San Francisco Holidays & City Breaks

Sitting on a peninsula on California’s north-west coast, you’ll discover the hilly city of San Francisco (AKA the City by the Bay). This offbeat harbour-side destination is all about beautiful open spaces, a rich arts and cultural scene, and of course, the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. Plus you’ve got Alcatraz Island just off the mainland. From Union Square and North Beach to Japantown, you’ll discover fascinating neighbourhoods at every turn, each with their own distinct atmosphere. It’s part of what make holidays to San Francisco so special. 

Things to do

San Francisco holidays will take you to one of the world’s most iconic cities. This spectacular place is perhaps best known as the home of the breath-taking Golden Gate Bridge, and you’ll also find the famous Alcatraz Island prison a short ferry ride from the mainland. You can enjoy superb views from some of the city’s parks like Alamo Square Park, where you can see the Painted Ladies (a row of colourful Victorian townhouses) with modern downtown skyscrapers looming behind them. Travelling with the family? You’ll love the Walt Disney Family Museum and the San Francisco Zoo, where there’s plenty to see and do for the kids.

Heaps of history
No matter what your hobbies and tastes are, something about San Francisco’s history will be of interest to you. One of the well-known and most popular of San Francisco’s sights is the island of Alcatraz, the island was once home to America’s most dangerous criminals but now you can go take a look for yourself around this supposedly haunted prison. The Legion of Honor has over 4,000 years’ worth of art, but to see San Francisco’s biggest artefact, all you have to do is stand outside, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge can be seen from almost everywhere.

For the little ones (and the bigger ones!)
‘San Fran’ has plenty for the kids to do and many things the whole family will enjoy too. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, even the smallest of Disney fans will appreciate the Walt Disney Family museum. Get to know more about the man behind some of your favourite movies, television shows and characters in interactive displays and exhibitions. Those keen to explore and discover should visit The California Academy of Sciences, it’s home to a whole host of wildlife and plants, plus there’s a planetarium and a natural history museum too.

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Map of San Francisco


 July to October is the warmest months of the year. 

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11 Hours

San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

San Francisco is best for...

Explorers: Tick the city’s famous landmarks off your list during San Francisco holidays; don’t miss the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island prison, and Muir Woods National Monument.

Wine buffs: This place is the gateway to California’s stunning wine country. Take a tour of the famous Napa Valley and experience the region’s best vineyards (and their fruits) for yourself.

Families: It’s a child-friendly city with all kinds of fun-filled attractions for kids of all ages, including The Walt Disney Family Museum, where you can discover the origins of Mickey Mouse.

Fast facts for San Francisco

Language: English.

Currency: American Dollar ($).

Local time: San Francisco is 8 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: San Francisco International Airport. The transfer time to San Francisco is 30 minutes. 

Flight time from UK: The flight time to San Francisco is 11 hours.

Visa / health: Ahead of your holidays to San Francisco, it’s well worth clicking here for visas and health recommendations and advice.

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Getting around San Francisco

By Muni: Do as locals do and make your way around the city on the Muni public transport system, which includes buses, metros, cable cars and more.

By streetcar: Hop on board an historic streetcar at any of its stops. This fabulous fleet of elegant bus-like vehicles come from all over the world. It’s also a great way to see the sights of the city and to get around on a budget.

By hire car: If you want to freedom to explore beyond the city, it’s well worth hiring a car. You could begin your all-American road trip right here.

Events in San Francisco

Cherry Blossom Festival: Every April, Japantown comes to life in this amazing festival. The whole neighbourhood is bursting with colour as the cherry blossom trees bloom. This festival celebrates Japanese and Japanese-American culture, featuring music, performers and more.

San Francisco International Film Festival: Also held in April, The SFIFF is one of the top film events in the country, and a big hit with indie film makers. Fans of the silver screen flock to the city to experience the longest-running film festival in the US.

Gay Pride Parade: This world-famous parade has been held in Castro since the 1970s and takes place in June every year.

San Francisco weather

Temperatures: Highs of 23°C in summer and lows of 7°C in the winter.

Best time to visit: July to October is the warmest time of the year.

The city sits in a bay, and has its very own unique microclimate. That means the weather can look and feel very different across the city, with the early morning Bay fogs almost legendary. Summer and early autumn are pleasant and dry, while winter tends to be cooler and rainy. It’s worth packing a few layers to cover all bases; temperatures can rise and fall quickly.

Best hotels in San Francisco

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