Category: Explore San Francisco (27)

Moving to San Francisco for an upcoming job, internship, or studies? Better be prepared! This beautiful city is one of the most popular destinations for new graduates and young professionals. Check out our take on what to know before moving to San Francisco. 


Yes, the cost of living is expensive. 


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It has been discussed many times but still worth mentioning because many folks who move to San Francisco do not always understand how expensive it is. The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is still at $2,650 even after pandemic price fluctuations. To save on housing many choose to share the living space and become roommates. 

The shared housing scene in San Francisco is quite dynamic and offers lots of options. You can either share a small apartment with one roommate or live in a Victorian mansion with 10 roommates. In both cases, the demand for good roommates is at an all-time high. Coliving is another great option that offers affordable rent in San Francisco along with amenities such as a move-in ready room, all-inclusive rate, and managed community. It is perfect for someone who’s looking for convenience and flexibility in their housing. 

Keep in mind the cost of transportation as well. In case you do not plan on using a car, San Francisco offers one of the best variety of public transit options in the U.S. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has 8 stops in San Francisco and can take you throughout East Bay. Buses and underground metro offers many routes within San Francisco. To make this experience seamless, get a Clipper card as it works almost with every transportation option in the entire Bay Area. On average, it will cost you $81+ per month to use public transit to get around San Francisco and Bay Area. 

Car ownership in San Francisco is doable but not as convenient. If your housing does not provide parking, you will have to either navigate through street parking or pay for a spot which on average costs $250 – $400 per month. Don’t forget about the famous Bay Area traffic as it can add hours to your commute. 


Weather can be tricky


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Technically you are in California, but the weather is not necessarily typical Californian sunshine. The average temperature in San Francisco is 60º F, so it’s not exactly summer year around. Cold ocean current and pretty frequent fog give the city a chilly breeze most of the time. Keep in mind that some neighborhoods are colder and some are actually quite warm. Mission district is known to have higher temperatures and does not get as foggy as the rest of the city.

If someone tells you that you need to dress like cabbage in San Francisco, trust them because it’s literally not a joke. Layers are the way to go in the Fog City. Make sure to always have a light jacket or sweater with you as the weather can drastically change from hot to cold throughout the day. 



Don’t sit at home 


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No really, there are so many things to do and explore in the city and surrounding towns. San Francisco is known for its diversity and rich culture. Chinatown district is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. In this neighborhood, you will find the best dim sum restaurants, various tea shops, markets, and a variety of shops filled with unique finds. Or spend some time in North Beach, also known as Little Italy, home to the best Italian cuisine in San Francisco. Or stroll along Ocean Beach and enjoy the views of the Pacific ocean. 

The lively community of San Francisco is made of individuals from all over the world. Here you will meet people from all types of different backgrounds and cultures. 


The housing market is sort of … very competitive 


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If you are moving to SF for work or studies, you should start looking at housing options in advance and decide which one works best for you. Apartment hunting in the city is quite a headache. There could be 30 people interested in the same place and it’s considered normal. To make this process easier, be ready to make an offer on the spot and provide all the information that the landlord requires. Here are the most popular websites used to find housing in San Francisco:

  • Craigslist
  • Zillow
  • Trulia
  • Urbanests
  • Zumper
  • Hotpads
  • Facebook Marketplace
Football lovers who are new to Bay Area or football, this read is for you! Everyone knows that the San Francisco 49ers game is a must-see attraction in the Bay Area. We prepared essential tips to make your football game unforgettable and most important, enjoyable!

Best Tickets

When looking for tickets it is important to keep in mind the layout of Levi’s Stadium (where the Niners play). If it is a day game the sun can be beating down furiously and the shade will be your best friend. Make sure to grab tickets on the Westside of the stadium to block out the sun. The last thing you want is to be roasting in the heat during the football game. Also, keep in mind that at football games, the middle of the field provides the best views, so if you can try and sit as close as you can to the 50-yard line. If you have to sit a few sections higher than you wanted to, that is better than watching from the endzones. As you actually buy your tickets make sure to look at a couple of different sites before you buy to compare prices. TickPick is a great place to score tickets as they have no hidden service/buyer fees!

