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United States of America
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Getting around San Francisco

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Nightlife

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Weather & best time to visit

73°
Monday, 28.07.2014
04:00

Phone calls & Internet

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Shopping in San Francisco

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Travel etiquette
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Good to know
City map San Francisco
Points of interest: Your selected categories
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    Good to know
    From gold rush to flower power

    Arty, alternative, liberal and Bohemian – San Francisco is where America let its hair down in the 1960s and never looked back. The city was founded as a Spanish mission, but the discovery of gold in 1848 saw religion abandoned in favour of America’s biggest gold rush. Most of this early incarnation was wiped out in the earthquake of 1906, but San Francisco bounced back in time to spearhead the Beat movement in the

    1950s, flower power in the 1960s, gay counterculture in the 1980s, the Dot-com bubble in the 1990s and the slow food movement in the 2000s. A century after its near-demise, this city of famous bridges, gourmet cafés, risqué cabarets and great museums still feels as edgy as ever.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Top 10 sights in San Francisco
    ListMap
    Cable Cars, san Fransisco, USA, Kalifornien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    The Golden Gate Bridge

    Golden Gate Bridge
    CA 94129-0601 San Francisco
    USA
    Tel: (415) 921 5858
    Show on map

    Quite possibly the world’s most famous bridge, this California icon connects San Francisco to Marin County. Come at lunchtime in summer to snap the definitive photo of the bridge’s art deco towers looming out of the summer fog. The surrounding National Park is a playground for walkers and cyclists.

    Alcatraz

    Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
    CA 94123 San Francisco
    USA
    Tel: (415) 981 7625
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily tours 0900-1830

    With regular boat transfers from Pier 33, visiting Alcatraz is easy – it was escaping that used to be the hard part! Tours of the former prison island include the chance to peek inside the cells that once housed such notorious inmates as Al Capone.

    San Francisco Cable Cars

    San Francisco
    USA
    Tel: (415) 701 2311
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Cable cars run 0600-0100

    Pulled by hidden cables, San Francisco’s nostalgic trams have been trundling up and down the city’s steepest streets since 1873. A cable-car ride is an essential part of any trip to San Francisco; take your pick from the Powell-Hyde line (best for views), the Powell-Mason line (best for exploring) or the California Street Line (best for history).

    Coit Tower

    1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard
    CA 94133 San Francisco
    USA
    Tel: (415) 249 0995
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1800 (May-Oct)
    1000-1700 (Nov-Apr)

    The best views over San Francisco are not from the skyscrapers of the Financial District, but from this historic art deco tower at the top of Telegraph Hill. From the viewing deck, a clear day offers views across the entire peninsula, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz. Don’t miss the murals of American life in the lobby.

    Fine Art Museums of San Francisco

    50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues-Sun 0930-1715

    Spread across the exhibition halls of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honour Museum in Lincoln Park, the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco displays the city’s fine art treasures, including parts of the collection from the closed-for-renovation San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

    Golden Gate Park

    501 Stanyan Street
    CA 94117 San Francisco
    USA
    Tel: (415) 831 2700
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1800 (Botanical Garden)
    Hours vary for other attractions

    San Francisco’s favourite green space, the Golden Gate Park sprawls inland from Ocean Beach. Here you’ll find such San Francisco icons as the Botanical Gardens, the Japanese Tea Garden, the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Fine Art Museum.

    Lombard Street

    Lombard Street
    CA 94133 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Billed as the world’s most crooked street, Lombard Street completes eight hairpin turns in the space of one city block. Ride here on the Powell-Hyde cable car, admire the views, then zig-zag downhill to North Beach.

    Exploratorium

    Piers 15/17
    CA 94111-1456 San Francisco
    USA
    Tel: (415) 528 4360
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues-Wed and Fri-Sat 1000-1700
    Thurs 1800-2200

    Interactivity goes into overdrive in California’s most innovative science museum. Founded by physicist Frank Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium is jam-packed with life-action experiments, with all sorts of buttons to press and levers to pull.

    Pier 39 & Fisherman’s Wharf

    Pier 39
    CA 94119-3730 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-2200

    It’s hard to say who does more to entertain the crowds at Pier 39 – the street performers or the sea lions. Tourists come in droves to shop, eat, enjoy thrill rides, admire views over the bay, and see hundreds of dozing sea lions sunning themselves on the boardwalks.

    Chinatown

    Grant Avenue
    CA 90012 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    America’s biggest Chinatown is a bustling piece of Asia transplanted to the California coast. Wander streets lined with herbalists, acupuncture shops, Taoist temples and a profusion of Chinese restaurants with roast ducks hanging in the windows. For a bona fide San Francisco spectacle, visit during Chinese New Year.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Country Information

    Country overview

    From its vast plains, snow-covered mountains, deep forests and strange rock formations, to soaring skyscrapers and a thunderous cultural scene, the USA is a collage of extremes. Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of Manhattan’s unforgettable skyline, your first ride in a yellow cab, the ubiquitous hamburger joints, yawning expanses of prairie, the sweet strains of New Orleans jazz, or the neon-lit excesses of Las Vegas.

