OrangeSmile Tours Best destinations around the world - Travel Guide
San Francisco

Culture of San Francisco. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Iglesia San Francisco - Castro The city of San Francisco will be of great pleasure to visit for those tourists who love bright and engaging excursions and city exploration. Many city landmarks and sites are of global significance attracting each year thousands of curious tourists. One of the main symbols of the city is the Golden Gate Bridge. This grand suspension bridge was opened in 1937 being the largest construction of the kind in the world. This architectural landmark has the same global significance at present as well. Many tourists prefer to observe the bridge at nightfall when the grand construction gets illuminated.
San Francisco is a unique city turning a regular vacation into an exciting adventurous journey full of exciting impressions which will not be complete without visiting of popular restaurants … Open
The Oakland Bay Bridge is less known to general public but is of the same significance as Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge was opened in 1936. Another object of tourist attraction and interest is the Lombard Street being a must visit place in the city exploration tour of hiking enthusiasts. The street is located on the Russian Hill. Its main feature is a rather large fall of 27 degrees. However the street is crossed with a 400 meter long road with 8 abrupt turns. This district of the city of San Francisco looks rather unique and fascinating.
One of the main entertainments among city guests is still visiting and exploration of the Coit Tower being a memorial tower. The monument was erected in 1933 and named after Lillie Hitchcock Coit being a local woman who voluntarily and willingly helped firemen. The height of the tower is 64 meters with an excellent observation platform equipped on its top. One of the brightest and most original districts of the city is Chinatown being of great interest for all tourists visiting San Francisco without exceptions. Chinatown offers its guests to observe small houses executed in truly oriental style as well as original Chinese shops and restaurants. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Many tourists identify this buzzing and multi-faceted tourist destination with freedom of every aspect of life. The city of San Francisco is exactly the place of holding of the largest and … Open
A symbolic entrance to the territory of Chinatown is a bright gate located in the Bush Street. The city of San Francisco offers as well several nature attractions being of great interest for outdoor leisure enthusiasts. Open air recreation fans will love to get up to the top of the Twin Peaks hills. Two twin hills are located in the heart of the peninsula. In fine weather tourists may enjoy a vibrant panoramic view of the city from the top of the hills. The north hill named Eureka locates an excellent observation platform equipped with telescopes. Tourists may choose either a day tour through the city or opt for a night excursion which will surely turn to an unforgettable experience.
Another iconic place in San Francisco that “pops up” in the brain at the mention of San Francisco is Alcatraz Island, which once housed the most famous prison in the United States. Nowadays, it is a place of attraction for many travelers visiting the Californian city. It is worth noting that the place of confinement was not always located here: initially, it was a fortress, which was constructed as a result of the needs of the “gold rush”. The fortress was erected in 1850, but already in 1909, it turned into a place of imprisonment, from which a likely successful escape was made just once. In 1853, a lighthouse was built right next to the fort. However, after the fortress gained the status of prison, the building was demolished, and another one was built near it.
City guests will not lack entertainments and ways to spend time as it can be claimed beyond a doubt that the city of San Francisco offers the richest choice of entertainments meeting each … Open
Among the sites of sacral architecture situated in the city, it is worth highlighting a few. Firstly, there is the St. Patrick Catholic Church which was built in 1870 for the reason that an extensive Irish community was housed in the city. It was completely destroyed in 1906 as a result of an earthquake, but the shrine was soon restored again almost to its original form. As for the architectural style of the church, it is worth noting that it is an excellent example of the neo-Gothic style. The facade of the building decorated with serpentine marble, distinguishes the temple from others, making it impossible to confuse it with any other building. Not far from the building is located the picturesque park Yerba Buena Gardens – a great place to conduct a walk. Another place that deserves to be visited is the Notre Dame Des Victoires Church, which was built in 1856 for the French community of San Francisco.
The City Hall building is also worthy of mention being an important cultural landmark. City Hall often becomes the spot of filming movies – all thanks to its magnificent neoclassical appearance. The existing building replaced the previous city hall, which was destroyed by the earthquake of 1906. Arthur Brown Jr., who also designed the already mentioned Coit Tower, was the architect during the construction. You can see the other works of the architect in the city – the War Memorial Opera House, as well as the skyscraper 50 United Nations Plaza. The City Hall is a historically interesting building: this is precisely where Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio in 1954, a strike of students against the Anti-American Committee took place here in 1960, and here in 1978, Dan White was killed Mayor George Moscone and his director Harvey Milk.
1. Sparing tourists should keep in mind during a vacation in San Francisco that city museums are free to visit several times per month. All tourist information offices provide all the … Open
