of Telegraph Hill. We walked there from Lombard Street as it looks quite close. Going down the hill was no problem, but climbing it was a different thing. That was when we wished we had taken an UBER! When we reached a higher point we turned to have a look at Lombard Street, and that is how we got this different point of view from the picture above. Once there, you can explore the fresco murals made by different artists that you can find at the ground floor. From the top, you’ll get panoramic views of the city. This is one of the best places to see the Transamerica Pyramid.
A trip to San Francisco is not complete without a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. Actually, you can’t miss it, as this area is spreaded along the waterfront and is one of the most touristy things to do in the city. There are so many souvenir shops, street performers and tons of restaurants. I would recommend to skip them as the food is overpriced and average. But if you really want to try out something from there I would suggest the different seafood sandwiches from Alioto’s and the clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls from Boudin Bakery.
Another famous neighborhood is Chinatown. What is so special about it, is that this is the oldest Chinatown in the US. The best and most famous way to enter Chinatown is via the Grant Avenue Chinatown Gate. Once inside, it really does feel like you’re in a different place. You are greeted by dozens of kitschy shops selling anything from Chinese firecrackers to giant ceramic vases. You can even find your name in chinese, at least that’s what they will tell you. It’s amazing what just a few city blocks in San Francisco can do, to completely change the atmosphere!
Don’t forget to visit Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and Alamo Square. We strolled around these neighborhoods close to sunset and it was such a nice end to a perfect day! At Alamo Square, you get to see the Painted Ladies, a row of Victorian houses with the city’s skyline in the background. These parts of the city are amazing to wander around and take in the amazing San Francisco architecture. You can still sense the hippy style from 1967. Here you can find lots of colourful shops selling all kinds of fascinating things. You will also find quite a dew quirky people along the street.
Want to share your tips and advice? Got questions? Comment below and I will gladly read them!
To make the most of your San Francisco trip check the following posts: