2 Days in San Francisco: A Quick Weekend Itinerary

Sharing is caring!

2 Days in San FranciscoUp in Northern California, you’ll find the classical city of San Francisco. It’s one of the main places to see in the US and is packed full of landmarks, beautiful sights, and amazing things to do. Having only 2 days in San Francisco might make you want to rush around a bit, but the city is compact enough to be able to enjoy a lot of highlights in just a weekend.

Feel free to give our San Francisco travel tips a read if you’re planning a holiday to this hilltop paradise shortly:

Getting There

San Francisco International Airport is the main way of getting to this city. There are flights from both international and domestic airports every day. While the airport is busy, SFO is one of the most convenient airports around. There are plenty of ways to get to and from your hotel.

The airport itself is connected to various public transport systems. You can get the BART there, which is a very fast train that takes you directly to San Francisco. There are slower trains too, as well as various bus routes that stop at the airport. Alternatively, you could book a private airport transfer in San Francisco before you travel. This means you have a car service waiting for you as soon as you land. It’s quicker, more convenient, and you don’t have to deal with other passengers all crammed into the same vehicle.

Getting Around

If you have just 2 days in San Francisco it is best to just plan to walk and cab/Uber around the immediate downtown area, instead of worrying about venturing too far out. While many people are wary of the steep hills, it’s important to note that the entire city isn’t just one big hill. There are plenty of flat areas and loads of great attractions all within walking distance of one another.

hilly streets

If you want to get up and down the hilly areas as quickly as possible, then we suggest getting on a cable car. They take you to some of the top tourist destinations too, which is a nice bonus. Most people recommend you get a cable car somewhere, then walk around to get to different places close by.

The SF Muni bus system is also a good way of getting around, but only when times aren’t peak. If you’re looking for a quick way to get in and out of the city during rush hour, then you need a new option. But, when everyone’s in work, and the kids are at school, it’s a cheap and effective way of navigating the city.


Staying In San Francisco

Staying in San Francisco is more about finding the right area than looking specifically for hotels. Once you’ve decided which part of the city is best for you, then you can hit those comparison sites and find the best hotel for your budget. Here is a small selection of the top places to stay in the city:

Noe Valley

This is a wonderful place for families to stay during their trip, or just if you’re looking for a safe neighbourhood if you have 2 days in San Francisco. There are lots of cute little B&B options here, along with some affordable hotels. It’s mainly filled with local residents, meaning you can take in the typical San Fran architecture as you walk around.

SoMa (South Of Market)

This area of San Francisco is perfect for anyone that’s really keen to tickle their taste buds and try the local cuisine. It’s right next to all the top eateries in the city, meaning it’s just a small walk from your hotel to a brilliant restaurant or cafe.
skyline of San Francisco over the bay at night


San Francisco is known for its strong ties to the LGBTQ community. If you’re keen to enjoy the best this community has to offer, then Castro is the neighbourhood for you. Pride flags are flying high, and it’s a wonderful area full of fun and laughter.

Union Square

Union Square is a tourist hotspot full of amazing things to do and see. We recommend you stay here if you’re keen to take in the best shops San Francisco has to offer. Also, it’s just a great base to keep you within touching distance of public transport links and other sights.

San Francisco Travel Tips & Things To Do

To round off our guide, we’ll bring you some of the best travel tips about this city, including a few of the best things to do/see if you have 2 days in San Francisco.

Purchase A Go San Francisco Card

With a Go San Francisco Card, you can get big discounts on some of the top tourist attractions in the city. You can choose how many days it’s valid for, depending on how long your trip is. You can use it to see so many amazing things in the city, so always check if it’s valid before paying for anything. A great way to see the city without spending too much money.

Enjoy All The Food

San Francisco is known for having a very diverse restaurant scene. There is a selection of great restaurants serving food inspired by Asian, Italian, and typical American cuisines. Don’t spend every morning having breakfast in your hotel, head out and enjoy the amazing food on offer.

Bike Across the Golden Gate Bridge

It’s impossible to come to SF and not see the city’s most famous landmark. The Golden Gate Bridge is stunning and deserves your time and attention. Some people walk across it, others drive, but we think the perfect compromise is to hire a bike and cycle across it. Here, you get the fresh air against your face, without the toughness of walking across this massive bridge. Of course, stop for photos, and take in the amazing view. Afterwards, you could go to Golden Gate Park too – another iconic scene in this amazing city.

Visit Alcatraz

Alcatraz is a historic building that became famous for being a military prison. Just the sight of this building can send shivers down your spine. There are guided tours that are well worth your time, and it’s also an excuse to head to the San Francisco marina and take in the sights around there too.


Go On A Tram

The trams/trolleybuses in San Francisco are known throughout the world. We suggest you take at least one ride on one before you leave. It helps you see more of the city, and you get to experience the steep sloping roads that this place is well-known for.

Take in all the information in our guide if you want to go to San Francisco this year. It’s a fantastic holiday destination, full of typical touristy things, and great for all sorts of travelers.

Save these pins for your 2 day San Francisco Guide:

weekend in San Francisco weekend in San Francisco

Sharing is caring!

About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.