San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Full of activities and attractions, the challenge for those going to the city is to select the best points to put on the itinerary of what to do in San Francisco. To help with this dilemma, we have selected must-see sights that cannot be missed on your schedule - in addition to a complete guide with several posts about the city.

A city that mixes cultures and new technologies; where the new contrasts with the old, and leaves those who visit it enchanted – this is San Francisco California.

Find here the main attractions, how to plan for the city, the best museums, where to eat in san francisco, where to stay in the city, the best regional outlets, among many other posts. It's all down here, just click on the ones that interest you to open a post with the complete information :).

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Before starting, a little bit of history and curiosities about the city

The city was founded in 1776, when Spanish colonialists built the Presidio – near the Golden Gate area – and the Mission of San Francisco de Assis. In 1849, already a US territory, the period known as the gold rush began. At the time, the city became the largest and most important city on the American West Coast. Despite the boom of the 1906th century, an earthquake – followed by a huge fire – destroyed much of the city in 80. It is estimated that XNUMX% of the city was ruined by the tragedy.

A good tip to keep an eye on the city. Every Tuesday at noon, an alarm sounds across the city and a voice says “This is a test”. There are more than 100 sirens scattered in buildings – downtown – and on poles in residential areas. Built during the 2nd World War, these sirens remain active today for the event of an earthquake – followed by a tsunami coming from the Pacific Ocean – or some other event of great importance. Now, if you hear these sirens at a time other than Tuesday at noon, it is recommended to seek more information, either on the internet or on TV.

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco California - Photo: Cau Pellegrini


When to go to San Francisco California

No matter the season, you'll always have something to do in San Francisco, rain or shine, cold or cold. Jokes aside, the city is well known for its cold weather, even in summer. so be always prepared for sudden changes in the weather, anything can happen there.

#Tip: E Never never even forget to pack a coat in your backpack, the city is very windy even in summer.

The weather in the city can also change from one neighborhood to another, it may be a beautiful sunny day in Golden Gate Park, but a gray sky and cold wind in the Embarcadero region. Or even bad weather in San Francisco, but the sun in Sausalito will make the day worthwhile.

O summer (from June to August) over there, it's not that hot, in fact it can even be cold. The average temperature is between 12º C and 21º C. Rain is almost rare in the city and region at this time of year.

Already winter (from December to March) it is very cold and humid, mainly in the months of December and January, where the temperatures usually do not exceed 15º C and there is more chance of rain and drizzle.

Opting for the intermediate seasons can be a good option, not too cold and rain, not too hot. THE spring (March, April and May) It's the flower season and the city has a mild climate, temperatures here don't usually go above 18º C, take the opportunity to visit the Botanical Garden and the Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park.

O autumn (September, October and November), are the most favorable months for those who want to escape the fog that marks the city. There is no guarantee, but the beginning of the season can give you beautiful photos. It is one of the best times to visit San Francisco California.

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Ferry Building – San Francisco California – Photo: Cau Pellegrini


How many days to stay in San Francisco California

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to stay in, so how many days you stay will depend a lot on how much you're willing to spend. But keep in mind that the longer you stay, the more you can get to know and interact with the city. No regrets!

A good suggestion is to have 4 to 5 full days, so you'll have time to get to know the main tourist attractions in San Francisco, one or another city in the region and still have time for shopping and outlet shopping. ?


San Francisco California's Top Six Attractions

1) Ponte Golden Gate

A Bridge Golden Gate it is one of the most beautiful bridges in the United States and certainly one of the best known in the world. With its vibrant color – red for some and orange for others – that contrasts with the blue sky of San Francisco and often with the white of the clouds, it attracts thousands of tourists daily.

It is almost 2 km long and can be crossed by car, bus, bicycle or walking. Despite being huge, it is not from anywhere in the city of San Francisco that you will be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge.

>> Also Read 8 Best Places to Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Trademark of the city the Golden Gate seen from Sausalito – Photo: Flávio Antunes – San Francisco California: The Complete City Guide – Travel Tips

2) Lombard Street

It may seem strange to go to a street, especially when it's only a block away. But street like Lombard Street there isn't, believe me. A slope with an inclination of 27º forces cars to descend in a zigzag, in one direction, even to avoid accidents. For the curious on duty, there are no great stories of why the street came to have this shape, the only thing was the safety of drivers and pedestrians.

