San Francisco

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
San Francisco
Nickname : City by the Bay, Fog City, Frisco, San Fran, The City
From above, left to right: The Painted Ladies and in the background the Financial District, Lombard Street, a cable car, the Castro District, the Golden Gate Bridge
From above, left to right: The Painted Ladies and in the background the Financial District , Lombard Street , a cable car , the Castro District , the Golden Gate Bridge
Seal of San Francisco
San Francisco flag
Location in California
San Francisco (California)
San Francisco
San Francisco
Basic data
Foundation : June 29, 1776
State : United States
State : California
County : San Francisco County
Coordinates : 37 ° 47 ′  N , 122 ° 25 ′  W Coordinates: 37 ° 47 ′  N , 122 ° 25 ′  W
Time zone : Pacific ( UTC − 8 / −7 )
Inhabitants :
Metropolitan Area :
883,305 (as of 2018)
4,729,484 (as of 2018)
Population density : 7,300 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 600.7 km 2  (approx. 232 mi 2 ) of
which 121.0 km 2  (approx. 47 mi 2 ) are land
Height : 16 m
Postcodes : 94101-94112, 94114-94147, 94150-94170, 94172, 94175, 94177
Area code : +1 415 and 628 (since 02/21/2015)
FIPS : 06-67000
GNIS ID : 277593
Website :
Mayor : London Breed
San Francisco Map MKL1888.png
Historical map of San Francisco, 1888
San Francisco (USA)
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco on the map of the United States

San Francisco (pronunciation: ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ , also San Francisco ), officially City and County of San Francisco , is a city and a metropolitan area in the US state of California on the west coast of the United States on the Pacific Ocean . With 883,305 inhabitants (2018 estimate based on the 2010 census ) it is the fourth largest city in California. In a global comparison, it counts as a medium-sized cosmopolitan city alongside cities of similar size such as Frankfurt am Main or Amsterdam .

The name of the city is of Spanish origin. San Francisco is named after Saint Francis, i.e. Francis of Assisi .


Geographical location

The city is located on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula , which closes off the San Francisco Bay to the southwest. The urban area, which is congruent with the county of the same name (official name of the city: City and County of San Francisco ), has an approximately square outline with an edge length of approx. 11 km. The city is bounded to the west by the Pacific , to the north by the Golden Gate and to the east by the bay.

San Francisco is also famous for its hills, which are called Hill from a height of thirty meters ; there are forty-two of them throughout the city. In the center of the city are the approximately 275 m high Twin Peaks , which the Spanish missionaries called “Los Pechos de la Chola”, in German “The Indian girl's breasts” because of their appearance. On a ridge that connects the Twin Peaks with the neighboring Mount Sutro is the almost 300 m high Sutro Tower , which dominates the cityscape from afar.

Like many large US cities, San Francisco has a large, strictly right-angled road network, which was usually laid out regardless of geographical conditions. Especially in the older, northeastern parts of the city, this leads to some very steep stretches of road, which Andrew Smith Hallidie developed the cable car around 1870 to overcome comfortably . Only in the area around the highest of the hills (Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson) have the road courses been adapted to the geography.

San Francisco is one of the most important port cities on the west coast of North America . The city achieved this importance through the natural harbor protected by the sea. The famous prison island Alcatraz , Angel Island , Treasure Island , Yerba Buena Island and other small islands are located in the Bay of San Francisco . The Farallon Islands are in the Pacific off San Francisco .


The city's proximity to the San Andreas Fault poses an increased risk of earthquakes . On April 18, 1906, the worst earthquake to date occurred . It stretched from San Juan Bautista to Eureka and had a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale . As a result of fires and explosions, around 3,000 people were killed and three quarters of San Francisco were destroyed or significantly damaged.

Panoramic photo of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake

The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 was the last major earthquake in the region to date (7.1 on the Richter scale). It had a significant impact on parts of the city. Many roads and freeways were damaged. The Embarcadero Freeway on the north side of the city fell completely victim to the quake and was demolished. Parts of the upper deck of the two-story Bay Bridge fell to the level below.

Experts fear an even stronger earthquake than that of 1906 in the future. In 2008, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center published a new study. In it, the researchers predict a major earthquake in California as part of a 30-year forecast. The probability of a magnitude 6.7 quake is 99.7 percent, for a magnitude 7.5 or more it is 46 percent.

Market Street and Downtown as seen from Twin Peaks
San Francisco from the air

City structure

As in many American cities, there is a Japantown and a Chinatown . The Chinatown of San Francisco , together with the Chinese in the Sunset and Richmond Districts, forms one of the largest Chinese quarters outside the People's Republic of China . There is also a Vietnamese community in the Tenderloin district, one of the Filipinos in Crocker Amazon, an Italian community in North Beach, a French Quarter, and an Irish and Russian community in the Richmond District.

