Top 10 things to do in San Francisco

Top 10 things to do in San Francisco

San Francisco is a populous city, which has a huge number of places for entertainment. There are a lot of parks, beaches, clubs and restaurants here. Unique and elegant, cheerful and cosmopolitan, San Francisco is a place that evokes strong emotions, it’s simply impossible that you won’t fall in love with it. Locals say: “You can leave San Francisco, but San Francisco will never leave you.”

Top ten things to do in San Francisco

De Young museum

De Young museum

The de Young museum can be included in the top list of things to see in San Francisco. It is an arts museum, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The Park is a thousand acres of manicured lakes, gardens, bike paths and trails for jogging. Moreover, two of the best museums in the city, de Young and the California Academy of Sciences are located in the Golden Gate Park. Contemporary art and world class fashions are collected in the de Young museum. Do not miss a visit to the observation tower, from where you can admire the beautiful views of the city. On Fridays, from 5:00 pm you can take part in various musical, poetic, dance and artistic events.

  • Address: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park
  • Contact: 001 415 750 3600, deyoung.famsf.org
  • Hours: 9: 30-17: 15 (Tuesday-Sunday), 9: 30-20: 45 (Friday)
California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences

In walking distance of the de Young Museum you will discover the California Academy of Sciences, which is the most “green” museum in the world. The construction of this building designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano cost a total of US $ 500 million and was totally completed in 2008. It has its own features: “living roof”, planetarium of XXI century, aquarium, tropical forest and the Natural History Museum.

  • Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park
  • Contact: 001 415 379 8000, www.calacademy.org
  • Hours: 9: 30-17: 00 (Monday-Saturday), 11: 00-17: 00 (Sunday)
San Francisco Ferry Building

San Francisco Ferry Building

Third position in our list of things to see and do in San Francisco belongs to the Ferry Building. The San Francisco Ferry Building was built in the XIX century. The original building was used as a marina. Currently Ferry Building combines the ferry terminal and a shopping complex. Numerous stores provide fresh seafood, meats, cheeses, fruits, breads, sweets and more. You can enjoy delicious meal in several restaurants and cafes there. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Ferry Building is used as the largest indoor food market in San Francisco.
The central part of the building is a 71-meter clock tower, which was modeled as the Giralda bell tower (Seville). Tower Ferry Building is clearly visible from different places, including Market Street – the main street of San Francisco.

  • Address: One Ferry Building, San Francisco
  • Contact: 001 415 983 8030, ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
  • Hours: 10: 00-18: 00 (Monday-Friday), 9: 00-18: 00 (Saturday), 11: 00-17: 00 (Sunday)
  • Price: Free
Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Among things to do near San Francisco top place belongs to Alcatraz. Alcatraz Island is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay 2.5 km directly from San Francisco.
In the US, it’s better known as the Rock. From 1934 to 1963 it was a federal prison for dangerous criminals. Among it’s most famous inmates were Al Capone, Doc and Ma Baker and Robert Stroud. No one escaped from there, although 34 people have tried and legend has it that three of them had success, but the “authorities hide this fact”. Note that there is only one official tour operator, which is allowed to organize cruises and excursions to the former prison, it’s the Alcatraz Cruises. By the way, the tour includes listening to the audio interviews with former prisoners.

  • Location: Pier 33, Hornblower Alcatraz Landing, San Francisco
  • Contact: 001 415 981 7625, www.alcatrazcruises.com
  • Hours: 9: 10-16: 20 (Thursday-Monday), 9: 10-13: 55 (Monday-Wednesday)
San Francisco Cable Car

San Francisco Cable Car

The San Francisco Cable Car is one of the most used and recognized modes of transportation here. Cable cars have run through the hilly streets of San Francisco since 1873. Nowadays only three lines with a total length of 30 kilometers remain in working condition. The Powell-Hyde line will take you across Lombard Street and Nob Hill by the Cable Car Museum. The best place for travelling is the wide side steps outside, you are legally allowed to stand while driving.

