San Francisco is the kind of quirky place where old money meets new. A range of technology start ups have moved into town bringing with them new bars and restaurants.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and cute trams used to be the reason why people visited San Francisco, but with the booming tech industry spilling out of nearby Silicon Valley, tech tourism is coming into its own.
Think industrial warehouses in SoMa, eclectic museums and cultural centres, funky cafes and a huge concentration of restaurants serving fusion food. All the stuff of a great trip or – as they say in The Bay - a ‘hella holiday’.
Beyond the city, in the surrounding bay area, there’s so much more to explore, including Silicon Valley’s innovations and the Napa Valley.
- Tour the city by Cable CarOpens external site in a new window
- Take in some culture at the Museum of modern artOpens external site in a new window
- Experience Alcatraz with their spectacular audio tourOpens external site in a new window
- Hire a bike and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge
- Hop a bus to Golden Gate Park to visit the de Young MuseumOpens external site in a new window
- Grab some chowder at Fisherman’s WharfOpens external site in a new window.
The neighbourhoods of San Francisco are as diverse as they are fascinating, from SoMA to Nob Hill - you’ll find something intriguing at every turn.
South of Market
South of Market is where it’s at in San Fran - the area parallel to Market Street at the epicentre of the dot com boom.
The area is a patchwork of warehouses, trendy nightspots, residential hotels, some of the city's newest museums, dot com head offices and restaurants.
One of the city’s major public transport hubs, Union SquareOpens external site in a new window is where to go to catch a theatre show, go shopping at one of the many shopping malls (Saks, Macys, Barneys, Bloomingdale), indulge in a delicious meal or visit the nearby historic French quarterOpens external site in a new window.
Nob Hill and Russian Hill
Nob Hill is one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods, renowned for its city landmarks and the famous hotels that border Huntington Park, go there to travel on the gorgeous cable cars and enjoy the panoramic views.
Next door is Russian Hill, famous for 'the world's most crookedest street' Lombard Street and is a little more visitor friendly than its more formal neighbour. It's a residential neighbourhood with pockets of charming restaurants and unusual boutiques - the views are also just as dazzling.
Teeming with tourists, Fishermans WharfOpens external site in a new window is where you will find fishing boats, seafood stalls and restaurants, sourdough bakeries and sea lions basking in the sun.
This is the place to go for San Francisco’s iconic seafood chowder and the ferry launch to Alcatraz IslandOpens external site in a new window.
The Castro and Noe Valley
The epicentre of the LGBTQ community in San Francisco, this former working class Irish neighbourhood is a major cultural reference point of this open-minded progressive Californian city.
You’ll end up at Golden Gate at some point, if not for well-heeled neighbourhoods like the Marina District, Cow Hollow, and Pacific Heights, then for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and historical landmarks.
An area in Western San Francisco comprising the awesome Golden Gate ParkOpens external site in a new window, the vistas of Lincoln Park and the Richmond and Sunset neighbourhoods.
US Dollar (US$)
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110V / 60 Hz
In summer (June to August) temperatures average 25-30°C while in winter (December to February) the average is a chilly 5°C. Autumn (September to November) is the recommended time to visit.
From the airport
You can get to your hotel easily on the efficient Bay Area Rapid TransitOpens external site in a new window (BART) system or via an arrival transferOpens external site.
In and around the city
Once you are in the city, the cable car is both a tourist highlight and great way to see San Francisco. There are also bus, ferry, taxi, the BART and the San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off TourOpens external site.
Interested in San Francisco or want to see other destinations in the USA? Find out more about flights to USA.
San Francisco car hire
Book car hire with Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Qantas Frequent Flyer members could earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget.
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