Getting to Levi’s Stadium

Wherever you are in the Bay Area there are plenty of options for getting to the game. Whether it’s the highways, VTA Light Rail, VTA Bus, Capitol Corridor or Caltrain, you will be assured to arrive timely on those Sunday afternoons. If you are bringing your car to the game, Highways 101, 237, 880, as well as the Lawrence Expressway and the San Tomas Expressway can get you there. Make sure to leave 20 minutes earlier than you usually would account for game-day traffic. The VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) Light Rail provides the most direct route to Levi’s for residents of the greater South Bay Area. Trains stop at Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Campbell. The VTA Bus is another alternative for South Bay residents. The bus services cover the greater San Jose area, Mountain View, Cupertino, and Sunnyvale. For residents of the North and East Bay Area the Capitol Corridor Trains provide full service to the Stadium from Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, Davis, Suisun, Fairfield, Martinez, Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Hayward, Santa Clara, Fremont, and San Jose. And for everyone in our co-living properties or student housing in San Francisco, the Caltrain can take you to South San Jose and stops all along the Peninsula. Once in San Jose, passengers should buy a separate ticket to ride the VTA Light Rail to the stadium. For a cheaper option, there is a joint Caltrain/VTA Adult Day Pass available at Caltrain ticket station machines, which is perfect for a game day! Carsharing services such as Lyft or Uber are also a very convenient option. But like we mentioned before, leave a little early,- traffic will be there.


Once you are in the stadium and the halftime whistle blows, you are going to want to fill your stomach with something delicious to fuel your second half cheers and enthusiasm. Levi Stadium does not have your typical stadium food. Bourbon Steak is a delicious American steakhouse serving the classics with their own innovative twists. Try the Morrow Bay Halibut with Moroccan couscous, Delta Farms asparagus, and sauce Cacciucco. For a more casual meal, head over to the Bourbon Pub serving fan favorites like the Gold Rush Burger or Buffalo-style wings.

Things To Do

The stadium has lots of other interesting elements so feel free to arrive early before kickoff or stay late after the game ends. One of these elements is the 49ers Museum. Visit the Augmented Reality exhibit to place yourself next to the best current and former 49ers. Walk amongst life-sized statues of the 27 Hall of Fame players all hitting their signature pose. That’s just the start! There are plenty of other fascinating exhibits to visit in the 20,000 square foot facility. Well now that you know everything about the San Francisco 49ers gameday and stadium, it is time to grab your roommate, buy some tickets, and head to the game. Don’t forget to cheer for your favorite team!
Well, what are the chances that Mercury won’t be in retrograde, your roommate is not sick, and your bed isn’t tempting you into sweet napping? If that all falls into place, you are super lucky. But we all know the truth.
 Changing your “work” environment can be essential if you need that creativity kick. Libraries are a great solution, but for how long can you survive without good food or a cup of coffee?

Luckily for us, San Francisco’s tech hub has got a bunch of interesting spots all around the city. And the main perk? It is all close to your rental at Urbanests coliving residences!

Spots close to 1010 Bush Residences

Joy’s Place at 611 Post St

This compact spot with great coffee and fast WIFI is a Lower Nob Hill gem. It is perfect for late-night studies as the cafe is open until 12 AM.

Milkbean at 881 Post St

Laptop friendly space with modern design and delicious sandwiches. It has quite a few power outlets and a speedy Internet connection. All you need for getting work done!

Another Cafe at 1191 Pine St

Two levels of exceptional space with a full menu and Bicycle coffee. You will definitely want to stay at this place as it has fast free WiFi and tons of outlets. If you want a more cozy vibe, try the second floor.

Spots close to Epik Residences

Peet’s Coffee at 601 Van Ness Ave

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We are sure you have heard about Peet’s Coffee in San Francisco. This location has lots of space and natural light. But what makes this place special that it has direct access to a bookstore next door. Bring your laptop, grab a coffee, and enjoy the spirit of the city!

Quetzal at 1234 Polk St

Super clean and quiet place with tons of healthy food. Do we even need to mention that this hidden gem has fast WiFi and lots of power outlets? Quetzal will give you cozy and inspirational vibes to get your stuff done.

