Travel guide - San Francisco
The tall buildings have been replaced with Victorian houses and steep streets. California’s beaches and iconic palm trees have given way to the mysterious fog that rises in the bay. Cultural diversity, architectural originality, a warm and peaceful atmosphere ... San Francisco is considered an exception within the United States.
The ideal starting point for a tour of San Francisco is at the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Opened in 1937, it connects San Francisco to Marin County, 1.6 kilometres away. You can cross the bridge by foot or by bike, and enjoy magnificent views of the bay. It's also very nice to go through Golden Gate Park and its 411 hectares of botanical gardens and museums.
Still at the water’s edge, Pier 39 is a place of pure entertainment. In addition to its unique view of the Golden Gate and Alcatraz, and watching the sea lions, you’ll find numerous restaurants and shops here. There are plenty of original attractions to discover, such as the musical stairs and a hall of mirrors.
The city of San Francisco is known for its very steep streets. You can navigate them using the famous funicular, introduced in 1873. They’ll take you to Lombard Street, the most winding street in the world, with its houses and colourful flower beds.
Seeing San Francisco is also to discover the various cultures that coexist here. First there’s the Italian quarter of North Beach, known for its vibrant nightlife and its tai chi sessions right in the middle of Washington Square. Or the famous Chinatown, symbolised by Waverly Place. And finally, the Mission District neighbourhood where you can immerse yourself in a typically Mexican atmosphere.
San Francisco is well known as the city where the hippie movement grew up in the United States. And over the years, it has retained this unique image as a relaxed and peaceful city.
For information on all your tourism needs, such as visas, healthcare and useful numbers, make sure to read our Practical Information guide before you go on holiday.Discover our practical information