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Top 5 Princess Diaries Locations in San Francisco

Discover the regal secrets of San Francisco as we unveil the top 5 enchanting Princess Diaries filming locations, where the magic of Mia Thermopolis' royal transformation comes to life against the city's iconic backdrop.

The Princess Diaries movie cover

San Francisco, with its iconic skyline, charming streets, and unique blend of cultures, has always been a captivating backdrop for movies. Among the many films set in this picturesque city, "The Princess Diaries" stands out as a beloved classic. Released in 2001 and directed by Garry Marshall, this film follows the journey of Mia Thermopolis, an unsuspecting teenager who discovers she is the heir to the throne of a European principality.

As fans of the film know, the story unfolds in various locations throughout San Francisco. Let's take a delightful tour of the top three Princess Diaries filming locations in this beautiful city.

1. The Fairmont in San Francisco: Mia's Big Ball Debut

2. Lombard Street: Mia's Car Troubles

3. 2601 Lyon Street, at Green Street, in the Upmarket Marina District: "Garden Grove High School"

4. 724 Brazil Avenue at Athens Street: Mia's House

5. 15 Phoenix Terrace: Lily's House


1. The Fairmont in San Francisco: Mia's Big Ball Debut

hotel with flags over the entrance

One of the most iconic and glamorous filming locations from "The Princess Diaries" is The Fairmont San Francisco. This luxurious hotel served as the backdrop for the exterior shots of the Genovian Consulate, where Mia Thermopolis learns about her royal heritage. The stunning architecture and grandeur of The Fairmont perfectly embody the regal atmosphere befitting a royal revelation.

Located atop Nob Hill, The Fairmont offers breathtaking views of the city and is a must-visit for fans of the movie seeking a taste of the princess lifestyle.

Availability to visit:

You may visit during it's open hours, or even book your stay Here!

2. Lombard Street: Mia's Car Troubles

steep downhill with houses

Lombard Street, often referred to as the "crookedest street in the world," is another iconic location featured in "The Princess Diaries." It's the location where Mia learns to drive a car and experiences the comical challenges of maneuvering through the steep and winding streets of San Francisco.

The charm of upper Lombard Street, with its winding curves lined by vibrant gardens, adds to the magic of the movie and showcases the beauty of San Francisco.

Availability to visit:

Anytime! Drive on it yourself and understand why Princess Mia had such a hard time.

3. 2601 Lyon Street, at Green Street, in the Upmarket Marina District: "Garden Grove High School"

large, ornate building

In "The Princess Diaries," Mia and her best friend, Lilly, frequently visit a cozy café. The reality of this charming eatery is 2601 Lyon Street, at Green Street, in the upmarket Marina District of San Francisco. It's a great place to visit and reminisce about the delightful scenes from the film, showcasing the trendy and upscale neighborhood that added to the movie's charm. This location, while not Garden Grove High School, still embodies the essence of the scenes where Mia and Lilly shared moments and dreams together.

Availability to visit:

YES! Walk right up to it and enjoy the intricate architectural details!

4. 724 Brazil Avenue at Athens Street

house with car in front

Hidden within the heart of San Francisco, 724 Brazil Avenue at Athens Street holds the secrets of Mia Thermopolis' royal journey. This unassuming house, nestled in a lively neighborhood, is where the ordinary transformed into the extraordinary. Yet it entirely fits Mia's humble beginnings as it is an old renovated firehouse both featured in the movie and in reality. It's a place where dreams were conceived, where friendships were forged, and where the magic of a humble abode met the grandeur of royalty.

Availability to visit:

Anytime! Just like the other locations, this house is on public roads.

5. 15 Phoenix Terrace: "Lily's House"

colorful houses lining an alleyway

Tucked away in a leafy neighborhood of San Francisco lies 15 Phoenix Terrace, the vibrant residence of Mia's adventurous best friends, Lilly and Michael. This cozy abode bursts with character, boasting colorful flower boxes and a well-tended garden that perfectly mirror Lilly's vivacity and Michael's artistic soul. Inside, the living room, filled with laughter and dreams, stands as the heart of their shared adventures. Posters championing various causes adorn the walls, illustrating Lilly's passion for activism, while shelves of gadgets and comics showcase Michael's tech-savvy spirit. It's a place where dreams are nurtured, and friendships are solidified, embodying the very essence of their youthful journeys.

Availability to visit:

Anytime! This is sitting on a public road and anyone who wants to sightsee is able to view it.

In Conclusion

San Francisco's allure and charm have been beautifully captured in "The Princess Diaries," offering a glimpse into the life of a modern-day princess. Exploring these iconic filming locations allows fans to relive the magic and romance of the film while immersing themselves in the beauty of the city by the bay. Whether it's the opulence of The Fairmont San Francisco, the winding streets of Lombard Street, or the serene setting of Dolores Park, these locations truly bring the princess fantasy to life in the heart of San Francisco. I hope this has inspired you to rewatch the movies (I sure was as I wrote this) and take that adventure to San Francisco!

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