Today Hispanic embossed Mission District is one of the oldest districts. It goes back to one of the 21 missions founded by Spanish missionaries. Russian Hill got the name because of the graves of Russian trappers discovered there during the gold rush . Haight-Ashbury became famous in the 1960s as one of the most prominent hippie gatherings . The Castro is the largest gay and lesbian neighborhood in the city. The largest African-American community is located southeast of Bayview and Hunters Point. Richmond, located on the west side of the city north of Golden Gate Park , is largely dominated by Asian immigrants. Just south of Market Street , one of the few streets that runs across it, is Soma ( South of Market ), known for its galleries and art activities.

360 degree panorama of the city taken from the Coit Tower


The predominant Mediterranean climate is strongly influenced by the location of San Francisco on the coast of the Pacific , in particular by the cold California Current coming from the north . The summers are therefore cooler than in other regions of comparable geographical latitude and almost rain-free. The warmest months are September and October, also unusual for this geographic location.

The winters are comparatively mild and rich in precipitation, frost is very rare. The daytime temperature in summer ranges from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. But the morning clouds of fog that pull over the hills from the sea are also known. This advection fog is created by the fact that the relatively warm, humid air transported by westerly winds cools and condenses over the California Current , coming from the open sea . The very different microclimates are also known . It happens that it is very cool at the Golden Gate and at the same time warm in the middle of summer in the city center.

San Francisco, California
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: National Weather Service, US Dept of Commerce ;
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for San Francisco, California
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 13.1 15.2 16.0 17.7 19.2 21.3 22.0 22.4 23.1 21.2 16.9 13.4 O 18.5
Min. Temperature (° C) 5.4 7.2 7.7 8.4 9.8 11.4 12.2 12.8 12.9 11.0 8.4 5.9 O 9.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 110.5 80.5 77.7 34.8 4.8 2.8 0.8 1.3 5.1 31.0 72.6 78.5 Σ 500.4
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 5.6 7.1 8.6 10.1 10.5 10.8 9.9 9.1 9.1 7.9 6.1 5.4 O 8.4
Rainy days ( d ) 8.0 7.4 8.0 4.8 1.3 0.5 0.2 0.3 0.9 2.6 6.4 7.6 Σ 48
Water temperature (° C) 10 11 12 12 13 14th 15th 15th 16 15th 13 11 O 13.1
Humidity ( % ) 78 76 73 71 71 71 73 75 72 72 75 78 O 73.7
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Typical morning fog over San Francisco


Indian colonization and first Europeans

Originally the Bay of San Francisco was settled by the Indian tribe of the Muwekma Ohlone , who were almost exterminated by the 19th century.

The Spanish conquerors sent two expeditions to northern America in the 16th century to explore the west coast. Hernán Cortés had discovered a “peninsula between the Gulf and the ocean” and named it California. But the official discovery came with Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo only ten years later. The hard-to-find entrance to the bay wasn't discovered until 1775, although many explorers, including Francis Drake , explored the region as early as the 16th century. However, the fog often blocked the view of the strait and the bay. The first Europeans settled in the present city from 1776, a century later. Spanish soldiers and missionaries founded what is now the Mission Dolores Church on June 29 on a lagoon they called Nuestra Señora de los Dolores , and a presidio at the Golden Gate to secure the mission. The city was later named San Francisco de Asís by the missionaries in memory of Saint Francis of Assisi , which became Saint Francis in English . A nearby settlement was given the name Yerba Buena . (Hierba Buena literally means good herb and is the Spanish name for a locally occurring type of mint.) The Franciscan Father Junípero Serra , who came from Petra / Mallorca , was in charge of the founding of the missions. He is still very much revered today.

In 1792, 300 years after Christopher Columbus discovered America , the British explorer George Vancouver founded a small branch near Yerba Buena (later downtown San Francisco). It became a starting point for European and Russian settlers, fur traders and pioneers.

19th century and modern times

Panorama of San Francisco; Photograph ( daguerreotype ) from 1853
Colored residents of San Francisco around 1852, drawn by Théophile de Rutté
The women of San Francisco in their robes, also around 1852
Loan from the City and County of San Francisco dated October 1, 1863

After the Mexican-American War , the city came under the control of the United States in 1846. San Francisco experienced its first major boom with the California gold rush that began in 1848 . The name Golden Gate is derived from this event. The population increased from around 900 to over 20,000 in a single year. Soon more Irish than Spanish tombstones were erected around the mission. Many ships were abandoned by their owners and crashed in port. In order to create new space, it was decided to use the shipwrecks and the harbor was filled with earth and rubble. Large parts of today's inner city are built on these landfills . During this time, the city also developed into the economic center of California. Banks - such as Wells Fargo Bank  - and many other well-known companies were founded in San Francisco, for example Levi Strauss & Co. and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company .

