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Cheap flights to San Francisco International (SFO)

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Why go to San Francisco?

Although it's not California's largest city, San Francisco is one of its most culturally important, known for its art, museums, fine dining and lively atmosphere. A visit to the City By the Bay can include anything from sailing and hiking to historical tours and wild street parties.

The majority of San Francisco's cultural institutions are located in and around Golden Gate Park. These include the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and its daughter institution, the Asian Art Museum. Newer museums are located in the South of Market (SoMa) area, just a short walk from the train station on King Street. These include the Museum of Modern Art, the Cartoon Art Museum and more.

San Francisco's waterfront area is popular with tourists; attractions include watching the sea lions frolic along the piers as well as strolling along the waterfront with its colourful shops and vendors. History buffs can explore the World War II submarine USS Pampanito, while children and adults alike love the Exploratorium, an interactive science museum. The city's naval history is reflected in the many ships stored at the Hyde Street Pier Maritime Museum.

One of San Francisco's most famous attractions is Alcatraz Island. This island, once home to a military base, became a federal prison in 1933. Because of its position surrounded by the chilly waters of the San Francisco Bay, "the Rock" was home to some of America's most notorious criminals. Today, tourists can take a ferry to the island and enjoy a guided tour of the prison.

How far is the airport from city centre and which airlines fly to San Francisco from UK?

13 miles (21 km) south of the city is San Francisco's major airport, San Francisco International (SFO). Direct carriers from the UK to SFO include Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and United Airlines, but many other carriers fly via other airports including New York's JFK.

What’s the best way to reach city centre from the airport?

Getting into San Francisco from the airport is easy: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains run from the airport into the city. Alternatively, travellers can take BART to the Millbrae CalTrain station and take a train to the station on the corner of 4th and King Streets. Buses link the airport, the city and points to the south.

What are the visa requirements for EU and non-EU nationals?

EU nationals don't require a visa to visit the United States under most circumstances, but they must clear the US's Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) in advance. Residents of other countries should contact their American consulate.

How to get around San Francisco?

Hemmed in by the bay on three sides, San Francisco is a very compact city. It is therefore good for walking or cycling, although it is very hilly. Bus and subway services are good, and a few of the historic "cable car" trams still run. Driving and parking in San Francisco can be challenging.

What’s the best time to visit San Francisco?

San Francisco is cool and rainy compared to warm southern California, but the climate is generally mild. Spring and summer are the ideal times to visit, but a light waterproof outer layer is worth packing at any time of year.

Airport Overview

San Francisco International Airport is located 21km (13 miles) south of downtown San Francisco and is the largest airport in the Bay Area and the second-busiest airport in California.

Comprising four terminals – Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the International Terminal – that form a ring around a multi-storey Domestic Parking garage, San Francisco International is easy to navigate. Terminals 1-3 handle all domestic flights, while the International Terminal mainly manages international flights. Customs, immigrations and baggage claims are generally fast; staff are friendly, signage is good and transport to and from the airport is excellent. Delays are common, though, due to the region’s adverse weather patterns; however, there are plans to extend the runways in order to aid aircraft flying in low visibility conditions.

San Francisco International is clean and modern. With its newly revamped Terminal 2 housing an award-winning aviation museum and library, along with an extensive array of retail, dining, entertainment and health establishments, it is truly a world-class facility.

Flights to San Francisco International Airport comes from a number of destinations worldwide, including Toronto, Paris, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Lima, Frankfurt, Singapore, San Salvador, Beijing, Mexico City, Sydney and Cancun, in addition to numerous domestic routes.

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Useful information about San Francisco International

Photo of San Francisco   San Francisco
Avg temp for this month inSan Francisco International23.7 °CSource: World Weather Online
Average monthly rainfall inSan Francisco International3.3 mmSource: World Weather Online
Average flying time toSan Francisco International10 hrs 47 mins
Foreign-exchange rate inSan Francisco International$1.00 = £0.60Source: Oanda
Which airlines fly toSan Francisco InternationalDelta Air Lines, Iberia and Air France
Deals available on flights toSan Francisco International1771
Partners with offers toSan Francisco InternationalHolidayGenie.com, Flying Eagles and A1Flightcentre
Advertisers with offers toSan Francisco International40
Lowest flight deal toSan Francisco International£485
Avg flight offer toSan Francisco International£893

 How much do things cost in San Francisco?

  • Loaf of white bread: £2.40
  • A dozen eggs: £2.26
  • Bottle of beer (imported beer): £2.24
  • Pair of Nike trainers: £45.06
  • 1 hour taxi waiting fee: £18.08
  • Large bottle of water: £1.49
  • Cheap meal: £7.23
  • Imported beer (0.33 litre): £3.62
  • Taxi - fixed fee: £2.11
  • Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre): £1.58
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