4 Days in San Francisco: The Perfect Itinerary (First Time Visit)


How to spend 4 Days in San Francisco: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay

You’re planning to spend 4 days in San Francisco and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you the perfect 4-day itinerary in San Francisco.

It’s perfectly optimized to allow you discover all must-see attractions of the city such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz island, Lombard Street and all the famous districts.

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in San Francisco in 4 days? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!


My Best Tips to Save Time and Money at San Francisco’s Must-See Attractions

As San Francisco is one of the most touristic cities in the US, you can imagine that there is always a long waiting line to get tickets for the city’s must see attractions and best activities.

But you don’t want to waste time queuing during your 4-day itinerary in San Francisco, right?

Hopefully, I have a few tips that will allow you to easily avoid this inconvenience.

So, here are the 2 solutions to save a lot of time and money during your stay in San Francisco!

1. The San Francisco All inclusive Pass

Your first option to save time and money during your trip to San Francisco is to opt for the San Francisco All inclusive pass by Go City.

As the pass is valid for a period of between 1 and 5 days (depending on what you choose when booking), you can use it throughout your 4 days in San Francisco.

It will grant you access to about 30 different activities!

After ordering your San Francisco Pass, you will receive a confirmation email with the pass. You can print it or download it on your phone and you will simply have to show it at the entrance of each attraction. 

As you won’t need to exchange this voucher for an entrance ticket at each attraction, you will save a lot of time: it’s really super convenient!

With the email, you will also get a digital guide with all the necessary information to do the activities: opening hours, how to get there and if you need to book a timeslot in advance, like for guided tours.

With the San Francisco All Inclusive Pass, you will get:

  • Cruise around Alcatraz Island
  • San Francisco Bay Cruise
  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • Fisherman’s wharf walking tour
  • Mission district tour
  • Castro district walking tour
  • Entrance to the museums.

To buy your San Francisco All inclusive pass and see the full list of attractions included, simply click on the green button below:

2. Buying tickets in advance for San Francisco’s best tourist attractions

The second solution to save time during your 4-day stay in San Francisco is to buy fast track tickets 1 by 1, for each activities or visits.

In San Francisco, you can book all visits, guided tours and activities advance.

Here’s the list of the attractions and activities I talk about in this itinerary.

To book, simply click on the attractions names in orange or on the green buttons you will find troughout this itinerary.

4 Days in San Francisco – Must-See Attractions

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to book other activities in San Francisco, you should always use these 2 reliable and safe websites:

One Last Tip for a Perfect 4-Day Stay in San Francisco

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you will have them!), you should really book your accommodation.

As San Francisco is one of the most touristic cities in the world, the hotels offering the best value for money are often fully booked months in advance.

As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that it’s always by planning as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best hotels or apartments deals.

You agree that it would be a shame to somewhat ruin your stay in San Francisco by ending up in a not-so-great hotel that costed you a fortune, right? 😅

So your best bet is to take 5 minutes now to have a look at traveler’s favorite hotels in San Francisco.

And if you like one of the hotels you find, book it!

It’s fast, it’s easy and most accommodation offer free cancellation. That’s the best way to protect yourself from the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the best hotels deals in San Francisco, simply click on the green button below:

After securing your dream stay, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

4 days in San Francisco: the best itinerary

It’s now time to plan your 4-day itinerary in San Francisco.

For each day, I will give you all the details you need to organize your visits as well as a map showing the activities of the day.

For this itinerary, I assume you’ll be spending 4 full days in San Francisco and purchased the San Francisco All inclusive pass  or skip the line tickets.

That’s the best way to save time and money during your stay.

If you still have questions after reading this article or need help planning your trip, don’t hesitate to send me your questions via the comments section located at the bottom of this guide.

So, what are the best things to do in San Francisco in 4 days?

First day – What to do in San Francisco?

4 days in San Francisco Day 1 itinerary
4 days in San Francisco – Day 1 itinerary

Day 1 visits:

A. Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge
B. Optional: Walt Disney Museum family
C. Alcatraz or San Francisco Bay Cruise
D. Fisherman’s wharf
E. Madame Tussauds or Aquarium of the Bay
F. Lombard street
G. Coit tower
H. Chinatown
I. Ferry Building Marketplace

A. Presidio’s Viewpoints over the Golden Gate Bridge

Start your 4-day visit to San Francisco at Presidio, a historic military post turned national park.

