Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Monday 27 March 2023

Student City Guide: San Francisco

20th January 2014

Share This Article:

Despite San Francisco’s high-end reputation it has a soft spot for students on a budget with great dive bars, cheap food stands and inexpensive ways to enjoy this enchanting city on the Bay.

Where to go Sightseeing

A drive down twisty Lombard Street has all the thrills of an amusement park ride and great views of the SF landmarks like Coit Tower. Enjoy the charm of the San Francisco Bay walking along The Embarcadero Waterfront that reputedly clears the mind and has an awesome view of the Bay Bridge and the city lights. Chill out and watch the hang gliders and canine antics at the Fort Funston National Park, the premier dog park in SF with great hikes through the sand dunes and past sea-worn caves burrowed into the rock ledges. For only $20 you can hop aboard a Red and White Fleet for a 90 minute daytime cruise complete with audio tour that takes you right under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Where to Eat

When touring Fisherman’s Wharf, look for Hot Spud where you can dress baked potatoes ($7.50) from the huge condiment bar (.65 per addition) with yummy toppings like fresh grilled shrimp, beef and vegetarian options. A favorite before and after partying is Da Beef in SoMa that serves up juicy hot dogs Chicago style ($4.00) and Polish style ($5.00). Although it sounds expensive, the Four Seasons Restaurant in Little Saigon serves up authentic Vietnamese dishes like garlic noodles and papaya salad for a quite reasonable price. At the foot of windy Lombard Street is the friendly Caffe Sapore with 10% student discounts, free Wi-Fi and inventive sandwiches, salads and signature coffees.

Where to Party

With $3 late night cover and signature drinks for $6, it’s no wonder the SF Badlands in Castro attracts both gays and straights to bump and grind on the dance floor. A “must do” for beer aficionados is the free tour of the Anchor Brewing Company followed by complementary tasting room samples of 8 different 4ounce samples like pitch-black Porters and California Lagers. Chill out with cheap drinks on the patio of the Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge, a favorite Haight-Ashbury cash-only bar with a super-loud juke box and friendly bartenders. Sure, the 21 Club is in a dodgy Tenderloin neighborhood but it’s a SF favorite dive bar because of its unexpectedly sociable atmosphere despite the shady regulars and its easy on the wallet drink prices.

Where to Shop

For bargains that beat Goodwill, check out Something Old Something New, a small but interesting thrift store in Tenderloin that is only open from 10:30am until 3:00pm. Embrace you inner hippie at The Love of Ganesha on Haight Street with cut-rate prices on everything from incense to love beads to healing crystals. Don’t be dismayed by the diminutive size ofThe Great Overland Book Company…it manages to satisfy any booklovers craving for new and used reading material. Peruse three floors of dirt cheap necessities, souvenirs and weird trinkets at the China Bazaar in Chinatown.

Lela Lake is a seasoned international traveller who shares her love of exploration and discovery with her readers. Originally from Texas, her wanderlust eventually took her to Maui where she ran a non-profit animal rescue organization for 10 years. Lela also writes for who have many budget hotels in San Francisco to suit the student traveller.

Articles: 29
Reads: 201811
© 2023 is a website of Studee Limited | 15 The Woolmarket, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2PR, UK | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974