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As one of the world’s most visited cities, San Francisco is a favorite destination among tourists from across the globe. San Francisco is known for its Golden Gate Bridge, foggy bay, steep hills, Victorian homes, and ethnic and cultural diversity. In recent years, San Francisco gained a reputation for technology as well. Visitors can enjoy the trendy Mission District, the historic Castro, the vibrant Union Square, and the well-known Chinatown, among other popular areas, when visiting this dynamic city. Take cheap flights via major airlines to San Francisco, such as United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines. Contact us for the best deals on luxury flights to San Francisco.

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Golden Gate Park

Visit Golden Gate Park
Union Square

Union Square

Ferry to Alcatraz
Fisherman's Wharf

Eat at Fisherman’s Wharf

Facts About San Francisco

  • San Francisco is located in northern California between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.
  • San Francisco is known for its hilly landscape, year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and colorful Victorian houses.
  • San Francisco is the fourth-most populous city in California, after Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose with a population of approximately 865,000.
  • The city and its surrounding areas are known as the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • The San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined area is the 5th most populous in the United States with a population exceeding 8 million.
  • San Francisco has several nicknames, including The City by the Bay, San Fran, and Frisco.
  • The iconic Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay Bridges were built in the 1930s.
  • A decade after the large 1989 earthquake, the Internet technology boom began in San Francisco, drawing entrepreneurs to the city and increasing the population.

Top Attractions in San Francisco

Whether you’re visiting from an international city or enjoying a quick weekend getaway from somewhere in the United States, San Francisco offers exciting attractions and activities for all ages year-round. The following attractions should be on your San Francisco itinerary, especially if you’re a first time visitor. Book cheap luxury flights to San Francisco with our help, so you can travel to this popular tourist destination and experience all it has to offer.

  • Golden Gate Bridge – See the Golden Gate Bridge as your flight approaches San Francisco International Airport, then visit this famous landmark when you explore the city. The bridge gives access to cyclists and pedestrians. Stop by the bridge’s Welcome Center for information about exhibits, tours, and hikes, as well as souvenirs. For snacks and beverages, visit the Bridge Café. The best vantage points of the bridge include Fort Point, Vista Point, and Crissy Field. You can also cross the bridge by car.
  • Golden Gate Park– This popular San Francisco park offers a range of attractions including the Conservatory of Flowers, the Shakespeare Garden, the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Strybing Arboretum. At the Polo Fields, free concerts take place in the summer. Outdoor activities at the park include archery, baseball, softball, golf, lawn bowling, horseshoes, soccer, tennis, biking, jogging, horse-riding, and picnics.
  • Fisherman’s Wharf– As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States, this vibrant waterfront area features shops, restaurants, and many activities for all ages. Head to Pier 39 to experience the Aquarium of the Bay, as well as a carousel, and other carnival attractions. At Pier 45, check out the Hyde Street Pier Historic Ships Collection. Other popular attractions include Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and San Francisco Dungeon. You’ll find Fisherman’s Wharf on the northern shore where Columbus Avenue and the Embarcadero meet. Easy access to the area is provided by bus and cable cars.
  • Alcatraz Island– Alcatraz was the first military prison in the United States, and then a maximum-security penitentiary. Today, Alcatraz is among the most popular San Francisco attractions. The list of former Alcatraz inmates includes well-known criminals, such as Al ‘Scarface’ Capone. The scenic ferry ride to Alcatraz features great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, and Angel Island. Due to the popularity of Alcatraz, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets ahead of your visit. The full Alcatraz experience is about 2.5 hours, including a round-trip ferry ride.
  • Union Square– This is a great place to people-watch in San Francisco, but the most popular reason to come here is to shop. You’ll find 6 major department stores, including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Barney’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus. There are plenty of boutiques too. High-end brands at the square include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Prada, and Giorgio Armani. Nearby attractions include the theater district, Chinatown, the French Quarter, and Nob Hill.

Best Times to Visit San Francisco

Whenever you travel to San Francisco, you can expect mild weather year-round. The best time to travel to San Francisco is from September through November for warmer temperatures and fewer crowds, especially in September. Spring is another ideal season to travel to San Francisco, but the weather is a bit cooler. The most popular time to visit San Francisco is during the summer. If you decide to travel to San Francisco in the winter, you can enjoy holiday festivities downtown, but be prepared for chilly temperatures, so be sure to pack plenty of layers. Book cheap flights to San Francisco aboard major airlines, such as United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Contact us today for the best deals on international air travel.

