Coit Tower in San Francisco

8 Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

April 20, 2017

Chinatown - Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

Chinatown – Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

Here are the 8 best tourist spots in San Francisco for those who are in the city for only a few days. This city is my favorite city in the US and one of my favorite cities in the World. There are many things to do in San Francisco as there are so many cool restaurants and bars as well as tourist sights.

  • Walk from the Ferry Building along the water to Fisherman’s Wharf. As you walk along the peers, you can take some great photos of the seals tanning on the beach. You can see the Alcatraz Island in the distance as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. You can visit lots of cool touristy shops at the Cannery Shopping Center along the beach. It is a great place to shop for souvenirs. All the great American chain stores can be found along Fisherman’s Wharf. Visitors can find some great fish restaurants as well to taste some local specialties such as the clam chowder soup in a bread bowl or crab cakes. If you are lucky enough to have a sunny day, a walk along the Fisherman’s Wharf can be very beautiful. The Ghirardelli Square features a variety of cool restaurants and shops. This whole area is as touristy as it gets, but it is a must for every tourist who visits San Francisco. You never have to wonder what to do in San Francisco, as there are so many places to visit here.

Art in Union Square - Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

Art in Union Square – Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

  • Take a boat cruise to Alcatraz Island to visit the prison. It is a beautiful ride on a sunny day. You can see the entire San Francisco from the distance. The island of Alcatraz is beautiful. It is one of the best places to visit in San Francisco.

Alcatraz Island - Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

Alcatraz Island – Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

It is not only the home of the famous prison and the source of lots of interesting stories about some of the most famous criminals of the 20thcentury such as Al Capone and Birdman, but it is also a horticultural gem with exotic plants and flowers planted all over the island. Visiting Alcatraz is one of the best things to do in SF.

Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

Gardens of Alcatraz – Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

I really enjoyed the tour in the prison. They also had some great art installations in the open spaces, which I thought were very interesting.

Art Installations in Alcatraz

Art Installations in Alcatraz

The audio tour around the prison is about an hour long and it allows the visitor to learn about the history of the prison to get an idea of what it was like to be an inmate or an officer on the island. Here, you can learn about some of the escape attempts of prisoners on the island. Although the prison inside is depressing, the island itself is really beautiful. You can do the tour in an afternoon and it costs about $30.

  • Go up to the Coit Tower to see the view from up there. You can see the entire San Francisco below you. You get a beautiful view of both bridges the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also see Alcatraz Island in the distance. For photographers, this is one of the best things to do in San Francisco to walk up there and take photos.

Oakland Bay Bridge

Oakland Bay Bridge

 

Golden Gate Bridge at Night

Golden Gate Bridge at Night

  • Take the tram or the BART to Castro, wonder around this gay paradise, then take the bus up to Twin Peaks. It is one of the best tourist attractions in San Francisco.

    View from Twin Peaks

    View from Twin Peaks

    You may remember the TV show from the nineties, however, Twin Peaks in San Francisco has nothing to do with the TV show. It is the highest point of the city. You can see the entire city from up there. The view is incredible. You may want to go up there after sunset to see the whole city lit up below, however, there might be some clouds and there is a chance you won’t see anything. It is certainly worth a try. You may get lucky and see an incredible view of the big city by night. Seeing the city from above is one of the best things to see in San Francisco.

  • If you are going to going to San Francisco, make sure to take a walk from Union Square which is the center of the city, check out the art installations on the square, then head up north to Chinatown. Visiting this area is one of the fun things to do in San Francisco.

    Chinatown Gate - San Francisco

    Chinatown Gate – San Francisco

    This is the largest Chinatown in the US. It is colorful and fascinating. You can see Chinese decorations and colorful murals with the Chinese zodiac signs as you are walking up North on the streets. You can buy all sorts of stuff, that you will never need. Even the Citibank looks like a Chinese Palace. After Chinatown, continue your way up North and explore the Italian Quarter, North Beach. Exploring the different neighborhoods of the city is one of the top things to do in San Francisco.

    North Beach Murals

    North Beach Murals

    This part of town hosts many Italian restaurants and pastry stores. It is a pleasant place to hang out on a sunny day. Then hike up to Washington Square, stroll around the park and check out the Saints Peter and Paul Church, where Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio in 1954. You never have to wonder what to see in San Francisco as there are so many sights to visit all over the city.

    Saint Peter and Paul Curch in San Francisco

    Saint Peter and Paul Curch in San Francisco

    If you have more energy left, then you should keep walking north until you hit Lombard Street. It is the crookedest street in the World. It requires some serious driving skills to drive down from the top of the hill. It is one of the coolest places to see in San Francisco.

    Lombard Street in San Francisco

    Lombard Street in San Francisco

    After taking some photos, walk over to Powell Street and hop on a historical tram and ride it down from the top of the hill to Market Street. It’s great fun to be traveling like the locals, hanging on the side of the tram and you get to see the whole city along the way. The tram is one of the most fun attractions in San Francisco.

  • Rent a bike on Fisherman’s Wharf and bike across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. The bridge and Sausalito are two of my favorite places to go in San Francisco. The views are stunning and Sausalito is a pretty little town. It takes about 3 hours to bike over. Sausalito is a great place for lunch or an ice-cream and you can hop back on the ferry to go back to San Francisco with your bike. It is a great boat ride if you want to take some stunning photos of San Francisco as well as Sausalito from the distance.
  • Check out the Golden Gate Park. It s a beautiful, giant park with lots of cool places to discover inside. It is one of the best San Francisco places to visit.

    Golden Gate Park - San Francisco Points of Interest

    Golden Gate Park – San Francisco Points of Interest

    If you are an art lover you want to see the collection of the de Young Museum. There are some interesting art pieces in the DeYoung Museum, however, it is not the greatest art museum, I have ever seen. It is one of the important San Francisco tourist spots.

    Keith Hering at the De Young Museum - Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

    Keith Hering at the De Young Museum – Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

    There is a pretty Botanical Garden and as well as a Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park. It is one of the best things to do in San Fran.

    Japanese Tea Garden - Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

    Japanese Tea Garden – Best Tourist Spots in San Francisco

    There is a small entrance fee to enter these parts of the park, but they are totally worth seeing.

  • For fun nightlife and great Latin American food, check out the Mission District. Here you can find some amazing Mexican, Peruvian, Colombian restaurants and some really interesting bars as well. Visiting this area is a must do in San Francisco for those who love ethnic cuisines.  You can find cheap Mexican food open 24/7 as well as food stands everywhere. Bands are playing on the street. It is a really fascinating neighborhood where lots of different ethnicities blend together. Mr Pollo was one of my favorite restaurants in the hood. It’s a Colombian place that makes great Arepas. Limon Rotisserie is a famous Peruvian place, famous for its grilled chicken. Puerto Alegre is an excellent Mexican Restaurant in Mission.
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8 Things To Do in San Francisco, California| San Francisco Points of Interest| Best Places in San Francisco | Jet-settera Travel Blog | San Francisco Travel Tips

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About Barbara

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She started traveling through Paris, London, New York, Milan, Tokyo at the age of 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since, she has visited 67 countries. She writes about the most exclusive jet-set destinations such as Cannes, Venice Film Festivals, Monaco Grand Prix, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris as well as yacht parties in St-Tropez, Miami Art Basel, Biennale in Venice, Frieze in London or the Royal Wedding in Monaco.

  • Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos! San Francisco is such a dynamic and lively city!

    • Thanks for your comment, I am so glad you liked my photos. 🙂

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