This area offers some of the best views over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Here are my favorite viewpoints:

  • Battery East Vista: A historic spot offering panoramic views of the bridge and the bay. Ideal for early morning photo sessions.
  • Crissy Field: Walk along the shoreline for a different perspective of the bridge.
  • Fort Point: Located right under the bridge, it provides a unique, up-close view of this iconic structure.
  • Baker Beach: Famous for its sandy shores and clear views of the bridge, perfect for a relaxing stroll.
  • Marshall’s Beach: A lesser-known spot for more private, breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Each of these locations offers a unique angle of the Golden Gate Bridge. And even if you’re not that much into photography, the Presidio is also a great spot to take a stroll or jog!

Voyage Tips - Advice

You should ideally arrive early at the Presidio to avoid crowds and capture serene views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate bridge from Presidio of San Francisco
Golden Gate bridge from Presidio of San Francisco

B. Optional Visit: Walt Disney Family Museum

If you’re a fan of Disney or interested in animation history, you can visit the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Located in the Presidio, this museum offers a deep dive into the life and legacy of Walt Disney through interactive galleries, early drawings, movies, and more.

Highlights include:

  • A massive model of Disneyland as Walt Disney envisioned it.
  • Rare artifacts from Disney’s life and career.
  • Interactive galleries that showcase the evolution of Disney’s animation.

It’s a very popular museum you should see during your 4 days in San Francisco if you are Disney enthusiasts.

The museum also offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge from its rear windows.

Entrance to the Walt Disney Family Museum is included with the San Francisco All inclusive pass.

If you don’t have the City Pass, you need to book your tickets online in advance to avoid long waiting times:

C. Palace of Fine Arts

Before leaving the Presidio, head towards the Palace of Fine Arts for a quick photo break.

This architectural marvel, originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, is my favorite monument is San Francisco!

Stroll around the lake, admire the classical Greco-Roman rotunda and colonnades, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco
Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco

D. Alcatraz Island or San Francisco Bay Cruise

For the next stage, I’ll let you choose between 2 activities: a visit to Alcatraz Island or a relaxing San Francisco Bay Cruise.

Alcatraz, once a notorious federal prison, is now a fascinating museum.

Catch a ferry from Pier 33 and take the audio tour to learn about the prison’s history and its infamous inmates.

While on the island, you’ll have the chance to explore the cellhouse, the gardens, and get stunning views of the San Francisco skyline.

The ticket to Alcatraz includes the return ferry ticket + entrance to Alcatraz + audio guide to the prison.

You just need to click on the green button below to purchase your excursion to Alcatraz:

Please note that the entrance to Alcatraz isn’t included in the San Francisco pass.

However, the pass includes a cruise around Alcatraz island.

So, if you prefer a more relaxed afternoon, you can opt for the Alcatraz island’s cruise named “Escape from the Rock”, or for a San Francisco Bay Cruise.

These cruises offer beautiful views of the city skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz from a different perspective. They all departs from Fisherman’s Wharf.

And don’t worry if you don’t have the pass, you can also do this cruise. You just have to click on the button below to book it in advance:

And for a more upscale experience, you can also do the San Francisco Bay cruise on a catamaran. Click here for more information and to book!

Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island

E. Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39

Whether you choose to visit Alcatraz or take the cruise, the boat returns to Fisherman’s Wharf, a bustling hub known for its seafood and vibrant atmosphere.

Here, you can savor some of the best local dishes San Francisco has to offer. Try the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, a San Francisco classic, at one of the many seafood restaurants along the wharf.

Don’t miss out on sampling fresh Dungeness crab, another local favorite you should try during your 4-day stay in San Francisco.

After lunch, take a leisurely walk along Pier 39, known for its shops, restaurants, and the famous sea lions lounging on the docks. The area offers a fun, family-friendly atmosphere with street performers and local shops.

Voyage Tips - Advice

For a sweet treat, grab some Ghirardelli chocolate from the nearby Ghirardelli Square, a historic San Francisco landmark and the perfect dessert after seafood.

Pier 39 San Francisco sea lions
Pier 39 San Francisco sea lions

F. Madame Tussauds Museum or the Aquarium of the Bay

In the afternoon, you can choose between two popular attractions located nearby.

Your first option is to go to Madame Tussauds, a world-renowned wax museum featuring lifelike figures of celebrities, historical figures, and more.

This is your chance to take fun photos with your favorite celebrities!

The museum offers various themed rooms, including a section dedicated to San Francisco’s history and culture.

Alternatively, you can visit the Aquarium of the Bay. Walk through the glass tunnels surrounded by sea creatures, including sharks, rays, and jellyfish.

