Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
Published June 21st 2014
What would you do if you only have 24 hours in San Francisco
Having recently came back from a work trip in San Francisco, I thought I would write about my experience while the memories are still fresh in my mind. Note that this is by no means a comprehensive guide to San Francisco, but if you have limited amount of time like me, or if you are just generally curious about the city, then I hope this article will be entertaining to read.
While the city has a great subway system (called BART), I enjoy getting to know a city by foot. I can't even remember how many times I got lost, but that's part of the fun isn't it? The people there are also extremely friendly, so don't be afraid to ask for directions! Some would even approach you if you seem a little lost.
For those unfamiliar with the city, there is a main bus terminal called Transbay Terminal. From there, you can take buses to pretty much anywhere. However, remember to carry enough change for the bus fare as bus drivers do not offer any change. For example, if the fare is $2 and you only have a $5 note, you don't get your $3 back.
Here is my 24-hour guide to San Francisco:
Golden Gate Bridge If you haven't been to Golden Gate Bridge, you haven't been to San Francisco. It is one of those obligatory things where you have to cross off your list. You can catch the Route 101 bus from the Transbay Terminal (it's called the Golden Gate Transit Bus) which takes you to the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza. You can also plan your trip to the bridge using this link here.
Once you reach the toll gate, walk around and you will find the information centre where you can read about the history and construction of the bridge.
If you have time, take the opportunity to walk across the bridge, but be mindful that it will take you at least an hour to get to the other side. I only walked to the first tower and the view was worth it.
After spending a good few hours soaking in the beauty of the bridge, I took the Route 80 bus and headed back to the city. If there is one thing to note about the bridge, it's that it can get foggy at certain times during summer months. So do check the weather before you visit, although I am sure it will look pretty amazing in the fog as well.
This is another icon of San Francisco, and I was lucky enough to see it during the day and at night. It is only a 5 min walk from the Transbay Terminal to The Embarcadero, where you can see the Bay Bridge.
Keep walking along The Embacardero and you will get see the Ferry Building, Exploratorium, and eventually you will reach Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. The walk to Fisherman's Wharf took about an hour but I would highly recommend it as there is so much to see along the way.
Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf
Pier 39 is almost like a theme park with lots of shops, restaurants and fun things to do. You can also see Alcatraz from there, and if you are lucky you might spot some seals too!
I went to Japantown because I love Japanese food, but otherwise it is probably not a priority spot to visit considering there are so many other things to do in San Francisco. However, if you do go to Japantown, do check out Isobune Sushi. I love the novelty idea of sushi on a boat!
One last tip, summer in San Francisco is actually quite chilly and windy, so remember to pack warm clothing as it can get to about 14°C at night. Apparently it starts getting warm during fall in late August so if you like warmer weather, September to November are the best months to visit!
Thanks for reading and hope you pay a visit to this amazing city soon!