Union Square, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 64 Reviews

Bordered by Powell, Geary, Stocton and Post Streets (415) 781-7880

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Union Square on a sunny weekday afternoon
    Union Square on a sunny weekday...
    by Jefie
  • Union Square
    by wilocrek
  • view from powell
    view from powell
    by machomikemd
  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by Dabs Updated Oct 15, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since we were staying in the Union Square area, our 1st day we had a walk through the area to see the few things that our guidebook said were must sees, we weren't interested in any of the high end shopping but we did stop to see some of the architectural sights along the way. Someone likened Union Square to Chicago's Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) but they didn't strike me as being similar at all, I didn't see anywhere near the volume of people in Union Square that you see on Chicago's main shopping stretch, perhaps we were a bit early for the "ladies who lunch" as we were there around 10 am.

    Picture 1-140 Maiden Lane is the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in San Francisco, it now houses an art gallery, the interior curving ramp is said to be the model for the Guggenheim in NYC.

    Picture 2-Lotta's Fountain, named for gold rush era performer Lotta Crabtree who was showered with gold and silver after she performed, she gave the city this fountain in 1875, at the intersection of 3rd, Market, Kearny and Geary Sts.

    Picture 3-Halladie Building, named for cable car inventor William Halladie, notable for the glass curtain exterior wall, located at 130 Sutter Street between Kearny and Montgomery

    Picture 4-Union Square, a nice open air spot with a cafe and on the day we were there, an art fair

    Frank Lloyd Wright Lotta's Fountain Halladie Building Union Square

    Was this review helpful?

  • tere1's Profile Photo

    Union Square, best shopping in town.

    by tere1 Written Aug 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Union Square is basically the center of San Francisco's shopping district . With many well known shops in it, you will have plenty to see and shop. You can find there Victoria Secret, a huge Levis Store, a Gap store, W-Sonoma and a large Macy's, among many other shops.

    Around it you can also find some of the best San Francisco hotels as well as good restaurants , Fine Arts Galleries and bars.

    Union Square is a must for people who want to do some fine shopping.

    Union Square
    Related to:
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Redlats's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by Redlats Updated Nov 10, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Union Square is not quite a Must See Activity. However, it is a central spot in downtown SF -- a centre of shopping (Macy's, Saks, Neiman-Markus, etc., even the half-price theatre tickets kiosk is in Union Square.

    Union Square
    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • heryanta's Profile Photo

    Center of Downtown

    by heryanta Written Nov 24, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I consider Union Square as the 'center of downtown' - at least for touristic purposes.
    A number of well-known hotels are cramped into the area and you will find, somewhat unfortunately, a lot of touristy bars and restaurants.

    What to see & do:

    Shop. The Macy's flagship store is located right on Union Square, and so is Neimann Marcus. Along Post street you will find fine boutiques like Burberry and Prada.
    Other well-known shops include Borders (Books), the Disney store and Niketown.

    Eat. Walk west towards Jones and there are lots of ethnic restaurants on Geary and Post. Some of my favourites include Borobudur (Indonesian on Post & Jones) and Katana-Ya (Ramen house on Geary & Taylor). The famous Lori's diner also has a couple of branches here, although it's not my favourite spot to eat. Other good & famous restaurants that I have or haven't tried in the area include Farallon (Seafood on Post), Michael Mina (American at Westin St Francis Hotel) and Postrio by Wolfgang Puck (Prescott Hotel on Post).

    Drink. The rather famous Redwood room at Clift Hotel is 5 minutes walk on Geary and Taylor. Also there's a lively Irish bar called Johnny Foley's on Mason & O'Farrell.

    Sightsee. The Westin St. Francis hotel has those famous elevators that runs outside of the building. The gigantic Christmas tree is put up during Thanksgiving time, and the "Heart" of Tony Bennet (from the song).

    Give money to charity. What? Yeah, there's a bunch of homeless people asking for spare change.

    the Christmas tree the 'heart of Tony Bennett

    Was this review helpful?

  • ROCKARIA's Profile Photo

    STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO

    by ROCKARIA Updated Feb 7, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Streets of San Francisco are so full of life and one is either going uphill or going downhill. Union Square is one of those places in SFC where people congregate.
    While walking down this street near Union Square i felt pround to see our Maltese Flag Hanging out of the Maltese Consulate in S.F.C.

    Proud to see the Maltese flag near Union Square

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by sue_stone Written Feb 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Union Square is a pedestrian plaza in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The paved square is a block in size and is home to public events such as concerts, art shows and protests. In the middle of the square there is a 30m tall monument to Admiral George Dewey.

    Union Square also refers to the surrounding area which is a mecca for shopping, hotels, theatre and dining. Macy's flagship store can be found on Union Square, and if you go to the top floor of the department store you can get a good view over the square.

    I was surprised by Union Square - I was expecting it to be larger and grubbier. When we visited there was an interesting art show in progress, and plenty of people sitting about drinking coffee, reading and people watching.

