San Francisco is hilly, steep, often foggy, open to the world and crazy. The city has the world’ most famous suspension bridge, a sea, unique streets and the famous ‘Painted Ladies’. San Francisco is waiting for you to discover it. But whatever you do, don’t call it Frisco!
If you’re going to San Francisco … don’t call it Frisco! Whether it’s ‘San Fran’ , ‘SF’ or ‘Frisco’ – as a tourist, you will need to be a bit careful with the nicknames when chatting with locals in San Francisco. Some even find the name ‘Frisco’ offensive – or at the very least silly. Many no longer even take the name ‘Frisco’ seriously nowadays. Call it ‘San Francisco’, however, and you can’t go wrong! 😉
So what can you expect to find in San Francisco? First of all, of course: the Golden Gate Bridge! Along with the Statue of Liberty in New York, the symbol of San Francisco is one of the best-known and important symbols of the United States. A drive – or at the very least a stroll – across the 6-lane bridge is an absolute must – the view is simply amazing!
While the Golden Gate Bridge was being built, between 1933 and 1937, a vast safety net was stretched beneath the bridge to catch falling construction workers. It eventually served to save the lives of nineteen workers. The survivors founded the so-called Half-Way-to-Hell-Club.
The streets of San Francisco
The streets of San Francisco are steep! And the steepest of them all is Filbert Street : the section running between Hyde Street and Leavenworth Street is at an incline of 31.5 degrees. And close by is a street which is not just particularly steep, but also particularly twisting: Lombard Street, often described as to as “ the most twisting street in the world ”. Driving down here demands incredible skills – and is a huge amount of fun!
“Next stop, please!” – This is a phrase you will often hear when travelling on the famous and traditional cable cars on San Francisco’s streets. Because the rule here is: please don’t ring the bell! That’s something only the ‘gripman’, who controls the brakes of the cable car, is allowed to do. So just call loud and clear when you want to get off. The route network of the cable cars only consists of three lines nowadays, and the congestion caused by tourists alone is huge. Tip : most people get on board at the terminal, so this is where waiting times are usually at their longest. You’re well-advised to walk a few stops down the line and not get on until a bit later!
Ever heard of the “ painted ladies” ? Most of you will almost certainly have seen these ‘ladies’ in pictures or on television – in the opening credits of the famous A merican TV series ‘Full House’ , for example. The phrase refers to the brightly-painted, wooden Victorian houses in the Alamo Square district. This is also where you’ll find a park for a comfortable stroll with a breathtaking view across the skyline of San Francisco !
- Journey time it’s often very cool and foggy in the summer, while the winters are mild. The warmest months are September and October.
- Parking the streets of San Francisco are steep! Always leave your car in gear, use the handbrake and turn the wheels so they are pointing towards the kerb. If the wheels aren’t turned properly, you’ll get a parking ticket.
- Bring a pair of trainers! Good footwear is recommended, given the hilly nature of the city’s streets.
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