Here is the time to use and abuse creativity to get fun photos. If you're driving around town, take the opportunity to walk down Lombard Street.

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Iconic Lombard Street – San Francisco California: The Complete City Guide – Travel Tips

3) Fisherman’s Wharf e Pier 39

It is among the busiest and most touristy neighborhoods in the city of San Francisco. O Fisherman's Wharf it is the port area of ​​the city with many shops and restaurants with local foods. If you go to San Francisco, even if you don't like a lot of crowds, you need to get to know this region.

Among the piers, the Pier 39 is the best known and recommended. Here you will find good restaurants, such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. – the chain became famous after the movie Forrest Gump – in addition to bars, ice cream parlors, coffee shops and souvenir shops.

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

In addition to all the attractions, Pier 39 is also the abode of the sea lions. It's super easy to see them all year round, but the amount and excitement can vary depending on the weather and season. To see the animals, just walk along the seafront around the pier, but you can rest assured that the amount of tourists and the characteristic sound of the sea lions soon give you where they are.

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Sea lions vying for a spot in the sun at Pier 39 – San Francisco California: The Complete City Guide – Travel Tips

4) Aquarium of the Bay

Take advantage of the Fisherman's Wharf day tour to experience the Aquarium of the Bay. A place that pleases all types of tourists, especially those passionate about marine life.

There are more than 20.000 marine animals, including jellyfish, octopus, sharks and rays. Tube and transparent paths elevate the experience, it's like walking on the ocean floor. Don't miss the opportunity to learn and understand more about important issues such as climate change and ocean pollution.


  • Opening hours: open every day from 10 am to 20 pm.
  • Ticket Value:
    • Adults (ages 13 to 64) pay US$27,00
    • Children (ages 4 to 12) pay US$17,00
    • Children from 0 to 3 years old, admission is free.
    • Tips for families: there is a family package option (2 adults and 2 children) for US$ 75.00.
  • You can buy your tickets online – here. 

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

In love with Raia at the Aquarium of the Bay – Photo: Juliana Moreira – San Francisco California: The Complete City Guide – Travel Tips

5) Alcatraz Island

This is one of the most interesting experiences in San Francisco. After all, it is not always possible to visit a disused federal prison on an island.

Before becoming the safest federal prison in the world, the Alcatraz Island It was an American military base. The prison opened in January 1934 and closed its doors in March 1963 – citing high cost. During its operation, no leaks were recorded, but there were some attempts.

Competition for the tour is high, so plan ahead and guarantee your ticket – see prices and buy them here. When you arrive on the island remember to take your audio guide – it's free and in Portuguese – it will make ALL the difference in the experience as it has reports from prisoners and staff.

# Tip: take a good coat, because the island is very windy….

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

View of Alcatraz from San Francisco – San Francisco California: The Complete City Guide – Travel Tips

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide


  • Boats depart from Pier 33 on the Embarcadero
  • Opening Hours
    • Day trips: boat departures start at 9:10 am and end at 15:50 pm.
    • Night tours depart at only two times, at 17:55 pm and 18:30 pm.
  • There are also 3 different tours: the Early Bird Tour, the Behind the Scenes Tour and the Alcatraz & Angel Island Tour.
  • Website for more information: Alcatraz Cruises


6) Alamo Square e Painted Ladies

Fan or not of the TV series Full House (in Portuguese, Três é Demais), stop by the neighborhood to see the famous colorful Victorian houses – the Painted ladies.

If you have time, make the most of it Alamo Square, on the lawn to sit and relax, maybe read a book or have an outdoor picnic (and remember: it's forbidden to drink alcohol in public in San Francisco).

>> Also Read 22 Must-See Places in San Francisco

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco California: The Complete City Guide – Travel Tips – Photo: Cau Pellegrini

Museums in San Francisco

Museums in San Francisco are a great choice of cultural program to do with the family, alone or in couples. The most famous in the city is the SFMoMa, of modern art (like the one in New York).

If you enjoy visiting museums on your travels, San Francisco is packed their. And they have something for all tastes, ages and interests. There is a museum in the area of ​​science, art and culture, and even an ice cream museum!

