San Francisco Guide 2023

Hello, hello! I have been living in San Francisco Bay Area for over 3+ years now, and I know almost all the attractions, including sightseeing and dining out. I wanted to drop this very short article for all of you out there interested in visiting the city. I will make it as concise as possible by summarizing each attraction point briefly. You can even skip to the bottom to find a full list of what will be shared if you don’t want to read the details. I hope you enjoy!


Below you can find a couple of sightseeing attractions that I believe you should definitely go see as well as minimum time you will be spending there.

Golden Gate Bridge

Min. commitment: 1 hour

Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point South
Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point South

By far the most iconic spot in SF. The easiest place you can observe this beautiful red bridge with hundreds of years of history is Golden Gate Vista Point South. Fairly easier to reach as you don’t need to cross the bridge and super convenient for a short hike down to Torpedo Wharf, where you can have a profile view, well… sort of. When you hit Torpedo Wharf, Golden Gate Beach and fully green land of Crissyfield will welcome you to sit down and maximize your joy of a nice Bay Area breeze.

Bonus Vista Spot: Battery Spencer

Golden Gate Bridge - Battery Spencer
Golden Gate Bridge – Battery Spencer

Battery Spencer is by far my favorite spot when visiting GGB. Even though harder to reach as it’s located to the north of the bridge, it’s by far the most scenic location as you get to observe GGB from an elevation.

Fishermans Wharf – Pier 39

Min. commitment: 1 hour

Fishermans Wharf
Fishermans Wharf

Fishermans Wharf is mainly the place where you have a bunch of large and small fish restaurants and shops located at the tip of the Peninsula. It’s between Russian Hill and North Beach, so fairly close to DT SF, hence a very popular tourist attraction. The most important spot here is called Pier 39, where you have a bunch of boutique shops for souvenirs, coffee and dining as well as a nice view of Alcatraz Island. Oh I should not to forget the Sea Lions πŸ™‚

Pier 39
Pier 39
Union Square

Min. commitment: 30 min

Heart of DT SF. You can find very large stores of Apple, Nike, Macy’s, LV and the lot here. A couple of blocks away is famous Market Street, where you can find Westfield Shopping Center. You can also take the historic cable car from the beginning of Powell Street here, takes you the different locations like Fishermans Wharf and crooked Lombard Street. Nothing much special here tbh, but definitely worth seeing the city center to get an idea of a good SF mix.

Union Square
Union Square
Lombard Street

Min. commitment: 15 min

Lombard Street is actually a very long strip that connects with US 101 highway that is reaching Golden Gate Bridge; it’s famously known for the short crooked portion of it where you get a beautiful view of the bay and the Colt Tower. It’s known to be the most crooked street in the world with 8 sharp turns, so definitely worth a visit.

Lombard Street
Painted Ladies

Min. commitment: 15 min

Bunch of Victorian houses painted in different colors with the view of SF skyline in the background. Nothing too fancy here to be honest, it’s a short pit stop and checkmark of SF attractions list. The greatest view of this place is from Alamo Square Park.

Painted Ladies
Ferry Building – The Embarcadero

Min. commitment: 30 min

Ferry building is the terminal for ferries across the bay, with little shops accompanying it. There is a 245 feet tall, iconic clock tower on top of it. It can be visited as part of a golden triangle that includes Fishermans Wharf and Union Square.

Ferry Building
Ferry Building Marketplace
Twin Peaks

Min. commitment: 30 min

By far the best view of the whole bay, I would say. Even though it’s a little out of the center of the city and requires a fairly long ride or a long hike, having a summary of all the bay under your feet is just invaluable. From here you can see Market Street as a strip going all the way to the Ferry Building, SF skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and pretty much the whole bay as far as eye can see.

San Francisco Skyline from Twin Peaks
Golden Gate Park

Min. commitment: 30 min

Pretty much the Central Park of SF. If you dunno what Central Park is, well it’s still a huge central park right at the center of the city. This location is a lazy short getaway for SF residents who don’t want to get out of the city, or need a breath out of big city life after work. From a tourists perspective, there is not much to see to be honest (even though there are gardens, ferris wheel and so on). I wouldn’t recommend going here unless you have 3+ days in SF.

Golden Gate Park
Alcatraz Island

Min. commitment: 3 hours

An old prison that served between 1934 and 1963 for the most ferocious inmates of the country. Currently it’s serving as a museum for visitors around the world. I would say it is a pretty interesting attraction indeed as the rangers literally make you feel what it felt like to be a prisoner there. On the other hand, it requires significant commitment as you need to take 20 something minute ferry from Pier 33 all the way here and back, resulting in significant time commitment. I intentionally put this place at the end of the list just because of that. Again, I would not recommend visiting here unless you have over 3 days.

