Sunday, January 3, 2016

San Francisco: Quick Guide

Before I reach San Francisco, I only have one thing and only one thing in mind: Why is every movie destroying San Francisco???

Travelling into SF

San Francisco International Airport
Take a BART
1. (depend on which terminal you are in)Take a free AirTrain to BART station
2. Ride a BART to downtown
3. MUNI takes you anywhere else.
SamTrans 292, 397, KX

Oakland International
Take a BART
1. Take a shuttle train to Colliseum Bart Station
2. Take a BART to downtown
3. MUNI takes you anywhere else

Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International
free shuttle to both VTA Light Rail and Caltrain
Take a Caltrain to downtown.

Amtrak routes serving the Bay Area are:

  • The California Zephyr 
  • The Coast Starlight (I’ve been on the Coast Starlight and believe me, worth every penny!) 
  • The Capitol Corridor
  • The San Joaquins

Budget express bus serving SF:

  • Bolt Bus
  • California Shuttle Bus
  • Greyhound
  • Hoang Express

Get around without public transport

Normally I would say something like: Yeah Explore on foot! It’s the best way to see a city.. bla bla bla… but Nope, I am not going to say it this time! Walking is challenging in San Francisco because of all those steep street. If you are going to walk anyway, plan accordingly!
As for driving, it is only a good idea if you passed the driving uphill-downhill test with a breeze (My nightmare).
My Favorite way to get around the city:Car Hire (Free Taxi Ride)

Get around by public transport

Muni — Metro subway, streetcars, buses, trolley buses and cable cars within San Francisco proper.
BART — regional subway services in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Caltrain — commuter rail services to San José.

  • Get an all day Muni passport for $17, or a 3-day pass costs $26, 7 day pass costs $35. Valid on cable cars too!
  • The Clipper Card is accepted on MUNI, BART, CalTrain, San Francisco ferries, and regional transit. Buy a 1,3 or 7 day pass into the Clipper for the best value. 


Two passes are available which offer discounts :
1. San Francisco CityPASS . A 9 days consecutive pass to cover many attractions in the city. The pass includes a 7 days MUNI pass.

2. Go San Francisco Card - An all-inclusive pass that lets you visit multiple San Francisco attractions for one price, starting at $60.

Also, survey for half price tickets on Goldstar. Here you will find the best tickets to Broadway performances, tours and other activities that have yet to sell out.

Check these sites for Free events :

  • Thrillest
  • SOSH
  • UpOutSF
  • The Bold Itallic
  • FunCheapSF


image from youtube
Golden Gate Bridge
Palace of Fine Arts
Transamerica Pyramid
Alamo Square Park
Painted Ladies
Lombard Street
de Young Memorial Museum
The California Palace of the Legion of Honor
image via Reddit
Sutro Baths
 Filbert Steps
Coit Tower.
Fisherman's Wharf
Transamerica pyramid
Cable Car Museum
Randall Museum
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Hyde Street Pier
Pier 39
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
The Musee Mecanique
Fort Mason
Golden Gate Park
Twin Peaks

Read more: 2 days in San Francisco Itinerary Share

Read more: Best spots to view the Golden Gate Bridge


I can’t tell you much for I had such little time to be able to try anything properly.
I had my lunch (a Lobster Sandwich) and Fisherman Wharf and heard that the “Chowder in a Bread Bowl” at Boudin Bakery is delicious.

Food related free activity:

  • Reserve an Anchor Steam Brewery tour and get rewarded with free beer samples!
  • Stop by Aroma Tea Shop for free tastings. 
  • What is best about Ghirardelli Square is probably the free chocolate sample.
  • Shop and free tasting at Farmer's market: check online where and when, it’s quite frequent.  
  • Boudin Bakery & Museum tour. This is not exactly  free food activity, but it is food related. Go up to the hidden museum upstairs after watching how bakers knead a lifeless dough into an alligator!
  • Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory tour provides insights on how your fortune cookies are made. 
  • Sample some gourmet treat at the Ferry Building: bread, chocolate, olive oil and all the high-end-goodies you ever dream of.


Fog, fog and more fog is a usual sight at the bay during summer, especially in the morning. Remember to wear more layers, don’t let San Francisco summer fools you.

Tourist information

  • San Francisco Visitor Information Center at Market Street
  • California Welcome Center at Pier 39

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based solely on my opinion or personal experience. 
 If you have a different opinion, feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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