Living in San Francisco, California:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

18 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit San Francisco, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 18 people living in San Francisco what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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18 comments on “San Francisco”

You need money. Nothing is cheap here. It’s the most bizarre city in America. Drug use is prevalent, Bodies line the streets. There are good neighborhoods. People stay in due to the climate. You don’t see a lot of people in nice areas outside. They are inside at home safely tucked in. I have been here 57 years. The first 50 were wonderful. The last 7 are horrible. I am too old to move. I am 85, where could I go. I am not poor, just too old to escape here.

andrew, says: 2023

Beautiful weather and good food and restaurants. Friendly People! 😊

Marleen, says: 2023

Rent a car and drive around the non tourist neighborhoods. The local small shopping centers are safe and host good stores.

If you’re traveling to San Francisco the best things to pack is mace and disinfectant wipes. The sidewalks are filled with homeless addicts shooting up heroin who are not afraid to harass people for handouts. Be on alert stepping on used syringes, pee and poo on the streets.

San Francisco can be moderately cold and very foggy in the fall. I would advise anyone moving here to have a light jacket and a few thick sweaters, at the very least. If you plan to do a lot of walking, pack at least one high-quality pair of sneakers/walking shoes, as there are steep hills.

Daniel, says: 2020

If someone were moving to San Francisco, I would advise them to not be scared of the public transportation. It can be intimidating at first glance but is an effective way to traverse while shrinking your carbon footprint. There are apps that exist that make navigating the Muni system easy!

Rebecca, says: 2020

If someone moves to San Francisco, know it is expensive, especially real estate. Even though the weather is good year-round, the cost of renting a 1-bedroom apartment could cost around $2000/a month, yikes!

Jennifer, says: 2020

Living in San Francisco requires a high tolerance for contradiction. Parts of it are beautiful beyond belief; others are slums filled with derelicts and discarded trash. These wildly different neighborhoods often sit directly adjacent to each other. Living in any part of the city requires accepting surroundings, expectations, and contexts which constantly shift suddenly and without warning.

If moving to San Francisco, you have to make sure you are ready for the rain and wind! Because the city is surrounded by the beautiful bay, it is often subject to cloudy days and unrelenting wind. This wind is especially biting in the middle of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco is in the north of sunny California, and has many famous attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz Island. For someone moving to the city, there is a vast array of unique and diverse neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own distinct personality and demographic. The variety of microclimates in San Francisco is also an interesting feature, and different parts of the city can experience vastly different weather. Additionally, the city is a topographical marvel, claiming wonderful parks, hills, and beaches as part of its landscape. San Francisco is a beautiful and historical city that is certainly an enjoyable place.

Kaitlyn, says: 2020

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in America. But prepare to adjust to this foggy city. If you are a nature person, the Presidio offers amazing trails and access to the ocean. If you are a city dweller, downtown will provide what you may crave. This city offers something for everybody.

San Francisco is a large and busy place. The city can be cramped and full of cars. The city is full of people who are either rushing to work or people who are visiting the area. The city is full of shops and historical buildings that are worth seeing.

Taylor, says: 2020

San Francisco is an amazing, diverse, and rich city. The distinct neighborhoods and storied streets make even its residents feel as though they are exploring multiple cities in one. With all that it has to offer, San Francisco does have many problems that need to be addressed. The grave disparity between the rich and the poor and the significant cost of the most basic necessities are two problems for politicians to tackle.

San Francisco has a lot to offer the curious traveler. From historic cable cars to iconic restaurants, eclectic museums, and a thriving arts scene, the City by the Bay has something for everyone. San Francisco is also the gateway to other iconic destinations in the area. Gorgeous wine country, charming Monterey, and breathtaking Yosemite National Park are all a day-trip away from San Francisco. Having a car can be helpful for exploring the attractions outside city limits, especially if you are short on time.

Jessica, says: 2020

San Francisco is a beautiful city with an abundance of culture and history, as exemplified by its incredible collection of diverse neighborhoods. Since the rise of the technology bubble over the last two decades, however, economic inequality has risen to the point where homeless people live in tents right outside of luxury condominiums owned by wealthy, young entrepreneurs. Therefore, caution is recommended when navigating the streets of San Francisco alone, especially at night, in areas such as the Tenderloin.

in summer it is very hot so they need to bring with them t-shirts, shorts, and sunglasses. As it is a city from the United States you pay with dollars so you will need to exchange your money to dollars to buy or pay things.

Charity, says: 2020

San Francisco is an attractive city to move to. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll find parks, forests, oceans, beaches, and mountains to spend your time. If you love the city life, downtown San Francisco is the place for you. If you love trying different cuisines, you’ll find that every San Franciscan neighborhood has its specialty. The Mission District is famous for its Mexican food, whereas the Tenderloin neighborhood has the best Indian food.

Dustin, says: 2020

San Francisco is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. It is full of rich history, culture, and wonderfully complex and passionate communities that bring an array of unique perspectives and contributions to the region. From Chinatown to Japantown to the Castro to the Mission, this diversity and its people are meant to be explored and experienced.

Déborah, says: 2020

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