Synergy's San Francisco
Public transportation is a quick, efficient and cheap way to get around town from your Bay Area apartment. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) serves the whole San Francisco Bay, and is also a great way to get to and from the area’s airports.
The Muni transit system, which operates only in San Francisco proper, covers light rail, buses, streetcars and the city’s iconic cable cars. We recommend downloading the MuniMobile app to help plan your journeys and keep track of the cost of travel. There’s also an extensive ferry system in the city.
If your furnished apartment is based in the downtown area of San Francisco, you may find it easier and quicker to walk to some destinations. Taxis and ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft are also easy and cost-effective options. Biking is another popular way of getting around while taking in the area’s beautiful scenery. You can rent a bike from various bike sharing systems throughout the city, as well as electric scooters.
Purchase and pre-load a Clipper Card which can be used in all transit systems. You can buy an e-version of the card and load it into your phone’s wallet as well.
Money & Tipping
The USA has a different tipping culture to Europe and most countries around the world - it’s discretionary, but very much expected. For service workers —restaurant and hotel staff, taxi drivers, tour guides, etc. —tips are an essential part of their earnings. Always aim to tip between 18 and 20%, or even more if the service was excellent. For purchases over the counter, like takeaway coffees, tipping isn’t necessary but will be warmly appreciated.
Haggling is uncommon. If you try to negotiate a lower price in a restaurant or shop, it’s likely you’ll be met with a bemused look and possibly be considered rude. Be aware that sales tax is usually not included in shop prices, so the price you pay is often higher than advertised.
SF is experiencing a significant homelessness issue, resulting in a high presence of panhandlers, particularly in the Union Square and Tenderloin areas; while your response to them should align with your personal ethics, stay vigilant and mindful of your surroundings.
Weather & Climate
The weather in San Francisco is comfortable all year round. Summer lasts from June to September with temperatures generally in the low 70's degree fahrenheit (21°C) with lots of sunshine and very little rain. The coldest months are from December to February, with temperatures between 45°and 60° F (7° -15°C). Some rain should be expected in the winter months. Just keep in mind that when you visit San Francisco it can get quite windy any time of year, making it feel colder, so it’s smart to wear layers. And be sure to watch out for Karl, the famous San Francisco fog, when you visit!
Phones & Electricals
Mobile data reception is excellent and SIM cards are available in most grocery stores and electronics stores. Free WiFi will also be included in your serviced accommodation.
Safety & Security
With any large city, it’s important you follow some general rules. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in crowded places. Check your pockets frequently. Don’t travel to secluded areas, and stay local. Don’t roam around the city alone at night.
Buying food in supermarkets
Supermarkets: San Francisco is short on space, so don’t expect to find a huge superstore around the corner from your apartment. That said, there are plenty of familiar favorites like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods with sizable stores across the city. Note that most stores offer home delivery services —just ask or take a look online.
Local stores: You won’t have to go far from your furnished apartment in San Francisco to come across a decently sized, family-owned grocery store. The selection of food is generally very good, the service far more personalised, and prices competitive.
Speciality: San Francisco is one of the world’s greatest food destinations. Delis, bakeries, butchers and markets are in high supply and worth exploring if you love good eats. Check out this guide to the best in the city.
If you want to go wine tasting in Sonoma or Napa which are about an hour from San Francisco we recommend you should pre-book that. As well, almost all of the wineries require reservations specially tours.