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By on April 17th, 2017

International Students City Guide San Francisco

San Francisco is a city unlike any other on the entire planet. It has a rich cultural history and continues to be a vibrant hotspot that brings tourists in from all over the world. Any international students who plan on living here for an extended period of time will have all kinds of fun places to explore. The following list will help get you started.

The Japanese Tea Garden

This garden covers some five acres and has become world famous for how absolutely gorgeous it is throughout every season. Aside from the natural beauty of the garden, there are also giant temples that serve as amazing examples of ancient Japanese architecture.

The Port of San Francisco

Long before San Francisco was the home to billion-dollar technology companies and even before hippies made the place famous, the Port of San Francisco was the commercial hub of this city.

Since that time, a number of seismic changes permanently altered what was once the face of San Francisco. Tours are now given of this historic area, which will give international students a great perspective on the city’s past.

The Sights and Sounds of North Beach

The sea lions that populate the coast of North Beach have become local celebrities in their own right. As soon as you get close, you will begin hearing their impassioned barks. Seeing as how they spend most of their days sunbathing, it’s easy to get plenty of pictures and videos of them, too.

North Beach is also known for its culinary scene. You’ll find incredible coffee, wine, chocolate and cheeses here – a nod to its French past. Little Italy alone is worth the trip and will definitely leave your stomach satisfied.


Another historic area most international students enjoy is Haight-Ashbury. This is the part of the country that was home to psychedelic rockers like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. Many people from that era still live nearby and many who wish that era was still around have moved to Haight-Ashbury just for the culture.

The Painted Ladies

International students will most likely recognize the Painted Ladies. These Victorian homes have become famous for their classical architecture, bright colors and the slant they sit at on Steiner Street. While there are countless Painted Ladies throughout the city, the most famous ones are located at 710 to 720 on this hill right across from Alamo Square Park.

If you grew up watching American television, you probably recognize these houses from the opening credits of “Full House” or any of the 70+ movies they’re featured in.


Of all the Chinatowns in the world, San Francisco may have the most famous one. International students can find authentic Chinese food and art in this stunning neighborhood.

The Chinese first arrived in San Francisco during the gold rush of the 1850s. Since that time, their influence has been felt throughout the region but especially in San Francisco. For a better understanding of this history, international students should visit the Chinese Historical Society of America or the Chinese Culture Center.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Finally, no time in San Francisco would be complete without visiting the historic Golden Gate Bridge. At just about .8 miles long, you could easily walk from one end to the other and back in under an hour. All the while, you’ll have many opportunities for great pictures and views.

The “Bridge Pavilion” on the San Francisco side of the bridge features a gift shop, café, outdoor exhibits and more.

International students who are looking for an eclectic range of options for spending their free time will absolutely love San Francisco. The above attractions are just a handful that will be available.