San Francisco is, undoubtedly, one of the coolest hiptster hangouts in California. Rolling over a hilly peninsula in San Francisco Bay, this quirky city is dotted with colourful Victorian buildings, choppy coastlines and, of course, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. No trip to the west coast of the USA would be complete without a visit here.
While San Francisco is popular all year round, high-season takes place in the summer. This has more to do with holidays and festivals than the maritime weather, which is relatively consistent year-round. The most expensive flights tend to be from July to August.
For cheap flights to San Francisco, your best bet is therefore to search in December, January and February. While the temperatures at this time of year are a little cooler, the city itself is certainly no less enticing as a result.
Whether you’re here for the Cirque du Soleil or to attend one of Frisco’s numerous film festivals, the attractions on offer can be enjoyed whatever the time of year.
When searching Expedia for cheap flights to San Francisco from the UK, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances.
First of all, after running your initial search, be sure to check out ‘Nearby Airports’. This option can be found beneath your departure location and lets you compare deals with other airports in the area.
Flexibility on dates is also invaluable for securing a better deal.
San Francisco International Airport lies 15 miles south of the city centre. The most straightforward route from the airport is to hire a car and travel along Route US-101 into the city. In high season, when traffic is congested, Interstate 280 provides a convenient alternative.
Because San Francisco itself is very hilly, the city’s Muni Metro system offers welcome respite from walking. This would tire out even the fittest of tourists quickly, especially on the city’s famously steep Lombard Street. The Muni Metro system conveniently combines buses, trains and San Francisco’s iconic cable cars.
San Francisco Bay is an attraction all by itself, with regular fog rolling in and out, putting on quite a show. An evening stroll west will take you to the Pacific coast where you can enjoy the sunset from one of the many trendy bars, cafes and restaurants that are popular here.
Driving across the impressive Golden Gate Bridge is an absolute must as well, while history enthusiasts will love a visit to the infamous Alcatraz. A notoriously inescapable prison at the heart of the bay, this water-bound fortress is now a fascinating museum.
Although visitors to San Francisco needn’t worry about obtaining a visa, it is required to fill out an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). This short questionnaire is similar to a visa waiver. It’s valid for two years (or until your passport expires) and costs 14 USD.