>> Learn about the Best Museums in San Francisco – 6 Must-See Attractions

Games and Sports in San Francisco

The sports and games that take place in the city also need to be included in your schedule and itinerary.

American sports, especially basketball with the NBA, are some of the most famous in the world. It is worth checking the schedule of basketball games in San Francisco or even American football and baseball.

>> Learn how to find this information at Basketball Sports and Games in San Francisco and learn how to program and buy tickets. 

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Basketball Games – San Francisco California – Photo: Cau Pellegrini

Where to Eat in San Francisco

Over eight days in San Francisco, discovering all the tourist spots, if there's one thing worth noting, it's that we ate very well. In the post Where to eat in San Francisco, we tell you our favorite restaurants in the city. But let's take it easy, as with accommodation, everything in the city is expensive! So prepare your pocket!

>> Read also Where to Eat in San Francisco

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Rooftop of The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco – beautiful view of Union Square in San Francisco California – Photo: publicity

Shopping in San Francisco California

Shopping in San Francisco is a must. From the hippie shops in the neighborhood that was the birthplace of the movement to the most famous designer stores in the world. It has a little bit of everything in California's second largest city. Be sure to dedicate a day to shopping and enjoy your trip!

San Francisco prices may not be the most economical, in which case plan to visit the San Francisco Premium Outlets. Located in the city of Livermore, less than an hour's drive from downtown San Francisco. Open from Monday to Saturday from 1:10 am to 00:21 pm, and on Sundays from 00:10 am to 00:19 pm.

If your California itinerary passes through the city of San Diego and/or Los Angeles, be aware that there are also good outlets in the region. like the Las Americas Premium Outlets – near San Diego. It's the Citadel Outlets and the Camarillo Premium Outlets, – close to Los Angeles.

>> Learn more Where to Shop in San Francisco – Complete Guide

San Francisco California hotels

Here we tell you where to stay in San Francisco, in the best regions. If you like to stay in the hustle and bustle, then Union Square is an ideal option. There, every corner has a famous store or a cafe. On the other hand, if you love to enjoy the sights, try restaurants with local fish and be close to the city's history, Fisherman's Wharf will win you over.

Now, let's go to the best hotels where to stay in San Francisco. I separated neighborhood by neighborhood with options that we recommend for hotels. In the end, I'll also tell you where NOT to stay there! It's always good to let you know, isn't it?

>> Check out 10 Nominations of the Best Hotels in San Francisco

Here, we put some indications of our favorites.


CoCheck out our hotel recommendations at san francisco California, in the region of Fisherman's Wharf:

We stayed in San Francisco at the San Remo Hotel, check out our post. The hotel is very well located and has great value for money. It is an excellent option for those looking for where to stay in San Francisco.

It is worth mentioning that staying there you can do everything on foot! Pier 39 is 10 minutes away. If you have the breath to climb the slopes, in 20 minutes you'll reach the famous Lombard Street. Less than a block away is the Powell Street cable car – which is San Francisco's hallmark.

The hotel is Victorian and full of history. The rooms are small, but very cozy, with good lighting and heating. The rooms have a sink, as the bathrooms are shared.

Bathrooms and showers are located in the corridors, but there is always one very close by. Despite being shared, they offer all amenities, it's super clean and without queues, you'll hardly have to wait to use the shower. For hair-conscious girls like me, the front desk provides hair dryers.

The hotel does not have breakfast, but there is always a mini chocolate brownie, tea, coffee and hot chocolate all day long. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi to guests, it also has a laundry room and ATM that are open until 20 pm.


San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

CoCheck out our hotel recommendation in San Francisco California, in the Union Square Region:

We also stayed at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square for its great location – see our post here.

The Hilton Union Square is just one block from the famous and trendy Union Square and close to the cable car. As per the chain's standard, the rooms are spacious, with clean and classic decor, equipped with a coffee maker, HD TV, MP3 player and a super comfortable king bed.

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, but breakfast is not included and the price is high (USD 42,00), but it is worth it for the variety. Another highlight is the privileged view of the city, as the hotel is one of the highest on the West Coast. In the hotel lobby you will find a Herb n' Kitchen, excellent for fast food with several options of salads, juices, beer, breads, soups, etc.


