A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boston vs. San Francisco for Attractions, Food, Families, and Nightlife

Should you visit Boston or San Francisco?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Boston and San Francisco. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Boston

Boston is a loyal, historic, and traditional city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the theater, nightlife, and live music.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a quirky, eccentric, and one-of-a-kind coastal city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for hiking, shopping, and museums.

Boston and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Boston or San Francisco?

You'll generally find more things to do in San Francisco than Boston. San Francisco is bigger than Boston, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. San Francisco is better known for its food, beaches, hiking, shopping, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Boston is more popular for its theatre productions, nightlife, historical sights, christmas markets, and quaint atmosphere. San Francisco is more touristy than Boston and is popular for its striking bayfront setting, stunning urban hikes, quirky personality, and reputation within the tech industry. Also, San Francisco is famous for The Golden Gate Bridge. Boston is well known for its enthusiastic sports fans, influential history, beautiful parks, and world-class universities.

How is Boston different from San Francisco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between San Francisco and Boston. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boston or San Francisco?

Boston
San Francisco

Both Boston and San Francisco have world-class landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Boston that are not to be missed. The city itself feels like a living museum. It is famous for Faneuil Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, the USS Constitution, as well as the many sites along the Freedom Trail. There are also many museums on the campuses of the world renowned universities in the city.

The museums and tourist attractions in San Francisco are world-renowned. The city's landmarks are as diverse as the people who live there. The most recognizable landmark is the famous Golden Gate Bridge, but visitors also enjoy seeing Alcatraz Island, the Legion of Honor, the Palace of Fine Arts, as well as the small but fascinating Cable Car Museum.


Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Theater?

Boston
San Francisco

Boston is a great city for its shows and theatre. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for theatre.

Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Boston. The city has many historic, beautifully restored theaters where you can enjoy a show. Head to the theater district for some of the most famous venues.

San Francisco offers a number of shows and performances. The city has around a dozen theaters where you can enjoy musicals or plays.

Is the Food Better in Boston or San Francisco? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boston
San Francisco

San Francisco is an unbeatable place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Eat your way through San Francisco, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. There are local dives as well as five star restaurants, with everything in between. Popular local dining experiences include sourdough bread bowls and Dungeness crab at Fisherman's Wharf, and dim sum in Chinatown. Head away from the touristy neighborhoods if you want to sample some of the more local restaurants around town.

Boston has a huge number of terrific restaurants. There are many local dishes that utilize fresh caught seafood and comfort food flavors. The cuisine also takes advantage of the city's Italian and Irish populations. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans. You'll find hearty sandwiches and filling meals that warm your soul.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Nightlife?

Boston
San Francisco

Boston is a great city for its evening party scene. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for nightlife.

The nightlife in Boston has something for everybody. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events. The nightlife scene is varied, with some areas catering to the student population and other areas focused on the professional or sport-loving crowds.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in San Francisco. It has a great nightlife with many local bars and trendy clubs. For the best nightlife away from the tourists, head to Valencia Street or Polk Street. If you want to be in a more touristy area, check out Union Square. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.


Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Music?

Boston
San Francisco

Both Boston and San Francisco offer notable live music venues.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Boston. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.

The music scene in San Francisco is active and vibrant. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Beaches?

Boston
San Francisco

San Francisco is notable for its beaches. However, Boston is a mediocre city for the beache.

Many people visit San Francisco for it's beautiful beaches. Whether you're interested in surfing or simply taking in the dramatic views, the beaches of San Francisco will take your breath away. Some of the best beaches include Ocean Beach, Baker Beach, and Muir Beach.

You can check out the beach in Boston. There are a few urban beaches in the greater Boston area that you can explore on a nice day.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for its Old Town?

Boston
San Francisco

Boston is an amazing city to visit for its historic old town charm. However, San Francisco does not have a historic old town.

Boston offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. Boston is famous for its Freedom Trail, which takes visitors around the city's rich history. The oldest parts of the city are known as Boston Proper and include the neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Historic Downtown, the North End, and the West End.

