Travel Budget for San Francisco Visit San Francisco on a Budget or Travel in Style

San Francisco, California, United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to San Francisco?

You should plan to spend around $222 per day on your vacation in San Francisco. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $46 on meals
  • $16 on local transportation
  • $261 on hotels

A one week trip to San Francisco for two people costs, on average, $3,113. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
    $222
  • One Week Per person
    $1,557
  • 2 Weeks Per person
    $3,113
  • One Month Per person
    $6,671
  • One Week For a couple
    $3,113
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
    $6,227
  • One Month For a couple
    $13,343
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.


How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to San Francisco cost?

A one week trip to San Francisco usually costs around $1,557 for one person and $3,113 for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to San Francisco on average costs around $3,113 for one person and $6,227 for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in San Francisco will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to San Francisco on average costs around $6,671 for one person and $13,343 for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.




Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to San Francisco has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is San Francisco expensive to visit?

Prices in San Francisco are reasonable and comparable to your average travel destination. Hotels, food, and sightseeing are generally within normal price ranges.

Within North America, which is known to be an expensive region, San Francisco is a moderately priced destination compared to other places. The overall cost of travel here is fair for the region and comparable to Gainesville or The Hamptons.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is San Francisco Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to San Francisco?

The average San Francisco trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these San Francisco travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.


Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) $261
Local Transportation 1 $16
Food 2 $46
Entertainment 1 $46
Tips and Handouts 1 $17 - 50
Alcohol 2 $11 - 33
Accommodation Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in San Francisco is $130. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in San Francisco is $261. This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.


  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
    $130
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
    $261

Hotel Prices in San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in San Francisco? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.

 

Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in San Francisco based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $154. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.


Recommended Properties


Transportation Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in San Francisco is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $16 per person, per day, on local transportation in San Francisco.


  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    $16

Recommended Services


Flights to San Francisco
How much does it cost to go to San Francisco? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.

Rental Cars in San Francisco
The price of renting a car in San Francisco will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.


What did other people spend on Transportation in San Francisco?

Typical prices for Transportation in San Francisco are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in San Francisco, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.


  • Taxi to SFO
    $45
  • Golden Gate Bridge Toll
    $6.00
  • Alcatraz Tour
    $30


Food Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in San Francisco can vary, the average cost of food in San Francisco is $46 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in San Francisco should cost around $18 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Francisco is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food2 Meals for one day
    $46

Recommended


Entertainment Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The Go City San Francisco Pass offers great discounts on attractions in San Francisco. With the Go City Explorer pass, you can choose to visit specific sights and attractions at a discount. Or, you can visit as many included attractions as you like with a multi-day All-Inclusive Pass. The average visitor saves 30% off of the regular admission prices.


Recommended Activities


Tips and Handouts Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in San Francisco is $33 per day. The usual amount for a tip in San Francisco is 10% - 20%.


  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
    $33


Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Unfortunately, bad things can happen on a trip. Well, you've just got to deal with it! The average price for a scam, robbery, or mishap in San Francisco is $21, as reported by travelers.


  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1
    $21


Alcohol Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $22 on alcoholic beverages in San Francisco per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
    $22

Recommended


Water Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $6.27 on bottled water in San Francisco per day. The public water in San Francisco is considered safe to drink.


  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
    $6.27


Last Updated: Apr 21, 2023
Expert Advice from Local Travelers

We're asking our community members and registered users to contribute their experiences about San Francisco.

How can you save money during your time in San Francisco?

I took the Muni or the city bus whenever I could since they are cheaper than taxis and tour buses. I think you could also save by eating at some of the cheaper fast-food places in the mall or away from the tourist areas.

Michael
-
Apr 7 2024

We used to live in San Francisco and the best way to save money is to buy multi-day transportation passes and eat away from the main touristy areas. Polk Street has a lot of great restaurants.

Beth_18
-
Jun 3 2023

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Help other travelers! Answer a quick question about your past travels.

