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Handlery Union Square Hotel
Handlery Union Square Hotel

351 Geary St, San Francisco 94102

3.5 out of 5.0
4 out of 5 (4,111 reviews)

A half-block from cable cars, this hotel is 2 blocks from Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre; the Moscone Center and the …

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Hotel Kabuki - a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel
Hotel Kabuki - a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel

1625 Post St, San Francisco 94115

3.5 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (3,627 reviews)

Located in the heart of San Francisco and just blocks from Union Square, the Hotel Kabuiki anchors the Japan Center, a comple …

£113
The Scarlet Huntington Hotel
The Scarlet Huntington Hotel

1075 California St, San Francisco 94108

4.5 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (1,461 reviews)

Set at the top of San Francisco's prestigious Nob Hill neighborhood with a cable-car stop out front, The Huntington Hotel i …

£165
Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
Chancellor Hotel on Union Square

433 Powell St, San Francisco 94102

3.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (4,431 reviews)

This historic 15-story hotel is on San Francisco's Powell Street Cable Car line. Union Square, Moscone Center, Chinatown, …

£109
Staypineapple at The Alise San Francisco
Staypineapple at The Alise San Francisco

580 Geary St, San Francisco 94102

4.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (511 reviews)

Built in 1913, this handsomely updated boutique hotel is in the midst of San Francisco's Union Square district, 2 blocks from …

£129
Hotel Whitcomb
Hotel Whitcomb

1231 Market St, San Francisco 94103

3.5 out of 5.0
3.3 out of 5 (7,507 reviews)

Located in the San Francisco theater district with a BART and MUNI station at its entrance, this downtown hotel is 6 blocks …

£107
Calista Organic Hotel
Calista Organic Hotel

1485 Bush Street, San Francisco 94109

3.0 out of 5.0
3.6 out of 5 (385 reviews)

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of San Francisco City Hall, Louise Davies Symphony …

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Hotel Zephyr
Hotel Zephyr

250 Beach Street, San Francisco 94133

3.5 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (1,814 reviews)

This family-friendly San Francisco hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 5-minute walk of Wax Museum at Fisherman's …

£140
Hotel Union Square
Hotel Union Square

114 Powell St, San Francisco 94102

3.5 out of 5.0
3.7 out of 5 (2,290 reviews)

Situated on the cable car line in the downtown shopping district, the boutique hotel is 2 blocks from Union Square and 4 …

£101
Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel
Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel

562 Sutter St, San Francisco 94102

3.5 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (1,495 reviews)

Named for San Francisco poet Kenneth Rexroth, this smoke-free, boutique hotel is within 2 blocks of Union Square and the …

£114

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Pocket Guide: San Francisco

Home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the original setting for what would become known as the Summer of Love, San Francisco's many associations with popular culture are hard to ignore. This former Gold Rush town, now California's fourth largest city, is laden with famous locations and movie imagery. Whether the city brings to mind Steve McQueen racing around the famous cityscape in 'Bullitt', or Clint Eastwood planning his escape from the infamous Alcatraz, San Francisco is etched indelibly on every moviegoer's mind.

The City's Story

However, delve into San Francisco's history and you'll find that, unlike the movies, the city has a real story to tell. San Francisco's population exploded with the Gold Rush of the 1840s, making it the largest city on the West Coast during that era. Banks, merchants (including the now famous Ghriadelli chocolatier), and the arrival of the first transcontinental railroad, brought enough wealth to build churches, theatres, and the first cable cars. San Francisco flourished, becoming a beacon of culture and lavishness in the otherwise underdeveloped American West. Prosperity during this period led to the construction of the city's countless Victorian-style homes and buildings, which have become a contemporary attraction among tourists and locals alike.

San Francisco has often been referred to as a hub of liberal thinking and mixing of cultures; it's well known as the site of the Summer of Love and an early leader in the United States' gay rights movement. Almost 40 per cent of the city's population was born overseas, creating a diverse mixture of people and neighborhoods, including one of the largest Chinatowns in America, Little Italy, and the Latin America-flavored Mission District. The city saw an influx of writers and artists in the 1950s, hippies in the 1960s, and another financial boom in the 1990s with the advent of the Internet - all of which have made San Francisco a wealthy city with a high standard of living and a robust entertainment and arts scene.

Something for Everyone

San Francisco is home to many iconic sites, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Coit Tower. Try a cruise for a great tour of the harbor or get a city pass to visit all the famous sights.

Numerous, undulating hills crisscrossed by cable cars are also characteristic of the city. A tight collection of distinct neighborhoods, San Francisco is easy to explore on foot (with a little help from the cable cars or a double-decker bus for the steeper hills). Find department-store shopping and entertainment in Union Square and the Financial District; souvenirs and tourists at Fisherman's Wharf; luxurious hotels and views on Nob/Russian Hill; and remnants of hippy bohemia in the Haight.

As the United States' second most densely populated (and highly visited) city, San Francisco offers new sights and treasures around every corner and something for almost every type of traveller.