Pictures of the destruction after the 1906 earthquake, taken from a car driving east along Market Street (1 minute 38 seconds; 14.3 MB)

Joshua Abraham Norton , the later self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States and patron of Mexico , immigrated to San Francisco from South Africa in 1849 with a start-up capital of $ 40,000. He gambled away the wealth he had gained through real estate transactions by 1859. Failed by speculation and bankrupt, Norton now wanted to take matters into his own hands and on September 17, 1859, in letters to local newspapers and politicians, appointed himself Emperor of America and patron of Mexico. For twenty-one years he has now issued imperial edicts .

On the morning of April 18, 1906, the city was devastated by an earthquake and subsequent fire. In general, the death toll is estimated at 700, but some sources give three to four times that number. The mission building survived the earthquake without damage, making it the oldest building in the region today. (See 1906 San Francisco earthquake )

In the 1930s, the Golden Gate Bridge to the north and the Oakland Bay Bridge to the east were completed. This made the city much easier to reach, and the population increased again considerably. 1939 took place at the Treasure Iceland , the "Golden Gate International Exposition" (the World's Fair held). The island was raised up next to the Yerba Buena Island especially for the exhibition. After the exhibition, it was a US Navy base until 1996. The site is to be used publicly again in the future. In 1945 the post-war conference took place, which resulted in the Charter of the United Nations and the UN . San Francisco is therefore considered the founding site of the United Nations .

In the 1960s, the city became a center of US movements against the political establishment and the counter-public . The hippie movement celebrated its climax in the city in 1967 during the Summer of Love . Janis Joplin and bands like the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane influenced rock music worldwide. This was favored by the proximity of the Berkeley campus of the University of California . Authors such as Timothy Leary , Phil K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson lived there during this time. Scott McKenzie's recording of the song San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) , written by John Phillips , was a hymn to the city of that time and became a worldwide hit.

Street in China Town ; in the background the Bay Bridge

Since the 1970s, increasing numbers of homosexuals moved to the city, particularly to the Castro District . The city is still regarded as "the" gay city in the USA, and queer politics has a major influence on city politics. This period is also extensively described in Armistead Maupin's “City Stories” . At the end of the 20th century, the city and the nearby Silicon Valley were the center of the economic boom in information technology . During the dot-com boom in the 1990s, more and more software companies, entrepreneurs, and marketers moved to San Francisco and had a profound impact on the social landscape. Formerly poor working-class neighborhoods turned into “IN” areas and drove up real estate prices.

There are 17 National Historic Landmarks in San Francisco . A total of 185 buildings and sites in the city are listed on the National Register of Historic Places .

Population development

The population of the city of San Francisco decreased continuously from 1950 to 1980, but has increased again since then. The population increase from 1980 to 2010 was just under 20%:

year Residents 1
1950 775.357
1960 740.316
1970 715.674
1980 678.974
1990 723,959
2000 776.764
2010 805.195
2016 870.887
11950–2010: census results; 2016: US Census Bureau estimate


Depicts the ethnic distribution of the population in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2000. White , Black , Asian , Latino .

According to the 2010 census, 805,195 people live in San Francisco. Of these, 48.1% are white, 33.3% are Asian, 6.1% are black or African-American, 0.5% are Native American and 0.4% are Pacific islanders. 6.6% belong to other races and 4.7 % belong to two or more races. Regardless of race, 15.1% are Hispanics or Latinos. Non-Hispanic whites make up 41.9% of the population, making San Francisco a majority-minority city .

In relation to the rest of the population, San Francisco has the largest number of Asians in all of North America; Chinatown is the largest in the USA after that of New York. Contrary to what is common in most parts of the world, there are more men than women in San Francisco. The ratio is 103.1: 100.

Depiction of the ethnic distribution of the population in San Francisco in 2000. White , Black , Asian , Latino


The City Hall , the City Hall of San Francisco

Since the 1960s and the Summer of Love , the city has become a left-wing center of the United States and a stronghold of the Democratic Party. The trend is also reflected in the fact that Dwight D. Eisenhower was the last Republican presidential candidate to win this constituency in 1956. This more left-wing political stance is also visible in a non-implemented ordinance from spring 2006, in which the carrying, possession and sale of handguns within the urban area should be banned.


