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San Francisco Nightlife: Places and Districts to Go Out in San Francisco
- San Francisco Information
- Eating & drinking in San Francisco
- Night life in San Francisco
- Getting around in San Francisco
- Things to do in San Francisco
- Where to stay in San Francisco
- San Francisco street map
San Francisco’s nightlife is as varied as the city itself. Spread out across all of its different districts, the sheer number and range of bars and clubs is staggering. And as a backpacker in the city, it's practically compulsory to try out as many as possible!
When it comes to nightlife, San Francisco's unrivalled gay scene certainly springs to mind. Towards the south of Downtown, and running from Market Street to 19th Street, the Castro is famous throughout the world as a gay mecca.
But while San Francisco nightlife is boosted by this scene, it doesn’t entirely revolve around it. South of the Market Area (SOMA) is the epicenter of the city’s nightlife, packed with unusual and ultra-modern clubs playing all sorts of excellent hip-hop and electronic music.
The area surrounding Broadway Street and Columbus Avenue is packed with neon strip joints, cool bars tucked out of the way and a handful more gay bars. Similarly, Haight Street has an edgier feel that should satisfy those looking for a more alternative scene.
To the south, the Mission District is perfect for bar hopping from one grungy venue to another. It offers unusual cafés, cheap bars, authentic Mexican food and a generally laidback atmosphere.
More high-class bars cluster around Union Street. But budget travelers should probably steer clear of this neighborhood: as one of the most affluent areas of the city, its ultra-stylish cocktail joints and restaurants cater to wealthy patrons.
Giving out onto the Bay, the Marina District is another pretty upmarket area. A great place for taking an early evening stroll and having a quiet drink, it offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
San Francisco is a hedonist's paradise. When the sun dips below the Golden Gate Bridge and into the ocean beyond, the city comes alive. From dazzlingly chic cocktail bars to scruffy music venues, by night the city pulses to its own distinctive rhythms.