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Serrano Hotel
Serrano Hotel

405 Taylor St, San Francisco 94102

4.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (3,930 reviews)

The Serrano Hotel is steps away from Union Square, perfectly positioned in the Theater District of San Francisco, 2 blocks …

£129
Stanford Court San Francisco
Stanford Court San Francisco

905 California Street, San Francisco 94108

4.0 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (2,681 reviews)

Guests can indulge in high-end shops like Prada and Tiffany & Co at Union Square, 4 blocks away. Chinatown is 5 minutes on …

£114
Handlery Union Square Hotel
Handlery Union Square Hotel

351 Geary St, San Francisco 94102

3.5 out of 5.0
4 out of 5 (4,089 reviews)

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

£126
Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco
Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco

424 Clay St, San Francisco 94111

4.0 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (4,628 reviews)

Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco is located in the center of the financial district, across from the Embarcadero Center …

£102
Payne Mansion Hotel
Payne Mansion Hotel

1409 Sutter St, San Francisco 94109

4.0 out of 5.0
3.9 out of 5 (145 reviews)

Located in Civic Center, this boutique guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of San Francisco City Hall, Asian Art Museum o …

£93
Warfield Hotel
Warfield Hotel

118 Taylor St, San Francisco 94102

3.0 out of 5.0
1.8 out of 5 (4 reviews)

Located in Downtown San Francisco, this inn is within a 15-minute walk of Westfield San Francisco Centre, Union Square, and …

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Hotel Diva
Hotel Diva

440 Geary St, San Francisco 94102

3.5 out of 5.0
3.9 out of 5 (2,563 reviews)

This downtown San Francisco hotel is surrounded by shopping, restaurants and theaters, only 2 blocks from Union Square, and …

£120
Loews Regency San Francisco
Loews Regency San Francisco

222 Sansome St, San Francisco 94104

5.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (285 reviews)

Offering spectacular views, this luxury hotel occupies the top floors of a 48-story tower in San Francisco's Financial …

£324
The Marker San Francisco, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
The Marker San Francisco, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

501 Geary St, San Francisco 94102

4.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (1,927 reviews)

Eclectically decorated The Marker San Francisco, a 1910 Beaux Arts building, is within 2 blocks of Union Square and the Curra …

£167
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 (1,414 reviews)

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

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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.