The aquarium offers a deeper understanding of the marine ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay and the conservation efforts to protect it. It’s an excellent choice if you’re visiting San Francisco in 4 days with kids!

Both of these attractions are included in the San Francisco All inclusive pass.

If you don’t have it, click on the orange links below to get your tickets:

G. Lombard Street

Your next stop is the famous Lombard Street, often referred to as the “crookedest street in the world”.

This one-block stretch, known for its tight hairpin turns and beautiful landscaping, is something you shouldn’t miss during your trip to San Francisco.

Start at the top of the street to enjoy the view before making your way down. Don’t forget to stop at the bottom to look back up at the winding street for the perfect photo!

Voyage Tips - Advice

For a great shot of Lombard Street, try photographing from Leavenworth Street. This angle captures the street’s famous curves with the beautiful backdrop of San Francisco homes.

lombard street San Francisco
lombard street San Francisco

H. The Coit Tower

If you have the chance to spend 4 days in San Francisco, you should take the time to visit the Coit Tower, located at the top of Telegraph Hill.

This tower provides some of the most spectacular 360-degree views of the city and the bay, including the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz, and the skyline.

Inside, you can admire the beautiful murals painted in the 1930s, depicting various aspects of life in California during that era. You can either take the stairs or the elevator to the top for a small fee.

Coit Tower San Francisco
Coit Tower San Francisco

I. Chinatown

Before dinner, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of San Francisco’s Chinatown, one of the oldest and most established Chinatowns in the United States.

This neighborhood is a bustling melting pot of culture, history, and cuisine.

Stroll along Grant Avenue, the main street with its unique shops and historic landmarks.

Don’t miss the Dragon’s Gate, the ornate entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street. Be sure to explore the side streets too, where you can find hidden gems and quieter spots away from the crowd.

Try some authentic Chinese tea at one of the local tea shops, and if you’re feeling adventurous, visit the herbal medicine stores to learn about traditional remedies.

Voyage Tips - Advice

For a deeper exploration, consider joining a guided walking tour of Chinatown.

These tours often delve into the history and cultural significance of the area, providing insights you might miss when exploring on your own.

You need to book your guided tour by clicking on the button below:

Chinatown San Francisco
Chinatown San Francisco

J. Ferry Building Marketplace

To end your first day in style, you should go dinner at the Ferry Building Marketplace, located along the Embarcadero.

This historic building houses some of San Francisco’s best culinary offerings.

Choose from a variety of eateries offering everything from artisan cheeses and gourmet chocolates to fresh seafood and organic produce.

If you’re in the mood for something specific, there are numerous restaurants within the marketplace that offer a wide range of dishes.

Not matter what you opt for, you will for sure love to enjoy your meal with a view of the bay and the Bay Bridge!

After dinner, take a leisurely walk along the Embarcadero to enjoy the evening lights reflecting off the bay, a perfect end to your first day in San Francisco.

Ferry Building Marketplace San Francisco
Ferry Building Marketplace San Francisco

Day 2 Itinerary in San Francisco

4 days in San Francisco Day 2 itinerary
4 days in San Francisco – Day 2 itinerary

Day 2 visits:

A. Golden Gate Park
B. De Young Museum or California Academy of Sciences
C. Haight Ashbury Ditrict
D. The Painted Ladies
E. The Mission district
F. Castro district
G. San Francisco Museum of modern art
H. Union Square

A. Discover Golden Gate Park

Start the second day of your 4-day trip to San Francisco with a visit to Golden Gate Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world.

This sprawling green space is filled with gardens and museums, offering something for everyone.

Personally, I really loved the Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, known for its tranquil landscapes and traditional tea house.

Another must-see is the Conservatory of Flowers, a beautiful Victorian greenhouse filled with exotic plants.

For a bit of relaxation, you can also take a paddleboat out on Stow Lake or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Shakespeare Garden, filled with flowers and plants.

As the Golden Gate Park is quite big, you can rent a bike to explore it. You’ll be able to cover more ground and discover many of the park’s hidden treasures.

And if you want to do a fun activity, you should book this 2.5-hour guided tour of the park by segway (click here!)!

Golden Gate Park Japanese tea garden
Golden Gate Park Japanese tea garden

B. Visit de Young Museum or the California Academy of Sciences

Golden Gate Park is also home to 2 incredible museums: the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences. Depending on your interests, you can choose to visit one or even both if time permits.

