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POPOS: the secrets of San Francisco

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These are private spaces in which you can take a break, read the newspaper and admire a stunning view of the city.

Since ‘Privately Owned Public Open Space' is such a mouthful, these hidden spots have become known as POPOS. A square, a garden, the hall of a building, a terrace on a roof or the boardroom of a company. Officially, they do not exist, and are not accessible. However, you need no key nor code to get in.

Everyone knows about them, off the record. Enjoy them as all residents of San Francisco do. You will see locals lunching here or drinking their lattes. Sometimes parties are organised.

How can you find them? They are of course not clearly identified, but their location, which used to be under the seal of secrecy, has now been revealed. There are now guides that identify these 68 places, for the most part located in the Financial District. Grab one to visit a different side of San Francisco.

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