So last month I had the wonderful chance to visit the one city on the West Coast I always wanted to see. Below I will explain to you have I had the perfect one day in San Francisco. I got to see almost everything I wanted and had an amazing day.
First, I would like to thank Clazz from An Orcadian Abroad for her great guide which I spent most of my day following. She has a great public transportation guide on how to get from each of these points to the next so make sure you check that out here.
San Francisco is one of the few cities in the United States where you can rely on public transportation. I had no problem getting to my hostel coming from the airport or using it all next day to get around. You can get a daily pass for 13$ with a 5$ charge for the card. You can get them at every CVS or Wallgreens, so it shouldn't be hard to find.
When it comes to staying in the city. I was staying at Fisherman’s Wharf in a hostel in the park. The location was very safe and quiet while also being very safe. It is a great place to stay for a few nights and the hostel was very social. The Hostel is also great for daily trips around the city and for a nightly walk. If you want to check it out, this is their website.
This famous street in San Francisco was located only a 15 minute walk away from my hostel, I decided to head there first. Unfortunately, I did not realize that since the street is its shape to get down a hill that would mean approaching it on foot means walking up a steep hill. After my adventure, I definitely suggest taking a bus up there or at least as far as you can. The street itself is very cute and worth visiting. It will be crowded so make sure to come early if you want pictures completely empty.
Walking along the boardwalk until you reach Pier 39, is a lovely stroll from Lombard Street. Once you are there hopefully you get the cute sight of the sealions enjoying the sun along the pier. Depending on the season there might not be too many, but if you come in the colder months you might see more than one hundred of them.
Once you have finished enjoying the sealions, stroll along the rest of the boardwalk. You get an amazing view of Alcatraz if you get an extra day in San Francisco. Make sure you reserve your tickets in advance though, since they sell out quickly. There are also many cute stores and cafes on this pier as well so maks sure to check those out for a bit. It is adorable and I enjoyed the time I spent there.
Riding the cable car
San Francisco prides itself on their old cable car. It is an oldfashioned tram that takes you from the pier to the city center. While the ride normally costs 7$ with the daily pass it is included and therefore free. When you only have one day in San Francisco, this is a must-do since there are not that many left in the world plus it is a great way to get from the water to the center. Try to get a seat in the outside part to get the perfect view. You can take it from one end to the other if you are going to continue on my route.
On a suggestion from Clazz, I skipped the Mission District and went straight to Castro. I went to lunch at this tiny Lebasene place very close to the tram station called Beit Rima. It was amazing food and the price was acceptable for San Francisco. You can check out their menu on their website here.
From there you can just wander around the LGBTQ+ district of San Francisco. You will come across many amazing pieces of street art and fun stores and cafes you might want to check out. I loved strolling around here and while it is not a huge area, you should give it a chance.
These houses are probably one of the main reasons for you wanting to visit San Francisco in the first place. I know they were for me. Now let me tell you, it is very underwhelming. The restored houses are very cute, but there are only a few of them and if you come in high season, there might be a lot of people wanting to take pictures. I did enjoy seeing them and got some pictures, but they were not all I imagined.
The Park around there is very cute. I would encourage you to take a walk around it. There are many spots you can sit down and take a rest from all the running around you have been doing so far. Also if you decided to skip lunch at the last stop, you can walk around this area to find something as well.
The Golden Gate Bridge
The last stop on my tour is the Golden Gate Bridge. This is one of the most famous monuments of San Francisco and therefore equally popular. There are two spots to get pictures from. The viewpoint on the city side of the bridge and the famous photo spot on the far side. Both have buses going to them so you should have no trouble getting these. However, it is faster and easier to get to the viewpoint on the city side and therefore I believe it should be more crowded. Do not skip it though in fear of people. The view is spectacular and I loved seeing this sight that I have seen too many pictures of.
That is my guide to one day in San Francisco. I am sure you can do and see even more, but I was happy with what I had the chance to explore. if you have been and have tips to share with me or other travelers, please leave them in the comments below or share them with us on social media.