San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

San Francisco – Complete Travel Guide

Check out our recommendation of where to stay in San Francisco in the Sausalito area:

We chose Cavallo Point Lodge to stay in Sausalito – see our post. The resort type hotel is sensational, worth adding to your list of hotels where to stay in San Francisco! It is located in the Golden Gate National Park Recreation Area, leaning against the bridge, meaning the view is always beautiful! The resort is built on a former US military post and is full of history. It has rooms like apartments, cottages or houses for families. All very spacious and equipped, with very large and comfortable beds, fireplaces, coffee machine, amenities. Wine and chocolates are some treats for guests upon arrival at the room.

Breakfast is not included, but the reception offers tea, coffee, Giardelli cappuccino, croissant and fruit. Murray Circle restaurant offers a more complete breakfast and dinner. The Farley Bar is a good place to chat with friends or as a couple with a variety of drinks, wines and appetizers. On some days of the week there is also live music.

The hotel has a partnership with Lexus, some cars (sports, SVU and family) are available to guests who can use them for 3 hours. We, of course, opted for the sporty model and went out to explore the surroundings. But if you don't want to risk driving a Lexus, the hotel has free vans that take us to downtown Sausalito.


Want to know more about the hotel? Watch the video below for all the details:

San Francisco California | Travel tips

What NOT to do in San Francisco California

There's something difficult to say about the city, but if there's something that comes to my mind – avoid the neighborhood Tenderloin.

Close to Union Square and City Hall. The center of the neighborhood is not the safest and most beautiful in the city. It is a region with many homeless people. If you can, avoid getting accommodation there as much as possible. And the few that do, usually also function as shelters for the homeless. Not that it's dangerous, because most of the time you go with your life and they'll go with theirs.

You already know what San Francisco, now choose where to stay in the city.

>> See also Where to stay in San Francisco – The Best Regions

Did you like the tips San Francisco California? Comment here!

Find great hotel deals on Sale this week in San Francisco California here on

San Francisco travel insurance

Taking out travel insurance for San Francisco is an excellent way to ensure a smooth trip and avoid worries. Having the assistance of insurance gives you the peace you need to enjoy your destination and know that you have support if you need it. Also enjoy our Insurance Promo discount coupon. - SEE PRICES

Receive a SIM card at your home in España and use unlimited Internet in San Francisco and across the US

Are you also tired of only being able to use your cell phone at points that you find Wi-Fi free during the trip? And having to pay per day to be able to use a GPS in the rental car on the trip?

We couldn't take it anymore, especially because we wanted to post real-time photos of our trip on social media. In addition, Google is a great ally to find what we need while on vacation, such as information and places, and you can't just use it where you have Wi-Fi.

So we discovered one of the best solutions to end this problem, that you will no longer have to spend hours of travel in phone stores in the country, speaking an unknown language to get a SIM card. This is one of the tips we love to give our readers: America Chip.

Write it down: The company sends an international Chip to your home in Spain. When you're on the plane, just change your Brazilian SIM card for this international one. You will arrive in the United States with unlimited internet, using your cell phone at will, as you use in España.

Arriving in the United States, you can use it all day, anywhere. You'll save on GPS rentals, Skype credits, and you'll still be able to use social networks, Google, or search for anything on the internet all day. In addition, you can still call your home to send travel news as many times as you want via WhatsApp or Facetime.

Read More

  • Cell Phone Chip in the USA – How Does It Work and Where to Buy?
  • Things to do in San Francisco – 22 Must-See Attractions
  • Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco – Where to Take the Best Photos
  • Car Rental San Francisco – Find out how to get discounts
  • Travel Insurance in San Francisco – Is It Worth It?
  • Where to Eat in San Francisco
  • Where to Stay in San Francisco
  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square – Our Review
  • Hotel San Remo – Where to Stay in San Francisco
  • Apple Farm Inn Hotel – Where to Stay in San Luis Obispo
  • Cheshire Cat Inn – Hotel in Santa Barbara, California
  • Auberge Carmel – Relais & Chateaux
  • Hotel Cavallo Point – Hotel em Sausalito
  • Hotel Santa Barbara Inn – Where to Stay in Santa Barbara
  • Where to Shop in San Francisco
  • Museums in San Francisco – 6 Attractions You Can't Miss
  • Sports and Games in San Francisco – Everything You Need to Know
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Plan your trip:

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