The de Young Museum is renowned for its diverse collection of art from the Americas, Africa, and Oceania.

Its modern architecture and the Hamon Observation Tower, offering panoramic views of the park and city, are not to be missed.

Also, take a moment to enjoy the sculpture garden.

Entrance to this museum is included with the San Francisco Pass. Without it, book your tickets directly here!

Alternatively, the California Academy of Sciences is a must-visit for science lovers.

There, you will find an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and even a rainforest. It’s the perfect place to learn more about the natural world, especially if you’re travelling with children.

Highlights include the living roof, a unique example of sustainable architecture, and the jellyfish exhibit.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Entrance for the California Academy of Sciences is included in the San Francisco All-inclusive pass by Go City.

If you don’t have the pass, you need to book your tickets in advance by clicking on the button below:

C. The Haight-Ashbury District

Let’s continue your 4-day San Francisco itinerary with a walk through the famous Haight-Ashbury district.

Known as the birthplace of the 1960s counterculture movement, this neighborhood is a colorful mix of history, unique shops, and vibrant street art.

Wander through the streets to see the well-preserved Victorian homes, eclectic boutiques, and vintage clothing stores.

The area is also known for its music history – it’s where legends like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead lived and played.

Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo at the famous intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets, a symbol of the hippie movement.

You should also visit some of the local record stores or bookshops for a taste of the neighborhood’s bohemian spirit. You might also find some unique souvenirs to take home.

Haight Ashbury District San Francisco
Haight Ashbury District San Francisco

D. The Painted Ladies and Alamo Square

Next, head to Alamo Square to see the iconic Painted Ladies – a row of beautifully restored Victorian houses featured in numerous movies and TV shows.

The best view of the Painted Ladies is from Alamo Square Park, where you can capture the contrast between the historic homes and the modern city behind them.

A walking tour at Alamo Square and its surroundings is offered with the San Francisco All-inclusive pass by Go City.

Painted Ladies of Alamo Square
Painted Ladies of Alamo Square – 4 days in San Francisco

E. Mission District

Make your way to the Mission District.

Renowned for its rich cultural heritage and arts scene, the Mission is a must-visit for those seeking a more authentic San Francisco experience.

The Mission is famous for its stunning street murals, particularly around Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley.

These artworks depict everything from local history to contemporary social issues, offering a colorful view of the Mexican-American community.

There, you can also enjoy the numerous shops, eateries, and bars of the neighborhood.

It’s actually the best place to find great Mexican food, so consider grabbing a bite at one of the local taquerias!

Voyage Tips - Advice

For a deeper understanding of the murals, you should join a guided tour. This way, you won’t miss the stories and inspirations behind these works of street art.

If you have bought the San Franciso All inclusive pass, a guided tour is included. 

If you don’t have the pass, you can book your tour by clicking here!

Mission District Murals
Mission District Murals

F. Castro District

After exploring the Mission, take a stroll through the Castro District, one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States.

The Castro is known for its lively atmosphere, colorful streets, and historical significance in the LGBTQ community. Don’t miss Harvey Milk Plaza, named after the pioneering gay rights activist.

Visit the Castro Theatre, a historic movie palace known for its sing-along nights and classic film screenings.

The streets of the Castro are lined with rainbow flags, shops, bars, and restaurants.

The San Francisco Pass includes a guided tour of the Castro.

Castro District san francisco
Castro District san francisco

G. Optional: the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

For art enthusiasts, a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is highly recommended.

Located in the heart of downtown, SFMOMA is home to an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art.

Explore the vast galleries featuring works by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.

The museum’s architecture itself is a work of art, with a strikingly modern design and spacious atrium.

And don’t forget to go to the rooftop garden, the perfect spot to relax a bit.

Admission is included with the San Franciso All inclusive pass. As usual, if you don’t have the city pass, you need to book your entrance tickets here!

H. Shopping and Dining at Union Square

Conclude your day with a visit to Union Square, San Francisco’s bustling shopping and dining district.

This area is surrounded by department stores, boutiques, art galleries, and theaters.

From luxury brands to local boutiques, Union Square offers a variety of shopping options. Whether you’re looking for high fashion, unique souvenirs, or just want to window shop, this is the place to be.

For dining, you will find on Union Square numerous restaurants and cafes, catering to all tastes and budgets. You can enjoy a meal at one of the outdoor terraces, it’s perfect for soaking in the vibrant city atmosphere.

You should really book in advance if you plan to dine at one of Union Square’s popular restaurants. The area can get quite busy, especially in the evenings and on weekends.

