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After remarking on the charm of its steep streets, Pacific Ocean setting and ethereal foggy climate, first-time visitors to San Francisco are quick to point out how surprised they are by its scale. For a city that rivals New York and LA for brand appeal, it is comparatively small in size and population – around 800,000 inhabitants perch on more than 50 hills in a 121 sq km area.

For such a small city, a lot has happened here. It was the hub of the Californian Gold Rush – a plot of land that cost $16 in 1847 would sell for $45,000 two years later…

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