San Francisco, California, United States of America
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San Francisco Hotels

With its spectacular bridge - which glows scarlet as it arcs across the bay - charming Victorian houses, and bars that pour impeccable Californian wines, San Francisco is one of America’s best-loved cultural and creative capitals. Let Silicon Valley’s energetic buzz carry you away, before the rustic trams, and stories of Alcatraz’s fearful fortress, pull you back in time. Culture is everywhere, so discover San Francisco for yourself, and dive into its world of hidden art galleries and flashy restaurants, which spill smells of cooking seafood and spicy Mexican dishes into the night air.

Things to see

Few structures inspire as much love as the Golden Gate Bridge - especially when it’s peeking out from behind one of the thick rolls of fog that tumble into the bay. For the best experience, rent a bicycle, and feel the air in your hair, as you cycle across its magnificent span, high above the chilled waves below. You may also be able to spot the imposing, jagged island of Alcatraz as you ride - San Francisco’s iconic offshore fortress, which was used as a federal prison for 30 years. Take the ferry out from Pier 33 - after seeing the clapping sea lions at Pier 39 - and you can bounce across the choppy waters out to ‘The Rock,’ to tour the infamously grim cells, which caged some of America’s most dangerous criminals. Anyone with a taste for the weird and the wonderful will love The Exploratorium’s exhibitions, where you can see live dissections of cow eyeballs, and learn how to capture photographs of water-drops creating stunning crowns as they splash down.

Hotels in San Francisco

Whether you want sprawling, 5-star hotels, or humble - but economical - hostel bunks, you’re guaranteed a great night’s sleep in San Francisco. Enjoy the highest caliber of luxury, as you recline above the city’s roofs on your high rise balcony, and look out over the bay’s water. Don’t worry if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, however, as cheaper hotels offer a great base for any visit. You can still surf some of the world’s fastest WiFi - which powers Silicon Valley’s technological charge, and kick back with cable television, and free tea and coffee. Air conditioning, soft beds, and powerful showers add an extra layer of comfort to any stay in San Francisco.

Where to stay

The thick fog that rolls in from the Pacific blankets California’s grapevines, nurturing the grapes and helping them to develop intense flavor. Sample some of the best local varieties, with a stay near Union Square - where you can wine bar hop at night, and spend big in boutique shops during the day. If you’re on business, central hotels in the high-rise Financial District will put you at the heart of the bargaining and the bartering, while for a unique San Francisco sight, you should head to Lombard Street - where cars waltz down a knot of tight chicanes, to beat the street’s steep incline.

How to get to San Francisco

With its dense community of entrepreneurs and businesses, the Bay Area is amply served by airports, and San Francisco International Airport is one of the simplest entry points. The heart of the city is compact, but beware of the devilish gradients that the streets are known for. Instead, you may want to rely on one of America’s most effective public transport systems - which features buses, historic cable-cars, and subway trains - to reach your destination. San Francisco is also well served by rail, with Amtrak departures running to destinations like Los Angeles and Seattle on a regular basis.

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