Spots close to Pyramid Residences, 524 Columbus Residences, and 371 Columbus Residences

Capital One 360 Café at 101 Post St

Big open space with natural light will get your productivity going. This place has not only Peet’s coffee and comfy furniture but corporate feel with lively energy. If moderate noise doesn’t scare you, this place definitely deserves your attention.

Workshop Cafe at 180 Montgomery St #100

Same Workshop Cafe we mentioned earlier, but in a different location. Use the app to book your seat ahead!

Plentea at 341 Kearny St

Any boba tea fans here? This spot might be famous for its drinks, but it is also laptop friendly. The second floor has everything you need for a few hours of productive studying: WiFi, power outlets, and cozy feeling. Get things done while sipping on some boba!

Spots close to 1080 Folsom Residences, 7th Street Residences, 9th Street Residences

Coffee Cultures at 1301 Mission St

This cafe will give you superfast WiFi and some great drinks. The place itself is quite compact, but you will fall in love with its ambiance. Be ready to get distracted by their artwork as it is unique and inspirational. Unfortunately, this spot doesn’t have many power outlets, so do not forget to charge your laptop.

Sextant Coffee Roasters at 1415 Folsom St

The exposed brick wall will give you industrial vibes of the SoMa district of San Francisco. This cafe roasts the coffee beans themselves so the smell is unbelievable. You will have to fight for power outlets, so make sure to charge your laptop. It never gets too busy and filled with an impossible amount of natural light.

Covo 981 Mission

Covo is a perfect blend of the cafe and the working space. For $4 an hour, you get coworking space wrapped in a beautiful coffee shop with access to phone booths, plugs everywhere, printing, and blazingly fast internet. Before you pay, they offer a free day to test things out. If you feel like you want to commit to this space, it has monthly memberships with extended perks.
Every so often you may want to break free from the hectic nature of The City. Well, right across the bay, about 5 miles over the Bay Bridge is San Francisco’s frisky young sibling, The Town. Oakland can be a perfect place to experience a change of pace from the bustling, crowded streets of SF. After a short 15-minute Bart, bus, or drive, you will arrive to see the vibrant and expanding downtown to your right and in front of you, the Oakland Hills with residential houses speckled throughout bundles of trees. Morning Brown Sugar Kitchen is perhaps the most impressive breakfast place in all of the Bay Area. The magnificence is all due to the creator and Executive Chef, Tanya Holland. She uses her French-trained culinary expertise and her passion for hosting people to create a homey vibe. With her new style of California-influenced soul food, Tanya attracts customers from all over the East Bay to enjoy BBQ Shrimp and Grits or the always-classic Fried Chicken and Waffles. Right on Broadway, the restaurant is centrally located in Oakland’s downtown area.
In a quieter section of town, the Montclair Egg Shop is famously praised among locals. Each Sunday, the quaint restaurant is chock-full of hungry customers, in awe of the model trains and other neat trinkets that are on display throughout the eatery. Keep an eye out for Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as they make frequent trips to the brunch spot. Day With cheap tickets and new amenities in the stadium, an Oakland A’s game is a great way to spend a day. The Treehouse is one of their latest additions, which is equipped with two full-service bars, standing-room and lounge seating, a TV-wall, and pre and postgame entertainment.
The A’s have also added the Championship Plaza, which is home to six rotating food trucks, beer stands, music, and lawn games. Arrive early during batting practice for a great chance to catch a homerun ball and get it signed by your favorite player. One of the Oakland’s main attractions is Lake Merritt, but few people actually take full advantage of the prestine body of water. For less than $10 per person you can rent a canoe, row/pedal boat, or kayak. Or if you are looking for a more romantic activity, there are gondola rides available for couples.
Floating in the middle of the lake is a great way to take in the city, as the surrounding bikers, picnickers, and residents enjoying the scene. Views of the hills and the skyline make this adventure a perfect late afternoon excursion. For those looking to explore the luscious greenery of Oakland, the Redwood Regional Park offers miles of hiking and biking trails as well as great picnic/BBQ spots. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to check out some of the world’s largest trees!
Night There is an endless list of fun things to do at night in Oakland, but First Fridays are indisputably at the top of the rankings. Every first Friday of the month, the city shuts down Telegraph Ave from West Grand to 27th Street at night from 5 – 9 PM. Thousands of residents from all over the Bay Area come to experience the community’s artistic collectives and galleries, local culinary artisans, musicians, dancers, DJ’s and more. It is free and open to the public and is a great way to spend the evening grabbing a bite to eat and taking in the exciting Oakland culture. (Reminder that for July, First Friday will be pushed back a week to July 12 to accommodate 4th of July festivities).
Just one street parallel to where First Fridays take place is perhaps Oakland’s most bustling street, Broadway. Here you can explore one of Oakland residents‘ favorite place to spend dinner and a night-out with friends, the beer gardens. At places like Lost and Found and Drake’s Dealership, beer drinkers young (over 21 at least) and old gather under outdoor lights and comfortable garden décor to enjoy tasty food, relaxing lawn games, and of course, a variety of delicious brews.
After a couple drinks or before you head out for a night on the town, you may want to catch a flick at the nearest theater. Well, for a full Oakland experience you have to take a visit to the New Parkway Theater. With couches for comfortable sitting, a café and bar with local beer and wine that delivers to your seat, and special non-film events like World Cup watch parties, this theater is one of the most unique cinemas in the Bay Area. It also prides itself on its sustainability; almost everything they use is reusable and the staff and management strive to create as little waste as possible. So while you may think to yourself: “I live in awesome shared housing facility with a  community of great friends in one of the liveliest cities in the world, why would I ever want to leave?”, you can now see the great adventures that lie just 9 miles East in…. The Town.