Among the fortifications of San Francisco, two more are worth highlighting – Fort Point and Fort Mason. The former was built in 1853 as an additional fort, which is designed to protect the Bay of San Francisco from the encroachments of those who decide to come to get a “gold mine”. The fortress was of great importance during the Civil War in the United States. Already by 1861, the first cannon was installed here. After the end of the war, barracks could be found here. This is another building that becomes the camera focus – for example, in the movie “Vertigo” in 1958 or in the “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” in 2014. As for the Fort Mason, it was also built as a defensive structure during the “gold rush” and was useful during the Civil War.
Coit Tower A walk along the beautiful streets of San Francisco will bring only the most beautiful experiences. The Haight-Ashbury district is known for being a gathering place for hippies – this is all thanks to its nearness to the picturesque Golden Gate Park, from which began the “Summer of Love” of 1967. The magnificent colorful and original buildings are reminiscent of this – houses, art cafes, and cultural centers. While walking here, the words from Scott MacKenzie’s famous song about San Francisco immediately comes to mind, that you must put flowers on your head when you visit the city, and also that you can meet good people here. It was thanks to this quarter and the words from the song that the whole city began to be associated with the subculture and became synonymous with freedom and self-expression.
Discovering the architecture of San Francisco from bird's eye view! San Francisco City Hall, Transamerica Pyramid, Museum of Modern Art, Cliff House, Opera San Francisco, all those monuments are defining the image of San Francisco … Open
Painted Ladies – this is the name of the magnificent architectural ensemble of six buildings located in the Alamo Square region. This is another unforgettable symbol of the city which can be seen not only on postcards but also in movies. The houses are built in the beautiful style of the time of the British Queen Anne. There are similar houses in some other American cities; however, it was from these houses that the history of naming houses of this type begins, or to be precise, with Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen, who wrote the book “The Painted Ladies – San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians”. Another impressive building of this type is the Queen Anne Hotel.
Bernal sunset Built in 1907, the Sentinel Building (or the Columbus Tower, as it is often called), is another stunning building in the city that cannot be ignored. There was a time when the legendary nightclub Hungry I was located in one of these buildings. This is a place where stand-up was born in 1953 when the owner Enrico Barducci created a place where people could freely express their opinions. The Flood Building, which was erected in 1904, is worth mentioning. It is also outstanding for the fact that it was one of the few structures that were not damaged during the 1906 earthquake. Another building that will certainly impress the visitors of San Francisco is the construction Ghirardelli Building.
Grace Cathedral, California Academy of Sciences, Ferry Building, Fairmont Hotel, as well as many others, they all become the world's cultural heritage objects and remain as iconic monuments for San Francisco … Open
Another important place to conduct a walk is the city’s piers and its surrounding area, among which Pier 39 is considered the most famous thanks to its shopping centers. In general, the Fisherman’s Wharf area is one of the most interesting places for a promenade. Here, tourists will be able to enjoy the fresh sea air and experience an incomparable feeling of recklessness – San Francisco is also known as a carefree city. You will find it no less delightful to conduct a walk through the colorful district of Japantown, where you will definitely have the opportunity to learn more about the Japanese community in the city, visiting the cultural centers of the quarter. And if you also happen to come to San Francisco during the celebration of one of the colorful festivals dedicated to Japan, then there will be no limit to the positive emotions that you will experience.
Hills Bros Stitch The rich historical landmark, Washington Square, is one of the most interesting spots for those who like to examine in detail, buildings with beautiful architecture and admire picturesque green landscapes. Pacific Heights is a decent walking quarter, where buildings from the Victorian era harmoniously stand next to modern buildings. While in San Francisco, you should definitely visit one of the theaters or concert halls to have a great time in a pleasant atmosphere. The theatres San Francisco Playhouse and Palace of Fine Arts, as well as the concert hall San Francisco Symphony, as well as the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, are excellent options for such leisure activities.
One of the most beautiful cities in California - San Francisco - is located near the coast of Pacific Ocean. The architectural ensemble of the city combines culture, traditions and customs … Open
San Francisco is also famous for its beautiful green areas. The most famous one among them is the already mentioned Golden Gate Park, where it will be a pleasure to make a promenade both for those who wish to spend time actively and those who wish to enjoy amazing views. The Botanical Garden which is located in the above-mentioned park will attract you with its fragrant aroma and beautiful exotic plants. It is a Japanese garden, and during the flowering of Sakura, it becomes even more magnificent – although such seems impossible. Another green zone is perfect for a great walk. We are referring to the Mission Dolores Park, which will cover visitors with its magnificent palm trees.
