My favourite big city in California, San Francisco is the 13th most populous city in the U.S. yet is the smallest county within the state at just 47.9 square miles.
The city is crammed with three or four story houses along steep roads that leave you puffed and sweaty! Cars are parked on precarious angles trusting their handbrakes are up to task, I wouldn’t drive in San Francisco if you are not confident on steep inclines.
San Francisco is buzzing with world’s latest trends and technologies and a vibrant night scene. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, riding a cable car, the painted ladies, Lombard street, China town and Fisherman’s Wharf should be on your to-do list.


Notorious stomping ground for famous gangsters and the most difficult prisoners across the country, this federal prison was closed in 1963 and today Alcatraz island is visited by a million people each year. This was my favorite ‘tourist stop’ in San Francisco.

In the summer tickets can get booked out months in advance, I had to make a separate trip back to this city to go as I could not get any tickets after landing! Don’t make this mistake – Book ahead!

Click here to visit the ticket page of Alcatraz Island

A mandatory stop on all San Francisco walking tours, this institution makes delicious hand-made fortune cookies since it’s opening in 1962.

The supposedly Chinese fortune cookie, was actually invented in San Francisco and has no link to China. In fact, they were created by a Japanese-American restaurant owner who served them as treats at the Japanese tea garden.

Entry to the shop and factory is free and they are more than generous with samples!

Factory Address: 56 Ross alley, San Francisco, CA (click to view on google maps)

The famous zig-zag street of San Francisco, Lombard street is a photographers playground! For the best photos, visit at night with your tripod and have fun playing with your long exposure settings.

There isn’t anything to ‘do’ exactly on the ‘most crooked street in the world’ so if you don’t care to watch cars go by or tweak your photography skills I would suggest giving it a miss!

Given the name ‘Painted Ladies’ from a book in 1978, these beautiful Victorian and Edwardian houses on Alamo Square.
Bring a picnic and sit in the park in the square to take in the architecture and city sprawl beyond.

I have done two ‘pay-what-you-think’ walking tours through San Francisco and loved both these companies. Their vibe, friendly attitudes and passion for their city is contagious!

Click here to visit the Wild San Francisco Tour website
Click here to visit the Free Foot Tours by Foot website




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So who am I…? Hi! My name is India.

I am a nomadic Australian who has wandered the world full time exploring over 60 countries and 5/7 continents. 

After ten years on the road, I have launched my own website – Travelling Notebook – to share the knowledge I have gained on the road and the images I have collected over the years with fellow adventurers.  Keep reading…

I am a freelance travel writer, photography and videographer, based in London. If you need specific travel advice or would like to collaborate, please, send an email my way!

Always say yes to adventure!
x India