San Francisco Travel & San Francisco International Airport



Where is San Francisco?

San Francisco is in Northern California in the United States. It is one of the busiest and most widely visited cities in California, filled with food, culture, activities, nightlife and diverse ecosystems.

When is the best time to go to San Francisco?

The climate is very moderate with a year-round average temperature of around 19 degrees Celsius. Although June to August are summer months in San Francisco, this time of year can be quite foggy, so always dress in layers when visiting San Francisco. A morning with light rain can easily turn into a beautiful and sunny afternoon!

San Francisco tends to be cheaper on the weekends when business travel is less common, so it’s a great pairing with other Northern California destinations (e.g., Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Lake Tahoe (including North Lake Tahoe), Mammoth Mountain, Sacramento, or Yosemite Mariposa County) that tend to be more affordable during the week.

As a key convention destination, pricing can fluctuate based on activities and meetings happening in the city, so always pay attention to the event calendar to score the best prices.


What's the best way to get to San Francisco?

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is one of the biggest entry ports in the US for Australians. There are direct flights with Qantas from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane into SFO multiple times a week. United Airlines flies direct from Sydney and Melbourne and you can catch a flight with Air New Zealand from Auckland.

Does San Francisco Travel Association sponsor Famil trips?

San Francisco Travel runs 4 individual media famils and one group media famil each year. San Francisco Travel runs influencer and new media content trips as well as traditional media famils.

The San Francisco Travel team has full discretion over the number and range of media titles, content creators, and journalists that it may invite on a famil.

Can San Francisco Travel Association support my trip (or a portion of my trip)?

San Francisco Travel can assist journalists, content creators and influencers in a range of ways, including providing flights, accommodation, on-ground transport, and itinerary and planning support.

The San Francisco Travel team maintains discretion about which trips it supports, and to what extent.

Does San Francisco Travel run agent events or roadshows?

San Francisco Travel usually participates in the annual Visit USA roadshow and/or the Visit California Roadshow that is held every two years. In addition, different agent events run throughout the year. If you are interested in attending any future events related to San Francisco, please register your interest.

What is the best way to get around?

There are many different ways to get around San Francisco therefore, you do not need a car unless you plan on going on some day trips outside of the city. Transportation in San Francisco includes city busses called Muni, the underground system BART, Ferries, Cable Cars and trams called Muni Metro. There are also various ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft.

What’s the go with tipping?

Tipping is common practice in the US and part of our hospitality culture. Below is a general guide to follow:

Restaurants: 18-20%
Taxis: 10-15% (many taxis in the US aren’t equipped with credit card machines, so ask before you get in)
Tour guides: 20%
Bell desk: $2/bag
Valet: $2 when they bring your car around (nothing when you drop it off)
Valet loading luggage into your car: $2/bag
If hotel delivers anything to your room: $3
Housekeeping: $3/day on the bed
Courtesy shuttle: $2 per person/per bag
Doorman if they call you a cab: $2

Where can I find more information?

San Francisco Travel’s website is a great resource for additional information.

How long should I stay?

On average, visitors stay in San Francisco for 4 to 5 nights. However depending on your pace of travel, you could stay for up to 2 weeks exploring all of the diverse neighbourhoods. To be able to see all of the main attractions i.e. Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Lombard St and Chinatown, we would recommend 2 to 3 days alone just for this.

