North Beach

This on-the-go and centrally located neighborhood is perfect for people watching or date night.

North Beach is an Italian-centric, crowd-pleasing neighborhood where picnicking and people watching are highly regarded pastimes. This noisy neighborhood is dotted with a motley mix of cute cafes serving perfect espresso, independent bookshops celebrating the Beatnik era, and sultry nightclubs whose performances are not intended for young audiences. North Beach’s diverse array of dining and entertainment options ensures an endless supply of characters for those enjoying the view from the neighborhood’s park benches.

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On the Map

North Beach is bordered by Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, and Nob Hill

SFO Airport: 30 minutes by cab without traffic
Golden Gate Park: 60 minutes by public transit
Fisherman's Wharf: 12 minute walk
The Ferry Building: 21 minutes by public transit

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Difficult

Italian Influences and Cultural Icons in the City's Core

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North Beach is known for its Italian flavors. Follow up your blissfully bitter espresso with a glass of afternoon red wine. Wine in the daytime? In North Beach, it's natural.

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North Beach is a cultural stronghold for more than an Italian audience.

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Beatnik revolutionaries like Ginsberg and Kerouac made their mark in North Beach, and fiercely independent bookstores still champion San Francisco's passionate literary culture.

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As an alternative-culture bookstore, publishing house, and literary landmark, City Lights Bookstore is a neighborhood anchor.

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Evidence of your center city proximity rises in the distance. See the Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower from your nook in North Beach.

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North Beach is a really nice area and easy to get around. We really liked stopping for a beer at Mario's cigar cafe on the South West corner of Washington Square nearby."
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Dot

Visited in 2013

Mangia! Mangia!

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North Beach is renowned for its Italian roots.

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Italian-style sidewalk cafes encourage customers to sip espresso and enjoy a slice of Italy's finest.

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You will be minutes, even seconds, away from fabulous cuisine and beautiful sights such as Coit Tower, lush staircase gardens, the Embarcadero, sunny parks, statuesque churches, and other SF landmarks."

North Beach's Green Reprieve: Washington Square Park

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North Beach's neighborliness evidences itself in Washington Square Park, a community green space for laying, playing, and people-watching.

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Bridging the divide between North Beach and Chinatown, Saints Peter and Paul Church serves a large congregation.

Cable Cars practically outside your door, with walking to Washington Square and all the restaurants in the area."
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Leslie

Visited in 2012

Neon Lights Flicker on North Beach Nights

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North Beach's seedy side contributes to its offbeat mystique.

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Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Marc Olivier Le Blanc

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Marc Olivier Le Blanc specializes in commercial and editorial portrait photography. Although he's currently based in the vibrant Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, he returned to his native France to shoot Paris for this project through a traveler's eye. He always strives to turn both the ordinary and the unusual into something extraordinary.