Smart tips for traveling to San Francisco

San Francisco is my favorite city that embraces the west coast. It is also one of the most expensive, especially for hotels. Lucky for the frugal traveler, many attractions are free.

Note: When I first went to San Francisco (coming up with LA), I was very surprised by the drop in temperature. Check the weather before arrival.

Fishing pier

The fishing pier, Pier 39 and Girardelli Square occupy about 6 blocks along the waterfront. This tourist spot offers a beautiful view of the famous Alcatraz, a souvenir shop, seafood vendors and street performers. Some of the locals “residents” include pelicans and sea lions. What souvenir to pick up for chocolate moms who love chocolate? Chocolate Ghirardelli. This is where it all began.

Cable cars

While in Piazza Girardelli, take a few photos at the turn of the cable car (end of one of the lines). The cable cars, which are called a living monument of San Francisco, are a good turning point.

Note: no cable carriage. Each trip requires a new ticket.


Chinatown in San Francisco ranks second in the U.S. only in New York. This is a great place to get cheap supplies and inexpensive food.

Lombard Street

Known as the most crooked street, Lombard is another one of those who loves tourist photos. Walking is free.

Golden Gate Bridge

Another famous and colorful walk – across the Golden Gate Bridge. On a clear day the views will be fantastic (and you will be able to work out all the delicious Chinese food you will eat). This suspension bridge is just over 9,000 feet long, so plan a suitable road.

Cable Car Museum

Do you like funiculars? Then visit the funicular museum on Mason Street. Admission is free, and the deck of the museum opens onto huge motors and winding wheels that pull the cables. Great photos can be taken in vintage cable cars.

A city of different cultures, bordered by the sea, San Francisco has a wonderful mix of historical and modern attractions. Many of them are free.