    Union Square Union Square Art in Union Square Art in Union Square
    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Dewey Memorial Statue

    by atufft Updated Jun 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Union Square is actually one of my least favorite plazas in town, in part because it is almost fully paved concrete ambiance, but also because of the centerpiece Dewey Memorial, which celebrates the victory of the USA over the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay. The 1896 war, which eventuated in the annexation of Cuba and the Philippines as American territory was a blantant opportunist imperialist act that resulted in many decades of turmoil in these two nations, which argueably have yet to recover their proper nationalism and liberty. Indeed the Iraq War has been compared to the Spanish-American War. However, the 95-foot high statue, designed in 1901 by sculptor Robert Aitken, and architect, Newton Tharp, also capped a period of pride in San Francisco just prior to the great earthquake and fire of 1906. Alma Spreckels, later the lovely wife of sugar baron Adolph Spreckels, was the nude model for the figure, which Aitken used to symbolize "the Republic, dignified and graceful, on a pedestal of granite. In her outstretched hand he placed a palm, denoting work well done, a tribute to the memory of the beloved president. In her other hand he gave her a trident, the three-pronged fork which was the scepter of King Neptune, king of the sea (see link below)." Thus, the memorial is both a tribute to victory in war and recently martyred President McKinley. Alma had sprung from humble beginnings and later married into the Spreckels wealth, so the statue, which survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, as well as several reconstructions of Union Square, came to symbolize more than the men whose names are on the memorial base. This memorial came to symbolize for San Francisco a determination to rise from ashes and return to a great city of wealth and splendor.

    Dewey Memorial, Union Square, SF Dewey Memorial, Union Square, SF Union Square, SF
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • USCgirlie's Profile Photo

    The center of shopping in the City

    by USCgirlie Written Mar 22, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Union Square is where many tourists stay, but it is also the main shopping area in the City. In this area, you will find everything from designer stores like Prada and Tiffany to Victoria's Secret to Macy's. Union Square itself, like its name denotes, is a very pleasant, wide square where many people sit, relax, and eat. It was renovated just a few years ago and is a very aesthetically pleasing square now, with buildings such as the Westin St. Francis landmark, the Nike Store, and others surrounding it. Beware that food in this area is very expensive!

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • perseushermes's Profile Photo

    Shopping Madness

    by perseushermes Written Sep 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    San Francisco's shopping paradise at the Union Square.

    There are hotels, restaurants, Coffee, Loius Vitton, Macy's and much more. Of course as the photo shows, there is a Neiman Marcus too! Wonderful place to hang around. Shoppers beware, its addictive!

    Neiman Marcus Macys!
    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • perseushermes's Profile Photo

    Historical Union Square

    by perseushermes Written Sep 10, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Apart from the shopping at Union Square, there are some historical monuments. one of them is the Victory monument commemorating Admiral Dewey's battle at Manila Bay . I dibn't think of checking whether it meant the Manila Bay in the Philippines. I am told that this monument withstood the earthquake in 1906.

    Victory
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • snmred's Profile Photo

    If you like beautiful views...

    by snmred Written Sep 12, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you like beautiful views than this is your city. There are tons of places to go to see the city from above. ONe of my favorites is the top of the Hilton Hotel in Union Square. They have a restaurant/bar on the 26th story with panoramic windows that overlook the entire city. It's a great place to watch the sunset with a drink in one hand and your honey in the other.

    Was this review helpful?

  • cheap_tourist's Profile Photo

    Hip Union Square

    by cheap_tourist Updated Jul 13, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Union Square is in the heart of Downtown San Francisco. It was so named because, on the eve of the Civil War, demonstrations were held there in support of the Union troops. It is now known for the high-end shops and department stores that surround it. You can do some serious shopping there.

    The square is like a quiet island in a sea of frenetic activity. I like sitting on a bench there and watching the people going about their lives during rush hour. It's one way to feel the city's pulse.

    Street Perfomer at Union Square
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • PetraG's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by PetraG Written May 13, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The most famous place in San Francisco offers a lot to see and to do:
    Taking a rest in the shadow of palmtrees you can watch many crazy people doing their crazy things...
    Aroud the suare there are famous giant hotels. I recommend you to have a look inside them all - the Lobbies are extraordinary!
    The Union Square is also a perfect place to start a shopping-tour.

    Union Square
    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    A Taste of Europe

    by wilocrek Written May 7, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best part of Union isn't the shops or the fact it's a beautiful place to relax, but rather the heavy European influence that make up the square. Much like the many different squares in Rome, Union Square is a place of tranquility amidst the bustling city. However Union Square had a much more modern look as its surrounded by towering skyscrapers and palm tree's. There are a couple cafe's in the square with plenty of outdoor tables to enjoy coffee and a view. From a people watching perspective its about the best spot in the city, of course if you prefer shopping you are in luck as Macy's, Nike Town, and Sak's 5th Ave are among the many different stores that surround the square. Definitely plan on making Union Square a staple of your visit to San Francisco!

    Was this review helpful?

  • AVOID ALAMO RENT A CAR UNION SQUARE & ELSEWHERE

    by CivB Written Nov 18, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Never book a convertible Ford Mustang with ALAMO in California, they don't have requested cars.

    I have booked an PREPAID a Ford Mustang from alamo for 10 days from SFO (Union Square) to LAX. Despite two warning message asking them to reserve the Car in Union Square there where no such equivalent car ready. We where taken in hostage and constraint to hire a car from a different category (Dodge Challenger) and charged at convertible one.

    Even asking them to switch car in Montterey or Santa Barbara they could not give the wanted, asked, reserved, and paid the category wanted.

    WARNING ! all they want is people to book and paid theses popular car at a competitive price and give them what they have in stock.

    Look these pages; it is the same all over europe in any language...

    http://www.alamo.fr/usa

    http://www.alamo.it/usa

    Try to call them, they hide like cokroaches when you open the light !

    Can alamo give there convertible amount of car in CA. or give their succes/ booked ratio for Convertibles in California ? Certainly not

    Please accept my appologies for my bad english, writing from French Riviera

    Is this a huge crookery ?

    Same Issue? please respond and join i am making a complaint to FTC. and hire attorneys in SFO.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: San Francisco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

20 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Union Square
4.0 out of 5 stars
6 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all San Francisco hotels