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San Francisco on a Budget
San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
San Francisco is a beautiful city that is famous for it's picturesque neighborhoods, liberal character, and stunning location on the bay. Some people describe San Francisco as the United State's most "European City." This title most likely comes from its compact development and its easy walkability. It also has no shortage of parks and public spaces where you can pass some time. The city sits on the end of a peninsula and offers stunning views of the blue bay, rolling green hills, and the striking Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco's climate is notoriously cool and foggy. The winters are damp while the summers are dryer but surprisingly chilly. Throughout the course of one day you can expect a variety of weather changes. Summer mornings often start with fog. Afternoons are warmer, but the chill and fog return again by the late afternoon. Winter is the rainy season, but temperatures are milder and sunny days may even have a warmer temperature than during the summer. Fall is a great time to visit because the fog is not a frequent and the rains have not yet arrived. San Francisco also has many microclimates that are created by the city's hills and coastal setting. It is not uncommon for one neighborhood to be experiencing dramatically different weather than another.

Be warned, summer days in San Francisco can get cold! (May to September) Pants and a light jacket are often required. While it doesn't actually rain very much, the fog affects the weather and brings in cold air from the sea, and you will get cold whether you believe it or not. The locals will be dressed for it, but you'll be chilly!
Sights
Sights throughout San Francisco are plentiful. Some of the most famous places to visit in the city include the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts, Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Piers along the water, and Lombard Street. In fact, all of these places are also fun things to do in San Francisco with kids, too.

The Painted Ladies are a famous and beautiful series of Victorian Row houses made popular by the San Francisco based sitcom, Full House. You can see them at Alamo Square along with a nice view of the city's skyline.

Furthermore, visitors can find plenty of hidden gems in San Francisco that can be found in local neighborhoods, and they make nice spots for picnics, a walk, shopping, or history buffs.

Some of the best parks in the city include Golden Gate Park, Lincoln Park, Mission Dolores Park, Baker Beach and China Beach. Several of the parks are also great spots for hikes in San Francisco where you can see amazing views over the ocean and of the skyline from a distance.
Neighborhoods
San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods. Each has its own character and personality.

Union Square and the Financial Districts are notable with tourists as this is where you'll find many hotels, shopping areas, and some entertainment. Fisherman's Wharf is also a popular area with tourists. It sits on the waterfront and has many famous sights such as Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square. Nob Hill is a notoriously upscale neighborhood, and from the top of the hill you can get great views of the bay and the financial district. Haight Ashbury is the crux of the "hippie" movement, although today it is little more than a tourist attraction along as well as a nice spot to grab some food and drinks. Golden Gate Park is also a wonderful place to explore, and Chinatown is a fun place to walk around and try dim sum dumplings.

Other neighborhoods that tourists frequent include North Beach, Castro, and Twin Peaks.

Activities
San Francisco is a large and vibrant city. It has no shortage of activities and events. There are boat tours of the bay, as well as concerts, shows and festivals throughout the year. For more information, read this article for a listing of some terrific and budget-friendly tours in San Francisco.

Popular festivals include the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, Chinese New Year, San Francisco Blues Festival, the International Film Festival and Bay to Breakers. With plenty of fun and unusual activities to do in San Francisco, you'll quickly learn why this city on the bay has earned its quirky reputation.

With so many things to do, it's really suggested that you spend at least a few days here. In fact, a 3-day itinerary of San Francisco is recommended so that you can see most of it.
Food and Dining
Food in San Francisco is wonderful, and you'll have any number of international options throughout the city. There is no shortage of Asian restaurants. Specifically, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese are quite abundant. If you're looking for some great meals at a reasonable price then avoid eating in the Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf neighborhoods. These restaurants are overpriced and cater almost exclusively to tourists. Instead, head into some residential neighborhoods and you'll find some wonderful local restaurant options. If you're looking for good Mexican food, go to the Mission neighborhood which has some wonderful taquerias.

Transportation
San Francisco is a compact city so walking around is very appealing. Many people are surprised at the steepness of the hills, so if you hope to cover any significant distance, plan your routes around hills wisely.

Public transportation is readily available in San Francisco, although it can be somewhat inefficient and frustrating. The system tends to be overcrowded, particularly if you're traveling during peak hours. There are several different modes of transport including the subway, streetcars, buses, trolley buses and cable cars. The Muni system includes the Metro subway, the buses, trolley buses and cable cars. The BART and Caltrain systems are regional and are not included in the Muni System.

Taxis in the city can be expensive and inefficient. In general, it is best to plan your day around public transit. This will save you both time and money. Driving is also not recommended. Traffic can be frustrating and parking is expensive and difficult to find. There is really no reason to have a car in the city.
Related
Looking for a party hostel in Las Vegas or San Diego? Traveling alone to NYC or LA? Want a budget hostel in San Francisco?

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.



1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.