San Jose travel guide

Capital of Silicon Valley

San Jose tourism | San Jose guide

You're Going to Love San Jose

Is San Jose just San Francisco's little brother to the south? Not at all. America's 10th largest city is a wonderful tourist destination in its own right. So forget about Alcatraz, settle into a San Jose hotel and sample the fine food, nightlife, shops and outdoor attractions that make it such an irresistible vacation destination.

Grab a bottle of local wine and head to the Heritage Rose Garden for the most romantic picnic of your life. Tour the eateries of Japantown, discovering a world of authentic Japanese cooking. Hit the city's year-round farmers' markets or the array of boutiques in Santana Row. And then relax. With bars aplenty, and amusement parks like Raging Waters nearby, you can let off steam in San Jose whenever you want to.

It all combines to form an underrated tourist gem. So give San Jose a try for your next getaway. It won't disappoint you.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit San Jose

What to do in San Jose

When to Visit San Jose

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There's not really a bad time to visit San Jose. The city is an excellent tourist destination but attracts far fewer visitors than San Francisco, so crowds and hotel bookings shouldn't be a problem. High summer could be a little hot for some visitors, so why not try a spring or fall break? Both seasons allow you to walk in the rose gardens, attend music festivals and shop at the farmers' markets, and accommodation rates should be low.

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When the weather is nice in San Jose

How to Get to San Jose

Airports near San Jose

SJC San Jose
OAK Oakland

Airlines serving San Jose

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Where to Stay in San Jose

Dependable and comfortable family options in Downtown San Jose include the Hilton on Almaden Boulevard, The Fairmont San Jose, and the pet-friendly Crowne Plaza. Outside of the center, you might want to check out options near the airport like The Clarion or The Courtyard or more secluded rural retreats like The Pruneyard Plaza.

Popular Neighborhoods in San Jose

Most popular hotel in San Jose by neighbourhood

North San Jose

Where to stay in popular areas of San Jose

Most booked hotels in San Jose

How to Get Around San Jose

The Cost of Living in San Jose

Shopping Streets

Santana Row is the place to go in San Jose if you want to shop at luxury apparel stores, shoe boutiques, art galleries and other high-end retailers. However, Valley Fair is close behind, offering over 200 stores, including major brands like Nordstrom and Macy's. If you are more interested in shopping for unique items, you can't beat a visit to Berryessa Flea Market, a massive emporium where you could find anything. Moon Zooom on W San Carlos Street is also a standalone vintage clothing store that attracts fashion fans from all over California.

Groceries and Other

Self-catering tourists can stock up on high-quality organic produce at a selection of farmers markets in San Jose, including outlets in Japantown and Blossom Hill. For lower prices and a selection of standard groceries, there are also supermarkets like Trader Joe's, Lucky and Whole Foods, along with plenty of Asian markets, including Mitsuwa and Nijiya. Don't expect rock bottom prices, however. San Jose isn't the cheapest destination for many groceries. Expect to pay almost $4 for a gallon of milk, $2 for a pound of apples (but just $10 for a high-quality bottle of wine).

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
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A pair of jeans
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Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in San Jose

If you love Asian food, San Jose is one of America's best destinations. Head to long-established Japantown fixtures like Okayama, Gombei or Kyoto Palace, Chinese options like Hunan Taste or down a bargain bowl of noodles at Krung Thai. Other highlights include the chimichangas at Taqueria Corona, the classically Italian menus at Il Fornaio and Good Karma Vegan House, where healthy, sustainable food is served along with bingo nights and excellent locally brewed beer. Expect to pay less than $20 for a good mid-range meal.