If You’re Going to San Francisco…

Filed under: Visiting San Francisco - 12 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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…then here are some great travel tips that will make your staying in this beautiful city even more pleasant and will give you the chance to save some money while you’re at it. Being a San Francisco tourist does not only mean knowing what the main and most popular attractions are, but also knowing how to enjoy them. Here are some inside scoops for your San Francisco journey to be unforgettable.

…know the weather. More often than not, San Francisco tourists do not realize how cold it can get here in the summer. If you do not want a sweatshirt shop to thrive on your ignorance, you’d better get informed on the weather and pack an extra blouse or two.

…find the right accommodation. Tourists often ask about hotels along Van Ness and Lombard Streets just because they are popular. However, they are also inconvenient and noisy. The most convenient areas in San Francisco for a tourist are Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf.


…pick a good tour guide. If you are inclined to take guided tours, you should avoid the obvious choices because their tours are restrictive, canned, and sometimes plain wrong. There are many other alternatives you can opt for, like taking a free walking tour with City Guides or hiring a small, local company to take you on a private tour.

…eat and explore. San Francisco is filled with top notch restaurants and dining venues rated among the world’s best. Not all of them are fancy and expensive, so do not settle for the tired, mediocre Fisherman’s Wharf restaurants. Do a quick online research or ask your hotel for suggestions and eat great food.


…get on the Cable Car faster. The cable car is a cool and popular attraction, but many people avoid it because of the endless line going up Hyde from just below Ghirardelli Square. Instead of standing in that line, head over to Mason and Bay Streets, where lines are much shorter. If you just want to ride it for fun, then get on the California line, at the junction of California Street and the Market near the Ferry Building.

…make reservations for Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz tours fill up extremely fast, so you should make reservations at least two weeks ahead. You can either book online or use your concierge if the hotel has one. In this way, you will avoid the disappointment of not being able to visit this worldwide renowned attraction.


…go behind the facade. When visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, do not just stand there and look at the boats. Walk toward the water anywhere you see an opening and then see what the wharf us really like. Te same principle applies to Chinatown. The urge to shuffle down Grant Street is understandable. However, you might be more impressed if you branch off onto the side streets and into the alleys.

…walk on the Golden Gate Bridge. This internationally famous bridge is San Francisco’s symbol. However, stopping at the parking lot just to overlook it and not walking on the bridge is like looking at a chocolate bar and not getting a taste of it. So, stroll the sidewalk, even if you only go out a little way, and you will get the true feel of this iconic landmark.


…save on free attractions. San Francisco has a lot of attractions that are free of charge and can save you some cash. These include the Cable Car Museum, San Francisco City Hall, Coit Tower and the Filbert Street Steps, Fort Point, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Randall Junior Museum, Musee Mecanique, and many others.

…show your kids a good time. If you are traveling with kids, make sure you show them a good time by exploring some children’s attractions,  such as the Exploratorium science museum, California Academy of Science, Golden Gate Park, and Marin County. You should also take them to Citizen Cake for the best desserts in the city.

Keep these tips in mind and your San Francisco trip will be a wonderful experience. There are many things to do and to see in the beautiful city of San Francisco, so make sure you visit as many attractions as possible.

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