Alcatraz Island

Eat, Drink, Hangout

Ok this depends from person to person, budget to budget and taste to taste. I will just list down the locations that I believe are at or above the line to eat and drink out.

Marina District and Cow Hollow
Chestnut St. X Steiner St.

Probably one of the few above the line spots to eat and drink out in SF. I don’t want to specifically name any place but you can find various cafes, restaurants and bars in this area. There is even an Apple Store here.

Chestnut X Steiner
Chestnut X Steiner
Fillmore St. X Greenwich, Filbert and UNION Streets

Just across the street from Steiner and Chestnut, you can find very popular Fillmore St. and Greenwich, Filbert and Union intersections of it. This place is literally packed at nights with Balbao Cafe taking the lead for the crowd. Pretty much same concept w Chestnut x Steiner, though I feel there is a younger and let’s party population here.

Fillmore X Greenwich
Laguna St. X Union St.

If you walk towards Van Ness Avenue a couple of blocks from Fillmore and Union, you will be able to see a bunch of bars and restaurants. At the end you will reach this intersection where you can find this very old and historic sports bar – Bus Stop; a popular place for San Franciscans to have a couple of drinks and watch a game.

Laguna X Union
Lower Pacific Heights – Fillmore District
Fillmore St. X Sacramento, California, Pine Streets

This portion of Fillmore has a ton of different options especially when it comes to dining out. You can find Mediterranean, French, Indian cuisines as well as bunch of bars and pubs. It’s pretty close to Japantown as well so if you are into cozy little Japanese restaurants, they are just a couple of blocks away.

Fillmore X Pine

If you want to stay closer to Market St. and underground public transportation, I believe Hayes Valley is your safest bet. Here you can find multiple above the line restaurants facing each other serving various different cuisines from around the world.

Hayes X Gough
Divisadero – Lower Haight
Divisadero St. X Fell, Hayes, Grove, Fulton, McAllister Streets

Right in the middle of Haight-Ashbury, Castro and Fillmore and Civic Center; Divisadero St. aka “Divis” is a pretty popular location for another ATL eat and drink out. You can also find arguably the most popular arcade bar in the city; The Emporium.

Haight St. X Masonic Ave

Right next to the east end of Golden Gate Park, you can find this cozy, counterculture district called Haight-Ashbury, which is probably the most authentic spot in the city where you can find the most diverse crowds with bunch of options to eat and drink without going overboard.

Haight X Masonic
North Beach
Columbus Ave. X Grant Ave., Green St., Vallejo St.

Last but not least, probably the most convenient spot for mainstream tourists. This place is right by Chinatown but can easily be called Little Italy with various number of Italian restaurants and bars. It is right next to a lot of different hotels as well as it can be considered as walking distance to Union Square as the city center. Full transparency, it is not may favorite place, but it definitely won’t disappoint if you know where to go.

Grant X Vallejo

Even though there are multiple other locations I could have shared, these are mainly the spots that I believe are worth spending time at. I’ll be listing all of them below to make it quick and easy for you in case you don’t want to scroll over pages of document. Make sure you drop a comment below in case you have suggestions or questions as well as feel free to shoot an e-mail to me privately.

Also, if you need a ride to go around the city, check out my TURO page. You can book a car that I host without the hassles of conventional car rental companies, where you can’t even know what car you are getting πŸ™‚

Hope you liked the post. For all your questions and whatnot, you can either e-mail me overΒ or drop a comment down below.

Full List of Attractions

  • Golden Gate Bridge: GGB Vista Point South, Battery Spencer
  • Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39: Fish restaurants, souvenirs
  • Union Square: Downtown SF convenient for mainstream shopping
  • Lombard Street: Worlds most crooked street
  • Painted Ladies: SF Skyline with bunch of painted houses in front
  • Ferry Building and the Embarcadero: Ferry Port and a Marketplace for various authentic shops
  • Twin Peaks: Whole bay under your feet
  • Golden Gate Park: Excessive greenery in the middle of the city
  • Alcatraz Island: Then a prison, now a museum
Eat, Drink, Hangout Locations
  • Marina District and Cow Hollow
    • Chestnut St. X Steiner St.
    • Fillmore St. X Greenwich, Filbert and Union Streets
    • Laguna St. X Union St.
  • Lower Pacific Heights Fillmore District
    • Fillmore St. X Sacramento, California, Pine Streets
  • Hayes Valley
    • Hayes St. X Gough St.
  • Divisadero – Lower Haight
    • Divisadero St. X Fell, Hayes, Grove, Fulton, McAllister Streets
  • Haight-Ashbury
    • Haight St. X Masonic Ave
  • North Beach
    • Columbus Ave. X Grant Ave., Green St., Vallejo St.

Need a car? Check out my TURO page πŸ™‚

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