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What's New

July 2019
  • Salesforce Transit Centre Rooftop Park
    The Salesforce Transit Centre is a transit station in downtown San Francisco. The rooftop park reopened in July after a few repairs and now features grassy lawns, a children’s play area, an amphitheatre for Zumba and Yoga and much more.
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  • Tour in a Tesla with Sparktours
    Sparktours offers classic and custom tours in a locally built Tesla Model X SUV. This vehicle is ultra-modern and a lot of fun. It’s 100% electric, clean and quiet, and among the safest passenger vehicles on the road today. It has an extra-large windshield and interior glass for a greater sense of openness and visibility. With just five guests per tour, Spark tours can get closer to the most famous attractions and neighbourhoods. Itinerary options include San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Wine Country, and unique, in-depth Lifestyle Experiences personalized around guests’ interests. Owner and lead guide Heather White Meriau, a Bay Area local, has seven years’ professional guide experience and works with some of the best names in travel.
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August 2019
  • SFO Ends the Sale of Water in Plastic Bottles
    San Francisco International Airport (SFO) made national news by prohibiting the sale of water in plastic bottles effective August 20, 2019. This move requires all airport retailers, restaurants, airline lounges, and vending machines to sell or provide water in recyclable aluminium, glass or BPI-certified compostable bottles. The policy applies to purified water, mineral water, carbonated or sparkling water, and electrolyte-enhanced water, but does not include flavoured beverages such as sodas, teas, or juices. In 2016, SFO established a goal to achieve zero waste going to landfill by 2021. Since then, SFO has been working with concessions and tenants on policies to achieve this goal, including a requirement to provide single-use food ware in compostable packaging. Prohibiting the sale of bottled water in plastic packaging was implemented at this time because the market for acceptable alternatives to plastic bottles has matured sufficiently to provide retailers with a variety of choices for sale. SFO has provided retailers with a list of approved alternatives to plastic water bottles and will continue to update this list as the market for plastic-free bottled water evolves. Passenger activity at SFO generates over 28 million pounds of waste annually, which includes approximately 10,000 bottles of water sold every day at SFO. Worldwide, less than 25% of plastic bottles get recycled, and the market for the recycling of plastic bottles continues to shrink. It is estimated that a single plastic bottle takes anywhere from 450 – 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfill.
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September 2019
  • The Chase Center Opening
    The Chase Centre is a newly opened stadium in Mission Bay right along the water and new home to the Golden State Warriors basketball team. The stadium opened in September 2019 and puts on more than just basketball games such as concerts and conferences.
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October 2019
  • “The Continuous Thread,” 14 Public Events to Celebrate Local Indigenous Peoples
    The San Francisco Arts Commission will launch a new, ambitious American Indian Initiative that celebrates the culture and contributions of local Indigenous Peoples. Spanning three months, “The Continuous Thread: Celebrating Our Interwoven Histories, Identities and Contributions” will include more than 14 public events including exhibitions, a temporary light-art project, community celebrations, concerts, a film festival, a fashion show and more. The Initiative is presented in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco Airport Museum, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Kua’aina Associates, the American Indian Film Institute, the International Indian Treaty Council, American Indian Contemporary Arts, the National Parks Service, Indians of All Tribes, Sewam American Indian Dance, the Native American Health Centre, Urban Native Era, the American Indian Cultural Centre and the Consulate General of Canada.
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March 2020
  • “Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving"
    March 21 See the masterpieces of Frida Kahlo come to life at the de Young Museum in the highly anticipated exhibition, "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving". Politics, gender, disability, and national identity will be be examined through Kahlo's diverse modes of creativity. The exhibition will feature Kahlo's personal items, including rare photographs, Tehuana costumes from her wardrobe, personalized braces and prosthetics, and iconic paintings and drawings.
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April 2020
  • Observation Wheel Goes Up in Golden Gate Park
    April 4 On April 4th in honour of the Golden Gate Park’s 150th birthday, an illuminated 150-foot observation wheel with sweeping views from the ocean to downtown San Francisco will open in the park’s Music Concourse.The observation wheel will operate through March 1, 2021.
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June 2020
  • Surrealistic Summer Solstice Concert
    June 17 This annual concert and light art installation at the Conservatory of Flowers brings together those who appreciate art and music for an evening of inspiration. Watch as the Conservatory of Flowers transforms into an illuminated landmark while enjoying an outdoor concert to celebrate the start of summer.
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July 2020
  • Flower Piano at the SF Botanical Garden
    July 9 Celebrating its sixth year at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Flower Piano offers the public a uniquely interactive experience of music in nature. Twelve pianos will be placed throughout the Garden, inviting visitors to play and show their musical talents. This year, visitors can look forward to even more opportunities to play and listen to music in nature with free piano lessons, a community sing-along, three evenings of Flower Piano at Night, and much more.
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