San Francisco does not have a historic old town.


Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Hiking?

Boston
San Francisco

San Francisco is an unbeatable place for the nearby hiking options. However, Boston is not a hiking destination.

San Francisco is well-known for its hiking and trekking. The city's hikes take in the dramatic views of the bay and city. Just outside of town there are also countless hikes through the Redwoods and along the coastline. Popular hikes in the area include Lands End, Tomales Point Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore, and Muir Woods.

Boston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Boston or San Francisco?

Boston
San Francisco

San Francisco is an unbeatable place for shopping. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

San Francisco is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city has excellent shopping from local vendors to recognizable brands. Union Square, Embarcadero, Fillmore Street and Haight Street are some of the best neighborhoods for shopping.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Boston. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops. There are luxury brands and boutique venues that sell local art or crafts.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Christmas?

Boston
San Francisco

Boston is a great city for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, San Francisco does not offer Christmas activities.

Boston is a very popular destination during Christmas. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

San Francisco does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Christmas Markets?

Boston
San Francisco

Boston is a great city for visiting Christmas markets. However, San Francisco does not offer Christmas markets.

The Christmas markets in Boston offer plenty to see during the holidays. There are a number of European style Christmas markets that pop up during the holiday season around town.

San Francisco does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Families?

Boston
San Francisco

Both Boston and San Francisco are world-class family-friendly destinations.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Boston is very family-friendly. It's filled with history, but there are also many activities for kids who need a break from all of the historical stuff. Popular activities for all ages include the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and exploring the waterfront, gardens, and parks around town.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, San Francisco is a very family-friendly destination. With its many outdoor parks, hiking trails, beaches, and kid-friendly museums, this city makes a great family-friendly destination. There are also many amazing playgrounds with stunning views of the bay and city. Head to Chinatown for some unique and kid-friendly food, or down to Pier 39 for fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Couples?

Boston
San Francisco

San Francisco is notable for romance. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

San Francisco is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples enjoy the romantic backdrop of this beautiful city. There are world-class restaurants and plenty of spas that couples can enjoy during a honeymoon or romantic getaway. There are also many scenic walks and breathtaking views that couples can appreciate.

Boston makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy history will enjoy exploring the city. Take a swan boat ride in the Public Garden and wander the unique route along the Freedom Trail. There are also many sporting and entertainment options around town.


Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boston
San Francisco

San Francisco is notable for backpackers. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit San Francisco. The city is one of the more backpacker friendly cities in the United States. There are a handful of hostels throughout, many concentrated in the popular Union Square and Downtown neighborhoods of the city.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Boston. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Students?

Boston
San Francisco

Boston is an amazing city to visit for its student-friendly activities. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for students.

Boston is a great destination for students. It is a city of students, with a number of world renowned universities located here including Harvard University, Boston College, and MIT. Many neighborhoods are filled with students and there are many student-centered activities around town including festivals and an active nightlife scene.

Students come from all over to stay in San Francisco. As a large and dynamic city, the area is popular with international students who want to experience this unique side of the United States. Major universities in the area include University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and nearby, the University of California, Berkeley.

Is Boston or San Francisco Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Boston
San Francisco

Both Boston and San Francisco offer world-class public transit options.

Visitors in Boston can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.

San Francisco has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The transit network includes a subway (the BART), trams, cable cars, ferries, and buses.


Is Boston or San Francisco a more walkable city?

Boston
San Francisco

Boston is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its walkability.

Boston is a very easy city to get around on foot. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.

San Francisco is very walkable. It is compact enough to explore on foot, but given the large hills, it's a bit of a challenge, even for the most fit among us.

For even more information, also check out Is Boston Worth Visiting? and Is San Francisco Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in San Francisco or Boston?

How long in Boston or San Francisco?

Both Boston and San Francisco have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in San Francisco than in Boston. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Boston, and 3-7 days is enough time in San Francisco.

