Travel Options & Tools
740,000 in the city and 6.5 million if the surrounding Bay area is
at the northern end of a hilly peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San
Francisco Bay in northern California.
Built on 43 hills; so elevation varies from close to sea level to 929 feet
46 square miles
Earthquakes are part of life in California. Most of which cause little
tremors too small to notice.
Less than half the population was born in the US, and over 100 languages
are spoken. Newspapers and magazines are published in 31 different
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.
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
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.
Back to top
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.
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.
Back to Top
Dial tel. 911 for police, an ambulance, or the fire department; no
coins are needed from a public phone
The area code for San Francisco is 415; for Oakland, Berkeley, and much of
the East Bay, 510; for the peninsula, 650.
There are many post offices around the city. The closest to Union
Square is inside Macy's department store, 170 O'Farrell St. tel.
Back to Top