San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in the world – the cable cars, the hills, the Golden Gate Bridge – it doesn’t disappoint. And it has so much more to offer. The food is amazing, the nightlife is great, the views are spectacular and the people are super cool.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and purchase something I’ve recommended I may earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay but helps me to run this site. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Things to Do in San Francisco
- The Golden Gate Bridge – if you have a car definitely drive over the bridge and stop at each end for the view
- Pier 39 – yes its touristy, but its fun to do and the sea lions are great
- The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market – lots and lots of amazing places to eat and food and drink to buy
- Alcatraz – The tour of the prison is well worth it (including the ferry over to the island) – make sure you book in advance though as it is very popular
- Have a night out in the Mission District – there are loads of great bars and restaurants
- Drive Lombard Street (the windy road)
- Take a Cable Car
- Take a tour of the Castro neighbourhood, one of the largest LGBT communities in the world and San Franciso’s gay epicentre.
- Take a day trip from San Fransisco to Napa Valley
Where to Stay in San Francisco
San Francisco hotels are some of the most expensive in the world, so it can be challenging to find an affordable place to stay. However you can find some good options – I loved the Metro Hotel in the Mission District – it was great, with friendly staff, awesome location and nice rooms. Alternatively, you can stay outside of the city. We spent a night at Smiley’s Schooner Saloon in Bolinas, which is definitely one of the most memorable hotels I have stayed in. Smiley’s is a Western style bar, with rooms out the back. It has live music most nights, so probably not the place to stay if you want a quiet night. But if you are looking for a local American experience, then it’s definitely worth a visit. San Francisco is a scenic 45 minute drive south (via the Golden Gate Bridge).
Food and Drink
It’s easy to find great food all over San Francisco. I definitely recommend the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market – it has loads of amazing food vendors, cafes and restaurants, and it’s a pretty nice location to have a bite to eat. Some of my favourite restaurants are in the Mission District, including Wise Sons Deli, which does delicious sandwiches and Bagels and really good breakfasts including a yummy market scramble.
San Francisco has great public transport, so it’s easy to get around, which means you can do the main tourist sites in a day if you’re pushed for time. But it’s such a cool city, you could easily spend days hanging out in the cafes, eating great food and wandering the hilly streets.