How To Spend 3 Iconic Days in San Francisco

There is nothing typical about this city comparing to other cities of the United States. You can feel its unique vibe as soon as you enter the city. The people, the weather and the laid back atmosphere are the 3 main things that make San Francisco so different. Every landmark of the city is iconic.

Leave at least 3 days to explore everything but try to stay longer (highly recommended) as much as you can. Consider visiting between spring and fall. To avoid the crowds and expensive rates, September to November is the perfect time to visit. Bring a sweatshirt with you just in case. Weather can get chilly anytime.

Where To Stay- Stay somewhere close to Union Square. We had a pleasant stay at USA Hostels San Francisco. Great location and helpful staff.

Parking can be a pain in the ass. Use public transportation to get around the city. It’s nearly impossible to find a free parking spot on the streets. You can leave your car at a parking garage close to your hostel. They are expensive though and you have to drop the car keys.

We tried to find a parking garage that doesn’t require dropping the keys but we couldn’t. So we left our rental car with the keys but I was so paranoid about it, we checked the car everyday if it’s still there or not. One day, our car wasn’t there at it’s spot, we were like “shit, shit, shit, what are we gonna do?”

As we walked around with panic to find the car, thankfully we found it in some other spot. Turns out they move the cars frequently since it’s a small garage which we already knew. We pretended like we forgot something in the car so the staff wouldn’t think we are weirdos.

Things To Do- 3 day sample schedule that you can follow in daily order.

Day 1

Union Square

Start your day from Union Square, a place surrounded by restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops.

Ride the Cable Cars

Head to Market Street. Hop on the cable cars and enjoy this very touristy ride. Both Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason lines will take you to near of the famous Lombard Street.

Lombard Street

One of the most known landmarks in San Francisco. Super cliche to visit here but still cool to see it.

Coit Tower

Walk around, enjoy the hills and houses and get a glimpse of the tower.

Painted Ladies

Take Muni bus no.21 from Market Street to Alamo Square. Get off at Steiner Street.

The Castro and Mission District

Perfect place to end the day where you can rest in Dolores Park and head bars and clubs for a night out.

Day 2

Alcatraz Island

Oh, what an amazing feeling is seeing this island. You have to make a reservation in advance to step on the island. I feel so much regret not doing it in advance and missing the chance to experience the island. Sadly, we only took a boat tour goes around it. Schedule this as first thing in the morning.

Fisherman’s Wharf

The coolest waterfront ever to hang out, including great food.

Pier 39

Here is where you can see the sea-lions. Great place for shopping and entertainment, plus amazing views of the Bay.


You can make your way though here after hanging out at waterfront and explore what’s around this neighborhood. Sources say it is the oldest and the largest Chinatown in North America.

Day 3

Golden Gate Bridge

Finally, it is time to admire this mighty, iconic and beautiful bridge. Take a million photos from every possible angle. Most definitely and highly recommended, walk across the bridge.

If getting here by car, park at Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center. If getting here by bus, take bus no. 10, 70, 92, 93 and 101 from downtown.

Palace of Fine Arts

Great place to relax and stroll around.

Golden Gate Park

Chill for the rest of day by exploring this park. You still have more time though, go do whatever you want. You have seen it all and been a tourist enough 🙂


Points of Interest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *