Travel Tips – Before you visit San Francisco

Painted Ladies, San Francisco by howfarfromhome


Before you embark on your journey, here’s a couple of tips from us locals.

  • Because you’re in notoriously chilly San Francisco, always bring a jacket, even if it’s sunny (at the moment). It gets cold at promptly 6pm or wherever Karl the Fog is lurking. Yes, we named our fog. He’s adorable.
  • Never, ever, EVER call San Francisco “San Fran”, “Frisco,” or any other cutesy nickname. It makes our ears bleed and we get uncharacteristically pissy about it. If you must use a short name, SF or The City are both acceptable.
  • You will see a lot of homeless folk. Don’t worry. They are in far more danger than you are, and they will not hurt you.
  • There are a lot of sticky fingers in the city. The vast majority of offenders are opportunity thieves – so don’t give them the opportunity to steal your stuff. Do not use your phone on the street or on public transit. Everyone I know has gotten a phone stolen in San Francisco.
  • If you take BART, there are 2 unspoken rules, and everyone will get silently cranky if you don’t follow them.

* Rule 1: On all escalators, stand on the right, walk on the left.

* Rule 2: Line up on either side of the doors to wait for your train. Even if the next one is or isn’t your train. Just stand in line.

  • About that line thing: anywhere you see people standing in line in San Francisco, it’s a best practice to just quietly follow suit. We love standing politely in lines. San Franciscans once stood in line for hours just to get some day-old bagels flown in from New York City (no, I’m serious). At first I thought that was ridiculous, but after years of living here, I totally get it: San Francisco has awful bagels.

A Local’s Guide to 8 Neighborhoods in 6 Miles