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The charming city of San Francisco is home to plenty of iconic landmarks, fascinating neighbourhoods, and remarkable attractions, including the haunting prison island of Alcatraz and the traditional cable cars that trundle along its steep streets.
This city in northern California is known for its laid-back atmosphere, great eateries, jazz bars, café culture and microbreweries. So if it's vibrant culture you're after, you've come to the right place. Whether you're visiting the Museum of Modern Art, taking in a show, or heading to the Castro district - the cultural centre of the city's LGBT community - there much to see and enjoy.
San Francisco is a series of very different districts; so figuring out where to book a city hotel is the first thing to consider when planning a break here.
Fisherman's Wharf is popular among travellers. Located on the waterfront, it has lots of seafood restaurants, as well as ferry pick-ups to Alcatraz. This area is also home to the well-known Pier 39 with its numerous shops, eateries and bars.
The Golden Gate district has a number of fashionable neighbourhoods, such as Pacific Heights. Many historic landmarks, including the iconic rust-coloured span of the Golden Gate Bridge, are located here.
The largest Chinatown outside of Asia is in San Francisco. It is well worth a visit. The spectacular city views from the Art-Deco Coit Tower, in Pioneer Park, are also just a 15-minute walk from Chinatown.
San Francisco is home to a number of great outdoor spaces. Corona Heights Park, Land's End Coastal Trail and the Golden Gate Park are popular attractions.
Just remember to book early if you are travelling during one of the many cultural events that take place in San Francisco throughout the year. These include the International Film Festival in April and May, and the Independence Day Festival on 4 July.
Book your flights to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and then look for the perfect hotel in San Francisco. With TravelSupermarket, the ideal place to stay could be at your fingertips in minutes.
There are plenty of hotels in San Francisco and a range of accommodation options to fit your budget and wish list…
There are high-end city hotels, such as the Sheraton or the Meridien, offering a full range of amenities. There are mid-range chain brands such as Ramada, Hilton, Holiday Inn and Starwood. And there are B&Bs and motels on the outskirts of the city for those looking for budget accommodation.
The main tourist highlights are spread quite far apart in San Francisco. So wherever you stay, you’ll have to do a fair bit of travelling, whether that’s on foot, in a hire car, or on the network of public transportation, which includes the iconic cable cars. Don’t worry though, it’s easy to get around (and who could grumble about transport when it’s as fun and memorable as rolling along on a tram? Ding ding!).
Union Square is about as central as you can get in San Francisco and the area is dotted with mid-range and four- and five-star hotels. There are plenty of shops and restaurants around Union Square.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a popular area for tourist hotels in San Francisco. With Alcatraz and Pier 39 close by, you can tick off two highlights with ease. You’ll find the big chains here, such as Marriott, Holiday Inn, Hilton and Sheraton, as well as a number of independently owned hotels. As the area is so popular, room prices tend to be a little higher than in other districts.
If your trip to San Francisco covers a weekend and you’re looking for a bargain hotel, consider those in the Financial District, which are full of business guests during the week but offer deals at weekends.
There are also a number of attractive rooms and prices at wonderful Victorian B&Bs around the Golden Gate Park area, which is a bit more of a hike from the central tourism core of San Francisco.
Hotel prices at San Francisco airport can seem cheap. But be aware that the airport is at least a 20-minute drive from the city centre and you could waste time and money travelling between the two. It’s probably worth paying extra to stay as centrally as possible to make the most of your holiday.
With all of this information in mind, search for hotels in San Francisco on TravelSupermarket and open up the map view to check out hotel deals by area. Using this plus our super sliders and handy filters, you can locate your ideal hotel in just a few clicks.
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From the city's notorious island prison to the sea lions of Pier 39, San Francisco’s iconic attractions lure millions of visitors each year...
Top five attractions
Journey to Alcatraz Island and shut yourself away behind those thick prison doors to discover what life was like for its inmates. Tickets to visit the Rock can sell out, especially during holiday periods and at weekends, so it makes sense to book in advance. Tickets to the night tours are snapped up even quicker, so book extra early to enjoy this haunting experience.
Golden Gate Bridge
Another unmistakable icon of the city skyline, the soaring pieces of this famous bridge simply must be seen up close. If you hire a car in San Francisco, a drive across the bridge is not to be missed.
A huge range of shops, eateries and family attractions are located at Pier 39, which is famous for the sea lions that have made their home on the floating docks. Take time to watch these giants of the marine world lazing in the sun.
The biggest outside Asia, San Francisco's Chinatown is a must see – it's an exciting and vibrant area and the only place to go for authentic Chinese food.
The most famous stretch of Lombard Street winds tightly and steeply down the hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets. Walk or drive to see the astonishing hairpin bends (there are eight of them) that make it the wiggliest street in the world.
Read on to discover what's on when in non-stop San Francisco...
Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival; April: Head to San Francisco's Japantown in spring to taste the traditions of Japan. Take tea, see taiko drummers and witness parades while, of course, the glorious cherry blossoms bloom.
Carnaval; May: Held over the Memorial Day weekend, this is a two-day riot of colourful costumes, music, dancing and non-stop partying. There's a new theme every year and the festive atmosphere is infectious - just try and stop your body dancing to the beats!
San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration; June: This city is known for celebrating its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents and visitors. Nowhere is this show of love more evident than the annual Pride Parade, when thousands take to the streets to enjoy the carnival atmosphere.