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Things To Know Before You Go To San Francisco

family posing in front of bay bridge san francisco

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Are you planning to visit San Francisco for the first time and not sure what to expect? Then you’ve come to the right place.

San Francisco is the thirteenth largest city in the USA and is well known for its iconic attractions like The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, but because of its size and plethora of things to do, it can often be overwhelming knowing how to plan a vacation here.

In this guide, we share everything you need to know before you go to San Francisco so you can make the most of your trip, save money, stay safe, and travel around with ease.

Bay Bridge, San Francisco

Things To Know Before Visiting San Francisco

We spent one week in San Francisco and had a great time exploring the city. It reminded us a lot of our hometown in Australia, Sydney.

Here are some of the things we wish we knew before we went…

1. Walk, Walk, Walk

girls jumping next to statues

Whilst San Francisco is quite hilly, but we found it a great city to explore by foot.

It’s quite a compact place with lot’s of things to discover on every corner, and it’s a good way to get your exercise for the day.

Just be sure to take appropriate clothing as the weather can change pretty quickly. Pack a jacket and wear comfortable shoes. It can feel like a bit of a hike getting around San Fran.

I recommend you choose a district and explore one per day, from the Mission District to Haight Ashbury. Downtown is pretty cool too, and we found many great places to eat near Union Square.

2. Go Biking in San Francisco

man with bike on golden gate bridge
Biking in San Francisco is cheap

One of our favorite things to do was bike the Golden Gate Bridge, continue through Sausalito and finish at the charming seaside town of Tiburon. Here you can dine in one of the fine restaurants with spectacular views, or get take out fish and chips and sit in the park.

When you’re ready to call it a day, return on the Tiburon ferry and as you’re cruising back, scan the horizon to reflect on the incredible journey you have just experienced.

When we visited with San Francisco with kids, we biked around Golden Gate Park, which was a lovely way to see it, as it’s quite big.

Check out Blazing Saddles for your biking needs. You can book bikes in advance from here, which also include ferry tickets back. There is also the option to join a bike tour.

3. Ride a Cable Car in San Francisco

cable car going down the street

A fun and historic way to get around…

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