City Guide

Your travel guide to San Francisco, including sightseeing and travel itineraries

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San Francisco neighborhoods

Get to know the city with our guides to some of San Francisco's most popular areas

San Francisco travel information

Traveling to and from San Francisco
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Traveling to and from San Francisco

The lowdown on getting to and from San Francisco’s main airports by public transportation, plus airline contact information

Getting around San Francisco
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Getting around San Francisco

Navigate San Francisco like a native—everything you need to know about public transportation, car rental and cycling in the city

San Francisco visitor information and resources
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San Francisco visitor information and resources

Our A-to-Z resource guide includes essential contact information, travelers’ tips and advice on what to do in a crisis in San Francisco

The best hotels in San Francisco

Fairmont

Fairmont

High atop Nob Hill, the Fairmont is the grand dame of San Francisco hotels, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The main building was built in 1908, and the grand lobby reveals traces of the Gilded Age in polished marble floors that reflect the glow of century-old crystal chandeliers, and rows of yellow-marble Corinthian columns soaring two stories high. Tony Bennett debuted "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the Fairmont in 1961. The 1920s-designed Presidential Suite is the most opulent hotel room in all SF, covering the entire 8th floor; it even has a movable bookcase for secret escapes to the rooftop's former helipad. Service is high-end business class, and guest rooms got a total makeover in 2014. Choose between the original main building or the 1960s tower. Main-building rooms have high ceilings and crown moldings, and feel grand for their proportions. Tower rooms are boxy with lower ceilings, but have incredible bay and city views, especially from high floors. All are furnished with sumptuous beds and marble baths. At the tiki-themed Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar, drinks come with little umbrellas, a dance band plays standards, and artificial thunderstorms rain down hourly on the floating bandstand. A classic SF experience.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Taj Campton Place

Taj Campton Place

San Francisco has only a handful of five-star hotels, a ranking dependent upon a long list of amenities, facilities and services that few can deliver. And then there's Taj Campton Place, officially a four-star for its lack of a spa and swimming pool, but in every other way a bona fide luxury hotel, with service on par with the city's best. Elegant and correct in their restrained design, all 110 rooms are done in soothing shades of neutral ecru, with walls of pear wood and high-end furnishings, including leather-top writing desks. Beds are dressed in silky-soft Frette linens, and the limestone bathrooms are stocked with high-end products and chenille robes. Entry-level "California rooms" have the same finishes and fixtures as larger rooms, but because of their compact size feel a bit crammed; consider upgrading to a larger room. Downstairs the eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant, Campton Place, serves three meals daily, and the same kitchen provides room service to guests.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Hotel Zetta

Hotel Zetta

A giant Plinko board rises in the lobby of this art-filled downtowner, whose mezzanine games room befits the overworked Silicon Valley techies who are its target market. Built in 1903 and completely gutted in 2013 by the Viceroy Group, the 116-room hotel is up to date with all the latest gadgets. The design theme plays off salvage and rescue (which is also the name of the lobby bar), and repurposed materials are everywhere, as in the lobby's tiered chandelier of cast-off eye glasses. Rooms are bigger than average, uncluttered and whisper-quiet, with giant butcher-block architect's desks, plush beds with 500-thread-count sheets, and Bluetooth pairing to link your electronics with the 47-inch TV and Jambox speaker. The onsite Cavalier gastropub serves stick-to-your-ribs cooking that will keep you working all night.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Inn at the Presidio

Inn at the Presidio

A woodsy alternative to downtown hotels, Inn at the Presidio is a National Park Service lodge on a former military base at the Golden Gate Bridge. The red-brick inn was originally built 1903 to house bachelor officers, and in 2010 was converted to a boutique B&B. Seventeen of the 22 oversized rooms are 530-square-foot one-bedroom suites, but even standard rooms are gigantic, and all look like a catalogue spread from Restoration Hardware, with distressed leather furniture and white-on-white damask sheets. Note: Ground-floor rooms may front on a rocking-chair veranda; if you prefer total privacy, book the third floor, though there's no elevator. Outside are 24 miles of hiking trails. The obvious drawback is the proximity to downtown: A taxi costs about $35, but free daytime shuttles get you there in 30 minutes.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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