The Supreme Court of California (California State Building)

San Francisco has had dual status as a consolidated city and county since 1856. This means the city and county are subject to the same jurisdiction . It is the only administrative structure of its kind in California. The city's mayor is also chairman of the county’s board of directors. It is assigned eleven other members of the Board of Directors, the Board of Supervisors. These are directly elected by the citizens from their respective district (district) in which they live. The best-known example would be Harvey Milk .

San Francisco city flag

The heraldic animal represents a phoenix rising from the ashes. This was chosen based on the devastating catastrophe of 1906. Under the phoenix there is the saying: "Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra", which means something like: "Gold in peace, iron in war".

Town twinning

Culture and sights

Skyline as seen from the bay
Golden Gate with bridge, San Francisco in the background
St. Peter and Paul
The Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA
Panoramic view of San Francisco from the top of Lombard Street
Legion of Honor, art museum

San Francisco is still considered the center of US counterculture today. The hippie movement that started from here called into question what they believed to be meaningless ideals of prosperity of the white middle class.


San Francisco is known for the large number of Victorian houses. They were built during the gold rush period in the mid-19th century. Over half of the Victorians fell victim to the 1906 earthquake and fire that followed. The four Victorian styles are fundamental: Stick Style , Italianate Style , one of the most popular styles of the time, Gothic Revival Style and Queen Anne Style . The majority of the original houses are based on these four architectural styles, among others.


In addition to the Mission Dolores Church (founded on October 9th, 1776) there are other sacred buildings in the city that are worth seeing. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, inaugurated in 1971, is located on Gough Street on Cathedral Hill. The 2,500 seats, which are arranged in a semicircle around the altar, offer the faithful in the rather spartan church space for masses. The central dome, which extends over 15 floors, is supported by buttresses. The walls can therefore be made of glass and give the church an airy grace. The cathedral replaced the old Saint Mary church, which was destroyed by fire in 1962. The new building cost about seven million dollars. In 1987 Pope John Paul II celebrated a mass here during his visit to the Archdiocese of San Francisco .

The Episcopal Grace Cathedral is located on Nob Hill . It was built as a small chapel in the year of the gold rush in 1849. The third church, first called Grace Cathedral , was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1906. The railroad baron and banker Crocker bequeathed his property to the neighboring community after the disaster. Work on the current building began in 1928. Lewis Hobart built it in the French Gothic style. Completed in 1964, the cathedral is the third largest Episcopal church in the United States. It should be built earthquake-proof thanks to its concrete and steel construction .

The Saints Peter and Paul Church at 666 Filbert Street is a Roman Catholic church in the district of North Beach . It was filming location for the film Sister Act 2 .

Operas and theater

In 1923 the San Francisco Opera was founded by Gaetano Merola (1881-1953). La Bohème was performed at the opening on September 26, 1923 in the City Civic Auditorium . In 1932, the ensemble opened the newly built War Memorial Opera House on October 15 with a performance of Tosca . Many successful productions have been staged to date .

The legendary Great American Music Hall on O'Farrell Street was built in 1907 after the great quake. It was successfully conducted until the Great Depression in the United States in 1933. It wasn't until 1936 that Sally Rand brought new life to the hall. In 1948 the house was converted into a jazz club. In the 1950s, the building fell into disrepair and was saved from intended demolition by fans in 1972. Many well-known artists have performed in the Great American Music Hall, including Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Van Morrison , the Grateful Dead, and Bobby McFerrin.

The American Conservatory Theater on Geary Street is a non-commercial theater that performs both classical and contemporary works.

The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on the corner of Grove and Larkin Street emerged from an exhibition building from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The auditorium holds around seven thousand visitors. Many concerts and events took place here in the course of its existence. Similar to the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles , bronze medals by excellent artists are set into the floor of the entrance area.

Bill Graham opened a rock dance palace on the corner of Fillmore and Geary Streets in 1965. In 1968 it was relocated to the former Carousel Ballroom on Market Street and renamed Fillmore West . At the same time, the Fillmore East on New York's Second Avenue also began operations.


There are also curiosities such as the museum of antique vibrators or an exhibition dedicated to Barbra Streisand .


