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San Francisco, California City Info
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Population: 740,000 in the city and 6.5 million if the surrounding Bay area is included.

Location: at the northern end of a hilly peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay in northern California.

Elevation: Built on 43 hills; so elevation varies from close to sea level to 929 feet

Area: 46 square miles

Languages: Less than half the population was born in the US, and over 100 languages are spoken. Newspapers and magazines are published in 31 different languages.

Time Zone San Francisco is in the Pacific standard time zone, which is 8 hours behind Greenwich mean time and 3 hours behind eastern time. For accurate time. 415-767-8900.










































You can visit San Francisco comfortably any time of year; the climate is moderate, except for the occasional chill that accompanies the rolling in of the fog. The temperature seldom drops below 40°F, nor rises to 80°F.

It is advisable to pack sweaters, jackets, and clothes for layering because of year round variations in temperature. Include shorts or cool cottons for summer and a bathing suit, as most hotels have a pool. The city can be chilly at any time of the year, especially in summer, when the fog descends and stays for longer periods. Rainfall amount is low year round, but humidity is often high due to the fog.

Although casual dress is the norm in California, men will need a jacket and tie for many good restaurants in the evening, and women will be more comfortable in something somewhat dressy.

Earthquakes: Earthquakes are part of life in California. Most of which cause little tremors too small to notice.


The U.S. electrical standard is 110 volts-60 cycles AC. Foreign visitors traveling with dual-voltage appliances will not need a converter, but they will need a plug adapter. The standard U.S. electrical outlet takes a plug of two flat pins set parallel to one another.


At restaurants, a 15% tip is standard for waiters; up to 20% may be expected at more expensive establishments. The same goes for taxi drivers, bartenders, and hairdressers.


New Year's Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President's Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May;

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year's Eve Dec. 31.

Area Code: The area code for San Francisco is 415; for Oakland, Berkeley, and much of the East Bay, 510; for the peninsula, 650.

Business Hours Most banks are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm. Several stay open until about 5pm at least 1 day a week. Many banks also have ATMs for 24-hour banking

Most stores are open Monday to Saturday from 10 or 11am to at least 6pm, with shorter hours on Sunday. But there are exceptions: Stores in Chinatown, Ghirardelli Square, and Pier 39 stay open much later during the tourist season, and large department stores, including Macy's and Nordstrom, keep late hours.

Most restaurants serve lunch from about 11:30am to 2:30pm and dinner from 5:30 to 10pm. They sometimes serve later on weekends. Nightclubs and bars are usually open daily until 2am.

Emergencies--Dial tel. 911 for police, an ambulance, or the fire department; no coins are needed from a public phone

Post Office--There are many post offices around the city. The closest to Union Square is inside Macy's department store, 170 O'Farrell St. tel. 800-275-8777.

Transit Information--The San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni, operates the city's cable cars, buses, and Metro streetcars. For customer service, call 415-673-6864 weekdays 7am to 5pm, weekends 9am to 5pm.

Weather: 831-656-1725

Winter road condition information: 415-557-3755.

San Francisco International Airport : 415-761-0800, just south of the city, off U.S. 101. Several domestic airlines serve the

Oakland Airport tel. 415-577-4000, which is across the bay but not much farther away from downtown San Francisco via I-880 and I-80, although traffic on the Bay Bridge may at times make travel time longer. Flying times: 6 hours from New York, 4 hours from Chicago, and 1 hour from Los Angeles.

SFO International Terminal

The expansion added:

18 new restaurants serving a wide variety of international cuisine.

37 new retail stores.

A $10 million permanent art collection.

An 11,000 square-foot Aviation Library and Museum.

3,200 new parking spaces.

A taxi ride from SFO to downtown is a bit costly. Airport shuttles are inexpensive and efficient.

The SFO Airporter picks up passengers at baggage claim lower level and serves selected downtown hotels. SuperShuttle stops at the upper-level traffic islands and goes from the airport to anywhere within the city limits of San Francisco.

Inexpensive shuttles to the East Bay among them Bayporter Express also depart from SFO's upper-level traffic islands;

To drive to downtown San Francisco from the airport, take U.S. 101 north to the Civic Center 9th Street, 7th Street, or 4th Street exit. If you're headed to the Embarcadero or Fisherman's Wharf, take I-280 north the exit is to the right, just past 3Com Park and get off at the 4th Street-King Street exit. King Street becomes the Embarcadero a few blocks east of the exit. The Embarcadero winds around the waterfront to Fisherman's Wharf.

