San Francisco is a place where contrasts abound: from Victorian homes painted in rainbow colours, to Michelin-starred eateries where casual dress is the norm. It’s a city known for its steep hills, iconic landmarks and incredible food scene, but to really experience California’s own “City by the Bay” like a local it’s important to step away from the touristy spots like Fisherman’s Wharf and amble through its neighbourhoods – each a pocket of culture with its own distinct vibe.
When to go:
San Francisco is best enjoyed in the spring and autumn (the city’s “Indian Summer”), when temperatures are at their warmest. Summers are often cool – sometimes downright cold – with the city’s notorious fog moving in and covering it in a thick sea of white, often completely obscuring some of its most impressive landmarks. Winters can be rainy.
How to get around:
Public transit is abundant and easy to navigate, though if the city’s hills don’t scare you, cycling is a great alternative. You can also spend days walking around from one neighbourhood to the next.