Full House Strolling through San Francisco, tourists unwittingly pay attention to the extraordinarily beautiful works of art depicted directly on the buildings. The most famous area where such masterpieces of street art are concentrated is in the Mission District (here you can find the walls of Balmy Alley Murals and Clarion Alley Street Art). Going a little further to the quarter of Opera Plaza, you can find a magnificent masterpiece of biology – Tenderloin People, which immediately amazes you with two things: first, the art object on the wall of the building (Garden Mural), and, second, its roof garden (you can see it from a bird’s-eye view, or, of course, by ascending here). In the area of ​​Chinatown is a magnificent piece of street art Jazz Mural and in the already mentioned quarter Haight-Ashbury – Jerry Garcia Mural.
San Francisco is a unique city turning a regular vacation into an exciting adventurous journey full of exciting impressions which will not be complete without visiting of popular restaurants … Open
Even stairs are landmarks in San Francisco – and each of them has its own “peculiarity”. Thus, the Lyon Street Steps, leading to Pacific Heights, is very beautifully decorated with shrubs and plants and having conquered it, wonderful views of several sights of the North American city open up at once: the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and also San Francisco Bay. The wonderfully painted staircases of 16 Avenue Tiled Steps and Hidden Garden Steps will amaze you with their interesting patterns and painted pictures. Reaching the end point, the gaze also opens up to a magnificent panorama. A walk along the avenue of Civic Center Commons, which is located near the City Hall building, will be an amazing one.
San Francisco A unique place of interest of the Californian city is The Wave Organ sculpture, thanks to which you can sit on a bench and listen to the divine music of the ocean. The monument was designed in 1986 by Peter Richards and George Gonzalez. It is dedicated to Frank Oppenheimer, director of the Exploratorium Museum, who raised funds for a unique attraction but could not wait to until its opening. Other beautiful sculptures of the city include such interesting compositions as Crab Sculpture (Pier 39) and Venus Statue (Mid-Market). The beautiful park Presidio of San Francisco is famous for its sculptures, in particular, the monument to The Ordonez Gun and the Yoda Fountain situated here. You will also find interesting, statues dedicated to world-famous personalities – for example, Christopher Columbus, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Many tourists identify this buzzing and multi-faceted tourist destination with freedom of every aspect of life. The city of San Francisco is exactly the place of holding of the largest and … Open
One of the most interesting museums in the city is casual Exploratorium, where you can get a unique experience, having learned a lot of interesting information about the world around us through practical experiences. Of particular interest is a cultural attraction put in place for young citizens. However, the Walt Disney Family Museum will be no less entertaining for them. Among the exhibits on display here are photographs, and sketches of drawings. Here you can learn more about any cartoon of the renowned animation studio, each of which is described in detail. Another interesting place to visit in the company of kids is the Children’s Creativity Museum, which presents works of art created by young citizens. The cultural sight Madame Tussauds San Francisco will also be interesting to visit along with the entire family and make, of course, a couple of selfies with wax figures of stars.
San Francisco Sunset Do not miss the unique Museum of Ice Cream Museum, where kids will be able to frolic in various attractions that bring to mind ice cream and at the end, taste five types of the delicious delicacy. Fans of technology will be interested to visit several cultural sites of the city: the Cable Car Museum, where various mechanisms are presented, Musee Mecanique, whose collection includes mechanical gaming machines, and the Railway Museum, where you can learn about the history of public transport in San Francisco. You should definitely look into the cultural site Morrison Planetarium (located at the base of the center California Academy of Sciences) and learn a lot of interesting information about marine inhabitants.
City guests will not lack entertainments and ways to spend time as it can be claimed beyond a doubt that the city of San Francisco offers the richest choice of entertainments meeting each … Open
To get to know better the communities around the city, which can be called “native” by residents, you should visit museums such as the Asian Art Museum, the Chinese Culture Center and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, as well as the Museum of the African Diaspora. The San Francisco Dungeon show presents the history of the city in a somewhat unusual perspective, with that, the whole history of San Francisco becomes understandable and fascinating for every tourist. Those who are not indifferent to the maritime history of the city should be advised to explore the piers of the city, where you can see live exhibits: those that participated in World War II – the SS Jeremiah O'Brien ship and the USS Pampanito submarine. Both ships are located on Pier 45.
Iglesia San Francisco - Castro Creative people often chose San Francisco as their home. Among them, Jimi Hendrix and Jack London, whose houses today can be visited as museums. One of the fields in the legendary Golden Gate Park was named in honor of Robin Williams (Robin Williams Meadow). Fans of art will appreciate the city’s art galleries and museums. The most visited of them is the cultural center Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, whose collection consists of priceless canvases of painters and sculptures of sculptors of the 15th-20th centuries. Another unique art space is The Gregangelo Museum, whose rooms are created by talented artists. Connoisseurs of modern art will be delighted with the cultural attractions of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (or SFMOMA, as it is called for convenience). Also worthy of visiting is the 1 AM Gallery, Cartoon Art Museum, as well as the San Francisco Art Exchange.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over San Francisco and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in San Francisco and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through San Francisco: churches, museums and castles

