San Francisco Travel Tips: What First Time Visitors Should Know

san francisco travel tips

San Francisco is a city unlike any other. While there are plenty of places to see in California, this is one sure never to disappoint. Dubbed The Golden City, San Francisco is a fun, beautiful, and unique destination, loved by avid travelers far and wide. However, for those visiting for the first time, it can be more of a challenge to enjoy. With high costs, difficult driving, and cold weather, you need to know your stuff to avoid disappointments. With that in mind, here are six tips for you.

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Leave Your Car Behind

San Francisco is a small and compact city, with most of the tourist sites quite close together. It’s also one with very little parking, where the few spots that are available can cost you more than a meal. To avoid any unnecessary hassle or cost, you should leave your car behind and instead use the many public transport options available. For ease and savings, buy a MUNI passport.

Make Reservations In Advance

Being one of the most haunted cities in America, most tourists of San Francisco visit on the hunt for ghosts and ghoulies. If that was your plan for your time away, be sure you make reservations early. Whether you’re heading to Alcatraz or a haunted house, paranormal investigation tours fill up fast. For your best chance at spotting something spooky, you’ll want to book in advance.

Wear Really Comfortable Shoes

While it’s quite easy to hop onto public transport, San Francisco is more a city for walkers, especially if you want to get a proper feel for the place. Unfortunately, with so many hills to climb, exploring can really take its toll on your feet. To keep you feeling your best and avoid any nasty blisters, make sure that you pack and wear a pair of really comfortable shoes.

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Always Wrap Up Warm

This city is famous for its microclimates. At one moment you’ll be feeling an icy chill, but the moment the sun comes out, you’ll overheat quickly. To make the most out of your time, you need to wrap up warm, wearing plenty of light layers. These will protect you from the fog and sea breeze, but can easily be removed when it starts to hot up, keeping you comfortable all day.

Watch Out For Pickpockets

Although it is a generally safe city, like many other popular tourist destinations, San Francisco does have a pickpocket problem. As long as you try to blend in and don’t leave any valuables out in the open, you should be just fine, but it’s important that you stay vigilant. Pay extra attention to your surroundings around popular attractions and Pier 39.

Choose The Right Hotel

Most first-time visitors to San Francisco enquire about hotels along well-known streets, like Lombard and Van Ness. Unfortunately, these aren’t the most ideal places to stay. Not only are they loud and inconvenient, but they can also get quite pricey. The best areas for tourists are usually Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square.

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If you’re planning a trip to The Golden City sometime soon, be sure you remember the travel tips above.


All images in collages via Pinterest.


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