    Marvel at the thunderous spectacle of 12,000-year-old Niagara Falls in northern New York, or seek an antidote to urban chaos amidst the flat farmland of the Midwest. Then there are the black hills of South Dakota, the dramatic mountain and ocean landscape of California’s Pacific Coast Highway and the world-famous Grand Canyon.

    Geography

    Covering a large part of the North American continent, the USA shares borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The country has coasts on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The State of Alaska, in the northwest corner of the US, is not part of the continental US; it is separated from the rest of the USA by Canada. Similarly, Hawaii is not part of the “lower 48” states; it lies in the central Pacific Ocean.

    The country’s dependent territories are offshore and have distinct geographies of their own; the majority are islands.

    The third-largest country in the world (after the Russian Federation and Canada), the USA has an enormous diversity of geographical features, including mountains, plains, and coastal zones. Though there are many cities that are densely populated with more manmade features than natural ones, there are also vast rural areas that are far more sparsely populated. The climate ranges from subtropical to arctic, with a corresponding breadth of flora and fauna.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 317297725

    Population Density (per sq km): 32

    Capital: Washington, DC.

    Language

    English, with significant Spanish-speaking minorties (10.7%).

    Currency

    US Dollar (USD; symbol $) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, though the $2 bill is rare and is not in high circulation. Coins are in denominations of $1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    120 volts AC, 60Hz. Plugs have two flat pins with or without a third round grounding pin.

    General business opening hours

    Business hours are officially Mon-Fri 0900-1730, although an extended working day is very common in certain sectors and it is not unusual for people to be working well into the night or over the weekend.

    Public holidays

    Below are Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: 20. January 2014
    Presidents’ Day: 17. February 2014
    Memorial Day: 26. May 2014
    Independence Day: 04. July 2014
    Labour Day: 01. September 2014
    Columbus Day: 13. October 2014
    Veterans’ Day: 11. November 2014
    Thanksgiving Day: 17. November 2014
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2014

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: 19. January 2015
    Presidents’ Day: 16. February 2015
    Memorial Day: 25. May 2015
    Independence Day: 04. July 2015
    Labour Day: 07. September 2015
    Columbus Day: 12. October 2015
    Veterans’ Day: 11. November 2015
    Thanksgiving Day: 26. November 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Getting around

    Public Transport

    Known locally as Muni, the San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency (tel: (415) 701 2311; www.sfmta.com) runs a citywide network of metro trains, buses, streetcars (trams) and the famous San Francisco cable car – actually a kind of tram hauled on underground cables. Tickets can be bought on board (exact change required) or from Muni Metro stations. Suburban trains to the outer suburbs and the airport are run by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART; tel: (415) 989 2278; www.bart.gov). Explore the city at your leisure with a rechargeable magnetic Clipper Card, or buy a one- to seven-day Muni Visitor Passport.

    Taxis

    Taxis can be flagged down in the street and charge metered rates to anywhere in the city, including to the airport. A 10% tip will be expected. Reliable radio-cab companies include Yellow Cab (tel: (415) 333 3333; www.yellowcabsf.com) and De Soto Cab (tel: (415) 970 1300; www.desotosf.com).

    Flight and accommodation

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    Nightlife in San Francisco
    ListMap

    Hip cocktails, microbrewery beers and California wines are the tipples of choice for young San Franciscans, and there are trendy watering holes scattered across the city. SoMa, Castro and the Mission are where the arty set hang out, with the best

    selection of GLBT venues. Sleek cocktail bars and laid-back dive bars dot the streets of North Beach and the Haight, while tourists and executives congregate at the Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf.

    DNA Lounge

    375 11th Street
    CA 94103 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Plug into the electrifying San Francisco club scene at this legendary dance club-come-cabaret, with live bands, top DJs, drag shows and famous mash-up parties.

    Smuggler’s Cove

    650 Gough Street
    CA 94102 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    A pirate’s lair of a bar in Hayes Valley, with rigging hanging from the rafters and a menu of 400 rare brands of rum.

    15 Romolo

    15 Romolo Place
    CA 94133 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    You won’t find tacky themes at this North Beach cocktail bar, just good old-fashioned down-home mixology.

    Bar Agricole

    355 11th Street
    CA 94103 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Delicious bar bites and cocktails with real flair pull in the crowds at this modernist mansion of a bar in the trendy SoMa district.

    Beach Blanket Babylon

    678 Green Street
    CA 94133 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Giant wigs, flamboyant gowns, outrageous false lashes and risqué humour are the stock in trade at this fun-filled camp cabaret in North Beach.