San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco

» The City Hall is the administration building of San Francisco built in 1915 on the site of the original structure that was destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1906.
» The dome of the administration building is the fifth largest in the world.
» During working hours on weekdays entrance to the building is free. In the evening and on weekends premises of the building can be rented for banquets, meetings and ceremonies.
» You can register the marriage at the day of application, if there is free time in the schedule of registrations. The presence of guests and witnesses of the bride and groom are optional.
» Marilyn Monroe and the baseball player Joe DiMaggio have registered their marriage in 1954 in the City Hall.

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

» The Grace Cathedral was built after the earthquake and fire in 1906. Its construction lasted for 54 years.
» During construction of the church architects used all known methods for seismic resistance for it. Architects had to avoid sculptures and reliefs to decorate the facade, as they could fall in case of an earthquake.
» Interior of the Gothic Cathedral is decorated with the set of colored glasses of blue, red and yellow colors. The cathedral also features a mural depicting the history of the city and the life of Francis of Assisi that is the patron saint of San Francisco.
» Doors made of bronze represent an exact copy of the Gates of Paradise in the San Giovanni Cathedral in Florence.
» The Grace Cathedral regularly hosts concerts of organ music, yoga classes, walking through a maze drawn on the floor of the temple, and runs of a male choir. All this attracts thousands of visitors and tourists annually.

Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

» The Museum of Modern Art is the art museum that houses an extensive collection of works of art belonging to the modern period.
» The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco was opened in 1935 as a private, non-profit enterprise.
» The museum was transferred to the present building, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, in January 1995.
» In the museum you can see the works by painters, sculptors and designers such as Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Ansel Adams, Franz Marc, Theo van Duisburg, Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock, Martin Kippenberger, Klaus von Bruch, Kerry James Marshall, Eero Saarinen, and others.
» The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco is truly important; that’s the most visited museum in the city.

Opera San Francisco, San Francisco

» Opera San Francisco is the second largest opera house in the United States.
» The Opera was founded in 1923 to copy the Metropolitan Opera of New York. Celebration in honor of the opening of the San Francisco Opera is one of the most prominent events in the musical and social life of San Francisco.
» This opera is known to many due to Pretty Woman movie; that’s where the characters of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were listening Traviata.
» Opera San Francisco is the historical monument of architecture and a particular style. Amazing acoustics of the opera is in harmony with the equally impressive decor of the room.
» Opera season starts from around June 1st. The main thing is to book tickets in advance.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Cable Cars
Fisherman’s Wharf
Golden Gate Park
Alcatraz
Telephone: +1 415 981 7625; More info: Make sure to book well in advance at www.alcatrazcruises.com. tickets sell out quickly as this is one of the most popular attractions. alcatraz is reached only by ferry from fisherman’s wharf.;
Chinatown
Aquarium Of The Bay
Where: Pier 39, San Francisco; Telephone: +1 415 623-5300;
Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in San Francisco and around
♥   Art museum 'Asian Art Museum of San Francisco' San Francisco, 0.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Femina Potens Art Gallery' San Francisco, 1.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'San Francisco Museum of Modern Art' San Francisco, 1.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Exploratorium' San Francisco, 3.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'M. H. de Young Memorial Museum' San Francisco, 4.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near San Francisco
♥   National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, San Francisco, 2.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, 14.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   St. Joseph Basilica, Alameda, 14.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Mission San Rafael Arcángel, San Rafael, 24.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Mission San José, Fremont, 51.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Mission San Francisco de Solano, Sonoma, 57.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Shrine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Santa Clara, 58 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in San Francisco

IHG Brings its Voco Hotel Brand to The Hague

The hotel is open in a former bank building that dates back to 1923. To make the building suitable for a luxury hotel, the former bank underwent a complete transformation. The hotel has 204 rooms with elegant design, which are located on the 7 floors of the building. It is very simple to reach the new hotel in The Hague from the Central Station – the tram ride lasts only ten minutes. A ride to the seaside lasts only a bit longer – nearly 15 minutes. Read this

26.07.2021

Photogallery of cultural heritage of San Francisco

Landmarks of culture on San Francisco map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of San Francisco

Culture guide to San Francisco. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in San Francisco: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in San Francisco. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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