Known for its high concentration of killer start-ups and mega tech companies, Silicon Valley is a place for adventurers, entrepreneurs and futurists. Here’s the low-down on the Valley.
What is Silicon Valley?
Roughly a one-hour drive south of San Francisco, Silicon Valley is a tech and entrepreneurial haven on the outskirts of San Jose and Palo Alto.
Here's Silicon Valley on the map.
Weather in Silicon Valley
California is blessed with an amazingly temperate climate: there's no bad time to go to Silicon Valley. Being in California, though, it's good to check for earthquake warnings.
Getting to Silicon Valley
San Jose Airport is a 17-minute drive from Silicon Valley. San Francisco International Airport is 41 minutes away.
As with many places in the US, cars and taxis are a better option than public transport. If you prefer to take the train - but we don’t recommend it - both airports will get you to Mountain View Station, which is a roughly 15-minute walk from the centre of Silicon Valley.
Unless you’re traveling from Canada, you probably need to prepare some documentation in advance.
For citizens of 37 different countries - including the UK, Australia - this will be as simple as completing an ESTA online. With an ESTA, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, you can enter the USA without a visa for two years from the date of the ESTA.
For an up-to-date list of Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) countries, for which all you need is an ESTA, see the US State Department website.
Unfortunately, for everybody else, you’ll need a B-2 Tourist Visa. As part of the application you’ll need to attend an interview, which you should schedule at your nearest US embassy or consulate.
Your daily spend
According to Numbeo, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is roughly $60; you can get a cheap meal for $15 per person. You'll pay between $4 and $5 for a beer. A coffee is close to $4.
In Silicon Valley you're spoiled for choice. Check out our pick of the best Silicon Valley hotels.
Looking for more Silicon Valley tips? Read our Silicon Valley guide