If you’re a food lover like me, enjoying a great meal in one of the city’s best restaurant is one of the best things you can do during your 4 days in San Francisco!

Union Square San Francisco
Union Square San Francisco

Day 3 in San Francisco: Best places to visit

4 days in San Francisco Day 3 itinerary
4 days in San Francisco – Day 3 itinerary

Day 3 visits:

A. Muir Woods national monument
B. Sausalito
C. Viewpoints over the Golden Gate Bridge

A. Muir Woods National Monument

This is now the 3rd day of your 4-day itinerary in San Francisco.

Let’s start the morning with a trip to Muir Woods National Monument, a forest famous for its towering old-growth redwood trees.

This national treasure is located just 35 minutes drive north of San Francisco, offering a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Walk along the well-maintained trails and be awed by the immense height of the redwoods. The park offers several easy-to-walk trails that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the forest.

Also, you should keep an eye out for local wildlife, including deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species!

Remember to check the park’s website for parking reservations or shuttle service options, as parking spaces are limited.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you don’t want to drive, you should book an organized day trip.

The best one includes return transport from San Francisco, entrance fees to Muir Woods and a visit to the charming seaside resort of Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate Bridge:

Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument

B. Sausalito

After exploring Muir Woods, continue your day with a visit to Sausalito, a picturesque waterfront town known for its stunning views of San Francisco and the bay.

Sausalito offers a charming contrast to the city with its laid-back atmosphere, boutique shops, and waterfront dining.

Stroll along the waterfront, explore the art galleries, and enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants offering fresh seafood and panoramic views.

Sausalito is also a great place to rent a bike and explore the scenic paths along the water.

You can get there by yourself, or the visit to Sausalito is included in the day trip to Muir Woods I mentioned above.

C. Stop Off at the Vista Point and/or Battery Spencer Viewpoints

On your way back from Sausalito, make sure to stop at Vista Point and/or Battery Spencer for some of the most iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Located at the north end of the Golden Gate, Vista Point provides a panoramic view of the bridge with the city of San Francisco in the background.

The view is particularly spectacular at sunset when the bridge is bathed in golden light.

For a higher vantage point and a more historic setting, head to Battery Spencer.

Located on the Marin Headlands, this former military installation offers one of the most famous view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

The area is also great for hiking, so if time allows, you should explore the surrounding trails for more breathtaking views!

Golden Gate
Golden Gate

Day 4 – The best things to do near San Francisco

On the last day of your 4-day stay in San Francisco, you should go on a day trip to visit San Francisco’s surroundings!

Here are the 3 best places to visit near San Francisco.

Day 4 visits:

A. Option 1 – Yosemite National park
B. Option 2 –  Napa and Sonoma Valley
C. Option 3 – Monterey and Carmel

Option 1: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife.

It’s a bit of a drive from San Francisco but well worth it for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Here are the Best Things to Do in Yosemite:

  • Yosemite Valley: The heart of the park, offering views of famous landmarks like El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls.
  • Hiking Trails: Yosemite has trails for all levels, from the easy walk to Mirror Lake to the challenging hike up to Half Dome.
  • Mariposa Grove: Home to ancient giant sequoias, including the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest trees in the world.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for deer, black bears, and a variety of bird species.

You should start early from San Franciso and plan your day ahead, as Yosemite National Park is pretty big!

Voyage Tips - Advice

To visit Yosemite without any hassle, you should book this organized day trip with transport included from San Francisco.

It’s perfect if you don’t want to drive over such long distances and want to benefit from the knowledge and tips of a guide.

It includes plenty of photo breaks and free time for hiking in the park. It’s one of the most popular day trips around San Francisco!

You need to click on the green button below to book it:

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

Option 2: Napa and Sonoma Valley

If you prefer a more relaxed day, consider a trip to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, famous for their world-class wineries and picturesque landscapes.

Here is a selection of activities to do in Napa and Sonoma:

  • Wine Tasting: Visit some of the renowned wineries for a taste of local wines. Many offer guided tours that explain the winemaking process.
  • Gourmet Dining: These valleys are known for their culinary delights. Enjoy a meal at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants or charming local eateries.
  • Balloon Rides: For a unique perspective, take a hot air balloon ride over the rolling hills and vineyards of the valleys. You have to book it in advance by clicking here!
  • Biking Tours: Rent a bike and explore the beautiful countryside, it’s a perfect way to experience the scenic beauty of the area.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Make reservations in advance for wine tastings and restaurants, as they can be quite popular, especially on weekends.

