a VirtualTourist member from London asked on Dec 31, 2016
Hey guys I'm travelling to San Fran for four days on my own In July
First time ever so bit nervous but excited
Have no idea what hotel to stay in that's near to Alcatraz and other areas to see
I'm 27 from London
Can any one help !!??? X
Boats for the tours to Alcatraz leave from Pier 33 along the SF Bay.
I would recommend staying in Union Square. Do you have a budget you want to stay within? There are a number of hotels there for as little as $ 125 USD a night or you can stay at a youth hostel such as the Green Tortoise in North Beach for significantly cheaper. In both cases the walk or bus over to Pier 33 is not that far away.
If you arrive at SFO taking the local public transit (BART) from the airport to downtown SF is easy and inexpensive.
Please take a look at the SF Travel Guide from VT which contains a lot of good information;
[original VT link]
Be sure and ask us any other questions you have and a Happy New Year to you.
No budget really
Just didn't know wether to do a hostel or hotel ....?!
Thankyou again will defo check this all out
Is the green tortoise close to other places you can see too ?
I take it union square is the best area ?
Hi Gina -
San Francisco is a fun city and you do not have to stay "near" Alcatraz…which you can't anyway because it's on an island. The city has great public transit so you can get to the boat docks from wherever you decide to stay. It's also a terrific city just to walk within reasonable distances. With 4 days to work with I certainly wouldn't limit myself to a place near the boats heading to a single attraction when there's so much more to see.
I would look at some accommodations in a variety of neighborhoods which suit your price range and then run them by us for input? This is another good website for starters:
Hi [VT member 8da3d]
This is really helpful
I will most defo run them by u guys first
I have done so much research already but nothing like advise from people who have already been
What's a good place to hang out in the evening maybe a bar or a restaurant considering il be on my own need some one safe but fun to explore for evening times
if price is not a major object than I would definitely prefer a hotel. A hostel, such as the Green Tortoise, will put you in contact with lots of young people your age who are all trying to see the City and could provide someone to visit the sites with. The Green Tortoise is in the North Beach area and the area around it is not as nice as Union Square. Read some of the reviews and at least two young VT members have had a great time there.
As a long time SF area resident I have stayed in many SF hotels. However, VT member Leics and another friend introduced me years back to a wonderful small French hotel near Union Square. It's a great place for people traveling alone with fantastic service. Here's a link but also look at the reviews here and on Trip Advisor.
Gina-- I think that after the trip to Alcatraz, you will look around and find this excursion actually less important that some activities around town. Excellent points about being close to Union Square, rather than say the high rise hotels in the lonely shadows of the Financial District.
With Airbnb you can find a decent new apartment condo over by the Embarcadero, where morning jog, or ride on the antique trolley line to the pier would be very pleasant. There are a number of activities here, sunshine breakfast at the Ferry Terminal building, with easy access to transit, loads of street artwork and plazas, and not the noise of Union Square. You can also use Airbnb to find a room in North Beach, the lively nightlife scene close to the famous Green Tortoise hotel that you've heard about.
[original VT link]
Wow, you do plan ahead. Over 6 months from now you will be in SF for 4 days. From London (via Toronto) to San Francisco. Starting with the caveat that free advice is worth what you pay for it, here is a bit of advice that might be some help:
1. Save money for this trip because the SF area is relatively expensive. Of course, compared to London it may not seem outrageous. A hostel is a possibility, but generally they lack local charm and put you with a relatively large group of young tourists. If you have the money for a good hotel, consider a Bed and Breakfast place instead. More personal, more likely to give you the feel of SF, more memorable, more helpful, better value for money. (I do not know about Airbnb.) I have stayed at some cheap hotels in SF, but would not recommend them for a foreign visitor male or female --I think that a hostel would be better.
2. If possible increase the number of days you plan for the area. (The more days you stay, the less your visit costs per day.) Unlike some European cities where things of touristic interest might be fairly centralized to an historic area, SF has multiple centers of interest. There is good public transport. As with most large cities of interest, it is good to have weekdays and a weekend. Also time for a day excursion to the redwoods, the wine country, the beach or another place of interest can be nice.
3. One of the best things you can miss on a quick visit to SF, will be a great restaurant, bar or event not prominently featured in tourist plans or guidebooks. The famous bars and restaurants that tourists frequent are good enough, but SF always seems to have some special hidden places with better food and setting that are being "discovered". My mother used to spot these places for me when she was young enough to regularly visit SF for the ballet. Here is where your planning ahead can make a big difference to your trip. Check VT, guidebooks, magazines and recent issues of local newspapers on the internet. Depending on your interests you might also look for a special event that would make your visit even more memorable.
good luck, bob
PS: No need to be nervous, but be careful.
The St. Francis in Union Square (now managed by Westin I think) is a lovely hotel in San Francisco. We enjoyed driving up to Guerneville one day and along the Russian River to Jenner head then back down Highway 1 to SF.
You could also drive down to Monterey for a day or stay overnight and visit the Aquarium.
If you plan to visit Alcatraz in July,it is important to make a reservation ahead of time.My visit to Alcatraz was very special.I would also recommend visiting nearby Muir Woods with its magnificent Redwood trees(serviced by public transportation).If you enjoy Art,San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art.