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San Francisco Airports

Tips to Select the Right Airport for Your Visit

Which of the San Francisco airports should you fly into for your trip? There are three international airports in the SF bay area. Each one is the perfect choice for those visiting specific cities in the bay area.

Even though the SF bay area looks small in size - the traffic, bridges and other transit hurdles can make it difficult to get around.

You want to make sure you book your flight into the right one. Doing so will save you time, money and a few frustrations along the way.

San Francisco International

The largest of the three San Francisco airports is the San Francisco International or SFO. This airport is situated about 15 miles or 20 minutes south of the city.

If you are staying in SF, this is the best one for your trip. You can quickly transfer to your hotel in the city with few hassles.

There are also hundreds of flights in and out of this one daily. SFO offers the best selection of flights and usually where you can get some of the best deals.

SFO should also be your airport of choice if you are staying in any of the following locations:

  • San Francisco
  • South San Francisco
  • San Mateo
  • Marin County (including Sausalito, Tiburon, Novato & San Rafael)
  • Sonoma County (including Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Healdsburg)
san francisco airport shuttles
limo and car service to sfo
san francisco taxis
Door to Door
SFO Shuttles
Car Service
& Limos
from SFO

Oakland California Airport

The next one on the list is Oakland International or OAK. This one is on the eastern side of the SF Bay - just to the south of the city of Oakland.

It is smaller than SFO. It has around a hundred flights a day, but you can still find some good deals into OAK.

You can use this one if you are staying in SF. It is a little more of a hassle to get to the city from here since you have to cross the SF Bay Bridge. During rush hour, it might take you more than an hour to drive into the city from the Oakland CA Airport.

It is the best one to use if you are staying in any of the following cities:

  • Oakland
  • Berkeley
  • Walnut Creek
  • Fremont
  • Napa Valley (including Calistoga, Napa & Yountville)

San Jose CA Airport

The last of the three San Francisco airports is Mineta San Jose International Airport or SJC. This one is just a few miles north of the city of San Jose.

Located on the southern end of the bay area, this one is about the same size as the Oakland airport. You will find around a hundred flights in and out of this airport each day.

I do not recommend flying into this airport if you are staying in SF. It's a long drive to the city. All transit options are either expensive or will take you a long time to reach the city.

Use this airport if you are staying in or near any of the following places:

  • San Jose
  • Silicon Valley (including Google, Facebook, Apple or Yahoo)
  • Santa Cruz
  • Monterey or Carmel

Are you ready to book your flight? Find some great tips to help you find discount flights to San Francisco.

Still not sure which airport you need to fly into? Here is a downloadable chart with the distance to and from key place around the bay area and each San Francisco airport.

> > Compare SF Airports

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