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San Francisco

There are two things you can always count on in San Francisco: one is the fog that covers the Bay almost every day and makes the city look so mystical, and the other is the San Franciscans’ unshakeable love of life.

There probably isn’t another city in the world that can hold its own against this Pacific peninsula, with the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge between the frothy Pacific and the expansive bay, the delightful charm of the Victorian houses and the incomparable hills and steep streets of San Francisco.

But «The City», as the locals call it, has also always been a hotbed of revolutionary thought. The flower children proclaimed their love revolution in Haight-Ashbury, and at the beginning of the 1970s a self-assured homosexual community created a vibrant sanctuary amongst the romantic villas of Castro. Then Silicon Valley conquered the world. The abundance of green in San Francisco and the relaxed atmosphere attract intellectuals, creative minds and liberals from all over the world.

The city is a colourful melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups. The city doesn’t always strike visitors as being typically American, but more as European with South American/Asian touches. And there’s something else that’s an important part of San Francisco – just as much as the Golden Gate Bridge: its fabulous seafood. So let’s head for Fishermans Wharf!

City Facts

  • Location

    City on the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast of the United States in the state of California.

  • Population

    about 805,000

  • Size

    600.7 km2

  • Public transport

    Very well developed with buses, trams, cable cars and underground.

  • Climate

    Mediterranean climate, but greatly influenced by its position on the Pacific coast.

  • Best time to visit

    Any time of the year. There are lots of tourists between June and September.

  • Good to know

    San Francisco was named after St. Francis – that is, Francis of Assisi.

  • Nice to know

    Scott McKenzie’s ode to San Francisco remains the city’s «hymn» to this day.

  • Airport

    San Francisco International Airport (SFO), approx. 21 km from the city centre

  • Bus

    Minibus (approx. 9 seats) takes tourists to their hotels, so the journey can take between 30 and 50 minutes. Booking essential.

  • Railway

    BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) goes to the city every 15 minutes between 4.00 and 0.00 Monday - Friday, 6.00 and 0.00 Saturday, and 8.00 and 0.00 Sunday. The journey to Market Street takes approx. 25 minutes, from where there are MUNI buses to almost every hotel in the city.

  • Taxi

    Taxi ranks are outside the airport terminal; quickest connection to the city. The journey takes about 30 minutes and costs approx. $50.