The hilly city of San Francisco, also known as the City by the Bay, is home to an array of diverse neighbourhoods, each with something different to offer. From Union Square to Japantown, when it comes to things to do in San Francisco, there’s something to keep everyone happy. It’s all part of what makes it such a popular holiday destination.
The fascinating city is home to glorious open spaces and world-famous attractions, just ready and waiting to be explored. Highlights include the notorious Alcatraz Prison out on an island in the bay, and of course the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge, it’s the most photographed attraction in the city. You’ll also discover all kinds of cultural things to do here in San Francisco, with a host of events and museums to discover.
To help you get the most out of your trip, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you decide what to do in San Francisco. Why not take a closer look at some of our top picks and start planning your Californian adventure today?
1. Uncover the secrets of Alcatraz
Around a mile and a half from San Francisco Bay, you can discover the famous Alcatraz Island. Take a 15-minute boat ride away and you’ll reach Alcatraz Prison, the former maximum security prison for some of America’s most infamous criminals, including Al ‘Scarface’ Capone.
2. Go over the Golden Gate Bridge
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, and arguably the most memorable of the lot. You simply can’t miss the tall towers, Art Deco styling, and bold international orange colour. And you’ll want to visit on a clear day to get the full effect. Why not walk or cycle across?
3. Learn something at the California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s largest natural history museums; you’ll find more than 26 million varieties of animals and plants on display here. With so many exhibits to see and so much to learn, it makes a brilliant day out for the whole family.
4. Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum
Looking for family-friendly things to do in San Francisco? Pay a visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum, where you can get to know the man behind Mickey Mouse. It was opened by Walt Disney’s eldest daughter back in 2009 as a tribute to her father and his magical stories.
5. See an art show at the Legion of Honor
Tucked away inside a beautiful French neoclassical building, you’ll discover the Legion of Honor. It’s a popular art museum with a fascinating collection that spans over 4,000 years. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday and is an absolute must-visit for culture vultures wondering what to do in San Francisco.