Weather in San Francisco

  • Spring –From March through May, San Francisco weather is mild with average daytime temperatures in the mid-60s.
  • Summer –Average summer temperatures from June through August in San Francisco are in the high 60s. Expect sea winds and chilly fog. Summer is the peak season for tourism in San Francisco.
  • Fall –From September through November, temperatures often exceed summer temperatures. Average fall temperatures are in the low 70s. Temperatures occasionally reach the 80s and 90s.
  • Winter –Expect chilly winds and fog from December through February in San Francisco. Average temperatures are in the high 50s.

San Francisco Tour Options

  • San Francisco Double Decker Bus Tour –This hop-on hop-off bus tour of San Francisco offers tickets good for 24 or 48 hours. Stops include Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Ghirardelli Square, Ferry Building, Civic Center, Financial District, and many more top attractions and popular neighborhoods. Professional tour guides narrate every bus ride as it travels through the city.
  • San Francisco Night Tour–See San Francisco come alive at night during this double decker bus tour with live narration. Enjoy impressive views of downtown San Francisco from Nob Hill, Chinatown, North Beach, and the Embarcadero. The tour also includes 2 short walking tours. The total duration is approximately 1.5 hours. Keep in mind that depending on the time of year, it may not be dark during this tour.
  • San Francisco Bay Cruise-This 1-hour bay cruise offers views of the Marina, Alcatraz, Presidio, Marin County, the San Francisco skyline, and Bay Bridge. As you cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and throughout the rest of the tour, there is detailed narration to enrich your experience. The cruise departs from Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf. Departure times vary daily.

Transportation in San Francisco

  • BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is high-speed rail service connecting San Francisco to its surrounding areas and SFO, the San Francisco airport. Fares depend on distance. Buy tickets from the machines in the stations. Children under 4 years old ride free. Trains run every 15 to 20 minutes, Monday through Friday between 4am and midnight, Saturday from 6am to midnight, and Sunday between 8am and midnight.
  • Cable Car – Three cable car lines originate in the downtown area – the Powell-Hyde line, the Powell-Mason line, and the California Street line. The most scenic and exciting is the Powell–Hyde line. The least scenic is the California Street line. The cable car system operates from approximately 6am to midnight. Rides cost less than $10.
  • Bus- San Francisco buses travel throughout the city and over the bridges to Marin County and Oakland. All buses are numbered and display their destinations upfront. Many buses travel along Market Street and near Union Square, running from about 6am to midnight. Popular tourist routes travel to Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Chinatown, Ghirardelli Square, and the Marina District.
  • Street Car – The historic F-Line streetcar runs from the Castro to Fisherman’s Wharf, with stops near major tourist destinations, such as the Mission District, Union Square, SoMa, Ferry Building, Exploratorium, North Beach, and Pier 39. Streetcar lines J, K, L, M, N, and T run underground downtown and on suburb streets. Streetcars run about every 15 minutes, with more frequency during rush hours, from approximately 6am to midnight, depending on the day and the line. The L and N lines operate 24/7. Streetcar fares are the same as buses, and passes are allowed.
  • Taxi– San Francisco taxis aren’t always easy to find. It’s a good idea to call ahead to book a taxi. Ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber are very popular in San Francisco and are used more often than taxis. Download the Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar apps onto your smartphone, so you can request a taxi, town car, or a registered driver’s personal vehicle from wherever you are with pick-up within minutes. Credit card information is accepted within the app.
  • Car – Most major attractions are within walking distance of hotels or are easily reached by public transportation, so renting a car isn’t necessary. Driving in San Francisco can be stressful due to aggressive drivers, intense traffic, high parking fees, and limited parking availability. However, if you plan to take daytrips to explore the rest of the Bay Area, renting a car is the best option for getting around. Major car rental agencies are located at SFO.
  • Ferry – The Golden Gate Ferry Service provides water transportation between central San Francisco and nearby communities, such as Sausalito, Tiburon, and Larkspur. One-way fares cost around $10 for adults. The Blue & Gold Fleet also offers ferry service between Fisherman’s Wharf and several neighboring towns, including Sausalito and Tiburon. One-way fares are between $9 and $12, depending on the destination.

