San Francisco - “The City” is a perfect example of the West Coast. It’s a vibrant cultural and social hub, where you can engage with your mind as well as your body. You can enjoy your time in the brightly colored Victorian-built Castro District, enjoy the food of Japantown or Chinatown, or hang out in the hippie haunts of Haight-Ashbury. San Francisco is a city of distinct neighborhoods. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of useful ways to help you navigate San Francisco like a local.
First things first, before you can navigate San Francisco like a local, you have to get there. This is where Skyscanner can help you out. When it comes to finding the best deal, Skyscanner is a completely free tracker. Skyscanner compares thousands of routes and flight providers, to find you the best deals on flights, hotels, and car hire. If you’re looking for cheap tickets, or maybe even a last minute flight, they’ve got you covered.
Of course, flying isn’t for everyone. Maybe you’re afraid of heights, or maybe you live too far from an airport. Whatever the reason, you might want to look at getting a train or a bus to the city. Wanderu offers you an easy and intuitive way to get to San Francisco. Simply plug in your departure dates, and choose a coach, train, or ferry, and watch the best fairs come in.
In this day and age, it makes sense to be insured before you go traveling to a new destination, or an active, vibrant city like San Francisco. World Nomads have taken on the bewildering world of travel insurance to offer you something designed by travelers, for travelers. Their ethical stance on providing a quality service, as well as tips and advice for safe travel, and how to engage with the city while you’re there.
When it comes to getting around a city the size of San Francisco, a car is essential. For people who like to do the driving themselves, Turo offers you a car rental experience with a difference. You can rent the car of your dreams, without having to pay exorbitant prices by taking advantage of their car share scheme. You can arrange to have the car waiting for you at the airport or pick it up in a location in San Francisco.
If you’d prefer not to drive yourself, ExecuCar offers luxury travel in black sedans or SUVs and is available to be booked hourly, around town, or to get you to and from the airport. And of course, there’s the always reliable Uber, which means you’ll never be stuck without transportation.
It’s hard to enjoy anywhere if you can’t get a good night’s sleep, but luckily Hotels.com can help you find the right place to stay at the right price point. As one of the leading online hotel booking platforms, they have access to a huge choice of hotels, as well as offering a Price Guarantee on bookings. Their site is easy to use, and they also offer an excellent app option if you prefer to browse for somewhere to stay on the go.
Of course, there’s one international San Francisco start-up whose success can be felt around the world: Airbnb. Find yourself a dream home or apartment to rent, or a simple, spare room in an apartment share, for as long as you want to be in the area.
Airbnb Experiences also allow you to find out the kinds of events that locals know all about, that you can book before you even get there.
So now you’ve made your way to San Francisco, and have found the perfect place to stay, then it’s time to enjoy the city like a local.
GetYourGuide allows you to decide how to plan your journey your own way. By offering personal experiences, you can find unique and exciting events in San Francisco. The app means that if you find yourself looking for something short notice, you’ll never get bored!
Groupon is another great way to enjoy events - and in many cases to experience some serious bargains at the same time. The coupon site will show you events, discounted deals on everything from day trips to hotel rooms.
For movie buffs, Fandango is the place to go to find out what’s showing, and when. You can also join their VIP program if you want to make the most of discounts and special offers that are frequently made available.
When it comes to finding food, you’re going to be spoiled for choice. San Francisco has a huge international community, so it pays to find out what you want to eat before the hanger kicks in. If you’re looking for the best places to dine out in the city, OpenTable offers an incredible service. Pick the date and time, and then track through any number of options - complete with ratings and reviews. Sometimes that’s a little overwhelming though, and all you want to do is kick back and relax in your hotel room or Airbnb. Thankfully, UberEats is on hand to deliver you delicious restaurant quality food, straight to your door. So whether you want a speedy pizza, an at-home date night or to settle in for some Netflix and chill, you know you won’t have to go hungry.
So you've roamed the art galleries and hiked to see the Redwoods, but when you want to get around and feel a little more at home doing so, make sure you check out Citymapper. This handy little app will show you how best to get around, as well as highlighting useful information like grocery stores, cafes, and bike rental stations.
Before you go, particularly if you're staying in an Airbnb and don't want to pay hefty cleaning charges, don't forget that Handy can keep you covered. This gives you local access to home cleaning experts so that you can leave the place spic and span!
It's always helpful to have emergency numbers on hand, should the worst happen. Dial 3-1-1: San Francisco At Your Service: Established by the city, 311 is a number that can connect you to customer service representatives who can help you with information and services. It's open 24/7, 365 days a year.