Pier 39

Besides the buildings and museums there are many other sights. The Fisherman's Wharf district with its cafes, bars and restaurants shows that old, no longer used warehouses in the port area do not deteriorate or have to be demolished . The Pier 39 , part of Fisherman's Wharf, is a year-round amusement with souvenir shops, rides and restaurants. There is also an aquarium here . At Pier 39, sea lions have settled on piers and use them as resting places. The main shopping street is the northern part of Market Street and the area around Union Square, which is ideal for strolling and shopping. One of the attractions in the city center are the cable cars , one of the hallmarks of San Francisco. Today there are only three lines left. They mainly serve as a tourist attraction rather than a means of transport. A cable car museum has also been set up for those interested. You can also admire one of the few curved escalators in the Westfield department store on Market Street.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge (viewed from Baker Beach), landmark of the Bay Area

World famous is that of Joseph B. Strauss designed the Golden Gate Bridge on the Golden Gate, the opening to the San Francisco Bay. It is 2.8 km long and 25 m wide, the two pylons are each 227 m high and are 1,280 m apart. The bridge was completed on April 19, 1937 and officially opened to traffic on May 28 of that year.

Lombard Street

The flower-filled, winding part of Lombard Street has been dubbed "the winding street in the world". With a gradient of 27% it was necessary to lead the road in serpentines . With the well-kept houses and the planting, this section of the street has become a tourist magnet.

Transamerica pyramid

Transamerica Pyramid (left) with the American Zoetrope

The Transamerica Pyramid skyscraper in the financial district is a typical landmark of the city with sales and office space. The building was designed by William Pereira in the late 1960s and completed in 1972. It is 260 m high and has 48 floors. The pyramid with its distinctive "wings" stands out particularly in the skyline. It is not open to tourists.

Mission Dolores

The Spanish Dolores Mission , the oldest building in the city, was founded on October 9, 1776 by the Franciscan Padre Junípero Serra . It is one of the few buildings that has survived several earthquakes almost unscathed. It is one of the 21 missions on El Camino Real from the time of the Spanish conquest. In 1958, film scenes for Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Vertigo - From the Realm of the Dead were created here .


Map of Presidio

The Presidio was built in the course of the conquest of New Spain together with the Dolores Mission. Directly at the Golden Gate , it was the most important military base on the west coast from 1776 to 1994 and today contains six square kilometers of commercial and residential areas. It is also the setting for many films and TV productions. In 2005, the Letterman Digital Arts Center opened in the Presidio and houses George Lucas' companies (Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts). The Presidio itself appears in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek universe as the headquarters of the Federation's Starfleet.

Painted ladies

Painted Ladies in Alamo Square with skyline in the background

The Painted Ladies are a street with historic houses on Alamo Square, which underline the view of the skyline with their neat facades.


Haight-Ashbury is a district of San Francisco located east of Golden Gate Park , named after the intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street. The area became famous in the 1960s through the beatnik and hippie movement. Famous musicians who lived in Haight-Ashbury and who played a decisive role in shaping the local music scene are Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix as well as the groups Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane . Haight-Ashbury is still today a magnet for an alternative counterculture.

Coit Tower

The Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill

The  Coit Tower , an observation tower on  Telegraph Hill  in San Francisco, was built by Arthur Brown Jr. and Henry Howard in 1934. A child of high society, Lillie Hitchcock Coit was a great admirer of the San Francisco firefighters. Legend has it that she helped out a fire near Telegraph Hill and thus became the mascot of  Engine Company No. 5 of the Volunteer Fire Department  . When she died in 1929, she bequeathed $ 100,000 to the community for beautifying the city. With this donation, the 64-meter-high observation tower in Art Deco style was built in 1934 in honor of the volunteer fire brigade.

Other well-known structures

The City Hall of San Francisco
  • From the Port of San Francisco is the old port building Ferry Building , originally built around 1898, left at the end of Market Street. Today, in its restored condition, it serves - in addition to its function as a ferry terminal for connections to destinations on the Bay - primarily as a market hall with many shops and restaurants.
  • The City Hall , built from 1912 to 1916, is the city hall and was modeled on St. Peter's Basilica .
  • The transmission tower on the Sutro Hills, which was named after the 24th Mayor of San Francisco, is not open to the public. The steel structure, visible far above the city, was erected between 1971 and 1972.
  • The 49-Mile Scenic Drive leads past numerous sights and historic buildings in the city.

Parks and squares

  • The Holly Park from the 19th century. Is one of the oldest parks in the city.
  • The more than four kilometers long Golden Gate Park offers a botanical garden , a Japanese tea garden and the California Academy of Sciences natural history museum with aquariums and a planetarium. It serves the San Franciscans as an urban recreation area.
  • Lands End is a park area on the outskirts of San Francisco that also includes Sutro Heights Park .
  • The Yerba Buena Garden was built on the roof of the Moscone North Convention Center in the early 1990s . It houses a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. Open-air events take place here in summer .
  • The Alamo Square is located in the west of the city and spans four blocks. This park is known for its Victorian houses, The Painted Ladies , which date back to the 19th century.
  • The oldest park in the city is Buena Vista Park . It was laid out in 1867 and is located in the Haight-Ashbury district. The Panhandle is also here, an extension of Golden Gate Park. On the map, it looks like a pan handle.
  • In the middle of downtown is Union Square with its fine shops.
  • The Pacific Coast also features the San Francisco Zoo and public beaches, such as the San Francisco Zoo . B. Baker Beach, which is also used by the population as a recreational area.