San Francisco Safety Tips

  • Beware of Southeast San Francisco neighborhoods Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, Sunnydale, Ingleside, and Potrero Hill, as well as the Tenderloin, parts of Western Addition, including the Fillmore District, and parts of the Mission.
  • Gang violence can occur in busy and thriving areas, such as the Mission Street retail corridor.
  • The SoMa district used to be dangerous, but now it is a trendy, much safer neighborhood with lots of art galleries and clubs. It’s still a good idea to be cautious though.
  • San Francisco has the largest homeless population in the United States. If someone approaches you, politely decline and keep walking.
  • The main homeless area is around 6th and Market, heading towards the Civic Center, and in the Tenderloin and Haight Ashbury.
  • The area near Golden Gate Park at the end of Haight Street should be avoided at night.
  • Pickpocketing, purse snatching, and other petty crimes are common, especially on crowded public transportation, in tourist areas, and during the holiday shopping season.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle, especially when parking on public streets. Car break-ins are very common in San Francisco.
  • If you cannot carry all valuables with you, store them in your vehicle’s trunk, and park in secure parking garages.
  • Bicycle theft is also very common, so lock your bike securely to a sturdy surface.
  • Lyme disease is prevalent in the Bay Area. Check for ticks after going on a hike. If you develop a rash, seek medical attention immediately.

San Francisco Airport Tips

  • SFO offers a wide variety of dining options in Terminals 2 and 3, such as Cat Cora’s Kitchen, Lark Creek Grill, Kara’s Cupcakes, Napa Farms Market, Lori’s Diner, Fraiche, and San Francisco Soup Company.
  • Try to take flights in and out of Terminal 2, if possible, for the best food options, otherwise bring your own snacks
  • Everything will be closed in the International Terminal after 11pm.
  • All the terminals at SFO feature museum exhibits and self-guided tours before security.
  • For relaxation before your flights, SFO offers yoga rooms in Terminals 2 and 3, and XpressSpa in the International Terminal and Terminals 2 and 3.
  • With regard to public transportation to and from the airport, take BART during rush hour, and Uber or Lyft otherwise. BART offers a very cheap price compared to a taxi.
  • Taxi to downtown is approximately $50 and takes between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • BART to downtown is around $8 with a travel time of 35 minutes.
  • If you prefer taking BART, get a Clipper Card, so you don’t have to stop at the ticket machines.
  • Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar are legally allowed to offer their services at SFO
  • Wi-Fi access is free throughout the airport.
  • Power charging stations are available in Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Other amenities and services at SFO include a medical clinic, animal relief areas, children’s play areas, lounges, showers, and water bottle refill stations.
  • Inside SFO, you may see pet therapy dogs with vests that say, “Pet me!”

Best Restaurants in San Francisco

In a city as diverse as San Francisco, of course there are limitless options of foods available for all taste buds to savor. When you book cheap luxury flights to San Francisco, the gourmet cuisine on your flight isn’t the only delicious food you’ll get to try during your trip. After landing at SFO, head out to explore the city and all its culinary delights. Consider the following restaurants when you’re seeking good food in San Francisco.

Fine Dining

  • Saison – Located in the SoMa district, this critically acclaimed, 3-star Michelin rated San Francisco restaurant is a must-try when visiting the city. The New American menu changes daily and features natural ingredients from small farms, ranches, and fisheries throughout Northern California, creating unique local cuisine. The atmosphere is intimate, and the open kitchen allows diners to watch as their meals are prepared.
  • Benu –This award-winning, triple Michelin-starred restaurant is definitely worth the flight to San Francisco. Expect to be wowed by the celebrated tasting menu that features a fusion of Asian and American flavors. Limited seating available, so reserve your table as soon as you book your flights.
  • Quince – For gourmet Italian and French fare, travel to this high-end, Michelin-starred eatery in historic Jackson Square in San Francisco. It’s the perfect spot for a special occasion, or to impress colleagues, and well worth the high prices. The menu highlights seasonal local ingredients.

