San Francisco is a fascinating city, and has undergone many changes over the years. With its hippy-ish Haight-Asbury district, the marina, and the bustling downtown area, there's much to see and do.
The city reminded me of New York , in parts. Although nowhere near as large - and rather more hilly! – the grid-like city streets and walkable downtown area with it's shops, restaurants and offices, offer some similarity to bustling East Coast city.
Some parts of San Francisco can still be slightly dodgy and unappealing. Really the best rule of thumb is not to go walking at night in less salubrious parts, and to take taxis, or cabs, to your destination. (These are readily available and, as SF is rather a compact city, fares won't be too costly.) In fact, upon checking into our hotel on Geary Street, very close to the busy Union Square, we were told not to go walking South or West for that very reason!
If you don't have a car in San Francisco – and one really isn't necessary – the best way of seeing the city sights would be to join a bus tour. If you're staying in a hotel, they should be able to book you onto one (with a pick up from the hotel for the tour) or at least give you details.
San Francisco can be easily reached with international flights from Europe, as well as many flights from elsewhere in the US - so, connecting flights provide you with even more options. Flight time is approximately 12 hours from London.
1: Introduction > 2: What to See > 3: Where to Stay > 4: Where to Eat & Drink > 5: Other Tips