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Golden gate bridge

Starting as one of the birthplaces of counterculture and turning into one of the world's most progressive cities, San Francisco remains a popular destination for travellers from all over the globe. The capital of Northern California presents an astounding mix of culture, along with some absolutely magnificent attractions.

What makes the city by the bay so unique is its fantastic atmosphere. Whether you take a walk down to the thrills of Fisherman’s Wharf or enjoy the majestic architecture of the Painted Ladies or Colt Tower, expect fantastic artistry wherever you go.

Getting Around

San Francisco cable car

Thanks to the creative design of the streets, San Francisco is easy to walk around and it’s the best way to see all of its delights. The Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf areas are all within a few miles of each other and make for a fun walk.

If you’re heading further afield, try the Powell Street Station, where there are services to San Jose, Oakland and other destinations across the Bay Area.

However, be wary of some relatively steep hills on the way back from the Wharf. They can really take it out of you, in which case a taxi or bus is the best option for the return journey. Services are operated by Muni Metro and cover all of the city.

While the cable cars are historic and wonderful to look at, they are not the most effective way to get around. Due to traffic in the Union Square area, they are often delayed and always busy. Wait for when you have some spare time to give them a try, as the journeys provide some great views of the local landmarks. 

What to see

Alcatraz, San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge will undoubtedly top the list of things to do for many people. As the symbol of San Francisco for generations, it attracts millions of tourists every year and provides some majestic views of the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean.

Nearby, the Golden Gate Park makes for an amazing walk. Expect lush greenery, amazing architecture and a fantastic Japanese tea garden in this extraordinary 1,017-acre space.

Elsewhere, Alcatraz Island is a must-visit destination. The former prison was home to some of America’s most notorious criminals and, despite its high-security measures, there were several escape attempts over the years. The tours available provide an unforgettable insight into the history of the site.

The list of attractions across San Francisco feels endless. Shoppers will love the flagship retailers across Union Square and the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre, while the amazing architecture of the Painted Ladies and Lombard Street should not be missed.

Where to eat and drink

Union square, San Francisco

The Bay Area is one of the food capitals of the world, with its diverse population creating an unbelievable mix of restaurants for visitors to choose from.

Seafood is top of the menu at Fisherman’s Wharf, where travellers can look forward to amazing fresh fish from a host of eateries. The Fog Harbour restaurant is particularly appealing, serving some incredible dishes in a beautiful setting overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Elsewhere, Chinatown, as expected, is the home of Chinese food in the city. Yank Sing is probably the top diner here, while the nearby Little Italy boasts a selection of excellent Italian food places.

If you’re after more traditional American flavour, there are plenty of incredible options in the Union Square and Embarcadero areas. In San Francisco, the choice of food is simply unbelievable.

Bars are dotted all over, too. The Mission and South of Market areas are particularly popular among nightclubbers, while relaxing places to drink are spread across the city.

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