Only in San Francisco - The City That Knows How.
Rooms From €139 (Per Room)
The most attractive of American cities and regularly voted the best city in the USA, San Francisco is adored because of its colourful history, dramatic setting and its laissez-faire atmosphere, a quality missing from synthetic Los Angeles. It is a regular trendsetter in everything alternative, from flower-power to 'free love' and gay liberation; it prides itself on being individualistic, down-to-earth and cultured.
Streets rollercoaster up and down the hills, and when not swathed in the city's trademark fog, there are superb vistas of San Francisco Bay, spanned by one of the world's most famous sights, the Golden Gate Bridge. Surrounded by hills and urban development, traversed by bridges, dotted with sails and 14 small islands, including the notorious Alcatraz, the bay is the largest inlet on the Californian Coast. Fisherman's Wharf at the edge of the bay is a popular place to eat, stroll and shop, with its resident seals a favourite photographic subject.
Within the surprisingly compact city are distinct neighbourhoods that reflect the cultural background of diverse communities that were attracted to San Francisco by the discovery of gold in 1848, and the promise of a new life for those desperate to escape their harsh circumstances. Most of San Francisco's residents were born outside the city and this mix of cultures is reflected in the dragon-studded temples of colourful Chinatown and Japantown, the characteristic bohemian flavour of the Italian pasta restaurants and cappuccino cafes in North Beach, the old Spanish-speaking Mission District that blends with the nightlife of SoMa, the modern Financial District, the gay centre of Castro and The Haight, characterised by the memory of the hippie movement of the 1960s.
We have featured the largest selection of USA city break destinations available on any Irish website and there is somewhere there for everyone.
We work with all the major Airlines and can book these for you with full flexibility through our in-house systems.
There are currently direct flights from Ireland to the USA with Aer Lingus, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines and US Airways. There are also many connections via the UK with British Airways, Virgin and other airlines.We have just given a brief glimpse of what we can offer you, please feel free to browse more or if there is a destination you would like to know more about call now on 01 853 5000, email [email protected], send us a quick message or complete the enquiry form - we will be delighted to help you, its all part of the Platinum Service!
There are direct flights to San Francisco from Ireland with Aer Lingus and numerous connections via the UK or USA.
Average flight time from Ireland to San Francisco is 10-11 hours.
When it comes to planning out how to reach your destination, Platinum Travel have all the air travel expertise to help you get the best route to your final location.
As a licensed and bonded Travel Agent we have access to negotiated contract and wholesale fares with airlines worldwide. Our Travel Concierge team members will help you with the best connections and airlines to suit your own personal requirements.
For many destinations a number of flights may be required and sometimes it will include arriving into one airport and leaving from another. We will ensure you have the best combination of flights to do this and make sure you cover the necessary MCT (minimum connecting time) so that you have the best opportunity of a smooth and easy journey.
Several airlines have introduced many ancillary charges such as seat assignments, checked bags, priority boarding etc. Platinum Travel will look after these for you and book you at the best available bundle package at the best price. Upgraded airline fares, lounge access & Fasttrack are also available and again Platinum Travel know how to avail of the best value for these extras.
Platinum Travel are a fully licensed and bonded travel agent so you have a lot more protection with us than with the internet (airlines are not bonded).
Just a short drive from San Francisco's downtown area, San Francisco International Airport is the California's second busiest airport and the largest airport in the Bay Area.
With four terminals, friendly staff, a museum, library and wide selection of dining and shopping facilities, San Francisco International Airport is the perfect gateway to the Bay Area.
Location The airport is situated 14 miles (23km) south of San Francisco.
Getting to the city The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Rapid Rail service connects the airport to the city centre, and provides a connection to the Caltrain commuter rail service at Milbrae Station, from where trains leave regularly to San Francisco downtown, costing about $2 and to San Jose. SamTrans Service, bus 292, leaves every 30 minutes for the city centre and suburbs costing US$1.75. There are also shared vans, which provide a door-to-door service and are cheaper than taxis. Reservations are sometimes needed for service after 11pm. Taxis cost about US$35 for an hour's ride to the city centre, very dependant on traffic. Airport employs are available at the taxi pick up area, outside all terminals, to help passengers.
Time GMT –8 (GMT –7 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts Tel: +1 800 435 9736.
Car rental The AirTrain links the terminals to the rental car centre. Car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, National, Thrifty and Hertz.
Airport Taxis A taxi to the city centre takes about half an hour and generally costs around $40. Taxi drivers will expect a tip of $3 to $5.
Transfer between terminals AirTrain light rail service operates on two lines. The Red Line connects all terminals, garages and the BART Station; and the Blue Line, which also connects to the Rental Car Centre. AirTrain does not provide service to SFO's Long Term Parking Lot.
Facilities There are banks, bureaux de change and ATMs available. Facilities for the disabled are very good. Other facilities include baggage storage, medical clinic, bars and restaurants, duty-free, shops, childcare and baby changing facilities, post office, wireless Internet, tourist information and hotel reservations. There is also a museum, library, art gallery and an aviation history museum within the terminal.
Parking Rates for short-term parking start at $2 per 20 minutes and increase to $33 per 24 hours. Other daily rates available range from $20 per day in the international parking area or $15 per day in the long-term lot.
Airlines Flights to San Francisco International Airport can be booked on most major airlines including Aeroméxico, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Frontier Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways and WestJet.
Internet All four terminals have free wifi on offer.
Business Lounges Basic business services are available at Triptel, while there are laptop workstations throughout the airport. The Airport Travel Agency in the International Terminal offers fax and photocopying facilities.
Travelling around San Francisco is a fun and fairly straightforward experience. By using a combination of buses, trams and cable cars you can get to just about attraction in the city. The main roads and public transport routes lead off Market Street, which runs the length of the city from Pier 1 to Castro; and Stockton and Powell Streets, which intersect with Market and link the Union Square area with Chinatown, North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf.
An essential purchase when getting around the city is the San Francisco CityPass. From date of validation it is good for 9 days on unlimited passage on all trams, trains and cable cars. (The CityPass also provides free entrance to six key attractions.) Another vital accessory is the free and ubiquitous printed San Francisco City Map branded by Baycityguide.com It shows all the major transport routes with relevant numbers.
The public transport system in San Francisco is known as MUNI and operates buses, electric trolley buses and the famous cable cars as well as metro streetcars (underground trains that become street cars when they emerge above ground). MUNI is sometimes late and crowded, but San Francisco is one of the few cities in America in which residents make good use of public transport. Driving is extremely difficult, due to traffic, an unconventional street layout, impossible parking and, of course, very steep streets - though a rental car may be necessary for trips farther afield. MUNI offers access to all parts of the city; exact change is required, and the same fare applies to all services except the cable cars, which are more expensive (but well worth at least one ride - the Powell-Hyde route is the most scenic). Note that the cable cars are a moving National Monument and hence are very popular and crowded. They can be tough to get onto, and slow in getting to your destination. If you want less scenery and more efficiency the buses and trams are the way to go. Passengers can ask for a free transfer with each ticket bought, which allows another two rides on a bus or train and gives a 50 percent discount on cable cars within 90 minutes.
MUNI trains and buses run 24 hours a day, with a more limited service after midnight; buses late at night are not always safe to use. MUNI Passports are available for one, three and seven days, allowing unlimited use of public transport within the city limits. The other transport system, known as BART, is a fast and economical subway/rail network that connects the city to the East Bay as well as the airport. Taxis are also available in the city but can be hard to find, especially during peak hours. During the day, perhaps the best option is to walk; lots of locals do. However, be prepared to climb a few hills.