Union Square Cable Car .San Francisco 2

San Francisco is one of the most sought-after destinations when traveling abroad or across the country. As a city with a huge variety of rides and attractions, it often becomes necessary to select the must-see options for your itinerary.


I love San Francisco, but sadly only had two days to spend there. Here is my top 10 list so you can get the most out of your short visit to SF. As a city with a huge variety of rides and attractions, it often becomes necessary to select the must-see options for your itinerary. Some tourists even prefer private airplanes to San Francisco to make sure they are able to maximize their visit there.



Union Square Cable Car .San Francisco 2
Cable cars are right there! Who’s going to SF without riding a cable car???


Top Things to do in San Francisco


Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco


The first tip of San Francisco’s top 10 sights is on the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s undeniably a postcard of the city and often the meeting point for tourists and locals. People gather to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the region or simply take photos of one of the most beautiful places in San Francisco. One of the cool things about the bridge is that to cross it, you just have to pay a fee, which will depend a lot on the type of vehicle you will be in. There are lanes for cars, bicycles and even pedestrians. Whatever way you choose to explore it, you should never miss this attraction, which, besides being one of the most sought-after, is also the most famous in the whole city.


Lombard Street in San Francisco


My next San Francisco itinerary suggestion is the most acclaimed Lombard Street. Lombard Street is nothing less than a huge street with a massive hill. It feels like a roller coaster. The incredible part of this street is that it is all surrounded by gardens and beautiful flower beds that give an extra charm to the place. 


Pier 39 in San Francisco


A must-see tourist attraction in San Francisco is Pier 39. Situated in the Fisherman’s Wharf area this place is a commercial and tourist spot that harbors a huge amount of people all year round. Here you will find everything: shops, restaurants, toys, museums, an aquarium and much more. The cool thing about putting Pier 39 in your travel itinerary is that the attraction caters to all kinds of tastes, ranging from those who want to enjoy good California cuisine, to those who want to do some shopping in the stores. It is worth going there for the variety of things you will have in one place and for being at a place where you will have the opportunity to be in contact with people from all over the world.


Alcatraz Island in San Francisco


Alcatraz at night
Inside Alcatraz at night. This place is said to be haunted by some of America’s most dangerous criminals.


Another must on the list of things to do in San Francisco is Alcatraz Island. Considered one of the most historical places in the city this island is where the San Francisco prison is located, which for a long time was labeled as one of the most dangerous prisons in the country. The place receives an enormous number of tourists every year who go there for the curiosity and its haunted mystery.


And of course to know more about the history of the prison and the interest in exploring a prison where the most dangerous criminals of America, like Al Capone and others, were kept. The cool thing about the tour is that you get a chance to get to know everything about each place in the prison, as well as the cells and canteens where prisoners were confined. I recommend taking the Alcarez night tour for an epic creepy trip.


Grace Cathedral in San Francisco


Another super cool place to visit in San Francisco is Grace Cathedral. Its breathtaking decorations and structures embody not only a super important religious meaning but also the historical and cultural heritage of the whole city. Taking a walk there is a real dream; after all, there are several frescoes, works of art, stained glass, paintings and columns that make it special. It is well worth taking a day of your trip to visit it and have a totally innovative experience amid the best Neo-Gothic style present on the site.


Union Square in San Francisco


Hotel Union Square Review 3
The outside of Hotel Union Square. Photo courtesy of Personality Hotels.


If you’re looking for shopping then you want to visit Union Square. Considered one of the largest shopping centers in San Francisco. From the most traditional shops to the most sophisticated ones, there’s a store for just about anyone. It’s like an adventure, after all, there are many shop windows with the main launches of brands and brands from the United States and the world. So, if you are passionate about shopping and fashion, in Union Square this is a must stop.


Aquarium of The Bay in San Francisco


The next tip for your list of the top 10 San Francisco sights is the Aquarium of The Bay. Located at Pier 39 this attraction is nothing less than a gigantic aquarium with about 20 thousand animals. The cool thing is that in addition to you having the opportunity to meet animals never seen anywhere else in the country, you also have the chance to know more about the history of each of them. In the aquarium itself, there are areas where you can explore under the sea and can appreciate the marine life very close, even in the smallest details. It is an incredible tour, super suitable for a family trip and packed with surprises.


Chinatown in San Francisco


Chinatown is a place that can never be left out. You can imagine, it’s a neighborhood of all things China. The area was built by the Chinese who live in San Francisco and is a true cultural paradise. It has several shops, restaurants and even churches with an Asian influence. A trip there (besides being a unique experience) is a lot of fun, after a, it is very nice to have contact with people of different backgrounds and traditions.


Yerba Buena Gardens Park in San Francisco


Do not miss a visit to Yerba Buena Gardens Park, located right in the center of the city. The park, besides being a very beautiful and cozy place, is also a great option for lovers of physical activities. With an extensive green area and several gardens that spread all over the place, the only thing missing is a tourist not enjoying themselves. 


Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco


Last but not least, a visit to Ghirardelli Square is a must. Considered one of the oldest factories in California, Ghirardelli Square is a huge chocolate producer. And who doesn’t love chocolate? The cool thing about it is that in addition to being able to tour the place you also have the chance to buy several chocolates as souvenirs for the whole family. And for the chocolate enthusiast, there are chocolates here for all types of audiences and tastes: caramel chocolate, mint chocolate, pepper chocolate and more.


San Francisco is an incredible city to explore. I hope a few of these things to do in San Franciso make it to your itinerary!


Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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