The Golden Gate Bridge
The most famous bridge in the world manages to impress even the most experienced travelers with its stunning 1.7-mile span. A pedestrian walkway also allows the crossing on foot and bikes are allowed on the western side.
These have been transporting people around San Francisco since the late 19th century. The cars run on tracks and are moved by an underground cable on three routes. Their familiar bells can be heard ringing from blocks away. Tickets ($5) may be purchased at the cable car turnarounds at the ends of each route. Each one-way ride will provide spectacular views of the city’s celebrated hills as well as exhilarating transportation.
The notorious former prison is located on an island of the same name in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Some of the United States’ most notorious criminals were incarcerated there. Though several tried, no inmate ever made a successful escape from “The Rock.” The prison was closed in the 1960’s and stories about Alcatraz are legendary.
A visit to Alcatraz today is fascinating. Recorded cell-house tours are available, allowing visitors to learn about the prison as they explore the buildings and grounds. To reach the island, take an Alcatraz Cruises ferry from Pier 43.
Home to PIER 39, a festive waterfront marketplace that is one of the city’s most popular attractions. A community of California sea lions has taken up residence on the floats to the west of the pier and visitors line the nearby railing to watch their antics. From there it’s a short walk to the Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the famous crab vendors selling walk-away crab and shrimp cocktails.
This is the place for serious shoppers. Major department stores and the most exclusive designer boutiques line streets like Post, Sutter, Geary, Grant, Stockton and Powell. The Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre houses the largest Bloomingdale's outside of New York and the second largest Nordstrom in the U.S.
In San Francisco, this is an attraction in itself. Known as America’s best restaurant city, San Francisco chefs excel at combining the freshest local ingredients, authentic international flavors and a touch of creative genius.
San Francisco boasts a constantly changing scene. The “hottest” clubs currently are in the South of Market and Mission districts, with live and recorded rock and Latin music.
For the culture vulture in you, the city is home to internationally recognized symphony, opera and ballet companies.
Relive the magic and glamour of Hollywood's heyday at Hearst Castle (hearstcastle.org), which is situated on the state's central coast halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
And for the wine lover in you, celebrate the good life at the superb wineries of Napa and Sonoma. Gentle rolling hills and vineyard-laced farmland make the area perfect for back-road driving or cycling. Along with famous chefs and cool shops, there's plenty of small-town appeal in towns such as St. Helena, Yountville, Sonoma and Healdsburg. Time may seem to stand still in the iconic countryside, but the luxury and sophistication here are thoroughly modern.
San Francisco is compact and easy to get around, meaning there's no excuse not to pack a lot in while you're here! For a memorable holiday in San Fransisco, choose the package that suits you.
Browse our amazing range of holidays in San Francisco
A stylish hotel with a nautical feel to reflect its position on Fisherman’s Wharf, The Argonaut is a fantastic base from which to explore the city of San
The grand Fairmont San Francisco sits on the top of the exclusive Nob Hill with fantastic views over the city and beyond.
Rooms are elegant
The Galleria Park Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel in a great location, just a few blocks from fantastic shopping in Union Square and a short cable car
The Hilton San Francisco is a large and stylish hotel with a great downtown location in the heart of the vibrant entertainment district.
The Holiday Inn is a classic hotel with an excellent location in the heart of the popular Fisherman’s Wharf neighbourhood of San Francisco.
An ultra-modern hotel, W San Francisco is located in the SoMa district with plenty of shopping and entertainment on your doorstep.
Stay in the lively and glamorous city of San Francisco. Enjoy wine tasting in the regions’ Napa Valley. Explore the scenic splendour of Yosemite National
Make the most of your trip to San Fransico with our top tips to show you how it's done.
Top tips for visiting San Francisco
1. San Fran is compact
• One of the great things about visiting San Francisco is it is geographically small – only 49 square miles and compact. Consequently, it is very easy to see and do a great many things in a short period of time.
2. Know the weather
• Many San Francisco tourists don't realise how cold it can get in summer and dozens of cheap sweatshirt shops are thriving on their ignorance. Maybe you wanted a souvenir shirt anyway, but your trip will be more comfortable if you know that the average low in June and July is in the mid-50s°F (10-15°C) or that's it's sunnier in October than in May.
• San Francisco is famous for its fog - especially in the summer - while Los Angeles is known for its consistently sunny, coastal climate.
3. Go car-free!
• It's not just an environmental statement, it's a smart choice. San Francisco is small and most tourist sights are close together, so you don't need one to get around. Even worse, some hotels charge more than the price of a nice lunch just for parking. Pick a hotel in a convenient area (Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf), use public transportation or taxis and rent a car for just one day if you want to take a side trip.
4. Get on the cable car faster
• Don't stand in the endless line at the stop on Hyde just below Ghirardelli Square. Instead, head to Mason and Bay Streets, where lines are much shorter. You'll end up at Union Square on either line. If you just want to ride for the fun of it, get on the California line where California Street intersects Market near the Ferry Building and get off at the top of the hill in Chinatown. The big hill on this route is a thrill and crowds are much smaller.