San Francisco !

Dear readers,

If you happen to live in San Fransisco, I’d be thrilled if you could enlighten me about what are the great things to do there for 3 days. I can hire a car for one day or two if needed, but i have a student budget.

Even better, if you know places where I can sleep for cheap (still decent though), or you feel like hosting a poor gnome hacker for free, for 1 or more nights that would be really excellent !

If you’re a gnome hacker around the area and want to meet, that’s cool too ! I can use a guide 🙂

I will probably be there from 10th of October 2006 till 13th of October (that’s 3 nights)

You can contact me via the comments on this blog, or via mail: “raphael slinckx net” (hint: my domain name is

Thanks A LOT !

PS. I still need to blog about my ongoing Stockholm, Sweden Erasmus exchange, stay tuned !

Swedish sunset on a boat

Swedish sunset on from the boat back to Stockholm






9 responses to “San Francisco !”

  1. billg Avatar

    OK, San Francsico is a great city. You’ll enjoy it.

    Don’t rent a car. Just don’t. Traffic is awful, local regulations are unfathomable, and there’s no place to park. You can go everywhere without a car, easier. There’s a subway (BART), buses (MUNI), taxis, and ferries. If you want to go down to the south bay or Palo Alto or Mountain View, there’s the train (CalTrain). (Not that I recommend going there, unless you’ve got a job interview or something else lined up. Office parks and condos do not make for prime tourism country.)

    Then there’s your feet. Bring comfortable walking shoes. And, yes, it’s very hilly.

    It is an expensive city, one of the most expensive. If you want to be the only living thing in your hotel room, figure on $100 per night and up. Hostels exist, but as I’m neither poor nor a student, I can’t comment. If you have a choice of stwying in the Tenderloin or someplace else, choose someplace else.

    I think three days is almost the optimum time to devote to see SF. Google something like “vist San Francisco” or “tour San francisco” and you’ll find hundreds of sites.

    Be sure and check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. It won’t be warm, but it won’t be cold, either. Think 60’s in the afternoon, and cooler at night. It’s almost always windy, especially around the bay, so factor that into you choice of apparel.

    Most importantly, have some sort of plan, or at least a list of what you want to see and do. If you don’t, you’re liable to just blunder around for three days and miss all the good stuff.

  2. Eugenia Avatar

    You ABSOLUTELY have to go here!! 🙂
    The Computer History Museum! It’s about 1 hour south of SF.

  3. anon Avatar

    1 important tip: do not go into Tenderloin, unless you’re on a bus driving trough.

    Places to visit:
    There’s Pier 39, cable car, Market street, Golden Gate (park and bridge), …

  4. Elroy Avatar

    If you plan on going to Alcatraz, make sure you book in advance and on the right boat.

    One of the ‘tours’ just circles the Island, the other that actually drops you off is oftentimes full. So make reservations on the first day to go the last day, or call in advance. (If you’re certain you’ll pass the new and improved ‘security’ at the airports ;))

  5. billg Avatar

    Yes, book Alcatraz ASAP if you want to go there. Lines to buy tickets can be very long — more than an hour — , as well as the line to get on the boat. And, they do sell out.

    If you’re really into walking, you can walk from the Fisherman’s Wharf area along the bay down to the Golden Gate. You can even walk across the bridge. Or take a bus. Or bike. (Bike rental places aren’t too hard to find.) If you do go over the bridge, there’s a scenic pulloff almost immediately on the northern side that offers dramatic views of the bay and the city. It’s at elevation and, if the weather cooperates, the view can be stunning.

    Fishermans Wharf has a reputation, especially among some locals, as being a tacky tourist blight that isn’t anything at all like the real San Francisco. That’s an accurate assessment, but it can still be a lot of fun. Just don’t linger there on a 3-day visit. If you do Alcatraz and Pier 39, you really don’t have a reason to come back.

    Several companies offer bus tours of the city, ranging from short to all day. Advance booking is probably smart.

    Ferries to several bay-area destinations leave from the Wharf. Sausalito and Tiburon are cute little places with restaurants and artsy-craftsy shops. Ferries also leave from the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero at the end of Market Streeet. Several local food artisans have shops in the building, and there’s a weekly farmers market, so if you’re a foodie it is worth a stop.

    Check info and comments on hotels, etc. I’ve found the comments offer reasonably trustworthy info.

    Finally, find or book a place to stay ASAP, like yesterday.

  6. Frank Avatar

    As for hostels, there are three in SF, two in dodgy neighborhoods, then this one. Book it for all your nights:

    Don’t rent a car. For three days, there’s enough in SF proper.

    Skip that computer museum in San Jose. Go to the Exploratorium: (notice the “.edu” — it is that awesome) Like the Palais de la découverte in Paris, only better (

    As said before, reserve the Alcatraz boat early — your first day in SF at the latest:

    Walk a lot. Eat a lot. On a budget, try Chinatown. North Beach (next to Chinatown) is great for coffee and drinks (and Italian food). And make sure you eat some Mexican food, especially a “Super Burrito” a San Francisco speciality.
    And try some of the California beer. Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada are the common brands.

  7. Raphaël Slinckx Avatar

    billg, eugenia, anon, Elroy, Frank: thanks a lot for all these infos !

    I’m probably going to book an alcatraz trip, and then read through all your articles carefully !

    Again, thank you !

  8.  Avatar

    Hi Raphael

    I am going to SF 28 feb until 4 march. can you give me any tips.did you have a good time ?



  9.  Avatar

    Did anyone ever give you info on renting a decent(not something that weighs 50 lbs) bike in SF. I want to rent one as a suprise for my husband,(he rides 50 to 100 miles a week for pleasure). It will make him smile if I can pull this off.
    His good Wife