There are many sights to see around San Francisco such as Lombard Street, The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Coit Tower, but those places are always crowded with tourists. Sometimes you need to explore the places that many people haven’t heard of. Whether it’s a restaurant or an amazing view, there are locations around the city that will give you a new perspective on what it’s like to be a local.

Mission Dolores Park This amazing park resides within the Mission District and is a great location for relaxing, getting some work done, or having a picnic. Dolores Park is one of the most famous parks in the city since it is large and is in one of the more festive sides of town. On nice days, the park will attract many people who are looking to share the sun and enjoy the vendors who go around with food and drinks. There are also many great restaurants and bars surrounding the park so you’ll never run out of things to do on that side of SF.

Chestnut street This long stretch of shops and restaurants is in the Marina district and it is always full of life. There are many great lunch spots such as Super Duper Burger, Squat & Gobble, or Glaze. These restaurants plus many more great dinner spots are all within a couple block radius and offer delicious, cost friendly meals. During the evening or night, this street is full of locals visiting all the great bars and different nightlife scenes.

The Palace of Fine Arts This masterpiece of architecture opened in 1915 and sits within the Marina. There is a big lawn in front of the building where you will see people having a picnic or just enjoying the scenery. This is another place where you can get some work done in peace while also being very close to Chestnut Street to get a bite to eat. The Palace offers tours throughout the week if you want the whole experience to see some stunning murals on the top of the dome. Otherwise, it is a great spot to hang out.

Golden Boy Pizza For some of the best pizza San Francisco has to offer, slide over to Golden Boy. This little pizza joint has been serving square slices since 1978 and it has made a name for itself. It’s located in North Beach area and usually has a a bit of a crowd during the night hours but it is definitely worth the visit if you need a quality slice of pizza.

Ocean Beach Another great place that many locals go is on the west side of San Francisco. There are many activities to do during the day such as relaxing, surfing, or any sports but it becomes very cold when the sun goes down. At night, a specific part of the beach lights up with many bonfires and it an amazing sight to see. It usually happens on weekends but it is a great outing to have with friends if you want to bring some firewood, blankets, and some food for a couple hours.

Farmers Market The final spot many locals go to on the weekends is located at the Ferry Building. This is a great event to buy fresh produce and eat amazing food from all the different local businesses and farmers. You can make a day out of going to the Farmer’s Market since it is so close to the bustling downtown with all the shops and restaurants close by.

San Francisco is growing rapidly due to the tech industry and other new developments so it may be hard to find peaceful places in the city or even housing nowadays. Moreover, it can be hard to deal with the stress of so many people coming to visit San Francisco. Luckily, Urbanests offers rooms for students and interns in completely furnished apartments or room shares in San Francisco for the best co-living experience. If you haven’t found a place to stay in this amazing city, check us out on our website! After you get settled in your cozy San Francisco rental, check out the spots above to get the full SF experience.