Natural sights

The twin hills Twin Peaks in the south of the city are a striking landmark. The surrounding area offers many other natural attractions: the Pacific coast , the wine-growing regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, the redwood trees in the Muir Woods National Monument in the north, the beaches of Half Moon Bay and the Point Reyes National Seashore with the striking lighthouse.


San Francisco is home to three teams in the American professional leagues:

In San Francisco there is Oracle Park, a baseball stadium, in which the San Francisco Giants play their home games. Previously, the Giants were based in Candlestick Park from 1960 to 1999 . From 1971 to 2013 the park was also the home ground of the 49ers. After the 49ers moved to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara , the stadium was closed on August 14, 2014 and demolished in 2015. In 2019, the Golden State Warriors moved from Oakland to San Francisco to the new Chase Center . From 1962 to 1971 the franchise was already based in the city under the name San Francisco Warriors .

With California Victory , the city also had a soccer club that played in the USL First Division in 2007 , which was then the second highest division in North American soccer. After a season the game operation was given up again.

Celebrations and holidays

  • 13-16 January: International Art Exhibition
  • January 19th: Anniversary of the arrival of the sea lions
  • around February: Chinese New Year
  • March 21: Norooz - Persian New Year
  • April 1st: St. Stupid Parade
  • April 9th: International Beer Festival
  • April 21 to May 5: International Film Festival
  • May: Bay to Breakers
  • May / June: Carnaval (Latin American / Caribbean Carnival)
  • 11-26 June: Ethnic dance festival
  • June 12: Haight Street Fair
  • 19. – 20. June: North Beach Festival
  • June: Colossus weekend
  • June: San Francisco Pride
  • July: Flower Piano
  • August 1st to September 17th: AfroSolo art festival
  • 7-18 September: Fringe Festival
  • 23-25 September: Blues Festival
  • September: Folsom Street Fair
  • Jazz festival
  • October (different dates per year): Fleet Week

to eat and drink

In San Francisco, the meeting of residents with diverse cultural backgrounds means that their culinary traditions are also firmly anchored. From the Asian region these are mainly Japanese and various Chinese cuisines, as well as Korean, Vietnamese and Thai. In addition to the light Californian cuisine, there are also Italian, Danish, Russian, Mexican and German restaurants.

Due to its location on the Pacific Ocean, fish and other seafood in particular can be found on the menus. There are crab kitchens at Fisherman's Wharf , for example, offering “Crab Soup in Sourdough Bread”. This sourdough bread , imported from Europe during the gold rush era - nicknamed Sourdough by the gold miners - became a town specialty. Sourdough Sam, a bearded man in gold digger gear, is the mascot of the San Francisco 49ers American football team .

The cuisine in California, and especially in San Francisco and the Bay Area, is considered to be some of the best in the United States. Since 2006, an edition of the famous Michelin Guide has been published exclusively for the Bay Area and San Francisco .

Literary life

A Festival of Modern Poetry held in 1947 founded the San Francisco Renaissance literary movement . The avant-garde of American literature is represented here.

Coffee houses

In the 1950s, the so-called coffee houses, similar to European coffee houses, became a central meeting place for artists, poets and political activists. Francis Ford Coppola wrote large parts of the script for his The Godfather Trilogy in Caffè Trieste, which opened in 1956.

Film, television and music

Some well-known films that were shot in San Francisco include James Bond 007 - In the Face of Death , Is' What Doc? , Do it again, Sam , Basic Instinct , Sneakers - Die Lautlosen , EDtv , Mrs. Doubtfire - The spiky nanny , Star Trek IV: Back to the Present , Vertigo , Mother's Secret , Dirty Harry , Presidio , Metro , Bullitt , 10.5 - The earth is shaking , The pursuit of happiness , darling, do you hold the ax? and Hulk . Several films, such as Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock , are set on the nearby prison island of Alcatraz . Further films were shot on the premises of the presidio . In addition, the films A great Beetle and Herbie Big in Drive from the Herbie film series are playing in the city.

The best-known series set in San Francisco include The Streets of San Francisco , Nash Bridges , Full House , Monk , Dharma & Greg , Kung Fu , The Falls of Harry Fox , Looking , the mystery series Charmed and Eli Stone . These series also gave San Francisco a good advertising effect. At Charmed z. B. was often used the first minute after the opening credits for aerial photos and shots across the city. The headquarters of Starfleet from Star Trek is also in San Francisco, so the city also plays an important role in the franchise and accordingly appears regularly in series and movies.

