Saturday, September 30, 2023

What Part Of San Francisco Is Best To Stay In

Best Residential Neighborhoods: Lombard Street Nob Hill And Pacific Heights

San Francisco Travel Tips: 11 Things to Know Before You Go

These neighborhoods are a little further away from Downtown, but they have some features that can be interesting. All of them are well connected to the downtown area by public transportation and include parks, viewpoints, and incredible buildings. These are definitely some very nice neighborhoods to stay in San Francisco.

The Best Area To Stay If You Want Fresh Seafood: Fisherman’s Wharf

You’re almost obligated to include Fisherman’s Wharf on your San Francisco travel itinerary. This popular tourist attraction puts you right on the water, where you get to see the fishing fleet, walk along Pier 39 to hear the calls of the sea lions, taste the freshest seafood you’ll ever put in your mouth and explore maritime history.

Nob Hill And Union Square Where To Stay In San Francisco For Your First Visit

I was deciding between these two neighbourhoods for people visiting San Francisco for the first time and just decided to include both. They are right next to each other and equally the best areas to stay in San Francisco for first-timers, but they do have completely different atmospheres.

Union Square is central, and has a wide variety of options for accommodation, eating, and drinking. Most hotels are around Union Square and its easy to get to other parts of the city here using BART and the bus system.

That said, it can be a bit generic. This is where youll find the same department stores you can find in any city. Union Square doesnt have the San Francisco character you will find in other neighbourhoods.

Nob Hill is also central, and Lower Nob Hill is right next to Union Square. Its one of the most affluent areas of San Francisco, and while that drives prices up, its also charming, hilly, and aesthetically pleasing. You also have Russian Hill and North Beach at your doorstep, also wonderful neighbourhoods with a similar atmosphere.

Here, youll find iconic views, including San Franciscos most crooked street, Lombard Street. There are plenty of boutique shops and restaurants in Nob Hill too, and Polk Street is lined with a variety of bars. This is why we believe its the best place to stay in San Francisco.

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Great Airbnb Neighborhoods In Sf

  • The Mission: By far, one of the best areas to stay in San Francisco. The Missions vibrant streets are like a cross between of your Latino uncle and Sergy Brin. You can find illuminating street art, dinosaur-sized burritos and its home to two of the best bookstores in SF.
  • Potrero Hill: A quiet residential neighborhood hipped up with artsy warehouses. Take a tour of the Anchor brewing distillery and then eat local at one of the restaurants on 18th street.
  • Castro Valley: Ground zero for being out and proud. You can catch films, fests and drag queens at the Castro theater and explore SF queer history at the GLBT History Museum.
  • Noe Valley: Strollers, yoga and coffee fill the 24th street corridor in Noe. The strip has something for everyone including cute book stores, a craft brewery, a dive bar, some cute clothing shops and designer togs for the discerning toddler.
  • The Haight/Cole Valley: Its been fifty years since the Summer of Love but the hippie vibe lives on in the Haight. They still sell vinyl at Amoeba records and you can purchase Grateful Dead gear, tie-dyed socks and, err, other paraphernalia.
  • North Beach/Chinatown: The AirBnBs in this neighborhood offer all of the benefits of the downtown hotels, but with more hills! You can spend most of your allowance money buying books at the City Lights bookstore and then spend the rest on mysterious vegetables and dried fishes in Chinatown.

Best Hostel In Fishermans Wharf: Hi

The Top 10 Best Places and Travel Sites to Visit in Northern California ...

A short walk from the neighbourhoods many delights including North Beach and close to public transportation links, this awesome San Francisco hostel couldnt have a better location.

Theres an onsite café-bar and you can chill on the sunny terrace, watch a movie in the mini cinema, and mingle in the cosy lounge. Breakfast is free and the hostel has a tour desk, lockers, laundry facilities, a kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and everything else that youll need for a comfortable and convenient stay.

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The Best Redesign: St Regis San Francisco

St. Regis San Francisco

Joy Hwang

Who Will Love It: Culture hounds who want vacations to include plenty of museum time

All-Star Amenities: Butler service for suite guests Astor Library Cart providing children’s books for bedtime rainfall showers

What Not To Miss: The Golden Gate Mary, a local take on the St. Regis’s signature cocktail a bath in a deep soaking tub

Open in 2005, this sleek luxury hotel in SoMa needed a little spiffing up. The St. Regis sought out London-based design team Blacksheep to renovate the reception area and St. Regis Bar, which now features dark green and dusty pink upholstery and sculptural wall elements. Toronto-based Chapi Chapo designed the 260 rooms and suites and refitted them with custom furniture like picoted leather headboards reminiscent of a luxury sports car interior, as well as a color palette of silver, copper and iron honoring the California Gold Rush. Art enthusiasts have found a home away from home The hotel shares a building with the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is next door.