Mid-Range Restaurants

  • Nopa –Californian cuisine is served at this popular San Francisco restaurant in Alamo Square. The menu features organic wood-fired cuisine made from seasonal, locally farmed ingredients. The creative cocktails are worth trying as well. The restaurant gets its name from its neighborhood. Nopa is short for North of the Panhandle.
  • Gialina–A fresh, seasonal Italian menu keeps diners coming back again and again to this cozy San Francisco eatery. Try the thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizzas, and be sure to save room for dessert. Located in Glen Park, this family-friendly hotspot is always crowded, so be prepared to wait.
  • Tartine Bakery & Café–Travel to this popular, critically-acclaimed café for pastries, sandwiches, coffee, and other delights made from organic ingredients. It’s always overcrowded but well worth the extra effort to dine here. Some menu items, like the fresh country bread, sell out quickly. The friendly staff is a plus.

Cheap Eats

  • Mama’s –Travel to Washington Square to dine at this family-owned San Francisco eatery for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. For over 50 years, the menu has featured hearty favorites and lighter fare, like omelettes, French toast, sandwiches, salads, fresh baked breads and pastries, and homemade jam. Expect long lines at this charming North Beach institution, but it’s worth the wait.
  • 4505 Burgers & BBQ–This BBQ favorite serves wood-smoked meats, burgers, and sides, paired with local beverages. Customers enjoy dining outside on the patio and socializing with friends and tourists. Popular menu items include the beef brisket, brisket fries, and spicy fries. You’ll have to wait in line, but you won’t regret it.
  • Tommy’s Joynt-For American comfort food, head to this San Francisco favorite of over 60 years. The menu features fresh-carved hot meat sandwiches with choices of turkey, pastrami, brisket, ham, and more. Other popular menu options include lamb shanks, buffalo stew, and corned beef. Fast service and cheap prices keep people coming back for more.

Best Luxury Hotels in San Francisco

San Francisco offers a wide array of accommodations, including lavish hotels in the heart of the city near the popular areas of downtown, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf. These luxurious hotel options provide a home away from home for business travelers and vacationers who travel to San Francisco via cheap luxury flights booked by our gurus. Consider staying at the following 5-star hotels when you visit San Francisco.

  • The St. Regis San Francisco– Located in the SoMa district, this upscale San Francisco hotel offers its guests excellent hospitality, featuring its signature St. Regis Butler service. Top San Francisco attractions are just steps away from this centrally located hotel, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art next door. Union Square is less than 10 minutes away on foot. Hotel amenities include fine dining and casual dining options, as well as a spa and a 24-hour gym.
  • The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco – Travel to well-known San Francisco neighborhood Nob Hill to experience the luxurious accommodations and amenities at this 5-star, award-winning hotel. This lavish hotel is set within a 1909 landmark building and features the historic California Street cable car right outside its doors. All guestrooms and suites were recently renovated, along with the meeting and event space. Dining options include a gourmet restaurant serving California cuisine and a lounge offering a more casual experience.
  • The Fairmont San Francisco –Located atop scenic Nob Hill, this world-renowned luxury hotel has a reputation for impeccable service. Leisure and business travelers enjoy staying in its nearly 600 guest rooms and suites. Guests can dine onsite at 3 fine dining options, as well as in the more laidback lounges. The stunning panoramic views of the city and the bay add to the overall experience, along with the luxurious accommodations, and elegant meeting spaces, all creating an unforgettable stay.
  • Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square –Ghirardelli’s famous chocolate factory has been transformed into this upscale San Francisco hotel. The residential-style, all-suite accommodations offer guests a timeless experience with modern amenities and services. Overlooking the San Francisco Bay, these one, two, and three bedroom luxury vacation rentals include gourmet kitchens, living rooms with fireplaces, and dining areas. Enjoy a memorable stay at a 5-star locale with a unique history.
  • Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco –Steps away from all the shopping and dining options at Union Square, this sophisticated hotel offers chic accommodations in a central location. Guests can take advantage of free access to the adjacent fitness facility with a pool, gym, and spa. The onsite restaurant and bar features locally inspired cuisine and handcrafted cocktails in a stylish atmosphere. Pier 39 and Aquarium on the Bay at Fisherman’s Wharf are less than 2 miles away.

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