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    Restaurants in San Francisco
    ListMap

    If it’s organic, seasonal, artisan, sustainable, or just plain gourmet, you’ll find it in San Francisco. NorCal – North Californian – cuisine is famous across America, and the city also boasts the nation’s best street food.

    Seafood dominates around Fisherman’s Wharf and the Piers, while North Beach is the epicentre of NorCal experimentation. For superior world food, try Downtown, Chinatown, SoMa or the Mission.

    Coi

    373 Broadway
    CA 94133 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Innovative Californian cuisine, made from imaginative seasonal ingredients, served in cool, 1970s-style surroundings in North Beach.

    Saison

    178 Townsend Street
    CA 94107 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Michelin-starred NorCal cuisine – a heady blend of Japanese and Californian cooking know-how – offered in elegant surroundings near AT&T Park.

    Rich Table

    199 Gough Street
    CA 94102 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    The spectacular culinary creations of co-chefs Evan and Sarah Rich lure foodies from across the city to this gourmet eatery in Hayes Valley; book well in advance.

    Mama’s

    1701 Stockton Street
    CA 94133 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    This family-run eatery on Washington Square Park serves the city’s favourite breakfasts; come for towers of pancakes, stuffed omelettes, French toast, and all sorts of eggs Benedict.

    La Taqueria

    2889 Mission Street
    CA 94110 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    San Francisco’s best burritos are served in this cult hole-in-the-wall café in the Mission.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Hotels in San Francisco
    ListMap

    San Francisco gave the world some of its first boutique hotels, and some of the city’s most comfortable bedrooms have serious designer credentials.

    Hotels range from cute, family-friendly places in Victorian houses to lavish five-star chains.

    Mandarin Oriental San Francisco

    222 Sansome Street
    CA 94104 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Five-star and fabulous, the Mandarin Oriental offers every conceivable mod-con, and swoon-inducing views over the Financial District.

    Argonaut

    495 Jefferson Street
    CA 94109 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Right in the thick of things on Fisherman’s Wharf, the Argonaut is a tribute to San Francisco’s seafaring past, down to the astrolabes and ships’ wheels on the walls.

    Hotel Monaco

    501 Geary Street
    CA 94102 San Francisco
    USA
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Lavish stripes and art deco light fittings set the scene in this achingly stylish design hotel, with a handy downtown location.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Best time to visit

    Today: Monday, 28.07.2014 04:00

    cloudy

    temperature


    23°C


    73°F

    wind direction

    northwest

    wind speed

    15 mph

    humidity

    49%

    7 days forecast

    Tuesday

    29.07.2014

    21°C / 14°C

    70°F / 57°F

    Wednesday

    30.07.2014

    22°C / 14°C

    72°F / 57°F

    Thursday

    31.07.2014

    21°C / 14°C

    70°F / 57°F

    Friday

    01.08.2014

    22°C / 14°C

    72°F / 57°F

    Saturday

    02.08.2014

    23°C / 16°C

    73°F / 61°F

    Sunday

    03.08.2014

    22°C / 16°C

    72°F / 61°F

    Monday

    04.08.2014

    23°C / 16°C

    73°F / 61°F

    Climate and best time to visit San Francisco

    The optimum time to visit San Francisco depends on what you are looking from your trip. For the best weather, visit from August to October, when the summer sunshine lingers later than almost anywhere in the USA. For the best photos of the fog around the Golden Gate Bridge, visit in the cooler months of June or July, and catch the city’s famous Jazz Festival and Gay Pride Parade. For lower prices and smaller crowds, come in spring, late autumn or winter, but dress for chilly evenings.

    Climate & best time to visit United States of America

    The United States has varied weather conditions, and the best time to visit depends both upon the location and the season. Spring (March, April, May) and autumn (September and October) are generally cooler, more comfortable times to visit. Summer months – June, July, and August – are generally hot regardless of the region, but winter temperatures (November-February) can vary substantially depending upon the part of the US you are visiting. The southern part of the country tends to be warmer in the winter than the north. The general climate of the continental US is temperate, but keep in mind that Hawaii is tropical and Alaska is arctic. Many of the country’s dependent territories, such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, are also tropical.

