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General Information about San Francisco

On planning a trip it is normal to have plenty of questions. There is no need to worry because here we’re going to try to help you address them.


  • Entry RequirementsWhat procedures do I have to carry out in order to travel? Do I need a passport or is a National Identity Card enough? What is the I-94 arrival/departure form?
  • Currency in the United StatesWhat currency is used in San Francisco? Is it better to pay in cash or with credit card? Will I find ATMs on the street?
  • Prices in San FranciscoHow much does it cost to eat in a restaurant? How about the price of a bus ticket? How much money should I take when visiting San Francisco?
  • San Francisco WeatherWhich is the best season to travel to in San Francisco? It is cold in winter? Is there a lot of rain? What clothes should I take?
  • San Francisco HolidaysWhat holidays are there in San Francisco? It is better to visit the city on a holiday or will everything be closed?

Other topics

Electricity and electrical sockets

Electrical plugs in the United States have two flat pins. If you are traveling from outside the country you will probably need an adaptor to connect your electronics. You can buy one in any hardware store before the trip or once you are there, although it will probably be more expensive if you wait.

The standard voltage in the United States is 110V. Although nowadays almost all the electrical appliances are compatible 220V-110V, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so you should check it before putting it in the suitcase.

Time difference

The official time in San Francisco is 8 hours behind Greenwich (in summer GMT-7). In comparison, San Francisco is 3 hours behind New York, 8 behind London and 9 hours ahead of Hong Kong.

Business hours

The business hours for stores in San Francisco are generally from Monday to Saturday and from 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m.

Some stores in tourist areas like Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown and North Beach stay open until midnight.

Health care

The United States is not Europe and so, if you want to receive medical attention, you will have to pay for it. Given that the basic price of any medical consultation is very high, sometimes it’s better to take precautions and get a private medical insurance.

If you do not have any coverage and you want to take out private insurance, Columbus Direct offers the highest coverage at relatively low prices. It can also be done online with only a few clicks.

Important telephone numbers

  • Emergencies: 911.
  • Area code for San Francisco: 415.
  • Country code for the US: 1.