San Francisco

Glimmering San Francisco has been luring travelers to its bay since long before Tony Bennett immortalized it in song. Prices soared as bohemia gave way to tech, but you’ll still find a friendly, innovative and (if you’re creative) affordable vacation city. From Dungeness crab at Fisherman’s Wharf to the Poetry Room at City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco’s sure to win your heart.


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did you know?

San Francisco fog not only has a name (Karl), but it also has an Instagram account with more than 250,000 followers. You can tag Karl, who’s verified, while posting your own shots of him creeping over the Golden Gate Bridge.



Early spring (March and April) and fall (September to November) are seasonal and ideal times to visit San Francisco. Bring a light jacket for cool nights, especially by the bay. Prices will spike for football games in the fall and baseball in the spring.
Late spring and summertime (May through August) in San Francisco are cooler than in most beach towns in California, and travel prices rise with the tourist influx.


Visas: Travelers from outside the United States will need a valid passport, as well as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) eligibility or a full visa.
Money: Currency is in U.S. dollars, and ATMs are easily found.
Travel Health: Travelers (including U.S. citizens) should check for vaccinationproof of negative COVID-19 test and face mask requirements, as well as any travel restrictions, before planning their trip. Masks are required on San Francisco public transportation, regardless of vaccination status. Before traveling, research and prepare for what to do if you get sick while away. Get updated guidance on health and safety from the California Department of Public Health website.


Getting Here: San Francisco International Airport (SFO), 13 miles south of San Francisco, is the main hub for flying to the city. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) high-speed rail connects SFO to the city, and the station is in the International Terminal. (Take the free SFO AirTrain to connect to BART.)
Getting Around: Every BART rider needs a Clipper Card, now available on your phone for contactless payments. You can take a cable car ride with your Clipper Card, too.


Local Lingo: The city’s iconic cable cars aren’t called streetcars — doing so is a dead giveaway that you’re not a local. The 415 is the area code and also a slang term that describes something uniquely San Franciscan. Tech Bros are Silicon Valley’s web wizards who came up with everything from Uber to Airbnb. Locals don’t call it Frisco. Ever.
Must-Have Apps: BARTUber
Insider Tip: Hiking the hills is a favorite form of San Francisco calf-building, and Bernal Hill is a favorite for locals and travelers alike. The 360-degree views, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the soaring skyscrapers downtown, make it a highly Instagram-worthy panorama.