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Venture over to the west coast of the US and spend a few nights in the 'Golden City'. They say everything is more laid back in California, and this beautiful coastal city is a great example of just that. Around 800,000 people live here and its name originates from the great Francis of Assisi. The metropolitan area forms the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco Bay surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. On your city trip, make sure to combine chilling by the ocean with relaxed sightseeing, incredible food, and lots of culture. What are you waiting for? Your vacation to San Fran awaits! Check out the best deals on flights and hotels.
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Arrived at the airport (SFO), it is best to order a taxi to downtown. The cost is around $45. Alternatively, you can use the shuttle buses to the city center. You pay around $16 for this. Those who prefer to take the express train can opt for a tour with the BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit, which serves large parts of the entire Bay Area.
Do you want to be mobile on your city trip to San Francisco? Then secure a rental car at San Francisco Airport, there are various offers to choose from.
The city scores with a wide range of public transport. The central part of the city is also easy to explore on foot. The BART train is ideal for trips to the surrounding area. To get to neighboring cities, you can also use the Caltrain, which will take you to San José. For longer tours - independent of the rail network - the rental car is a good idea. Or you can take a ferry ride: The Blue & Gold Fleet departs from Pier 39. For quick journeys through the city, choose the MUNI bus.
Our pirate tip: For a precise overview of the public transport network, it is best to invest $3 on a “Street Transit Map”. In this, all offers are clearly listed, so that you can put together an individual tour.
San Francisco is the place to go with the flow - just like the flower children once did. Certain areas attract visitors like magnets with their engaging flair.
The Chinatown district is right in the center of the city and takes you into an exciting Asian world full of bright colors and spicy scents. The hanging lanterns create an atmospheric ambiance.
The Financial District is very modern. The breathtaking skyline is a popular photo motif. Sometimes things get a little hectic. Just don't get caught up in the hustle and bustle.
Hayes Valley is one of the most elegant areas in San Francisco. What was once a rather disreputable district near the freeway now scores some great restaurants and galleries. And where the highway used to be, you can now walk along an attractive boulevard.
If you end up on the northern edge of the city, you can stroll along the beautiful residential buildings. Beautiful villas once stood there, but they fell victim to the great earthquake at the beginning of the last century. However, some historic buildings have survived to this day.
Our pirate tip: Be sure to walk up the entire mountain to enjoy a great view of the surrounding area.
A popular stop in the city is Fisherman's Wharf. The port area around Pier 39 offers you delicious food based on freshly caught. There are also numerous museums and exhibition spaces.
This area is known as "The Haight". There are many references to the wild days of the 1960s. You can pop into small cafés or browse record shops for real treasures. Nowhere else in the city is hippie culture as present as it is here.
In addition to the historic train tour, don't miss out on other attractions that San Francisco is known for.
For shopaholics, San Francisco is the place to go. However, there are fewer large department stores, instead of countless small shops and boutiques. And in these, the customer really is king. For example, you can use the practical packing service at the grocery store checkout!
There are great souvenirs in Chinatown–especially if you want to make a real bargain.
For a shopping spree when it rains, choose the Westfield Center. It is on the corner of Powell and Market Streets. Treat yourself to an exclusive shopping experience by browsing the buildings on Union Square.
Different influences meet in the city of California. Hardly anywhere is this as clear as in the culinary. Popular dishes are, baked potatoes if possible refined with a light herbal sour cream sauce, Burritos, and starting in the summer, pumpkins will be on the menu in many restaurants: a popular favorite among locals is the traditional pumpkin pie. Thanks to the proximity to the water, seafood is often on the menu. Try the crab cake ( small meatballs consisting of crabmeat, herbs, and breadcrumbs). Full-bodied highlights are the wines in San Francisco. Most of them come from the nearby Napa Valley wine region.
Popular cafes and restaurants in San Francisco include:
The Crepe House on Polk Street
Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store and Cafe
A short day trip from downtown San Francisco takes you to the island of Alcatraz, better known for its prison, which has not been used since 1963 but is still the subject of numerous stories and myths. The building is also the setting for many movies, including "The Prisoner of Alcatraz", "Point Blank" and "The Rock".
About 9 miles north of the city is the protected area of Muir Woods National Monument. In the forest region, stands the last of the coast redwoods, the largest trees in the world.
Ornate Victorian-style homes can be seen on a trip to historic Alamo Square. The brightly painted houses are nicknamed "Painted Ladies" and are a popular motif for postcards.
Of course, in such an exciting city, the party life is not neglected. Whether it's an alternative style pub or modern bar—it's all here. In the Matrix Filmore, you can enjoy what are probably the best cocktails in the metropolis. South of Market is a trendy district for parties: The Wish offers comfortable opportunities to relax on leather sofas and the drink prices are also reasonable. The Mars Bar has a beautiful terrace and an atmospheric ambiance. You can really dance the night away in the DNA Lounge or in the Holy Cow, both also located in the South of Market.
Those interested in culture can visit the city's museums:
the Asian Art Museum
the MH de Young Memorial Museum
the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
the Cable Car Museum
the Beat Museum
The "Hop on Hop off" bus tours are ideal for city tours. With the Dynamite Ticket, you are on the road for two days, including a night drive.
Despite the hilly location, you can also explore the city on two wheels. There are many well-developed cycle paths and attractive routes.
Our pirate tip: Take the route from the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito to cycle with mesmerizing views.
A real highlight on a city trip to San Francisco is a trip on the historic F line tram. This will drive you reliably and at a comfortable pace through the mountainous area of the city. Of course, the following applies: the journey is the goal!
One of the city's most famous sights is the Golden Gate Bridge. The magnificent Art Deco-style bridge was built in 1937 and is now considered a symbol of San Francisco. Other highlights are:
the Coit Tower
the Transamerica Pyramid skyscraper
Mission Dolores, the oldest house in town