San Francisco, California, is a densely-populated, large region within the state, a city and a county at the same time. Counting its inhabitants, it gets to be the 12th best populated in whole America. As for the density, it is the second in the USA. Being a transportation hub, the greatly developed infrastructure can be well complicated – to new visitors especially. Here are the best ways to get around as a tourist, with useful tips for those who experience SF for the first time.
As an outsider you may want to know the most convenient ways of getting to San Francisco: by air and by water. Its busy airport, a leader in security and customer service, was the first large US airport to benefit of fully integrated and automated baggage screening. The airport is located 13 miles South of the city and is being served by about 50 airlines. Also, it has its own BART station connecting it to SF and the East Bay. BART subway system can be accessed from any of the 4 terminals by taking the SFO’s Air Train. For a limousine operator’s service it is necessary to make a reservation and also to arrange a pick-up location in advance. Travelers may also reach San Francisco by ferry.
Renting a Private Car as a Visitor
Travelers visiting San Francisco should avoid hiring a private car for themselves because finding a parking place can be a huge problem. Thus, moving around the city in a car by yourself could take much more time than initially thought. If you eventually get to have a parking place, you can expect to pay much for it. The regular rate is of $6 per hour. If you still happen to be driving around, note that the streets that go straight up and then down the hill can be difficult to deal with. Nevertheless, these are tempting for the beautiful views they offer. It is better to check these as a pedestrian, since the city is compact and walking is no trouble.
The Famous San Francisco Cable Car System
The cable car system has been in operation since 1872, and its vehicles represent the only moving landmark of the nation. There are three lines passing through the central area and their speed is a constant 9.5 miles per hour. Two of these lines take passengers to the best known shopping and banquet area, in Fisherman’s Wharf. The destination points are the Powell and Market streets. Note that, if the cars are full, they don’t stop to take in more passengers. If these vehicles cause excitement and curiosity, it would be good for one to visit the Cable Car Museum, an excellent educative spot for kids as well. It is free to visit and will let you discover so much more about these trademark cable cars.
What You Should Know About the Bus System
Tourists and locals of the Golden City by the Bay equally prefer to ride the bus.
But beware, #30 to Chinatown, especially during rush hour, turns into a cramped boiling pot
MUNI is the denomination for the city’s bus and streetcar system, and is known for being crowded and sometimes irregular. However, if you are looking for cheap means of transportation, this is it.
The buses San Francisco visitors love are the double Decker buses, which are mainly for sightseeing and stop at every place that’s worthy to take a look at. You can dial 511 to access information on the city’s transportation systems. In any case, if one will mix the public transportation methods in San Francisco, no spot is to be missed, as the various means cover the entire area.
Jane Elizabeth is a travel freak. She also shares her travel experiences with her readers through her writing.