This list of best things to see and do in San Francisco, will help you prepare the routes through the most beautiful city in the United States, making the most of the time.
The city of San Francisco falls in love at first sight with its location around a bay and its European style, away from the noisy and chaotic large American cities. In addition, its mild climate and good gastronomy make it an essential stop on any trip through the Western United States.
Crossing the Golden Gate, visiting Alcatraz prison, walking through the neighborhoods of Castro and Fisherman's Wharf, reaching the Twin Peaks viewpoint or climbing to its historic tram, are just some of the reasons to visit this city of steep streets and hills.
Based on the four days we spent in the city, during our trip through the National Parks of the Western United States, we have made this list of 10 essential places to see in San Francisco. We start!
1. Golden Gate
The Golden Gate opened in 1937, is the symbol of the city and our favorite San Francisco place.
This huge orange bridge of 227 meters high and almost 3 kilometers wide that crosses the bay of San Francisco, has come out in many movies, photographs and lists of the most beautiful bridges in the world.
To get the best views you have to reach several viewpoints located around the Golden Gate and if you are lucky and there is low fog, the views can be heart attack.
One of our favorite viewpoints is Battery Spencer, which is across the bridge in the direction of Sausalito and up a small hill to the left. From this viewpoint you will have fantastic views of the bridge and the city, with the bay in the background.
Another excellent place to see the Golden Gate closer and walk the bridge is Battery East, located just before entering the bridge, on the right. From this area you can also reach Crissy Field, a perfect picnic park overlooking the bridge.
Our last recommended viewpoint is Baker Beach, a farther point but no less spectacular.
Another good way to see the Golden Gate is by booking this boat trip through the San Francisco Bay or taking the Go San Francisco Card that includes two different cruises and more than 28 attractions in the city.
2. Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf is the old port and fishing district, which has been restored to become one of the most famous places to visit in San Francisco.
To get to this neighborhood you can take one of the city's historic trams and start the route savoring a delicious ice cream at the Ghirardelli chocolate shop, the best known in the city.
From this square you can start touring the different docks such as the Hyde Street Pier with several historic ships, and the Pier 45, which houses the SS Jeremiah O'Brien and the USS Pampanito submarine, both from World War II.
Before leaving this pier, don't forget to enter the Musée Mecanique, which has hundreds of old recreational machines inside.
To end the route through this neighborhood you can spend some time in the famous Pier 39, which has an outdoor shopping center and a sea lion colony.
This area is also one of the best to try the clam chowder, one of the most typical dishes of the city that consists of a clam soup served inside a round homemade bread.
Map of places to visit in San Francisco
If you feel like helping us complete the list of 10 essential things to see and do in San Francisco, add yours in the comments.