What's San Francisco like?
San Francisco is one of America's most international cities. Each of its neighbourhoods has a unique character with shopping and dining options for every price range, all set against the dramatic backdrop of the Bay, the hills and the Golden Gate Bridge.
One of the best ways to save money on your flights is to book ahead. Skyscanner's research has found that flights to San Francisco are cheapest when booked 19 weeks in advance (around 5 months).
Australian nationals and citizens can travel to the United States for up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program, but you first need to apply for ESTA travel authorisation.
You also need to make sure your passport is valid at the time of departure.
From Adelaide: 17 hours 20 minutes (1 stop)
From Brisbane: 17 hours 45 minutes (1 stop)
From Melbourne: 17 hours 15 minutes (1 stop)
From Perth: 19 hours 5 minutes (1 stop)
From Sydney: 13 hours 30 minutes (direct)
San Francisco's autumn is generally warmer than its summer, as well as less crowded, making September to November a good time to travel. You can also avoid the crowds by visiting in the spring (March to May), enjoying milder temperatures and dry, sunny days.
Dining out costs more in San Francisco on average than in Australian cities, but there's a wide variety of options to suit everyone's price range. You could stretch your travel budget by using public transport instead of expensive taxis.
One US dollar is equivalent to approximately AU$1.25 in 2017.
San Francisco International is California's second busiest airport. It's located 21km south of the city centre on US Route 101.
Flights from Australia arrive at the International Terminal. Arriving passengers can use ATMs, currency exchange and other airport facilities before continuing to their hotel, including getting a taste of some of the Bay Area's famous restaurants.
The automated AirTrain runs between the 4 airport terminals, the parking garages, the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station and the Rental Car Center.
You can travel downtown and to other destinations by taxi, bus, BART or rental car.
Taxi: US$90-US$115 for the 30-minute drive downtown. Taxis are readily available outside the airport.
Bus: US$1.50-US$4.00 depending on the route. Three bus lines serve the International Terminal 24 hours a day.
Train: US$8.95 for a single ticket to downtown. Trains depart every 15 minutes from the BART station at Parking Garage G of the International Terminal.
With its high concentration of people, including lots of young, creative minds, there's no shortage of things to do in San Francisco.
This video from The New York Times scratches the surface of what San Francisco has to offer, from historic museums to vibrant nightlife.
San Francisco is a small city by US standards. With many attractions being so close together, walking is often the best way to get around.
If you're planning to visit Alcatraz, you should book your tickets at least a couple of weeks in advance to avoid disappointment.
San Francisco is generally colder than California's reputation suggests. Don't forget to pack a jacket or sweater, even if you're visiting in the summer.
Find your cheap flights to San Francisco on Skyscanner today - use the search panel above to search for the cheapest airfare and specials.
Please note: all information is correct as of August, 2017.
Images by Flickr\rick
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 15 days.