Destinations

Why every Sydneysider will feel right at home when they visit San Francisco

And it's not just because of the bridges.

By Alex Lilly
It's one of America's top travel destinations and with its breathtaking views and detailed history, San Francisco should most definitely be on every traveller's bucket list.
But for those of you who live in Australia's iconic harbour city, you'll no doubt recognise some spooky similarities between Sydney and the Californian hot spot, even if the weather is a little more Melbourne-esque.
Sure, you may be travelling half way around the world and need to bring your passport, but many tourists have likened Sydney and San Francisco for a myriad of reasons.
From its stunning harbour views to it's vibrant culture, we've rounded up some key similarities between the cities. You may call Australia home, but this is the next best thing.

Their world famous bridges

We'll start with the obvious- both cities are famous for their bridges.
Whilst Sydney boasts the Sydney Harbour Bridge, San Francisco is home to not only the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, but also the Bay Bridge (also known as The Grey One).
Tourists can walk or bike across all the bridges and soak up the views of the rolling hills on one side and the buzzing CBD on the other of the GGB. And you can snap the perfect pic on lookouts either side.
Walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge for optimum views. (Image: Getty Images)

And islands that were once prisons

This one's a little bit spookier but both cities have a de-commissioned prison floating in their harbour that can be seen from the city.
Sydney's Fort Denison is considerably smaller than San Francisco's Alcatraz though, which housed some of the country's most wanted criminals including Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the "Birdman of Alcatraz") and George "Machine Gun" Kelly.
It's a tourist must for a reason, but if you get spooked easily we'd recommend going with a friend.
Step back in time to the days of Al Capone when you visit Alcatraz. (Image: Instagram @alcatrazcruises)

Those picturesque views

When you're an iconic waterside city, you're bound to get some hot spots for photography.
Whether you're looking out from the Golden Gate Bridge or even taking in the Painted Ladies At Alamo Square, photographers will love taking in San Francisco's views ranging from the urban skyline to the ocean of the Bay Area.
Make sure to stop by the Painted Ladies At Alamo Square to see the contrast between the Victorian houses and city skyline. (Image: Getty Images)

They're both safe spaces for the LGBTQI+ community

Both Sydney and San Francisco have a large and prominent LGBTQI+ community and while Sydney has Oxford Street, San Francisco's Castro is the place to be.
To this day, many Americans ditch their conservative home towns and find themselves in SF where the LGBTQI+ community is welcomed with open arms.
Sydney's Mardi Gras may be a one-night spectacular, but June is Pride Month in the US city where up to a million visitors come for the annual San Francisco Pride celebration.
WATCH: Neighbours joins Mardi Gras. Post continues after video...

That outdoorsy lifestyle

Cities like New York and London are famous for their hustle and bustle no matter the hour, but for those of you who prefer the chilled out scene of Sydney, San Francisco is your sort of place.
Expect to see joggers, cyclists and more dog walkers than you can imagine when you stroll the streets of San Francisco and unlike the greasy fast food many associate America with, you can sample all sorts of healthy yet delicious cuisines no matter which district you're in.
Tempted to book a flight? Hotel Zephyr is the place to stay right in the middle of Fisherman's Wharf. Check out their website here.