By Train

Amtrak: 800-872-7245 trains-the Zephyr, from Chicago via Denver, and the Coast Starlight, traveling between Los Angeles and Seattle-stop in Emeryville 5885 Landregan St. and Oakland 245 2nd St. in Jack London Sq.. Shuttle buses connect the Emeryville station and San Francisco's Ferry Building 30 Embarcadero at the foot of Market St.

Driving a Car in the City: Driving in San Francisco can be a challenge because of the hills, the one-way streets, and the traffic. Remember to curb your wheels when parking on hills.

Exploring the city involves navigating a maze of one-way streets and restricted parking zones. Cable cars, buses, and trolleys can take you to or near most attractions. If you plan to visit distant outlying areas which are not accessible by subway, it is best to ret a car for the length of such trips, and plan to walk or use public transportation in the city of San Francisco and environs.

Buses-Trolley Buses:

Muni's buses and trolley buses run all over The City in frequent intervals usually every five to 20 minutes. Each route has a number and a name, i.e. 5-Fulton, 24-Divisadero, 42-Downtown Loop, which are prominently displayed on the front and side of the bus, along with the route's destination. Some routes, such as 38L-Geary Limited or 14L-Mission Limited, make only limited stops along their routes. Others, such as 9X-San Bruno Express or 31AX-Balboa "A" Express, operate nonstop from downtown to the outer regions of The City. For more clarity on Muni service, purchase a Muni map.

Historic Streetcars Trams:

You can travel back in time on the distinctive collection of historic streetcars.. Each car is painted in its original colors designating its origin in Boston, Chicago, Milan, or some other city in the world. These beautiful streetcars run along the center of Market Street from the Transbay Terminal in downtown to the Castro District. They are collectively known as line F-Market.


Beginning downtown at Embarcadero Station, the Muni Metro's five underground streetcar lines J-Church, K-Ingleside, L-Taraval, M-Ocean View and N-Judah take you under Market Street to various points of interest in the western and southwestern regions of The City. The J and N lines branch off after Van Ness station and operate on the surface, and the K, L and M continue underground to West Portal Station before splitting into their own separate surface lines. In the subway section of the system, J and N cars are often coupled together, as are K, L and M cars.

Because of ongoing repairs, the Metro currently closes every evening at 10 pm. Shuttle bus service is available until 12:30 am on the K, L, M and N lines, and the F-Market historic streetcar service is extended during this time to cover the J line. Board F-Market streetcars and shuttle buses at the island stops on Market Street.

Call for current fare schedule.

Please have the exact fare ready when you board; Metro fare gates do not accept any dollar bills.


A two-part transfer slip is provided when you pay your fare on buses, streetcars and Metro lines. This transfer allows you to transfer two more times to any bus, streetcar or Metro line. No transfers are given or accepted on cable cars; single fares must be paid each time you board.

Hours Of Operation:

Monday-Friday 5:30 am-12:30 am

Saturday 6 am-12:30 am

Sunday 7:30 am-12:30 am

Limited late night service is also offered on some lines.

Muni offers three discount transit passes, subject to availability. All can be purchased at the Visitor Information Center at 900 Market Street, downstairs from the Powell-Market cable car terminal

The Muni Passports include the cable cars, Muni buses, Muni Metro and the F-Market streetcars. You can travel anywhere within San Francisco with the Passport. In addition, you will receive savings on your entrance fees at most city museums and many city attractions when you show the Muni Passport. One, three and seven day passports are available.


BART, or Bay Area Rapid Transit ( 650-992-2278) provides efficient transportation to Oakland, Berkeley, Concord, Richmond, Fremont, Colma, and Martinez and other points. Trains also travel south from San Francisco as far as Daly City and Colma. Fares are low.


Whenever possible, avoid using taxis. Rates are high, and it is almost impossible to hail a passing cab, especially on weekends. If you must use one, either phone or use the nearest hotel taxi stand.

Cable Cars:

There are three cable car routes in San Francisco. Two of these routes, the Powell-Hyde and the Powell-Mason, begin at the corner of Powell and Market Streets, and run north-south to and from Nob Hill and Fisherman's Wharf. At Fisherman's Wharf, you can board the Powell-Hyde line at Hyde and Beach Streets and the Powell-Mason line at Bay and Taylor Streets. The third line is the California line running east-west on California Street between Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, serving the Financial District, Chinatown and Nob Hill. This line tends to be the least crowded. The transfer point for all three lines is at Powell and California Streets. Cable cars can be boarded at any designated stop along the route. However, during the busy summer months, it is a good idea to wait at the terminal, as the cable cars usually fill up at the beginning of the line. There may be a 45- to 60-minute wait during the summer.

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