Cheap flights to San Francisco depart daily from London Heathrow Airport. Flights to San Francisco arrive at San Francisco International Airport. British travellers may qualify for the Visa Waiver programme, which allows them to stay in the US for up to 90 days without a visa. Check with the American Embassy in London to see if you qualify before your flight to San Francisco. The BART rapid rail system provides services to San Francisco and the Bay Area. The AirTrain shuttle service transports passengers to the BART station in Garage G. SamTrans runs 24-hour services from the airport to San Francisco. Taxis are available for hire outside the Arrivals level of all terminals.
BART provides an extensive rapid transit system within San Francisco and the Bay Area. A number of different colour-coded tickets are available. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket vending machines in BART stations. Muni operates a broad network of bus, trolleybus, streetcar and cable car services around San Francisco. Contactless Clipper cards can be used on BART and throughout the Muni network. The Clipper card works in a similar fashion to the Oystercard used on the London Underground. It can be topped up with extra funds at Add Value machines, online or by phone. One, three or seven day Muni Passports offer unlimited journeys on all lines operated by Muni. Passports can be purchased online, from ticket vending machines as well as from designated shops in San Francisco.
Enjoy the view from the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most iconic bridges on Earth. Spend a day exploring the massive Golden Gate Park and go boating on Stow Lake or take in the highlights of the California Academy of Sciences. The winding length of Lombard Street has graced many postcards, and is a favourite with visitors looking for a memorable photo. Join a walking tour through Haight Ashbury and find out more about the history of the remarkable district. Twin Peaks is one of the highest points in the city, and offers great views all around San Francisco. Fisherman’s Wharf - though considered by locals to be a bit of a tourist trap - is still a fun place to spend a few hours. There are a number of museums around the area, as well as the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
San Francisco has its fair share of big name and high street brands, but there is also a myriad of unique, independent talent to be discovered. The Mission Statement is a designer collective in the Mission District that stocks beautifully made, often one-off clothes and accessories. The Haight has plenty of bookshops and music stores. Amoeba Music has an enormous selection of indie music. The store also organises live performances by cult bands and musicians. Fisherman’s Wharf has a varied selection of seafood restaurants as well as makeshift stalls selling chowder and fresh shellfish. Chowders’ on Pier 39 serve their eponymous soups in hollowed out bread bowls. Sample a microbrewed beer at Vesuvio Café, which has been frequented by the likes of Jack Kerouac and Dylan Thomas.