    Summer is considered the peak tourist season throughout the country; other popular travel times are major American holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as Easter Week and the school holiday known as Spring Break. Certain destinations, such as New York, are perennial favourites and are busy year-round; even when the weather may not be pleasant, these destinations have particular attractions or experiences that always draw travellers. In some parts of the country, travel services may be limited during the low or off-season, largely due to weather conditions.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    22 °C

    71.6 °F

    -3 °C

    26.6 °F

    25 °C

    77 °F

    -1 °C

    30.2 °F

    29 °C

    84.2 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    33 °C

    91.4 °F

    2 °C

    35.6 °F

    36 °C

    96.8 °F

    3 °C

    37.4 °F

    41 °C

    105.8 °F

    6 °C

    42.8 °F

    40 °C

    104 °F

    6 °C

    42.8 °F

    37 °C

    98.6 °F

    7 °C

    44.6 °F

    39 °C

    102.2 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    37 °C

    98.6 °F

    2 °C

    35.6 °F

    29 °C

    84.2 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    -4 °C

    24.8 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    111 mm

    81 mm

    78 mm

    35 mm

    5 mm

    3 mm

    1 mm

    1 mm

    5 mm

    31 mm

    73 mm

    79 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    5 h

    7 h

    8 h

    10 h

    10 h

    10 h

    9 h

    9 h

    9 h

    7 h

    6 h

    5 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    78 %

    76 %

    73 %

    71 %

    71 %

    71 %

    73 %

    75 %

    72 %

    72 %

    75 %

    78 %

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    10 °C

    50 °F

    11 °C

    51.8 °F

    11 °C

    51.8 °F

    12 °C

    53.6 °F

    13 °C

    55.4 °F

    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    15 °C

    59 °F

    15 °C

    59 °F

    15 °C

    59 °F

    13 °C

    55.4 °F

    11 °C

    51.8 °F

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan22 °C-3 °C13 °C5 °C78 %111 mm85.6 h
    Feb25 °C-1 °C15 °C7 °C76 %81 mm77.1 h
    Mar29 °C0 °C16 °C7 °C73 %78 mm88.6 h
    Apr33 °C2 °C17 °C8 °C71 %35 mm510.1 h
    May36 °C3 °C19 °C9 °C71 %5 mm110.5 h
    Jun41 °C6 °C21 °C11 °C71 %3 mm110.8 h
    Jul40 °C6 °C22 °C12 °C73 %1 mm< 19.9 h
    Aug37 °C7 °C22 °C12 °C75 %1 mm< 19.1 h
    Sep39 °C5 °C23 °C12 °C72 %5 mm19.1 h
    Oct37 °C2 °C21 °C11 °C72 %31 mm37.9 h
    Nov29 °C0 °C16 °C8 °C75 %73 mm66.1 h
    Dec23 °C-4 °C13 °C5 °C78 %79 mm85.4 h
    year41 °C-4 °C18 °C9 °C74 %503 mm488.4 h

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +1

    Telephone

    For emergency police, fire or medical services in major cities, dial 911. The following codes denote toll-free (freephone) numbers: 800, 855, 866, 877 and 888.

    Mobile Telephone

    Foreign mobile telephones only work if they are tri-band or quad-band; charges are high. Visitors can also hire a mobile telephone. Pre-pay cell phones can be purchased from a variety of retail outlets, including drug stores.

    Internet

    There are internet cafés in most urban areas, and an increasing number of Wi-Fi hotspots. Many coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi. Many of the international airports offer internet access too.

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    Shopping in San Francisco
    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    When it comes to shopping, San Francisco has a split personality. Mainstream stores are concentrated in the malls and the touristy districts of Fisherman’s Wharf, the Marina and Downtown. For arty Bohemian wares, explore the Haight, Hayes Valley and the Mission, or find Asia in miniature in Chinatown or Japantown on Post Street.

    Markets

    One market sits head and shoulders above all others in San Francisco – the Ferry Building on Market Street houses the city’s finest food market, with artisan producers, specialist cheese and wine makers, and abundant farm-fresh produce for the Saturday farmers’ market. For Bay Area antiques, explore the quirky Alemany Flea Market (Alemany Boulevard) or join the crowds at the monthly Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Fair in the Alameda Naval Station.

    Shopping Centres

    American megamalls abound in San Francisco. Big brands show off their wares around the plaza at Union Square (Geary Street), but you’ll find more variety in the vast Westfield Center on Market Street. Gifts and fair-trade products that chime with the San Francisco way of life can be found in the Crocker Galleria (Post Street), with its Thursday farmers’ market.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Americans are renowned for their openness and friendliness to visitors. The wide variety of national origins and the USA’s relatively short history has resulted in numerous cultural and traditional customs living alongside each other. In large cities, people of the same ethnic background often live within defined communities.

    Shaking hands is the usual form of greeting. A relaxed and informal atmosphere is usually the norm. As long as the fundamental rules of courtesy are observed, there need be no fear of offending anyone of any background. Gifts are appreciated if one is invited to a private home.

    As a rule, dress is casual. High-end restaurants, hotels and clubs may require more formal attire.

    Smoking is increasingly unpopular in the US; it is essential to ask permission before lighting up. Smoking is not allowed on city transport and restricted or forbidden in public buildings in most states. There will be a posted notice where no smoking is requested. An increasing number of states (including California and New York) have banned smoking altogether in bars, restaurants and many public places.

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