We are back in Montreal after a week in San Francisco!
We really had a lot of fun exploring this city, but we were also very surprised by a few things. I hope these few pointers will help you out if you are traveling to San Francisco soon. Here they are!
First, San Francisco is a really expensive city. As Canadian, we were expecting to spend more money than back home. However, we were not prepared to pay as much for simple things. Food was particularly expensive: I don’t think we ever found any sandwich for less than 10$. Ouch!
Concerning food, beware that not much will be vegan in the main attractions. Of course, San Francisco is a seaside city, and, therefore, seafood is everywhere. Vegetarian options are usually available, but you’ll have to ask for no cheese or no eggs if you want to stay vegan. Also, make sure you visit Greens because it is quite amazing!
Second, San Francisco is weirdly shy about grocery stores. We had trouble finding fresh vegetables and fruits, which is why we were so happy to bump into the Fort Mason Farmers’ market. After that, we wandered in the city a lot and couldn’t find any food stores, until we used a GPS to go to Whole Foods. I definitively recommend googling for food stores because you might not find any by chance.
Third, layers are key! Any travel guide will tell you that San Francisco’s weather can change quickly. Well it’s true. Bring a warmer sweater or coat in your backpack because the city can turn out to be colder than expected.
Fourth, some parts of the city are better explored with a taxi than by foot. We were quite surprised to see as many homeless people hanging around the city’s main attractions. However, most of the time we did feel safe. One time we were quite happy to get to our destination was when we were looking for the Asian Art Museum. We thought it would be okay to go from downtown to the museum. Well, we walked quickly and were weirded out by the ominous feeling of some of the street corners. Nothing happened, but we decided to take a taxi to Japantown after our visit. So listen to your guidebook and be careful where you go on foot.
Speaking of feet, bring comfortable walking shoes because things are far from one another. Also, hills are really no joke in San Francisco, and you will be happy to have some friction with the ground.
Overall, we were quite happy to visit San Francisco. We really enjoyed the bay, the beaches and the nice weather. The sun was amazing and the break from the rain and snow was a true blessing.
Let me know what are your travel plans for 2016, if you have any recommendations or other travel tips! 🙂