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24 Hours in San Francisco

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by rujihw (subscribe)
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.

Golden Gate Bridge
The magnificent Golden Gate 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.

View from Golden Gate Bridge
View from Golden Gate Bridge


Walking on Golden Gate Bridge
Sunset walk on the bridge




Looking up
Looking up


Approaching the first tower
Approaching the first tower


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.

Golden Gate Toll Plaza at dusk
Golden Gate Toll Plaza at dusk


Bay Bridge

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.

Bay Bridge during the day
Bay Bridge during the day


Bay Bridge at night
Bay Bridge at night


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.

The Embarcadero
View from the Embarcadero




The Exploratorium
The Exploratorium


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!





Carousel
Carousel


Alcatraz in the distance
Alcatraz in the distance




After Pier 39, you will find yourself in Fisherman's Wharf! The one thing you need to try at the wharf is clam chowder! We don't have it in Australia (or at least not good ones) so I was very excited.

Fisherman's wharf
Fisherman's wharf!


Clam chowder & crab chowder
Clam chowder & crab chowder


Japantown

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!

Japantown
Japantown


You can take the 38 Geary bus from the Transbay Terminal to Japantown or walk.

Roam around the town, financial district, shopping district

Last but not least, just roam around the town by foot.

San Francisco Cable Car
The famous cable car




Downtown
Downtown


Financial district
Financial district


Shopping district in SF
Shopping district - Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue


Shopping district in SF
Bloomingdales


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 14C 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!
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Why? Because it is one of the most amazing cities in the world
Your Comment
Lots of places to discover. I didn't know there was a Japantown.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12056) 1583 days ago
great article. I had a few days in San Francisco and agree it's a phenomenal city. You've captured so much of what there is to do.
by Helenonthesofa (score: 2|661) 1582 days ago
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