Insider Guide to: San Francisco

Today, Kate gives us her personal take on San Francisco: eclectic bay city of hills and the Golden Gate, the Beats and tech giants.

Kate, Content Manager

My grandparents live on a vineyard „ranch“ in Suisun Valley, roughly 40 mins northeast of San Francisco. Growing up, we used to spend our summers at the ranch and would often take weekend trips into the city to shop, walk around, or see a musical/opera. I’ve always loved the chill, unique vibe that San Francisco emanates, and I am especially fond of the many cultures and types of food that can be found there. I’d say the best time to visit is September and March/April.

Going out

  • Sotto Marre is a hidden Italian gem that sells the best bowl of cioppino in town. It’s a few blocks from North Beach.
  • Boudin’s is on Pier 39. Be sure to order their famous clam chowder in a bread bowl. You can walk around the area afterwards and watch seals and sea lions sunbathing on the pier.
  • Rated one of the top 50 coolest bars in the world, Smuggler’s Cove is a popular, kitschy bar boasting a pirate-themed decor, exotic cocktails and over 200 types of rum.
  • Located on 620 Jones Street, just a few blocks from Union Square, the official name of this bar and restaurant is actually just “Jones” but people call it 620 Jones. It has a huge second floor terrace, with lots of cozy furnishing. It feels like being in a garden. It’s also heated in winter, which makes the terrace a classic year round pick for food and drinks.

Things to do

  • Bike across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and have a picnic at Crissy Field. The bridge itself is iconic (yes, it’s that red suspension bridge), but you can also learn about its history and engineering at the information center. Then head to Crissy Field via Fort Point. Originally it was used as military airfield and it has my favourite views of San Francisco. You can hike, bike or picnic here.
  • Take a boat to Alcatraz Island. Because of its isolated location in the bay, Alcatraz was used as a military fortification and federal prison between 1934 and 1962. Some of the country’s toughest criminals were locked up here, including legendary gangster Al Capone. Whether anyone ever managed to escape is subject to debate (there were 14 attempts) but nowadays, this atmospheric spot is only 15 minutes away by ferry. On the island, take a guided tour to uncover some of the secrets of the place.
  • Go for a walk around Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. There are tons of activities to enjoy and, though it can get busy with tourists, everyday is a big festival – with balloons, cotton candy, food, souvenirs and so on. I like to come here early in the morning, when it’s a bit quieter. 


Right in the downtown area, between Union Square and Nob Hill, This multifunction space has great facilities and has been stylishly renovated.

Archbishop’s Mansion is a historic building from 1904, with breathtaking views over the city. The rooms are full of character and give this space a special charm.

Looking to spark some excitement at your work event? This space’s huge games room, in the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, will unleash energy and creativity.

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