10 Tips When Moving To San Francisco

San Francisco Sunset © David Spencer/Flickr
San Francisco Sunset © David Spencer/Flickr
Photo of Jake Hoffmann
9 February 2017

Transitioning to a new city can be an extremely challenging yet rewarding once you have mastered it. There is so much to learn about a city and so many opportunities to discover. Here are 10 basic tips about moving to San Francisco for the first time.


As a new local to San Francisco, you cannot always rely on a cab or Uber to take you everywhere. It is essential to understand and feel comfortable with other transportation options. The buses, historic streetcars, and cable cars can be ridden with a Muni $70 a month all-you-can-ride card, which saves money in the long run. Getting out of downtown via public transport is a little challenging, but it’s great for getting you to close-by places like Palo Alto and San Jose. The latest major mode of transportation is via bicycle, with almost everyone commuting somewhere on a bike.

Muni | © Wikipedia Commons


There is no place similar to San Francisco when it comes to networking. It is truly one-of a-kind. Networking not only gives you massive opportunities to score a job or meet a future business connection, but it also allows an individual to meet others with similar interests. Events are posted everywhere, most are free, and they usually have free food and beverages too.

Be A Tourist

For the first few weeks in San Francisco everyone should be a tourist. There are too many iconic structures and things to do in the city that should be experienced at least once. Go ahead and take pictures, bike across the golden gate, and spend an evening at the painted ladies. Plus, playing the tourist allows you to experience your new city and helps you get acquainted with everything.

Do Some Research

Use sites like The Culture Trip and learn about the fun things that are happening in the city and places you want to go see. Along with being a tourist, it’s fun to get excited about a new adventure for the day. Find a new park to jog in, a new place to try a Cruffin, or your new favorite Sunday Brunch Spot.

Golden Gate Bridge | © Jamie Beverly/Flickr

Find Your Routine

One of the scariest things about a city is not knowing what you’re going to do. Finding a routine allows you to find balance and comfort, but it also allows you to accomplish a ton throughout your day. Most of the time you’ll be a busy bee with work during the week and will leave the weekends to exploring. Allowing yourself to settle into a routine will help take the pressure off work and you will be able to enjoy San Francisco that much more.

Keep An Open Mind

San Francisco is a place where people love to be open. It isn’t at all unusual to stumble upon a naked bicycle race or to be walking on the beach and have a naked guy run past you. This also speaks to trying new things in San Francisco. Don’t bash ideas or places to explore until you’ve actually done it. Your favorite part of the city could be somewhere you thought you would hate.

Know Your Surroundings

It is always smart to be careful in a big city. In general, San Francisco is an extremely safe place, but there are some areas to keep your head up in and watch out for: Bayview/Hunters Point, Western Addition, and The Tenderloin. The Tenderloin gets a bad name but is definitely worth the experience, with some very interesting people and a few big companies with headquarters based there.

Take Advice

Asking around is another great way to find places to go. It is completely normal to strike up a conversation and ask someone’s opinion of what to do in the city. Don’t be afraid to branch out and ask about a good brunch spot or a cool yoga place to try. People are always willing to help and this can lead you on some awesome experiences.

Use Apps

When coming to San Francisco, mobile apps will become your best friend. You can use apps to RSVP to events, find out what bus to take, how long the bus is going to take, the weather, directions, what’s going on in the city, etc. There is an app for everything in San Francisco, the heart of startups. Using them only enhances your life and takes a lot of worry of out the picture.

Have Fun

Life is too short not to enjoy. Go out there, kick butt, take names, and have fun doing it.
By Jake Hoffmann