3 Days in San Francisco: An Ideal Itinerary with Local Expert Help

Last Updated on March 28, 2021

So you’re in San Francisco and you’ve got 3 days in which to see it all? Where to start! Here you can find perfect 3 days San Francisco Itinerary for the best things to do in San Francisco in 3 days like a local, helpful tips by a local.

There are so many great attractions in this vibrant city it can be difficult to fit them all in, but don’t worry we’ve got it sorted with this 72-hour itinerary that will ensure you get to see all the top sights and more.

Day 1 in San Francisco

You’re in San Francisco so the first thing you’ll want to do is check out the Golden Gate Bridge. This iconic structure spans for 8,980 feet and gives fantastic views across all of San Fran. You can walk across, hire bicycles or jump aboard a bus tour if you’re conserving energy for the rest of your trip. If you’ve got time, check out the beautiful Golden Gate National Recreation Area which is home to the fascinating Fort Baker and one of the city’s best photo ops: Vista Point.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

Once back on the San Fran side, you’ll probably be hungry so head to the nearby Marina District for lunch. Here you’ll find everything from charming bakeries to pizza joints. We recommend strolling along Chestnut Street before you decide.

You’re just minutes’ walk away from the ferry point which will take you to your next destination – Alcatraz Prison. Here you can explore the spooky cells and hear the history of this legendary place.

Once you’re back on dry land, dine at the iconic Pier 39 where you can try some delicious fresh seafood then maybe hit the arcades or catch an evening sea lion show.

Day 2 in San Francisco

Feeling fresh and ready for day two, but let’s start with a peaceful coffee in Golden Gate Park. Here you’ll find the city’s Botanical Gardens, Japanese Tea Gardens and many other beautiful natural sites. There’s also the San Francisco Aquarium, the De Young Museum and a herd of live buffalo to visit, so take your pick!

Why not bring a picnic and sit in the Californian sun today? You’ve got the perfect setting for it. If that’s not your cup of tea, try one of the cafés or pick one of the many restaurants on Irving Street which runs parallel to the south side of the park.

San Francisco tram

Today is nature day so get yourself to the base of Twin Peaks ‘cos we’re going up! As one of San Francisco’s highest points, Twin Peaks gives some incredible views over the city. To get there you can drive, catch a tour bus or hike if you’re feeling adventurous.

For dinner we recommend the popular Anchor Oyster Bar & Seafood Market in the nearby Castro District for some of the city’s best seafood.

Day 3 in San Francisco

On your third and final day head to the iconic Union Square to get some top holiday snaps. This is also a great area for shopping so why not spend the morning picking up some souvenirs to take home?

You’re in the heart of the city right here so there are plenty of places to dine, but Chinatown is just a short walk away and here you’ll find some fascinating architecture and a range of quaint places to grab a big bowl of noodles to keep you going.

This is your last afternoon in San Francisco so make sure to take a ride on the historic Cable Cars. These charming carriages have been in use since the 19th century and are one of the city’s favourite attractions.

Finish off your trip in all-American style at the AT&T ballpark where you can watch a game of America’s favourite sport, baseball, and grab yourself a much earned hot-dog or burger while you take in the excitement of game day. Success!