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San Rafael

The location

Student life


Sightseeing in the North Bay and San Francisco

Please use the menu below to see what sightseeing, shopping, entertainment and dining options are available in San Rafael.

San Rafael (in the San Francisco North-Bay) is an ideal location for international students: it's very safe; it's only a short drive away from San Francisco and Napa Valley; the mild, sunny weather allows for numerous outdoor activities; there are many shopping opportunities; and there are more than 150 different restaurants.

golden gate bridge

The Golden Gate bridge

This symbol of the Bay Area was completed in 1937 and is now considered one of the world's most beautiful bridges. A walk over the bridge is the best way to appreciate the impressive structure and stunning views of San Francisco.

The bridge was famously used as a location in Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie, Vertigo.

san rafael mission

Mission San Rafael Archangel

The mission San Rafael Archangel is a popular tourist attraction in San Rafael and well worth a visit. An on-site gift shop sells souvenir items, and a museum provides a detailed history of the mission.

The current mission (built in 1949) is actually a replica of the original mission which was founded in 1817 and then demolished in 1861.



Sausalito is a beautiful town known for its art galleries and its gorgeous views of San Francisco. From here you can take a ferry to San Francisco.

A fascinating tourist destination (popular with both American visitors and overseas tourists), Sausalito is about 8 miles (13km) southeast of San Rafael and can be reached easily by public transport.

san rafael civic center

The Marin County Civic Center

Completed in 1957, the Marin County Civic Center was Frank Lloyd Wright's last major work and is one of the famed architect's most distinctive designs.

Located in the center of San Rafael, the building and its cafeteria are both open to the public. Public tours are available.



Tiburon, known for its multi-million dollar mansions, is a beautiful small city by the Bay. Go there for a stroll through downtown and a drink on the large deck of the popular Sam's Anchor Cafe or a delicious Mexican meal with a view of San Francisco at Guaymas.

The city's name derives from the Spanish word for shark. The name was probably inspired by the prevalence of leopard sharks in the surrounding waters

san francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the USA. There is so much to do in San Francisco: sightseeing, shopping, exploring the different neighborhoods and cultures, nightlife, baseball games, and much more.

San Francisco can be easily reached by bus or by ferry from Larkspur Landing (you can take the bus there).



A medium-sized city, Berkeley is home to the famous University of California Berkeley. The city is worth a visit for its interesting, often funky stores and its many inexpensive restaurants.

The city has a relaxed and easy going atmosphere, and is the safest city of its size in California for pedestrians and cyclists.

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