CONCLUSON, TIPS AND COMMENTARY:
Airline: We traveled with Norwegian, it took 10 hours from Sweden, on a no-stop flight. The food was, as always, not great, but other than that is was a very good deal and smooth journey. Furthermore the service from the flight attendants was great. Also, a lot of cool people in the flight to SF. The flight was delayed and when people started to become a bit restless a guy took out his guitar and started playing and singing and a girl started doing yoga, and I felt like ”yeah this is going to be a good trip”. I was right 😉
If you rent a car: Chose a hotel with their own parking lots/area, otherwise it’s going to be a lot more expensive with parking and a lot more complicated because you have to go around looking for a house or a space for parking, preferably one that has some security so nothing ”happens” to the car.
Food. Food cost a lot and breakfast out is expensive and something a Swede like me isn’t really used to. Breakfast can easily cost US$ 35-45 tip included which can mount up to quite a bit if you’re away for a longer period of time. We ate breakfast in a restaurant almost every morning when in a city, and our breakfast (for 2 people) went for about US$ 45 almost every time, but then we also had a lot of food, coffee and gave about 20% in tip every time. It’s difficult as a Swede to know what to do with tipping but sine we know that the service workers are highly dependent on getting a tip we didn’t want to give too little. If it was too little or not, not sure, but maybe we found a good middle ground. What we did to balance it out money wise was that we splurged on breakfast and cheaper lunch and filled up with snacks like nuts and/or dried fruit in between meals. Dinner was everything from a slice of pizza on the corner to more fancy dinner, we mixed it up based on what we felt like that evening!
Clothing and weather in SF: We heard that it’s typical for tourists to dress with too little clothes in SF. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it’s warm. It can be cold and foggy and the weather can change really rapidly. We struck gold in terms of weather while in the city but we always brought a thicker sweater or jacket in our bag which is the reason you can see me in a hat/cardigan/shawl/jeans and behind me is someone in a dress. Layers people layers, that’s the best tips for San Francisco, and you’ll be safe.
Seasons to travel to SF: This is not only what we feel for going to San Francisco but this whole trip, and especially the coast line. But the best time to go here is autumn or spring, when the weather is more stable and the risk of extreme fog (making you unable to enjoy the view and surroundings) smaller. We went early summer but and we were lucky and no problems. Well except for not seeing the Golden Gate bridge 😉
Traveling from A to B: Out tip is to buy a travel card/travel pass for the days you’re going to be there. We bought a 3 day pass for us which meant that we could just step on to any tram or cable car and go where ever we wanted. It was well spent money!! If we hadn’t each journey we’ve have to double check what was applicable for that method of transportation and journey, so not worth the effort and when we summed it up afterwards checking where we went and what it would have cost, not buying the 3 day pass would have been way more expensive.
If you’re going to rent a car like we did: Rent the car in advance, at least if you’re a Swede. It much cheaper than renting one once you’re there. Also, rent one that’s a cab, like, seriously the best thing! The nature along the coast line and in Yosemite is just sooo nice and if you’re going while the temperatures are warm it’s so nice to be able to ”cab down” as we say n Sweden, and enjoy the breeze. Ps. Don’ forget sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat!
BEST TIPS IN SHORT:
Go to Fishermans Wharf early morning to check out the sunrise and the Sea Lions all at once
Visit Alamo Square and the area around with all the beautiful Victorian buildings.
Farmers Market on Saturdays
Restaurant ”Gracias Madre”
Visit festivals and markets, it’s an amazing way to experience a city ”for real” even if it’s also filled with tourists.
Cheesecake Factory på Macy’s at Union Square, buy a piece of cheesecake and go to a park (If the weather is nice) and enjoy!
WALK! Bring your best shoes for walking and walk through the city. When you get tired, jump on a Cable Car , tram or bus.
Ride de old cable Cars through town, chose a spot to sit that’s on the ”outside” of the cable cars facing the street.
Walk through China Town.
Rent bicycles and take a trip over Golden Gate to Sausalito, have a taco or an Ice Cream by the water. Take the ferry back.
If you’re up for more walking there’s an old ”streak” for walking that’s called ”Lands end trail” to Ocean Beach. It gives you an amazing view over the pacific coat line (f it’s not covered in fog that is)
Go to Marin Headlands just before sunset and get a magnificent view of San Francisco.
WATCH OUT FOR:
WARNING for Hotel Herbert. We stayed here the last night on our journey hoe and it was SO NOT WORTH THE MONEY. The lobby is really nice, so you kind expect the rooms to be as nice. Let me tell you. They’re NOT:
We payed little over US$ 200 for one night the hotel was really dirty and smelled weird. I went to the window to see if we could open it to air it out and I don’t think they ever cleaned them. When I opened the window it just fell out and I stood there with the whole window in my hands. The bed was so uncomfortable and bumpy. After going down to the reception and complaining we got back half of the money we paied but to be honest, I rather sleep in my car than go back there. At least it’s clean there. I would avoid this place at all cost to be honest.
Hope this was helpful, and enjoy your trip to San Francisco!