North Beach church in San Francisco.

North Beach / Telegraph Hill

Washington Square

Washington Square, one of San Francisco’s many green areas of public land, is located in the heart of San Francisco, North Beach. Millions of people flock to the five-sided, one-acre park each year for an escape from the bustling city, and if you’re on holiday in San Francisco, consider doing the same.

Located in the Italian part of town, North Beach, Washington Square is the classic park of downtown San Francisco. And unlike the concrete Union Square, Washington Square consists of green grass and open space.

On top of the fresh air, the square is surrounded by some of the best eateries in the city. So grab some food and enjoy a picnic in the park.

Washington Square Green Space

While you eat, you’ll see landmarks such as Saints Peter and Paul Church, Columbus Avenue and Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.

And if you arrive in the morning, you can pose in fight-ready positions with nearby Chinese residents for an early morning round of Tai Chi.

Later in the day, when locals with pets show up, usually dogs (sometimes cats, even iguanas), feel free to smile, watch and hang out with the animals.

Ben Franklin Statue

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San Francisco includes several open spaces of public land, but Washington Square is a special one. Walking distance to several San Francisco attractions, such as Lombard Street, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, the park should be a top destination for any San Francisco holiday, even if only for a short rest from sightseeing. And remember, you can even bring your pet iguana.

Mamas on Washington Square

How Do I Find Washington Square Park?

  • Washington Square Park is located in the heart of North Beach near Saints Peter and Paul Church. The exact address is on the corner of Union and Columbus Avenue, near the base of Telegraph Hill.
  • You can use public transportation routes 9x, 12, 20, 30, 41, 45 and the Powell-Mason cable car (although the wait in line for it is horrendous) to reach the park.
  • To visit Washington Square from Union Square you can ride bus 30 (20 minutes) or better yet, just walk. The journey might take longer, but you’ll pass cool neighborhoods such as Chinatown and the rest of North Beach on the way.
  • Other notable landmarks near Washington Square are Saints Peter and Paul Church, Tony’s Pizza, Golden Boy Pizza, Lombard Street, the Filbert Street Steps, Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower, Columbus Ave and Macondray Lane.

Washington Square from above

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

Washington Square Park is best to see on a sunny day. Unfortunately, though, because of so many animals, a majority of the grass is torn up and muddy. Remember to bring a blanket (maybe two) to combat the problem. On nice days, the park fills up fast.

Location of Washington Square