Leave impressive monuments of architecture and tedious trips to museums. The days in San Francisco are best spent on the eponymous bay bathing in the sun in the process of digesting generous seafood – regardless of whether you are a man or one of the seals of the sea lion subspecies, gracefully dangling and hitting the abdomen against the water at Pier -39.
With its 43 hills and a population consisting entirely of eccentrics, freethinkers, crazy inventors, and just eclectic people, this city stubbornly refuses to descend from the clouds to the ground. Instead, reality rises to the heights of San Francisco’s eccentricities: with all these parrots plowing treetops, restaurants with the ingenious cuisine of chefs-maestros, and wandering poets who do not utter a single unrhymed word. In a word, the crazy San Francisco is not for the faint of heart, but it is worth the money, nerves and megabytes of a digital camera.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN SAN FRANCISCO
• Bay Bridge: Between the famous Golden Gate Bridge and a little less known among tourists, but also very important, the bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland, lies a long beautiful promenade. If you go from the Golden Gate, the parks and yacht clubs will gradually give way to almost straight Embarcadero embankment. Locals run here, walk with dogs, play with frisbees. You can stop and rest in one of the seafood restaurants with an amazing view of the bay.
• Dine in Chinatown: Once you have wandered into Chinatown, you will understand right away: English will give way to hieroglyphs on all the plates you see. Red Chinese lanterns will swing to the wind in time with their heads. Have a snack here or pork buns, fried crab, pot stickers or even delicious noodles. The unremarkable institution, the tastier and more authentic. Wrap right where no one speaks English at all. In Chinatown, you can get enough for 2-3 dollars. And to listen to a blind Chinese on a single-stringed instrument, the city will offer you generally free of charge.
• Sit on the grass near the Painted Ladies: Alamo Square is a wonderful place in the middle of the city. Dogs sit on the green hills and just lovers of basking in the sun. A nice view of the city opens from here – bridges and downtown are visible. And against the background of all this beauty, the famous San Francisco Victorian houses Painted Ladies lined up.
• Ride on cable trams: This is purely tourist fun, but it is worth it. The route of the trams runs alongside the famous winding Lombard Street. Hold there, walk the street on your own two. You will open one of the most classic San Francisco landscapes.
• Visit the Latin Quarter: You turn away from the center and find yourself in another world, similar to the game GTA or some Bronx. The Latin Quarter, or Mission, attracts the best Mexican cuisine, Latin American music and Spanish culture.
• Spending time in bars in the evenings. Bars San Francisco – inexhaustible theme. Every day someone performs in the bars, plays jazz, beer is poured, smells in the air are by no means tobacco. You can wander into the random door and “run into” Gypsy jazz or a dance party in the style of Balboa.
• Get stuck on Pier 39: It is good to come here in the morning, to see how the ocean wakes up. And then come back in the evening when the lights of restaurants are on at the Pier. Watch the fur seals, dine at the Bubba Gump restaurant, which is based on the movie Forrest Gump. Justbreathethefreshseaair.
• Trample Haight Ashbury: On Haight Ashbury, you need to spend at least a whole evening, smoothly turning into night. Here on the hills it is often colder and more foggy, so take with you an extra sweater and / or chamomile tea. You can find yourself in the sixties, hang out with hippies, they can tell a lot (probably). Some hippies have been sitting here since the sixties themselves.
• Buy vinyl records in Amoeba music: Just near Haight Ashbury is a huge store-treasure trove for music lovers. In Amoeba music sell records and CDs of all times and peoples, all genres and styles. Do not pass by – everyone will find here something interesting for themselves.
• Visit Alcatraz: A small island in the San Francisco Bay has been used for many years as a military prison for particularly dangerous criminals. It was difficult to escape from here – icy waters and strong winds are raging around. Now Alcatraz has become an interesting museum. There are interactive excursions here – a great way to spend half a day.
TYPICAL COSTS WHEN TRAVELLING
Accommodation – The most expensive and prestigious “five-star” San Francisco compactly located in the city center. The cost of the cheapest double room in it is 350 USD in low season, in summer it is 50% higher. The geography of 4 star hotels is already outside the center. Their infrastructure, as a rule, includes restaurants, bars, indoor and outdoor pools, spa and fitness centers and is not inferior to more stellar counterparts. But the prices are much lower – 160-335 USD.
Food – San Francisco is called the gastronomic capital of America. The expense of its restaurants, cafes, bars, snack bars and other facade goes to thousands, and in popular tourist places expensive restaurants coexist peacefully with ordinary pizzerias and cheap eateries. Seafood lovers should head to the Fisherman’s Wharf.French cuisine is presented in restaurants on Union Square, and the best places with Italian cuisine should be found in the North Beach area. Mexico’s gastronomic proximity is well felt in the Mission area
A complex lunch in a Chinese restaurant is about 15 USD per person, dinner with a glass of wine in a fish restaurant is from 50 USD, a sandwich in a street eatery is 4-6 USD.
Transportation – San Francisco public transport is operated by the SFMTA operator. This is a network of 100 bus routes, trolley buses, land and underground high-speed trams Muni Metro. Taxis are waiting for passengers at specially designated parking areas, they can be called by phone or stopped on the street with a wave of the hand. The cost of a trip around the city is 15-20 USD.Renting a bike for a long time in other rental companies costs from 8/35 USD per hour / day.F those who want to go on trips along the coast or to the wine country, a car rental will cost about 42 USD per day without insurance, plus gasoline.
Suggested daily budget – 150 USD per a day
MONEY SAVING TIPS
1 Use your imagination and have some cheap fun! A lot of things can be obtained for free: the natural beauty of the city, street festivals, walks in parks, opening galleries or an idle conversation. Other pleasures are super cheap, such as Vietnamese noodles, subway line N to the beach, or so-called happy auras at Mission dive bars.
2 Where to search for cheap hotels?The farther from the center the hotel is located – the more attractive the price-quality ratio. Other things being equal, the cheapest hotels should be searched in the area of the international airport.
3 Opt for 2-3 star no matter where you are! The most democratic hotels 2-3 star is in any area of the city. The presence of a restaurant or pool in them is optional, and the cost of a room is 80-200 USD. Approximately the same number is in a motel at a distance of 2-6 km from the center – a good choice for not too demanding road trippers who do not want to spend extra money on paid parking.
4 San Francisco City Pass: A good way to reduce the cost of museums and public transport is to purchase a San Francisco CityPASS. Its owner is entitled to a free cruise around the San Francisco Bay, a visit to the Museum of the Academy of Sciences of California, an aquarium and, optionally, the Exploratorium Museum or the Museum de Young.A subscription can be paid in advance via the Internet and received at the ticket office of the first object of the visit. Validity 9 days. For three consecutive days of this period, the subscription allows you to make an unlimited number of trips on public transport, including historic cable cars. CityPASS costs USD 89 for adults and USD 69 for children 5-11 years old.
ON THE SCENE?
The nightlife of San Francisco is as diverse as the city itself, and every bar and club in the city has its own unique image and lives in its own rhythm. In the Sonoma area are located nightclubs, where they play mainly electronic music, hip-hop. Rock culture lovers should visit the Mission area. More elegant (but no less fun and noisy) bars and clubs are located in the Marina area. San Francisco’s North Beach is open to visitors all night, and the main street of the city is flooded with neon lights of clubs and bars. Among the variety of nightclubs in San Francisco is difficult to select the best, because each club has its own unique atmosphere. There are a lot of themed clubs and bars in the city, so guests of San Francisco who prefer night disco to sleep will surely be pleasantly surprised.