Nob Hill Where To Stay In San Francisco For Luxury

Located directly south of Russian Hill, Nob Hill, also known as Snob Hill, is one of the most high-class neighborhoods in not just San Francisco but the US as a whole. Along with the Marina District, Nob Hill is one of the safest areas in San Francisco with low crime rate.

Beautiful tree-lined streets and stunning buildings make it an ideal choice for those looking to where to stay in San Francisco for the most luxurious experience. Its one of the original seven hills of San Francisco and offers sweeping views of the city.

A collection of some of the best hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, and boutique stores make Nob Hill perfect for a laid-back vacation, enjoying the best things in life.

If you are looking for some nightlife, check out the Polk Gulch strip on Polk Street, or grab a drink at Top of the Marks bar on the roof of Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, or at the historic Tonga Room bar.

Meanwhile, a collection of art galleries, cultural institutions, and historic landmarks gives you plenty to do and see.

One popular institution in Nob Hill is the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. With San Francisco being well known for its cable car network, what better way to learn about these icons of the city than by seeing some of the original cars and learning about how they are made and operate.

There are also things to see such as visit the Antique Vibrator Museum, or see a concert at Nob Hill Masonic Center which is one of San Franciscos coolest concert venues.

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More San Francisco Planning Resources

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO.

Travel Insurance: Don’t leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • World Nomads – Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
  • Allianz – Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet – Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

North Beach: Best For Italian Food And Bohemian Vibes

San Francisco Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Located in the northeast corner of the city, and bordered by Fishermans Wharf, Chinatown, and Russian Hill, North Beach is a charming and bohemian neighborhood with a rich history.

The traditionally Italian neighborhood serves as San Franciscos Little Italy, full of great restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and barsits the best place in the city for pizza, pasta, cannoli, and espresso.

North Beach was also the favorite hangout of the Beat generation artists and poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. You can visit some of their old haunts like Vesuvio Café and City Lights Books, and learn more about the whole movement at the Beat Museum. Theres also a vibrant nightlife scene.

Pros and Cons of Staying in North Beach


  • Charming neighborhood: Theres a lot of charm, character, and history in this neighborhood.
  • Great food: Theres excellent Italian food here.
  • Walkable to other areas: Its also easy to get to Fishermans Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square and the Embarcadero from here.


  • Noise: It can get rowdy and loud at night, which may not be ideal if youre trying to sleep. Some of the nightlife offerings include strip clubs.
  • Difficulties parking: Parking is very limited and difficult here.
  • Limited transport: Aside from a few cable cars and buses, transport is not that convenient here, making it difficult to access other parts of the city beyond the nearby walkable neighborhoods.

North Beach Highlights

Places to Stay in North Beach

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Best Neighborhood For Lgbtiq+ Travelers

Rainbow flags wave their welcome to all in the Castro, the world’s premier LGBTIQ+ culture destination club kids, career activists, leather daddies and sequined drag queens. Check the plaques on Castro sidewalks and notice whose footsteps you’re walking in: Nobel Laureates and censored poets, Civil Rights leaders and San Francisco’s very own Empress.

Sleeping options in the Castro are limited, and they mostly cater to LGBTIQ+ travelers. Though on a map the Castro appears far from downtown sights, it’s actually easy to access because of the many transport lines that connect it to downtown, including the high-speed metro lines that run under Market Street from Castro Station.

There are many quick, convenient spots for a bite on Castro Street, but tastier options and better value can be found along Market Street to Church Street. The best places are off the main drag, including a cluster of bistros and bargain eats around 16th Street and 17th Street. An abundance of cafes offer excellent coffee and unbeatable people-watching.

Why Stay In South Of Market

In the South of Market, one popular spot is the Vertigo Hotel, where the renowned auteur Alfred Hitchcock famously shot his hit film Vertigo.

Looking for a hotel in South of market or SoMa maximizes your chances of eating your way through the best of dining experiences on offer in the city. If you want to avoid staying in a hostel but are still wanting a cheap hotel room, there are some nice accommodations here. It’s also great to access The Mission, where the burgeoning Latino culture offers up a smorgasbord of delectable eateries.

Surrounding Yerba Buena Gardens, you’ll find several museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art . The area is dotted with upscale dining options and exciting nightclubs.

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The Worst Neighborhoods In San Francisco For 2022

  • Outer Mission
  • So what’s the worst neighborhood to live in San Francisco for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Bayview looks to be the worst neighborhood in San Francisco.

    Read on to see how we determined the places around San Francisco that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

    Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best. Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of San Francisco.

    For more California reading, check out:

    • Low median income
    • Low population density
    • Low home values
    • High crime

    Then, we ranked each neighborhood in San Francisco, California for each of these criteria from worst to best.

    Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a “Worst Score”.

    The neighborhood with the lowest “Worst Score” ranks as the worst neighborhood of San Francisco.

    Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around San Francisco to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 34 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.

    This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.

    Why Stay In Haight

    10 Tourist Attractions to Add to Your Travel Bucket List

    San Francisco has a rich creative history. Back in the 60s and 70s, famed artists such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Janice Joplin all found a home for their creative and experimental endeavours within the walls of the epicurious city.

