Today we bring you a well loaded post with a few tips to travel to San Francisco. San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to live in. As a city it has everything you could want, great transit, lots of entertainment, awesome food and so much more. In this article provided by Globe Trotter Guides, we will tell you everything you need to know about traveling to San Francisco.
1. Reserve the entrance to Alcatraz in advance
Alcatraz is one of San Francisco’s most famous visits and yes, queuing up to go to jail is well worth it (not the conviction)! If you don’t want to run out of tickets, be smart and book them in advance, you can do so on their official website or by including them in a Spanish-language tour of the city.
2. Don’t drive
We think moving around San Francisco by car isn’t usually a great idea. The city is all about going up and down VERY steep streets, and finding parking can be an (almost) impossible mission and you have no time to lose to enjoy the city. Public transport is quite expensive (the metro ticket costs $2.75) but there is a pass with the transport company MUNI which costs only $5. This pass will allow you to ride all day long, on all the buses you want, but no cable car!
Another option is to use Uber/Lyft. If you are traveling with more people and you want to make a specific destination in a hurry, this is a great option.You can open an account on their website and they usually provide you with $20 off on your first ride.
For those wanting to taste luxury in the City, you can rent a Limousine at www.limofind.com and take your partner out for that date you’ve been meaning to. A luxury ride along the city lights at night atop the Golden Gate Bridge – sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Or, if you’re out with friends, you can rent a party bus at www.limofind.com too!
Please note: we have been informed that there have been thefts from rented and parked cars in San Francisco lately. To be sure, try and use private parking, or do not leave anything of value inside the car.
3. Always take a jacket with you.
This is an important rule even on a sunny day. San Francisco is famous for its “microclimates”. So put in your bag or backpack a jacket Also don’t trust the good weather: there is a lot of difference in temperature from one area to another!
4. Try the local delicacies
The whole “America eats bad” thing is a bit of a hoax. To see, it is true that the country has a lot of junk food and does not have a careful and loving gastronomic tradition like other countries, but neither are you going to starve or suffer every bite … especially if you do not have budget problems. And since we’re talking about San Francisco we have to give you the good news: it’s one of those places that boasts a few local delicacies that will make you fall in love (you have to try the clam chowder! And SF’s style Burritos!).
5. Stay in the centre
If you are going to spend a few days in the city, the best thing is to spend a little more budget and stay in the centre: it makes no sense to waste hours going to and from the city when there are many things to see and do. The HI SF Downtown, a hostel next to Union Square is a very popular option. The prices vary according to the type of room (dormitory/double) but range from about $35-75.
Airbnb is usually a good alternative for finding affordable places in the centre.
6. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge
Ohhhh to go to San Francisco without crossing the Golden Gate would be a mistake: the excitement of passing under its orange arches is incalculable and the views of the bay from there are alluring. How to do it? Well, you can do it via walking, by bus, by car or by bike… whatever it is, do it! You won’t regret it.
7. If you want to rent a bike…
…look for online offers (they’re not usually very cheap)! If you don’t find interesting offers on websites like Groupon.
8. If you have time…
…don’t stay alone in the city! There are thousands of things to see and do near San Francisco! Our advice is to rent a car and tour part of the West Coast. Yosemite, Sequsoia, Death Valley, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon are must-see stops!
If you don’t want to drive or don’t have a license, you can sign up for a tour and get to know some of the most beautiful parks and areas of California and the West Coast. Some examples:
- Muir Woods and California Vineyards
- Carmel and Monterey
- Napa Valley and Sonoma
9. MOLES what?
The first time we heard the name POPOS we were left with the face of huhhh what? But as soon as the bus guide explained to us what they were, wow, we were amazed. These are privately owned places but they make their land available for gardens, terraces and squares for public use! This is great because you will be able to enjoy ideal little corners, little known and nothing tourist with all the tranquility. One of the best is the terrace at 343 Sansome Street… the views from there are WOW!
10. Don’t drink (always) Bud Light
The Bud Light is the Cruzcampo of the United States, and to drink it in San Francisco, cradle of the artisan beers, would be like going to the beach of Valencia and eating a frozen paella: horror.
There are many delicious beers, to try and it is truly a beer lovers paradise.
11. Don’t go without travel insurance
Don’t commit the great stupidity of going to America without travel insurance. The joke can be very expensive: the health system of the country is very expensive and in case (we touch wood) of having to go to the hospital, your vacation will turn into a never ending nightmare. It is better to take out insurance from your country and stay in good hands.
12. How to manage money?
We always recommend using a card when travelling. Both for payments and to withdraw money. That being said it is always handy to have a little bit of your native cash on you, but watch out for commissions!