Areas and Suburbs in San Francisco

With more than 110 neighbourhoods, San Francisco has more to offer than a lot of other cities in the world. Whether it be for its architecture, closeness to nature or cosmopolitan crowd, anyone can find their happiness in this city and call it home.

Family-friendly suburbs of San Francisco

For expats moving to San Francisco with children it will be a priority to be close to good schools. Suburbs with access to open spaces and facilities that cater for children are an added bonus.

Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek is a leafy suburb in the East Bay area of San Francisco.

It is family friendly with its green open spaces, sports fields and facilities for extra-curricular pursuits.

There is a strong sense of community in Walnut Creek and regular family events are organised by local community organisations.

There are also a number of popular public schools in the area, which make Walnut Creek popular with expat and local famillies. 

Walnut Creek is well connected to San Francisco by BART and bus. The BART ride from Walnut Creek to San Francisco city centre takes approximately 30 minutes, which is a short commute by local standards.


Novato, located in the North Bay region of San Francisco, is a great area for expats with children.

There are lots of good public schools in the area, as well as two competitive private schools.

Novato has an abundance of parks with facilities for children. There is also a growing number of chic eateries and boutique fashion stores.

The suburb has a lot of different family-friendly living options, including two-bedroom apartments in secure complexes and large luxurious condos. 

Young and hip areas in San Francisco

San Francisco is a popular city for young expats starting careers in finance and technology, and the city has some excellent living options for those that want to be close to the hustle and bustle of the city.

South of Market (SOMA)

South of Market, or SOMA as it is more commonly known, is a recently redeveloped part of San Francisco that is sprawling with trendy clubs, bars and eateries. It is also close to the Museum of Modern Art.

SOMA’s proximity to San Francisco’s city centre makes it perfect for those who make it a priority to be close to work. SOMA’s massive residential blocks and warehouse conversions are popular with young professionals in San Francisco. This neighbourhood is home to an international mix of people and has a real urban feel.

There is easy access to the major highways as well as public transportation. This is one of the best areas when it comes to easy access to buses and trains.

Bernal Heights

Bernal Heights was once a no-go area of San Francisco. However, this neighbourhood has now become popular with artists, young families and single professionals because of it's affordable properties and bohemian charm.

The area is full of quaint cafes, trendy boutiques and innovative restaurants. There are also regular markets that take place in Bernal Heights..

Bernal Heights is often referred to as an urban village and is full of colourful Victorian houses. There are lots of different accommodation options available in Bernal Heights, ranging from small studios to four-bedroom family homes with gardens.

Unfortunately, public transportation links are not brilliant in Bernal Heights as there a just a few bus routes that serve the area.
Furthermore the neighbourhood in located on top of a very steep hill. Most of the suburb's residents own their own vehicles.

Luxury living in San Francisco

According to the Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2012, San Francisco is now the third most expensive city in the USA to live in. Rental prices throughout the Bay Area are steep in general. However, for those who want the best, San Francisco has some great luxury living options.

Noe Valley

Noe Valley is a much sought-after and prosperous suburb of San Francisco. Many dot com millionaires have chosen to make the Noe Valley home. It is filled with upscale bistros, boutique shops and cosy bookstores.

The hills that surround the valley give the area a feeling of removal from the urban chaos of the city.

Properties in Noe Valley are predominantly low-rise Victorian houses, which contributes to the historic charm of the area.

Sea Cliff

For expats who want the best sea views in San Francisco and are willing to pay for it, Sea Cliff is the ideal location. In fact, Sea Cliff is the only neighbourhood in San Francisco that touches the ocean at Baker Beach and China Beach.

As well as being close to the sea, residents of Sea Cliff live in close proximity to Lands End, which is a part of the Golden Gate National Park.

Sea Cliff is also close to a number of San Francisco’s top international schools.

This is an immaculate residential suburb full of free standing properties. Sea Cliff has a very Mediterranean feel to it. The properties are large and luxurious and generally come with impressive gardens and swimming pools.

Rental properties are sought after in Sea Cliff, and expats may find it especially difficult to find an apartment here, especially during the summer months. 

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