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How to Make the Most Out of Two Days in San Francisco

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  • Post last modified:August 1, 2022
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San Francisco is the commercial and cultural hub of the state of California. It is among the most populated cities in the United States, so there will be people everywhere when you get there, but that doesn’t matter because the city is full of entertainment and excitement.

There are many things to consider when in San Francisco like you have to walk a lot to the town, and it’s mostly foggy there.

This city is on every traveler’s bucket list who has a real love for travel. You can spend your whole life in San Francisco, but still, there will be some places left out.

It has many places to visit and hidden gems that you want to explore. If the time is limited and you only have two days to explore the city, you may be nervous because you might look at only 2 3 places.

These are the places you can visit for two days in San Francisco to make the most out of this trip, whether you are here for the first time or have been there before. Finding out what to do and leave is tricky, but not after this guide.


Shopping in the Union Square

Shopping in the Union Square

Whether you like to shop or not, your two days in San Francisco without visiting the heart of Union Square are incomplete. You can start your amazing trip by visiting Union Square.

It is the times square of San Francisco, and it is visited by millions of travelers every year.

You can spend some of your precious time shopping according to your own choice and taste. You can also buy gifts for your friends and family as there are plenty of options.


Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge

Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge

The golden bridge is 1.7 miles long, and you can explore the bridge by walking over it. Seventeen miles is a great distance for you to walk halfway through.

You can’t know the real beauty of the bridge unless you cross it, and we suggest you walk across it instead of watching it through the car.

If you want to spend more time here, then you can stop at the welcome center and look at the plaques that explain the history of this beautiful bridge.


Visit the Marin Headlands

Visit the Marin Headlands

The city has many beautiful places and hidden gems to visit, but nothing can beat the level of Marin Headlands. It is a must-visit if you want the natural scenery without the blurry and foggy visit.

The Marin Headlands are located over the golden gate bridge. After walking through the golden gate bridge, you can head to this vast area to have explicit scenes of the golden gate bridge and the pacific ocean.

A 10-mile can take you to one of the world’s most stunning roads. You can have many options to do when in Marin headlands if you have plenty of time, such as hiking the small trails and camping in the vast stretch of land, but if you’ve only two days to visit the whole of San Francisco, then you’ve to go for a quick drive through the Marin Headlands.


Visit the Legion of Honor Museum

Visit the Legion of Honor Museum

The Legion of Honor Museum is among the top attractions of San Francisco and is visited by many travelers each year. It is not only among the best building in San Franciso or California but one of the finest buildings around the world.

If you are an art person, you should give this place a go even if you’ve only one day to explore San Francisco. It is the home of almost 800 European paintings and 100 sculptures.

It was built as a copy of the Paris Legion D’Honneur. You can visit this place after walking through the Golden Bridge as it is located near it. You can roam around the museum to get a fantastic view of the Golden Bridge and some portrait photographs.


Relax at the Japanese Tea Garden

Relax at the Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese tea garden is one of the best Japanese gardens in North America. The Japanese tea garden is located in Golden Gate Park, and there is no better place than the Japanese tea garden to relax after a tiring day of exploring the Golden gate bridge. It seems like you are in Japan when you come into the park.

This park offers a unique experience and the place isn’t crowded (except on weekends), and you can sit and relax among the Japenese-style buildings, trees, and water running through the tracks.

To get into the Japanese Tea Garden, you have to buy a ticket. The Japanese Tea Garden website shows that it’s free admission if you’re a resident of San Francisco. For non-residents, price tickets as below:

  • Adults – $13
  • Seniors (ages 65+ w/ID) – $7
  • Youth (ages 12-17) – $7
  • Children (ages 5-11)
  • Children (under 5) – FREE


Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks are located in the center of San Francisco, and the trip to San Francisco is incomplete without a photoshoot on the twin Peaks.

The Twin Peaks are a pair of hills that rise to 282 meters at the city’s geographic center. Mount Davidson is the highest point in the area.

The best time to be at this place is 1 to 2 hours before the sunset. The place is crowded with tourists at this time, but it is also the best time to get some aesthetic pictures for your Instagram.

