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San Francisco

Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  San Francisco
(4.2/5 based on 170,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, nature, museums

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity. Spanish colonists established the city in 1776, but 80 percent of it was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and the fires that followed. Despite its outsize reputation, the city is physically quite compact, located on a relatively small square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast. This allows you to take sightseeing tours of most of the city's neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and microclimate, on foot or by bicycle. To get around town on public transportation, buy a visitor's pass, available for one, three, or seven days, for unlimited rides on Muni buses, trains, streetcars, and cable cars. San Francisco also contains more restaurants than any other city in the country per capita, providing dining options to suit every traveler's tastes. To arrange what you want to do in San Francisco, use our United States travel itinerary maker.
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Where to stay

From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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