    Haight Ashbury was once the epicentre of the beatnik movement and counterculture. Attracting the poets, wayward creatives and the peace and love campaigns of the 60s and 70s. The bright and colourful Victorian houses in the area are filled with vintage boutiques, tattoo parlours, record stores, and thrift stores.

    The city’s artsy heart still beats in the cracks and corners, but these days it’s more hipster than hippy. A more modern counterculture in San Francisco is found to the East in Lower Haight. Nearby is Alamo Square, the perfect pitstop to capture one of San Fran’s most quintessential views.

    The 6 colourfully restored Victorian Houses known as the Painted Ladies set against the backdrop of the modern city. Staying around here offers fabulous views over Golden Gate Park, where 60s freedom fighters would stage impromptu music festivals and performances. Next to Alamo Square is Fillmore, a diverse neighbourhood full of a variety of ethnic restaurants and jazz clubs.

    Connected on the East side is Japantown, San Francisco’s vibrant Japanese Quarter.

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    Best Hostel In South Of Market : European Hostel

    More like a boutique hotel than a hostel, European Hostel provides upmarket accommodation for backpackers visiting San Francisco. The hostel has a fantastic location close to China Town, Union Square, and top attractions. Theres a bar and nightclub on-site, and there are plenty more a short walk away.

    Nopa / The Haight: Best For Hippies And Hipsters

    Located just east of Golden Gate Park, NoPa and the Haight are divided by the Panhandle, the eastern extension of Golden Gate Park.

    Haight-Ashbury became famous for the Summer of Love in 1967, when 100,000 free spirits descended on the area, and it became the heart of the hippie movement. Today, the area is still bohemian and quirky, though more hipster than hippie.

    Lower Haight is more laid back and residential, while neighboring NoPa is one of the hippest neighborhoods around, full of trendy restaurants, bars, and shops, especially around Divisadero Street. There are also plenty of residential streets filled with beautiful and historic Victorians.

    Pros and Cons of Staying in NoPa / The Haight


    • Great shops, restaurants, and bars: There are lots of great restaurants, shops, and bars. Particularly along Divisadero Street, one of the most interesting stretches in the entire city, and Haight Street.
    • Proximity to parks: The area is home to Buena Vista Park. Golden Gate Park is also close by.


    • Not very central: Its not really that close or convenient to other areas in the city.
    • Limited hotels: There are also limited hotel options in this largely residential area .

    NoPa / The Haight Highlights

    Places to Stay in NoPa / The Haight

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    Top Things To Do And See In The Mission

    • Shoot some pool at Benders Bar and Grill or Shotwells.
    • Rock the tunes on the jukebox at The 500.
    • Pay a visit to San Franciscos oldest building: Mision San Francisco de Asis, AKA Mission Dolores.
    • Hang out on a sunny afternoon in Delores Park. Bring your food and drink!
    • Sample delicious Latin dishes in one of the best neighbourhoods in San Francisco for foodies. You could even opt to take a walking food tour if you have time.
    • Pick up some bargains at the many thrift and vintage stores.
    • Admire the eye-catching murals and street art.
    • View the collections at art galleries like Galeria de la Raza, City Art, and Southern Exposure.
    • Catch a film at the Roxie Theatre and its far-out next-door neighbour, the Little Roxie.
    • Perfect your swing at Urban Putt, a quirky themed indoor mini-golf course housed in a Victorian mortuary.
    • Get into the groove and start nights out at Public Works.
    • Browse unusual goods and curiosities at Paxton Gate.

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    The Mission & The Tenderloin

    24 Things to Do in San Francisco

    These are two of San Franciscos most popular and well-known neighborhoods, even outside of California locals. And while we highly encourage you to visit, we want to strongly discourage you from basing yourself here. Allow us to explain why.

    I lived in the Tenderloin for a couple of years and loved it. It may be the grittiest neighborhood in the city, but it has a certain charm. As you walk from Union Square into the Tenderloin, huge high-end stores filter into tiny mom-and-pop shops, chain hotels become seedy motels, gilded bars turn into local dives, sit down restaurants turn into taquerias and pizza shops.

    Anyone familiar with authentic inner-city neighborhoods shouldnt be too shocked by the Tenderloin. Its conveniently placed and home to several places I would recommend visiting.

    But its uhgot a rep. Heres the thing: The TL, as the locals call it, is the neighborhood where drug rehabilitation, homeless services, and needle swap clinics are located. As a result, there are quite a few homeless residents, drug users, and other down-on-their-luck folks who spend most of their time in this area.

    Put it this way: San Francisco has a lot of problems, and youre going to see all of them in the Tenderloin. Ive never felt unsafe there, but Im a straight white man. I cant guarantee youd feel the same.

    So please, dont stay here, and if you visit, do so mindfully and respectfully the homeless are our neighbors, and we urge you to be empathetic to their struggles.

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