Backpackers Guide to San Francisco

You can afford to travel

San Francisco is my favourite city in the US. I have visited twice and would happily go back. I spend most my days in San Francisco exploring the beautiful city by foot or watching the seals play on Pier 39. If this isn’t your type of trip, don’t worry. San Francisco is such a diverse city and has something to offer everyone. All the options of things to do in San Francisco will be revealed in this guide.  Lets get into it.

Things to do in San Francisco

Marin Headland: Offers famous views of  the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, as seen below. Who doesn’t want that token shot in front of the Golden Gate Bridge? You can drive to Marin Headland or you can hire a bike from downtown and do the bike track over the bridge and to Marin Headland. This is very popular amongst tourists.

PS excuse the bad photo quality. I visited San Francisco before photography or travel blogging was of interest to me.

Backpackers Guide to San Francisco: Things to do in San Francisco, places to stay, day trips and other travel tips

The photo below is taken on the other side of Golden Gate Bridge. Backpackers Guide to San Francisco: Things to do in San Francisco, places to stay, day trips and other travel tips

Pier 39: You can walk down to Pier 39 and admire the seals and sea lions as they play. This is one of my favourite pass times in San Francisco.

Backpackers Guide to San Francisco: Things to do in San Francisco, places to stay, day trips and other travel tips

Alcatraz: The view of the city from Alcatraz is one of the best. You can catch the ferry to Alcatraz from Pier 39 or you can arrange a tour with hotel pick up. This tour includes hotel pick up and a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge before boarding the Ferry to Alcatraz.

Backpackers Guide to San Francisco: Things to do in San Francisco, places to stay, day trips and other travel tipsBackpackers Guide to San Francisco: Things to do in San Francisco, places to stay, day trips and other travel tips

Colt Tower:  The Colt Tower offers great views of San Francisco from up high.

China Town: China Town is a famous part of downtown San Francisco. Add it to your walking itinerary.

Lombard Street: The most famous street in San Francisco and perhaps the world. Lombard Street is a part of the 1 day tour of San Francisco. Click here to book a 1 day tour of San Francisco

Book a day tour of San Francisco:  Highlights include Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street, San Francisco Bay Cruise, Twin Peaks and Union Square. Click here to book a 1 day tour of San Francisco

Day Trips From San Francisco

Visit Napa Valley: Famous Wine country just outside of San Francisco. Click here to Explore Napa Valley.

Things to do in San Francisco - Napa Valley

Take a tour to Yosemite from San Francisco: I would personally recommend hiring a car and venturing into Yosemite Valley on your own, but you can book tours into Yosemite Valley. Book a day trip into Yosemite Valley here.

Backpackers Guide to San Francisco: Things to do in San Francisco, places to stay, day trips and other travel tips

See my full guide to Yosemite Valley here. 

Climate in San Francisco

Summer: June – August

Winter: December – February

I recommend travelling to San Francisco in spring. The weather will be warm and that’s when you will see the most seals hanging out on Pier 39.

Recommended trip length to San Francisco

I recommend staying in San Francisco for at least 7 days to give yourself time to explore the city and surrounding regions.

Getting to and around San Francisco

If travelling internationally or from far away, fly into San Francisco Airport. From the airport you can take a bus, taxi or arrange a transfer to get downtown.

If in North America, you can get to San Francisco from any location on a Greyhound bus.

Once in Downtown San Francisco, I personally find that most things are within walking distance. Alternatively, I recommend using the cable car system that connects the city.

Places to stay in San Francisco 

North Beach is the best part of Downtown San Francisco in my opinion.

If you are looking for a hostel check out Green Tortoise located in North Beach near China Town. Great rates and free breakfast included.

If you are looking for a hotel, Travel Lodge on Columbus Avenue offers competitive prices and is in a fantastic location near Fisherman Wharf and Pier 39. They have the comfiest beds EVER.

Search for cheap accommodation options here.



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See more on the US here. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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