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May 28, 2024

Visitors’ Guide to Make Your Trip to San Francisco More Delightful

Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, navigating a new city can be exciting yet overwhelming. Good thing this guide can make your transition from the airport to the vibrant streets of San Francisco and beyond as seamless as possible.

What to expect upon arrival to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Upon arrival at the SFO, you’ll find various transportation options, from the convenient BART train to taxis, rideshares, and cheap car rental at San Francisco Airport. You may also discover essential airport amenities, including currency exchange services, dining options, and visitor information centres ready to assist with maps and local advice.

There are also many attractions to explore like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Fisherman’s Wharf, or venture further to the wine country, Silicon Valley, or the picturesque coastal towns nearby.
What to do when you reach your destination of choice

Arrival and Immigration

International arrivals. You must follow the signs to the Immigration and Customs area the moment you arrive at the SFO. From there, you can have your passport, visa, and customs declaration form ready for inspection.

Domestic arrivals. When you are travelling within the country, you may proceed to the baggage claim area to collect your luggage.

Ground transportation options

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). You can ride the BART, located in the International Terminal, as it provides a convenient and affordable way to reach downtown San Francisco, East Bay, and beyond.

Shuttles and vans. There are also shared shuttle services that operate from the airport to various Bay Area destinations. Thus, you have to book in advance or find shuttle service information at the airport.

Rideshare services (Uber, Lyft). You may also enjoy some app-based rideshare services available from designated pick-up areas. There are signs that you can follow leading towards rideshare pick-up zones.

Taxis. There are taxis you can find outside the arrivals area of each terminal. But you have to ensure that the driver uses the meter and accepts credit cards to have a more convenient trip.

Rental cars. There are also rental cars that you can enjoy while visiting SFO. You may take the AirTrain Blue Line to the Rental Car Center (located off-site) to pick up your vehicle at your convenience.

Staying safe and convenient while you are at the airport

Before you are going to explore the Bay Area, there are facilities to keep you safe and convenient while you are within the airport.

Airport amenities

Currency exchange. You may also visit Travelex locations in the International Terminal for currency exchange services.

ATMs and banks. There are also many ATMs and bank branches available throughout the terminals.

Food and dining. While waiting for your ride, you may explore a variety of dining options ranging from quick bites to sit-down restaurants offering local and international cuisine.

Shopping. Of course, you can easily browse shops for last-minute gifts, souvenirs, and essentials.

Visitor information centres

SFO information booths. You may approach helpful volunteers providing maps, brochures, and transportation advice when unfamiliar with your destination.

Tourism desks. You may likewise visit the San Francisco Travel Information Center for detailed city guides, attraction tickets, and tour bookings.

Connectivity and Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi connectivity. Enjoy free Internet access as you can easily connect to the complimentary SFO FREE Wi-Fi network throughout the airport.

Mobile services. The airport also provides mobile phone sales and services where you can purchase SIM cards or activate roaming services from mobile provider kiosks.

Transport tips when roaming around the city and beyond

Traffic and travel times. You can plan your journey during off-peak hours to avoid traffic congestion, especially during weekday rush hours.

Public transportation. Consider using public transit for eco-friendly and cost-effective travel around the Bay Area.

Weather awareness. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly, as San Francisco’s climate can be cool and foggy, even in summer.

Neighbourhoods and attractions you can visit and enjoy during your stay

Must-see attractions. You have to visit iconic landmarks if you want to enjoy your stay such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Golden Gate Park.

Neighbourhood exploration. Aside from that you may explore diverse neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Union Square, Mission District, and Haight-Ashbury among others.

Day trips. You may also plan for excursions to nearby destinations like Napa Valley, Silicon Valley, Muir Woods, and Monterey Bay.

It is also important to learn about safety and security whenever you are riding your vehicle from Dollar Rental Car services within the San Francisco Bay Area and its neighbouring locations. Keep in mind that you may dial 911 for emergencies or 311 for non-emergencies to keep your person and your belongings secure while travelling.

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