You’re moving to San Francisco! Congratulations, living in San Francisco is exciting, especially with so much to see and do. There are so many things to be prepared for from chilly summers to the many hills and our incredible (I may be biased) local culture. To help you learn how best to navigate the city and look like a local, here are 5 things you should know before moving to SF.
Public Transportation is Abundant. And Rarely on Time.
Unless you come from New York City or maybe Chicago, you won’t find a more extensive public transit system. MUNI and BART are better systems than most cities in the United States. However, they are not on par with NYC or Chicago and they don’t particularly connect or coordinate with each other.
It’s also worth noting that the train and bus schedules should be viewed as optimistic suggestions and not set times.
Get Used to the Chill
While Chicago is known as the Windy City, San Francisco could be nicknamed the Foggy City. Fog is a mainstay here and it’s found throughout the city on any given morning. In fact, we love the fog in San Francisco so much that it even has a name (Karl) with its own Instagram and Twitter. July and August are typically our foggiest months, particularly in the Western neighborhoods like The Sunset, The Parkside or The Richmond.
The local home buyers are the same whether you are selling for sale by owner or hiring a listing agent. Certain details may vary slightly among the states, but I will use California as the example since the state usually sets the standard for much of the country.
No Car Needed, Sort Of
You won’t need a car within the city of San Francisco. However, if you want to explore Northern California, you’ll need a car. Some of our more western neighborhoods like Midtown Terrace were designed and built assuming car ownership, but between biking, ride-sharing apps and car-sharing services having a car can be more of an expense than it’s worth.
Watch Out for Hills
You may be used to a simple 10-minute walk from your old city, but it won’t be the same in San Francisco. You will go up inclines often and the hills are steep. Walking in San Francisco if much different than most big cities. If your quads hurt for the first few weeks after you arrive and you suddenly find yourself five pounds lighter, say a silent thanks to our hills!
MUNI Bus or MUNI Train?
San Francisco’s MUNI system runs a fleet of busses as well as light-rail trains. This can be confusing, but remember, if it’s a letter it will be a train, and if it’s a number it will be a bus. The only exception is the F, which is our historic streetcar line running along Market St and the Embarcadero, and is fully above ground, not particularly efficient, and usually filled with tourists.
There are plenty of other unique things you will discover about San Francisco once you arrive. However, these five will get you started.