And if you don’t want to bother organising your visits, I recommend you book this day trip with transport and 3 vineyard visits (+ tastings!):

Napa Valley hot air baloon
Napa Valley hot air baloon

Option 3: Monterey and Carmel

For a coastal retreat on your last day, consider a trip to Monterey and Carmel, two of California’s most scenic and charming coastal towns.

Located along the Pacific Coast Highway, these towns offer a blend of natural beauty, historical sites, and artistic culture.

In Monterey, you can discover:

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium: Renowned for its impressive marine exhibits and conservation efforts.
  • Cannery Row: Once the sardine-packing heart of Monterey, Cannery Row is now a bustling waterfront street with shops, restaurants, and beautiful ocean views.
  • Whale Watching: Join a whale-watching tour to see whales and dolphins up close!

Book your whale-watching cruise in Monterey by clicking here:

Visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea:

  • Storybook Architecture: Carmel is famous for its charming fairytale cottages and unique architectural style. Take a leisurely stroll through the town to appreciate its artistic atmosphere.
  • Carmel Beach: Visit the pristine Carmel Beach with its fine white sands and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Art Galleries: Explore the numerous galleries showcasing works from local and international artists.

Don’t miss the Sunset at Carmel Beach, known for its views and peaceful environment. It’s the perfect way to unwind and finish your 4-day trip to San Francisco.

Where to stay in San Francisco

So now you know exactly what to do and see in San Francisco in 4 days!

Now it’s time for you to think about where to stay in San Francisco. In order to help you out, I have selected for you the best hotels in San Francisco, depending on your budget.

And as always, to get the best prices, you should book your hotel as early as possible. 

Here is my selection of the best hotels to stay in San Francisco:

  • HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel: Youth hostel located in Union Square. Beds in dormitories from €50. Strong points: location, warm welcome, friendly atmosphere. An excellent choice for cheap accomodation in San Francisco!
  • Grant Hotel: Located 5 minutes’ walk from Union Square. Rooms are decorated in a slightly old-fashioned style but are spacious and clean from €105 per night. Strong points: location, free coffee and biscuits, friendly staff.
  • Greenwich Inn: Located between Presidio Park and Fisherman’s Wharf. Double room from €150 per night. Strong points: free parking, warm welcome, spacious room, plenty of restaurants in the area.
  • Handlery Union Square Hotel: Located in Union Square. Very spacious and comfortable double room with large windows from €210. Strong points: outdoor swimming pool, perfect for visiting San Francisco, comfortable beds.
  • Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf: Located in Fisherman’s wharf. Modern, comfortable double room from €270, breakfast included. Strong points: outdoor swimming pool, location, good breakfast, very helpful staff.
  • Hotel Nikko San Francisco: Located in Union Square, this 5-star hotel offers tastefully decorated rooms from €500. Strong points: indoor pool, spa, attentive staff, design, valet parking.
View on the Golden Gate from Baker beach
View on the Golden Gate from Baker beach

San Francisco in 4 days with kids

You plan to visit San Francisco in 4 days with your children?

Well, the city is perfect for a family trip!

Here are my recommended things to do for a 4-day trip to San Francisco with kids:

Voyage Tips - Advice

You can also modify a bit this itinerary and take them to:

  • San Francisco Zoo: this zoo showcases more than 250 species, from towering giraffes to tiny meerkats.
  • Legoland Discovery Center, located in Milpitas, just a short drive from San Francisco. This indoor playground is filled with over 2 million Lego bricks!

More things to do during your 4 days in San Francisco

If you want to modify this itinerary a bit and/or include additional guided tours or activities, you should read my detailed guide of San Francisco, with all the best places to visit.

Simply click on the following link to learn everything about the famous city: The ultimate guide to visiting San Francisco.

Map of your 4-day itinerary in San Francisco

To help you visualize your daily itineraries during your 4 days in San Francisco, I have created this map with all the places to visit day by day. You can view the map’s legend by clicking on the top left button, the one with a little arrow.

You can thus see the suggested itineraries for each day.

Flight prices to San Francisco

As always, you should book your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best prices.

To check the rates and schedules for flights to San Francisco, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:

Need help planning your 4 days San Francisco itinerary?

Don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below, I will be happy to help you plan your stay.

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in the US? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about USA: All my articles to help you plan your trip to USA are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

Best places to visit in San Francisco in 4 days
Best places to visit in San Francisco in 4 days



Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Leave A Reply