San Francisco

Travel Guide
San Francisco showing a bay or harbour and a bridge

Streetcars rattle up and down the city famous for steep hills, hippie history and the toughest place to make a jail break.

Once the center of the counter-culture movement of the sixties, San Francisco is now one of the world’s technology powerhouses and a hub for start-up companies. Although you'll no longer find Janis Joplin or the Grateful Dead singing to sold-out crowds, the laid-back liberal atmosphere remains. Fleece jackets and tennis shoes long ago replaced suits and ties in the city’s Financial District.

San Francisco is known for its distinctive neighborhoods and tourist areas. Hitch a ride on cable car as it hauls you over the city’s steep hills to Fisherman’s Wharf. Here you can try fresh seafood or a bowl of creamy clam chowder. Browse bohemian bookshops and soak up some music history in Haight-Ashbury. Stroll through Union Square for some serious shopping, or hang onto your hat as you walk the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

The attractions here are as diverse as the weather. Experience the city’s multiculturalism in Little Italy or Japan Town. Take a walking tour of North America's largest Chinatown. Along the eastern seafront, stroll the Embarcadero, where you can dine with views over the bay or grab some fresh produce at the farmers’ market. Wander through the 1000 acres (405 hectares) of Golden Gate Park. Board a ferry for a trip to the seaside village of Sausalito. Don't forget your jacket as even on the sunniest day it gets cold out on the water.

For a change of pace, head to Pier 33 and jump on board a tour to Alcatraz Island. Listen to fascinating, personal accounts of life at one of the world’s harshest prisons or stroll the grounds and the old cellblocks. Tours are popular, so it's best to book ahead.

Weather in San Francisco can change by the hour and from one neighborhood to the next. For the best chance of consistent sunshine, visit September through November. Winter means wind and rain, but also the best deals for accommodation. The city is crowded in summer for festivals such as the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade in late June. This is one of the biggest celebrations of diversity in the country.

San Francisco Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in San Francisco

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
The price is HK$926 per night from 21 Sep to 21 Sep
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! (3,082 reviews)
"This is my third stay here and I love this place."

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2021

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
4.5 out of 5
335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is HK$1,324 per night from 17 Oct to 17 Oct
Located in Downtown San Francisco, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Westfield San Francisco Centre, Warfield Theater, and Grace Cathedral. San ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,843 reviews)
"very nice"

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2021

The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,072 per night from 21 Sep to 21 Sep
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! (3,011 reviews)
"Very clean and friendly."

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2021

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
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.
Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
3 out of 5
The price is HK$814 per night from 2 Oct to 2 Oct
Located in The East Side, this aparthotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 6 miles (10 km) of Cow Palace and Millbrae ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (262 reviews)
"Surrounded by several convinced stores and easy parking."

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2021

Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, CA
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,114 per night from 19 Sep to 19 Sep
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, Pacifica State Beach and Pacifica Pier. Ocean ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (802 reviews)
"Overall our stay was pleasant, however our room seemed clean as an overview but we did find dirty sheets and previous guest items like a child’s toy puzzle piece. One of my teens slept on the pull out bed but was bitten on his legs, I don’t presume bed bugs but definitely a flea like bite. At check ..."

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2021

Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,082 per night from 19 Sep to 19 Sep
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 Museum of San ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (1,153 reviews)
Very nice.
"Clean and nice. I like that it had 2 bedrooms away from each other. I’d stay again."

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2021

HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
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.

Popular places to visit in San Francisco

Top things to do in San Francisco

Reviews of San Francisco

4.4

Top destination

5 - Excellent
311
5 - Excellent 52.801358234295414%
4 - Good
219
4 - Good 37.18166383701188%
3 - Okay
48
3 - Okay 8.149405772495756%
2 - Disappointing
7
2 - Disappointing 1.1884550084889642%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.6791171477079796%

5/5 - Excellent

JudyFrumin

30 Mar 2020

It was great although the Corona virus had started,we were there from March 6th to 10th.It’s a fabulous place and we managed to do many things before it went into lockdown.Recommended Must do things once it opens up again.Alcatraz,SFMOMA and more

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveller

20 Mar 2020

Expedia sucks, worst company ever.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Feb 2020

Very nice City worth for visiting

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Feb 2020

LIKE 4 TIMES BIGGER BRIGHTON IN UK! LOVED MARINA AREA! AND NORTH SANFRANCISCO

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

23 Feb 2020

The main tourist areas are good to see. We won’t return though. We saw a lot of drug taking on the streets (injecting heroine and crack pipes). Many groups of men hanging around on corners asking for money. Very frightening and intimidating.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

23 Feb 2020

Nice - but lots of homeless people