The city of San Francisco, California is one of the main tourist destinations in the USA with many places to see and things to do during a trip or a city break.
The size of the city is not small, but in 2 or 3 days you can see a lot of San Francisco, or at least the main places. Especially if the SF visit is part of a tour of the American West, 2 or 3 days to dedicate to the Californian city should be enough.
This 3-day itinerary proposes to visit and cross the most representative places of the city. If you have less time available, you can concentrate the visit in 2 days. We remember that the hotel to San Francisco they are certainly not cheap and therefore a longer stay in the city could increase the budget to devote to travel.
3-day itinerary in San Francisco
Day 1: Golden Gate Bridge, Alamo Square, Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach
The first day can be dedicated to visiting the western part of the city, the one overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Since it is the day where the journey is longest, it is possible rent a bike. If you are not fit enough you can rent an electric bike, very convenient for overcoming the steep climbs of the streets of San Francisco.
In the first part of the day it can be visited Alamo Square, where the Painted ladies, typical Victorian houses, often featured prominently in panoramic photos of the city center.
From there continue entering the Golden Gate Park, the most famous park in San Francisco. The park features botanical gardens, a zoo and is a wonderful place to enjoy nature and spend pleasant hours outdoors
After having walked all the way through the park, at the end of it you will find Ocean Beach, the favorite beach for surfers. Beware the water is very cold and there are strong currents in the sea, so it is not advisable to take a bath.
In the middle of the day you can have lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area and then continue the itinerary towards Golden Gate Bridge, the symbol of the city. Crossing the bridge is one of the most beautiful experiences that the city of San Francisco offers.
2nd day: Alcatraz and Fisherman Wharf
The second day is less intense and you can start with the visit to Alcatraz island, which houses the famous and homonymous prison. The island can be reached by ferries that depart from Pier 33 at Fisherman Wharf, one of the most beautiful and touristic districts of San Francisco.
On the way back you can have lunch in one of the many restaurants in Fisherman Wharf. Even if they are certainly not cheap, the atmosphere is worth the money spent. For those who want to spend less, they can opt for one of the many fast food restaurants.
In the second part of the day you can visit the attractions of Fisherman Wharf, such as the famous and characteristic pier Pier 39, the prettiest of San Francisco's docks. Among the things to see, a colony of sea lions lying on the piers.
The day can be concluded by taking the Cable Car and going up the city with these characteristic means of transport, or watch the sunset from the pier. The sun setting over San Francisco Bay, with the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island in the background, is truly a wonderful experience.
Day 3: Chinatown, Union Square and Financial District
The third day can be dedicated to visiting the city center and its most famous neighborhoods, come Chinatown, Union Square e Financial District.
Chinatown it is the most characteristic district and the one not to be missed. The other 2 districts host important attractions such as the Transamerica pyramid and Coit Tower.
While visiting the city center you can buy souvenirs. The best neighborhood to do this is Chinatown, which offers plenty of shops and prices are quite cheap.
If you have time, you can end the day by taking a leisurely stroll along the promenade to the east of the city where there are other characteristic piers. Do not miss a visit to the Ferry Building Marketplace, the characteristic market on the lot, where you can enjoy a splendid view of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
2-day itinerary in San Francisco
If your tour does not allow you to dedicate 3 days to visiting the city, but only 2 days, no problem will be an exciting and beautiful experience.
Our advice is to visit the main attractions of the city in 2 days, which are: The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman Wharf and the city center, especially the Chinatown area.
Basically the 2-day itinerary includes 4 zones to be divided at will, 2 in one day and 2 in the other day. Maybe the first day you can visit Alcatraz in the morning and the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon. Is in the second day the districts of Fisherman Wharf and Chinatown, perhaps even taking a tour of the city with the classic double-decker tourist buses.