San Francisco, often abbreviated as San Fran, SF, Frisco or The City is the cultural, financial and commercial centre of Northern California.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
For the Emergency services just dial 911 from any phone, for not so serious situations please dial 415-553-0123.
Click on the text to visit their website.
San Francisco has a multitude of public transport options, which may seem overwhelming at first glance – so we’ve broken it down a little to help. With the city’s windy, hilly streets, high parking fees and a break-in epidemic, driving in the city is not recommended.
SFO is the main airport for San Francisco.
Click on the text to visit their website.
The San Francisco public transportation system includes:
- City buses (called Muni)
- Streetcars/Trolleys (called Muni Metro)
- BART trains (Bay Area Rapid Transit)
- Cable cars
- San Francisco Bay Ferries
- Golden Gate Ferries
- Golden Gate Transit (SF & North Bay buses)
- PresidiGo (free shuttle)
San Fran Safety
How do I keep up with the news?
What are some safety tips I should know?
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
The city has a large number of beggars or panhandlers as they are sometimes known, if you don’t want to give, simply say no thank you and past them by. Most will not continue to bother you.
The Muni passport is great and gives visitors freedom on public transport around the city. It is good to take a look at a map or planner to see you route around the city before you leave for your days adventure.
When withdrawing cash from ATM try to go inside the bank. Beware of withdrawing cash from cash points on pedestrian walkways. Try to withdraw small sums and don’t flash your cash around even in the bank.
What are the common crimes?
Beware of pickpockets as they tend to operate in tourist areas, keep your belongings secure at all times and be careful if strangers try to make conversation or distract you as it could be an attempt to steal your valuables.
Car thieves normally target expensive cars but there are some exceptional situations where rental cars have been broken in to. Park the car in well lit areas and use car park with CCTV. Don’t leave valuables on your car seat as it could attract criminals, drive with the car door locked all times.
Credit card fraud, cloning cards can be an issue be careful where you use your cards. Also if you are withdrawing money from cash machines make sure you cover your pin and be discreet about the amount of cash you withdraw.
What areas should I avoid?
South of Market is very quiet, especially at night, except for weekends; take care if travelling in this area, think of taking a taxi if you are leaving a club or bar late.
The Mission District is also known for getting a little unsafer after dark, keep your wits about you and try not to make yourself a target for opportunists.
The Tenderloin was named by the police as they used to get extra for patrolling, it is one of the lower ends of the city, take extra care if you are visiting the area and after dark it is advised to take a taxi or travel in groups.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
San Francisco Sketchfest
Sketchfest is one of the highlights for the city and is a nationally recognised comedy, people love comedians and getting involved in the shows. There are plenty of arts performing in various locations around the city. The festival has a great vibe and lots of people laughing.
San Francisco Jazz Festival
A cool jazz festival held each year, the festival sees many local and international Jazz musicians descend on the city to perform written and improvised pieces in various venues across the city. A great event with fun and relaxed atmosphere well worth checking out.
North Beach Festival
The North beach festival is one of San Francisco’s oldest street fairs, it offers a fantastic mix of arts and crafts as well as traditional and local delights. A great atmosphere with real sense of creativity in the air.
San Francisco Marathon and Half Marathon
The San Francisco Marathon caters for all competitors whether they are competing in the full 26 miles looking for a winning time to a 5 km run or walk, everyone can take part and enjoy as well as raising a lot of money for charity. A great event and fun had by all.
San Fran Highlights
Are there any key events to look out for?
The Alcatraz Triathlon brings together the 1.5 mile swim from fortress then in to an 18 mile bike ride finishing with an8 mile run. It is a well loved event with many thousands of people participating. It’s a great fun day and most people choose to raise money for charity. For more information, click the title above.
The San Francisco International Film Festival has been running for nearly 60 years and pulls together many greats from the film world. It has many categories for competition and winning in certain expertise has great reverence in the film industry. A great event with many top budget films premiering each year.
Local craft beer legacy and culture celebrated with as many as 150 events including beer dinners, cheese and beer pairing events; meet the brewer evenings, demonstrations, music and films from Monterey to Sacramento and beyond.
What are the highlight attractions?
Alcatraz Island is also known as “The Rock”, it was a military prison and then become a federal prison, many famous prisoners and the status that no one could escape, it is now a National Historic Landmark and guided tours are given on a daily basis, its well worth a visit to get in insight in to what life was like for the inmates.
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is the largest urban park in the city covering around 1,000 acres. There is plenty of space but also plenty of visitors, the park is loved by residents and tourists alike. It is well worth a visit to wander and enjoy the natural but well kept fauna and flora.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the major landmarks of the city, the suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate which is the mouth in to the Pacific Ocean. The bridge has iconic statue in many photographs and looks beautiful when the sea fog rolls in across the bay, it used to be the longest bridges in the world spanning 1,280 meters.
San Francisco Cable Car
The San Francisco cable car system is the last manually operated cable car system in the world. It is still a great way to get around the city, and tours take people along route that has been in operation of decades. They are a great attraction and add to the city’s charm, most the drivers also have a certain amount of charm and add to the experience.
What other attractions should I visit?
AT&T Park is a huge ballpark mainly used for Major League Baseball games. It is the proud home of the San Francisco Giants, for visitors to the city it’s well worth trying to get in on the action and see a game. It’s a real insight in to the American sporting life and culture.
Lombard Street is the famous steep street with the tight hairpins. It has featured in many movies, when you see it and the cars going round the turns you wont believe how tight it is and that they actually built a road on the incline, a definite photo opportunity.
Pier 39 is a really cool shopping centre with everything you could imagine, the place has all the shops you want and its interlaced with various attractions, cafes, restaurants. A really good place to visit, the atmosphere is great and you will find many street performers that add to its charm and energy. I must see if you are visiting the city, be careful as you are sure to spend some money. There are also great views from the pier across the bay and beyond.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a chilled out neighbourhood and a beautiful spot in the waterfront area of the city. The wharf now offers visitors and tourists a lovely insight in to how people used to live and use the area, there are also some great restaurants to enjoy beautifully cooked seafood that has just been pulled from the ocean.