You can also visit in the morning when the sun is rising, but we suggest you not see this place alone for your safety and must visit it with your friends or family to be safe from all corners.


Ride the Cable Car

Ride the Cable Car Ride

Riding the cable car ride is among the things you can do in your 48 hours in San Francisco as you can ride in it and stop at your next stop, which you must explore in San Francisco. This cable car ride system in San Francisco is the largest manual cable car system globally.

This cable car had many cable car lines, but now they’ve been reduced to only three, yet they are worth a ride. Both travelers and common people use it, but now it is a more tourist-centered cable car.


Visit the Ghirardelli Square

Visit the Ghirardelli Square

Credit: Ken Lund (Flickr)

If you are a fan of chocolate, then you must visit Ghirardelli. The chocolate factory was founded by an Italian who moved this company from South Africa. The chocolate factory is not open for a tour, but you can still visit the outside area called Ghirardelli square.

While roaming around Ghirardelli square, you can taste the most delicious chocolate and ice cream.

You can also buy these chocolates for yourself to eat after the trip or for your friends and family who are expecting a delicious treat from you.


Explore the China Town

Explore the China Town

China town has something different to offer compared to the rest of San Franciso. You can feel like in China when it is the biggest Chinatown outside of Asia.

It all started when the railroad construction was going, and there was a big need for workers. The number of workers felt short, and the Chinese were allowed to come and work in San Francisco in 1848. The construction was completed in 1849, and the white Americans isolated the Chinese people.

The Chinese started competing with them, which led to Chinatown, and surprisingly, it became a famous tourist attraction after some decades. You can fully experience the Chinese culture here and try Chinese food in the favorite restaurants and cafes of the area.

You can spend a whole day here exploring the area, but you can quickly explore the area if the time is short. The trip to San Francisco is incomplete without visiting Chinatown.


Visit the Alcatraz

Visit the Alcatraz

Alcatraz was a famous prison in the United States, and it was renowned for its reputation. Many favorite movies and short plays have been made about the prison, and the unique thing about this prison was that it was built on a rock.

The area’s security was quite strict, and it was impossible to escape and come out of this prison alive. The expenses to maintain this prison and its security were relatively high, so it was closed in 1963, converted into a public part, and became a top tourist attraction in San Francisco.


Satisfy your Cravings at the Ferry Building

Satisfy your Cravings at the Ferry Building

If you are a foodie who loves to try amazing and cultural food, you can satisfy your cravings at the ferry building. The ferry building becomes food heaven during the Saturday Ferry Plaza market.

Many sellers come to the surrounding of the building to sell various food such as grilled sandwiches, steaks, and everything you desire when you are around the ferry building.

We recommend trying grilled sandwiches at the famed cowgirl creamery and eating fresh and mouth-licking oysters at the Hog Island Oyster Company.

The ferry building has opened the outdoor seating, accommodating 228 people, making it the largest indoor venue for the bay residents.


Eating at Fisherman’s Wharf

Eating at Fisherman's Wharf

You can start one day at the Fisherman’s wharf as they’re many things to do here, and you are bound to spend a couple of hours in this area even if you’ve only two days to explore the whole of San Francisco.

The Fisherman’s wharf has many stores and cafes, but it keeps revolutionizing, and many exciting things have been added to it. There are many activities to do here if you have a whole day to spend here, such as riding the carousel, visiting the aquarium, and eating delicious seafood.

Another attractive attraction of the place is seeing the sea lions, which came to the area in the early 1990s, and their population is growing day by day.


Actually, 48 hours are not enough to fully enjoy the beauty of the city because there are many places to visit and many activities to do. Whether in the morning or at night, there is something you can do in this fantastic city.

You can try the excellent and delicious food at the famous restaurant, have a long drive on the California highway and learn about the city’s history and culture by visiting the city’s famous museums.

This city has hidden gems that are not as densely toured as others, but when the time is short, you can visit the places we have recommended as you can feel like you’ve explored the whole of San Francisco by visiting these places. You can make the most out of the city by visiting these places.

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