The song San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie is from the 1960s and is the world become a classic. In the 1980s, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area developed into an important center of the metal scene and became the starting point for the thrash metal movement . The bands Metallica , Testament and Exodus are particularly important here . Other bands from San Francisco include a .: Grateful Dead , Jefferson Airplane , Dead Kennedys , Primus , The Residents , Flipper , Tuxedomoon , Chrome and Moby Grape .

Economy and Infrastructure


Aerial view of San Francisco with Oakland in the background

The metropolitan area of ​​San Francisco-Oakland generated an economic output of 470.5 billion US dollars in 2016, making it 7th among the metropolitan areas of the United States and one of the top ranks worldwide. San Francisco is one of the wealthiest and most dynamic cities in the country. The unemployment rate was 2.4 percent and was thus well below the national average of 3.8 percent (as of May 2018). In a ranking of the cities with the highest quality of life worldwide, San Francisco was ranked 30th out of 231 cities surveyed in 2018 and the first in the United States.

San Francisco is home to a number of large companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. , GAP , Wells Fargo and George Lucas ' Industrial Light & Magic . The city is considered the financial center of California and one of the most important financial centers in the world . In a ranking of the world's most important financial centers, San Francisco was ranked 8th (as of 2018). At the end of the 20th century, New Economy companies settled here. The US Navy is also a major employer in the region and has several bases here. Regionally, wine of international standing is cultivated in nearby Napa and Sonoma Valley (see also viticulture in California ). In 2005, San Francisco became the headquarters of the California stem cell research program .

Tourism plays an important role in the San Francisco economy. With 3.9 million foreign visitors, San Francisco was the 33rd most visited city in the world in 2016. Tourists brought in revenue of $ 5.9 billion that same year. Most of the foreign visitors came from Asia and Europe.

The city has been successfully fighting for waste separation and recycling since 2009. Currently (as of 2015) 80% of the waste generated is recycled. The city has set itself the goal of recycling all of the city's waste by 2020.


Public transport

By American standards , San Francisco has a well-developed public transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway , or MUNI for short . Besides - some historical - trams from around the world, the trolleybus San Francisco , buses and the underground Muni Metro the city operate in some streets the cable cars , cable-drawn trams from the 19th century. There are three cable car lines these days: the California Line, the Powell-Mason Line, and the Powell-Hyde Line. The Powell-Hyde Line comes closest to the common image of San Francisco with its steep hills. The Embarcadero offers ferry connections to the neighboring towns on the bay. The region east of the Bay of San Francisco can be reached with the S-Bahn- like system Bay Area Rapid Transit , or BART for short . The San Francisco Peninsula and Silicon Valley are connected to the city by the Caltrain , and this system is also comparable to a S-Bahn. The Transbay Terminal bus station was located near the foot of the Bay Bridge , from which numerous parts of the San Francisco Bay could be reached by express buses during rush hour.


The nearest Amtrak- operated long-distance rail stations are in Emeryville , Oakland and San Jose . The Diridon Station , for example, a popular interchange in Downtown of San José . There are connections here with the regional Caltrain to the center of San Francisco (see under public transport ), of Emeryville and Oakland with Thruway busses Amtrak and the BART trains on (see public transport ). Emeryville is the starting point of the transcontinental long-distance train California Zephyr to Chicago . The Coast Starlight long-distance train in the direction of Seattle or Los Angeles stops at all three long-distance train stations. The opening of the Transbay Transit Center is planned for 2017.


Cross-directional parking on the steep streets of San Francisco
The bridges in the San Francisco Bay Area

The streets of San Francisco are mostly laid out in a checkerboard shape, regardless of the geological characteristics. That is, they run right over the hills. Therefore, many roads are extremely steep. For safety reasons, cars parked downhill must have turned their wheels towards the roadside and cars parked uphill away from the roadside. To the north, San Francisco is connected to Marin County by the Golden Gate Bridge . The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, originally built in 1936, leads eastwards over Yerba Buena Island to Oakland . The eastern part of the bridge has meanwhile been replaced by a new building opened in 2013.

Air traffic

The San Francisco International Airport [SFO] is the most important international airport on the US west coast after Los Angeles . It is located 12.9 km south of the city, directly on the bay. The site was raised especially for the airport in the bay.