  • Contacts: sfcablecar.com
  • Hours: daily
Pier 39

Pier 39

We also have some family things to do in San Francisco in our top list. How about Pier 39? It’s a shopping and entertainment center, which is located on a pier in San Francisco. Being a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, pier 39 has a remarkable amount of opportunities for fun and recreation. There are numerous souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes, cinemas, game centers and attractions on the pier. You and your family have a chance to watch different street performances. In addition, Pier 39 is known for it’s famous Californian sea lions, who chose the pier as their place of residence. The most notable sight here is the floating Forbes Island Restaurant however, you can buy sweets, ice cream and fruit from numerous street vendors.

  • Address: Pier 39 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
  • Contacts: pier39.com
  • Hours: from around 10 am to 10 pm during the summer, Between September and May, most of the Pier 39 shops have shorter hours from 10 am to 9 pm.
Aquarium San Francisco

Aquarium San Francisco

If you are travelling with kids, you have definitely to visit the Aquarium of the Bay. It’s located at the entrance to Pier 39. The Aquarium is an Exhibition Centre, where you can explore the underwater world of San Francisco.

The Aquarium consists of three parts. In the first one, visitors can get acquainted with the fauna of the Gulf. The second part of the center is the largest one and is made in the form of a glass tunnel with a length of more than 90 m. The tunnel is surrounded by 3 million liters of water, where there are 20,000 sea creatures. Through the glass you can see drifting shoals of fish, unusual jellyfish, sharks and other inhabitants of the Gulf. In the second tunnel you can watch the deep world and see amazing animals. In the latter part of the Aquarium you can even touch some sea creatures, for example, rays, sea stars and leopard sharks.

  • Address: The Embarcadero / Beach Street (Pier 39), San Francisco, CA 94133
  • Contacts: aquariumofthebay.org
  • Hours: Summer (Beginning Saturday, May 26th) – Every day: 9 am – 8 pm
    September 2 – October 30; March 1-May 28 – Monday – Thursday: 10am to 7pm, Friday – Sunday: 10am – 8pm

Beginning October 31 – Monday – Thursday: 10am – 6pm, Friday – Sunday: 10am – 7pm

Coit Tower San Francisco

Coit Tower San Francisco

One of the things you must do in San Francisco is visit the Coit Tower. This memorial is located in Pioneer Park at the top of Telegraph Hill. The lookout offers a unique view of San Francisco. Due to this fact, the tower is a favorite place for tourists. From the observation deck you can survey many sights of San Francisco, such as: the Golden Gate Bridge, Maritime National Historical Park, Alcatraz, Pier 39, Treasure Island and Angel Island, Oakland Bay Bridge, Russian Hill District, Lombard Street, and much more – all this will turn up in front of your eyes from the Coit Tower. The best views can be enjoyed in the evening before sunset.

  • Address: 1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard, San Francisco
  • Contact: 001 415 362 0808
  • Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
Chinatown San Francisco

Chinatown San Francisco

If you still aren’t too tired, let’s visit Chinatown. It’s the largest settlement of Chinese people outside of Asia. It is estimated that Chinese population of San Francisco is more than 150 thousand people and is still growing. Immigration began during the gold rush, when the building of the transcontinental railroad attracted a large number of Chinese workers. By about 1850 years the Chinese ghetto has turned into Chinatown. In fact, Chinatown is the cultural and political center of the Chinese community.

The main street of Chinatown is Grant Avenue. You can get into the area through the symbolic gates on Bush Street, which are guarded by two stone lions. It is the most densely populated area of San Francisco. You will see many restaurants, bakeries, shops with spices and tourist shops filled with cheap oriental souvenirs. It is estimated that Chinatown has about 300 restaurants.
Every year in mid-September in Chinatown they celebrate a traditional Chinese holiday Autumn Moon Festival.

  • Address: Grant Avenue and Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94101
Union Square San Francisco

Union Square San Francisco

Union Square and adjacent districts are located in the heart of San Francisco. Union Square is known for its numerous department stores, upscale boutiques, souvenir shops, art galleries, theaters, restaurants and beauty salons. This is a popular shopping and tourist area, open 24 hours a day.
Union Square is also used as a venue for celebrations, concerts and public events, art exhibitions. At Christmas, the area traditionally is decorated with Christmas trees.

  • Contact: visitunionsquaresf.com

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