San Francisco Places

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Union Square and Chinatown

Making the Most of Your Time

Set aside at least an hour to scope out the stores and sights in and around Union Square—or most of the day if you're a shopper—but don't bother arriving before 10am, when the first shops open. Sunday is a bit quieter.

Give yourself at least two hours to see compact Chinatown. If possible, come on a weekday (less crowded) and before lunchtime (busiest with locals). You won't need more than 15 or 20 minutes at any of the sights themselves, but exploring the shops and alleys is, indeed, the whole point.

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