Find Out Why Time Out Magazine Named San Francisco The Best City in the World
That's right. Time Out, the global publication that has its finger on the pulse of every major destination, has declared San Francisco to be the best city in the world. In their own words, San Francisco's "year-round mild weather, a thriving restaurant and take-out scene, high-quality cannabis, and endless, accessible adventures in nature" have made the City by the Bay the most desirable place on Earth.
With its compact size and terrific walkability, San Francisco is a perfectly serendipitous city. You never know what awaits you on the next block, at the top of the next hill, or in the next course of your meal. It's a place of continuous surprise and discovery.
Want to know more about why Time Out named San Francisco the world's best city? We'll show you!
We can't take credit for our weather, but we can take credit for all the ways there are to enjoy it. With long stretches of beach and waterfront, hiking trails for every level of urban adventurer, and public parks in every neighborhood, visitors to San Francisco are guaranteed some inspiring scenery.
The city is also a short drive from such famous natural attractions as Muir Woods and Mt. Tamaplias. Further afield, but still perfect for a day trip, are the cliffs and coves of Monterey and the breathtaking wilderness of Yosemite.
San Francisco is an incredibly diverse city, and that's reflected most readily in our cuisine. You can find almost any style of food here, and whether it's being prepared at a Michelin-starred restaurant or within a converted bus, it's going to be some of the best you've ever had.
Fisherman's Wharf is where you want to go for the freshest seafood in San Francisco. Try Fog Harbor Fish House or Scoma's for local favorites like Dungeness crab and cioppino. Authentic Latin cuisine from many different cultures can be found in the Mission. It's up to you to determine who has the best burrito in the neighborhood; but be warned, it's a delicate topic. Chinatown features a number of exceptional restaurants, from classics like R&G Lounge to newer establishments like China Live and the award-winning Mister Jiu's. North Beach is San Francisco's Little Italy, and the pizza at Tony's Pizza Napoletana is as good as any you'll find anywhere. And don't underestimate the wide variety of cuisine available downtown. Whether you want steak, seafood, or dim sum, your meal will come accompanied by a breathtaking view.
Many San Francisco restaurants are continuing to offer outdoor dining in their newly created parklets, even though our city's excellent public health no longer expressly requires it. Between our great weather, the talent of our local artists, and the exceptional food, dining out in San Francisco is a true feast for the senses.
In San Francisco, the arts are open—and art is everywhere. Time Out highlighted both our carefully curated museums, with their incredible collections, but also the art you'll find out and about while you explore the city.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is home to seven floors of the most astounding contemporary work you'll find on the west coast. Thousands of years of Asian history are contained within the walls of the Asian Art Museum. The California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium are both captivating destinations for younger travelers, with their immersive and interactive exhibits. There's also the Walt Disney Family Museum, the Legion of Honor, and the de Young Museum, to name just a few.
Colorful murals, unmistakeable architecture, and beautiful landscaping are all proof positive that San Francisco is a city of imagination.
We're not the only destination where marijuana is recreational, but dare we say, we were (unofficially) the first? Since legalization in 2019, San Francisco has seen a number of local entrepreneurs open stylish dispensaries across the city. Each has their own specialties and unique customer experience.
Would you believe there's a place where to can select your weed from leather-bound menus? Visit The Apothecarium's flagship Castro location, named the best-designed dispensary in the country by Architectural Digest. Moe Greens offers chic midcentury style with exposed brick, hardwood, and emerald green accents. BASA's earth-toned exterior gives way to a glowing, clean interior that gets plenty of natural light.
Professional, welcoming, and well-stocked, San Francisco's dispensaries are a worthy addition to your itinerary.
Diversity and Community
Not to end things on a sour note, but when Time Out was evaluating the best cities in the world, they paid attention to those that responded most effectively and compassionately to COVID-19. Our rules for vaccinations, masking, and social distancing have kept our city healthy and allowed us to reopen—and it's the people of San Francisco who made that happen.
Across all demographics, San Franciscans worked together to see each other through these trying times. Diverse and engaging, creative and bold, daring and different, San Franciscans are a special tribe. Whether they were born here or made their homes here, the people of our great city share an open mind, a welcoming spirit, and a passionate pride for where they live.
Here are just some of the people we've met around the city: a Black cannabis entrepreneur, the first woman to be a full-time Major League Baseball coach, a long-time cable car operator, one of the most awarded women chefs in the world, and a trans entertainer and activist. You should really take some time to meet the locals.
Ready to start planning your trip? Check out our official Visitor's Guide for further inspiration, then book your room at one of San Francisco's exceptional hotels.