Port Headquarters Pier 1 (2011)
Fisherman's Wharf (2009)

The Port of San Francisco ( English Port of San Francisco ) has long been the largest and busiest on the entire American west coast. The piers became too small and therefore redundant in the 1970s with the advent of containers and the growth of the average ship size. All container handling was outsourced to Oakland on the opposite side of the bay. The piers fell into disrepair for a long time. Some of them were sold by the city until they came to terms and some (e.g. Pier 39 in the Fisherman's Wharf ) were brought to life again. Today there are only a few piers left of the old harbor and the old harbor master's office at the beginning of Market Street . This building has been extensively renovated in recent years. Since the piers are made entirely of wood, there is a constant risk of fire. At the end of the 1990s, one of these old structures burned down. On May 23, 2020, there was a major fire in a warehouse on the historic Pier 45 quay.



The print media landscape in San Francisco is as diverse as its people. Here are just a few important publications.

The Sing Tao Daily is one of the publications for the various ethnic groups .

watch TV

San Francisco and the Bay Area are the fifth largest television and fourth largest radio markets in the United States. All major television networks have corresponding local contract broadcasters that broadcast the network's programs in appropriate time windows (mostly prime time ). Only CNN and BBC have direct regional branches.

The local TV stations in San Francisco are :

  • KTVU (CH.2), connected to the FOX network
  • KNTV (CH.11), connected to the NBC network
  • KPIX (CH.5), connected to the CBS network
  • KGO-TV (CH.7), connected to the ABC network
  • KQED (CH.9) and KQEH (CH.54), connected to the PBS network
  • KWBW (CH.44), affiliated to The-CW -Network


The headquarters of the Internet archive with 450 billion websites is located in San Francisco (as of March 2015).

Area code 415

Until February 20, 2015, the area code 415 for San Francisco was one of the last area codes for a major US city that did not have to be dialed when making local calls. So only the 7 digits of the phone number were dialed without the area code 415. Since the introduction of the new additional area code 628 on February 21, 2015, dialing a phone number in the local area in ten-digit format is mandatory in San Francisco, so you have to call dial a number with area code 415 to another number with area code 415.



San Francisco is the birthplace of numerous celebrities. See list of San Francisco personalities .


  • James Brook, Chris Carlsson, Nancy J. Peters (Eds.): Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture . City Lights Books, San Francisco 1998, ISBN 978-0-87286-335-4

Web links

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Individual evidence

  1. ^ Don't Call it Frisco: History of San Francisco Nicknames. August 28, 2014, accessed on April 2, 2016 (The best nickname is City by the Bay ; Fog City is a popular nickname among the residents; Frisco should not be used and the use of others ignored; San Fran is uncool and is becoming not popularly used).
  2. ^ The Best Nicknames For San Francisco. Retrieved November 11, 2017 (locals from the area use The City because it's the only city in the area).
  3. San Francisco ,, accessed on August 17, 2013.
  4. Factfinder of the US census authority on (English)
  5. USGS, Southern California Earthquake Center: New Study - Researchers Predict Major Earthquake in California. In: of April 15, 2008
  6. Listing of National Historic Landmarks by State: California (PDF) National Park Service , accessed August 27, 2017.
  7. Search mask database in the National Register Information System. National Park Service , accessed August 27, 2017.
  8. ^ Fördestadt meets metropolis: San Francisco and Kiel . Northern German Radio. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  9. Ole Helmhausen: Baedeker Travel Guide USA: with downloads of all maps and graphics . Mairdumont GmbH & Company KG, 2017, ISBN 978-3-575-42522-5 ( [accessed on May 25, 2020]).
  11. Wikipedia article on Star Trek and Starfleet: Races and Groups in the Star Trek Universe # Starfleet
  12. ^ US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic Analysis: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved July 4, 2018 (American English).
  13. ^ San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA Economy at a Glance. Retrieved July 4, 2018 .
  14. Mercer's 2018 Quality of Living Rankings. Retrieved July 30, 2018 .
  15. The Global Financial Centers Index 23. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 27, 2018 ; accessed on July 13, 2018 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. ^ Stem Cell Institute: Researchers go to San Francisco ,, May 7, 2005
  17. California's Stem Cell Agency (website)
  18. Global Destination Cities Report 2016. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Mastercard, archived from the original on September 24, 2016 ; accessed on July 11, 2018 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  19. ^ Future - The city without garbage. (No longer available online.), archived from the original on January 18, 2015 ; accessed on January 17, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  21. Port of San Francisco: Major fire on historic quay - fire department saves WWII ship. Der Spiegel, May 24, 2020, accessed on May 24, 2020 .
  22. ↑ Major fire on the historic quay in the port of San Francisco. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, May 24, 2020, accessed on May 24, 2020 .