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Holidays in San Francisco

This city puts the ‘u’ in unique

San Francisco is one of America’s most unique and best loved cities. From its steep rolling hills, old-fashioned cable-cars and pretty Victorian houses to the notorious Alcatraz prison, unusual microclimates and stunning bright orange bridge, San Francisco is an offbeat city that refuses to blend in.

Home to the biggest Pride event in the world and largest Chinatown outside of China, San Francisco is a diverse city where all will feel at home. Charming harbour-side towns play host to state-of-the-art museums, cute artisan craft shops, craft beer distilleries and chilled coffeehouses.

Fun, quirky, creative and laid-back, it’s no wonder that so many fall in love with San Francisco.

We fly to San Francisco daily

11 hour flight
M T W T F S S
London Heathrow
Connect from other UK airports

You can also fly from Aberdeen or Edinburgh on one of our partner airlines.

Our pick of hotels in San Francisco

Retrieving our hand picked hotels...
Trams San Francisco

San Francisco Neighbourhoods

While it's renowned for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, bustling Fisherman's Wharf, and the historic Alcatraz Island, there's so much more to uncover, It's as if each neighbourhood got its own personality makeover, complete with a snazzy hat and a catchy theme song. Whether you're sashaying through the streets of Chinatown or salsa-dancing your way through the Mission District, get ready to see the city's vibrant essence in all its glory.

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Ready to go exploring?

San Francisco has some great places nearby, whether it's to explore nature and wineries, or to enjoy the bright lights of other big cities such as Los Angeles.

No matter who you're travelling with, visiting multiple destinations in one holiday is a great way to get a taste of everything. But planning a road trip can sound pretty daunting - where do you start?! 

We've got a few recommended itineraries for you to help kick start your plans. Of course, these are totally flexible and our team can help to build an itinerary perfect for your desires and needs!

Monterey Beach Views

Classic West Coast

San Francisco • Monterey • Pismo Beach • Los Angeles

Enjoy this coast-hugging drive down the famous Highway 101 from one major West Coast city to another, and enjoy some fabulous beaches in between...

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Napa Valley Wine Train excursion

Wine and Nature

San Francisco • Napa Valley • Lake Tahoe • Yosemite • San Francisco

It doesn't have to be all about the big city life when you visit the US. This itinerary involves some beautiful scenery, as well as glorious food and wine...

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Multi-destination - USA

Multi-destination holidays

Why not squeeze in a visit to to Los Angeles, Las Vegas - or even New York? All in one holiday!

It's a big, beautiful world – and we're here to help you see more of it. Our twin and multi-centre holidays make it easy to visit more than one place in a single trip. Experience several stunning destinations during your trip with our multi-destination holiday packages and get ready for a jam-packed adventure.

 

Car Hire

Hit the open road

Wherever your trip takes you along the highways and byways of the USA, we'll take care of the car! So youu just need to rev up your motor, set the sat-nav and make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks!

Our partners Alamo and Hertz provide car hire in over 280 locations across the USA with award winning service and a whole range of exclusive benefits.

Explore San Francisco's adventurous spirit

Essential information for San Francisco

Local time
+ 16hrs
Currently
Language
USA flag
American English
Currency
US Dollar $
Official currency of the United States
Flight information
11h
San Francisco (SFO)
Direct flight
Getting around
San Francisco is one of the few places in the world where people can ride on a national historic landmark. The cable cars are the world’s last permanently operational manually operated cable car system, and are the most convenient way to get around. Be sure to stop off and visit the Cable Car Museum for a look at the powerhouse behind the machines.

Do I need a visa?

To travel to the USA, you will need an ESTA visa. Please make sure that you have this approved at least 3 days before you head off on holiday.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Discover the city by the bay: San Francisco Highlights

Grab your love beads, dust off your caftan, and paint a peace sign on your cheek, we’re heading to San Francisco baby, yeah! Okay, so actually, you can forget all that, because one of America’s most iconic destinations left its Summer of Love reputation behind a long time ago, and is now a 21st century hot-spot for trendy travellers. It’s still rebellious, but it does it digitally. And it’s turning into one of the best foodie paradises on the West Coast, too.

The enormous tech industry just up the highway in Silicon Valley has provided San Francisco with a new generation of pioneers, trailblazers, and visionaries. That means there’s an explosion of cool bars, trendy restaurants, and boutique hotels popping up left, right and centre, making San Francisco one of the best spots to holiday in northern California. You’re right in the middle of wine country, and you’ve got iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate bridge, the wonderfully wiggly Lombard Street (complete with no less than eight hairpin bends), and the imposing Alcatraz Island to explore.

Did you know?

  1. The fire hydrant at 20th and Church Streets is painted gold because it saved a large portion of the city from the devastating fires that followed the Great San Francisco Earthquake in 1906.
  2. Denim jeans, cable cars, and fortune cookies were all invented in San Francisco.
  3. Per capita, San Francisco has the lowest percentage of children of any major U.S. city. It’s also the most expensive city in the U.S. in which to rent an apartment. Coincidence?
  4. The oldest building in this young city is the Mission Dolores, built in 1776. You can find the landmark in the now hipster-colonised Mission District.
  5. San Francisco is known for its steep hills, but it’s also home to the two curviest streets in the world (Lombard Street and Vermont Street).

Our San Francisco holiday packages are designed to put you right in the middle of all this uniquely Californian lifestyle. It’s genuinely one of our favourite destinations in the world, and one visit is never enough. 

If you’ve always imagined yourself riding cable cars up and down the San Francisco hills, celebrating as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, or wandering the streets of historic Haight Ashbury, make it a reality by checking out our San Francisco hotels and holiday packages now.

Why you'll love flying with Virgin Atlantic...

Premium Seat - Pod

Cabins and seats

Our seats have been designed to help you fly in total comfort during the flight, no matter what cabin you're in. See how our Upper Class, Premium and Economy seats measure up.

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Inflight Entertainment

Inflight entertainment

Browse the 1,000+ hours of content made up of the hottest Hollywood films, latest chart toppers, and a selection of hidden gems. Enjoy with complimentary drinks, snacks and a choice of tasty meal options.

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Clubhouse Heathrow Pod

Extras and upgrades

We offer lots of little extras to help you start your holiday like a VIP. From premium airport lounge options, to meet and greet parking to Duty Free pre-orders, we're here to deliver a truly personal flying experience. Extra charges may apply.

Treat yourself

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