Families should spend more time in Boston than San Francisco. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Boston, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in San Francisco than Boston. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in San Francisco that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in San Francisco than Boston if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in San Francisco.


  • How many days in Boston or San Francisco? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boston 3-5 
    San Francisco 3-7

One day in Boston or San Francisco?

Boston is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Many travelers enjoy the live music and food when visiting the big city destination of San Francisco. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Boston or San Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boston. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

San Francisco is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Boston or San Francisco?

Boston is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Francisco. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Boston or San Francisco?

You'll find theater and nightlife around the city of Boston. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the one-of-a-kind big city of San Francisco. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.


Which place is cheaper, San Francisco or Boston?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Boston is $254, while the average daily cost in San Francisco is $222. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Boston and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boston $166
    San Francisco $130
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boston $332
    San Francisco $260
Compare Hotels in Boston and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Boston or San Francisco? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Boston


Hotels in San Francisco


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Boston Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boston $35
    San Francisco $16
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Boston

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Boston are as follows:


  • Taxi
    $35
  • Subway Daily Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Boston:

  • Flynn Cruiseport Private Transfer to Boston: $689
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $300
  • Boston Logan Airport to Killington/Okemo Private Transfer: $286
  • Private Transfer from Boston Airport to Providence RI: $254
  • Boston Logan Airport (BOS): Private Transfer to Boston city: $245
  • Flynn Cruise port Boston to Boston hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer : $233
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Boston (hotel OR airport pick-up): $181
  • Boston’s Logan International Airport to Providence – Arrival Private Transfer : $171
  • Boston Airport (BOS): Transfer to Flynn Cruise Port Boston: $169
  • Limo Private Transfer Boston to Logan International Airport : $160
  • Limo Private Transfer Logan International Airport to Boston: $160
  • Private Transfer in Boston (BOS) Airport/Home/Hotel/Work : $160

Typical Local Transportation Prices in San Francisco

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in San Francisco:


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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Francisco

Also for San Francisco, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • One-way Private Airport Transfer in San Francisco: $10
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer (San Francisco Airport To/From San Francisco): $16
  • Transfer in private vehicle from San Francisco Airport to City: $35
  • Private Transfer SFO Airport to/ from San Francisco: $43
  • San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Oakland - Arrival Private Transfer: $44
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Francisco Airport SFO: $44
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Francisco Airport SFO: $44
  • Transfer in private vehicle from San Francisco City to Airport: $55
  • San Francisco to Oakland Airport (OAK) Private Departure Transfer: $64
  • San Francisco to San Francisco Airport Private Departure Transfer: $79
  • San Francisco Airport to San Francisco Private Arrival Transfer: $79
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from-to Airport in San Francisco: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Boston or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Boston change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Boston $49
    San Francisco $46

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boston

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Boston.

  • Self Guided "The North End Pizza, Cannoli and Picnic" Solo Walking Tour : $5.50
  • AM Coffee Walks with Salem Food Tours: $32
  • Boston's North End Pizza & History Walking Food Tour: $49
  • North End Pizza Tour with 3 Slices and Cannoli: $55
  • North End Food Experience with Pizza, Meats & Cheese: $68
  • Boston's North End Food Tour Small Group Walking Tour: $75
  • Boston's North End Small Group Food Tour : $81
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor: $85
  • Boston's North End: Secret Food Tour: $87
  • Ultimate Boston Food Tour: Freedom Trail & North End: $89
  • The Ultimate Food Tour: $89
  • Union Square, Somerville Neighborhood Food Tour: $90

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Francisco

For San Francisco, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • San Francisco Virtual Food Tour with Local Guide: $19
  • North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour: $79
  • Secret Food Tours San Francisco: $84
  • Mission District Food Tour with Tastings: $85
  • San Francisco North Beach and Chinatown - Secret Food Tours: $86
  • San Francisco Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $86
  • Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $87
  • San Francisco North Beach Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco Chinatown Food Tour: $89
  • Mission District Food Tour: $89
  • Mission District Walking Food Tour: $89
  • Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boston $33
    San Francisco $46
Typical Entertainment Prices in Boston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Boston are as follows:


  • Two Tickets to Celtics Game
    $101
  • Duck Tour
    $32

Tours and Activities in Boston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Boston are as follows:

  • Boston Massachusetts Private Photography Tour: $130
  • "Ghosts of Boston" Walking Ghost Tour: $25
  • "Witch Trials" Walking Tour in Salem: $25
  • 1 If By Land Walking Tours: History Walking Tour of Boston: $45
  • 1 or 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with Harbor Cruise Option: $46
  • 1-Day Tour to Portland-Maine from Boston: $175
  • 1692 Salem Day Tour: $32
  • 1692 Salem Night Walking Tour: $32
  • 2 Hour North End 'Little Italy' Walking Tour : $35
  • 2-Day Niagara Falls USA & Secret Cavern Tour from Boston: $229
  • 2-Hour Beacon Hill True Crime Expert Guided Tour: $35
  • 90-Minute Historical Walking Tour in Boston: $34

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Francisco.

  • San Francisco self-guided tour App - multilingual AudioGuide: $4.31
  • Historical San Anselmo: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.24
  • Syn City SF: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Haight-Ashbury: $5.34
  • San Francisco's Barbary Past: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Self Guided Chinatown Tour: Food, History and Culture: $5.99
  • San Francisco’s Chinatown on foot: A Self Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Embarcadero Self-Guided Audio Smartphone Tour: $5.99
  • Walk the Haight: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of SF’s Hippie Counterculture: $6.47
  • The Ghosts of San Francisco Haunted Audio App Walking Tour: $6.99
  • Ghosts & Hauntings Audio App Walking Tour: $6.99
  • Food, History, and Resistance: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour of Japantown & Stories: $6.99

For more ideas for your next trip, check out Free Things to Do in Boston, Must-See Monuments and Memorials In Boston, The Best Things To Do in Boston with Kids, The Best Museums in San Francisco, The Best Outdoor Activities in San Francisco, and Things to Do In San Francisco on a Rainy Day.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boston $27
    San Francisco $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Haunted Pub Crawl of Historic Pubs and Taverns: $30
  • Boston Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Salem Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • Boston Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl : $34
  • Salem Booze and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl by US Ghost Adventures: $35
  • Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • History Pub Crawl Tour Along the Freedom Trail: $59
  • Boston Small-Group Freedom Trail History Tour Pub Crawl: $60
  • Boston Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $105

Sample the Local Flavors in San Francisco

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in San Francisco:

  • Private Self Guided Tour and Bar Crawl in Chinatown San Francisco: $4.00
  • Chinatown San Francisco’s Bar Crawl: An Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Walk with Spirits: A Haunted Pub Crawl in San Francisco: $45
  • 2 to 3 Hour Bar Crawl in Castro San Francisco: $49
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $85
  • Private Wine Tour Napa or Sonoma from $99 per person up to 7 & Concierge Service: $99
  • San Francisco Napa and Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $125
  • Half-Day Wine Country Tour with Wine Tastings: $126
  • The Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • From The Ultimate Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • The Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $139


When comparing the travel costs between Boston and San Francisco, we can see that Boston is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Boston Expensive? and Is San Francisco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Boston or San Francisco?

San Francisco has a larger population, and is about 24% larger than the population of Boston. When comparing the sizes of Boston and San Francisco, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Boston or San Francisco?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Boston or San Francisco in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Boston as well as San Francisco. Many visitors come to Boston in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to San Francisco for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Boston is generally a little warmer than San Francisco. Daily temperatures in Boston average around 73°F (23°C), and San Francisco fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

Boston usually gets more rain in July than San Francisco. Boston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Boston 73°F (23°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Boston or San Francisco in the Autumn?

Both San Francisco and Boston are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Boston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Boston is cooler than San Francisco in the autumn. The daily temperature in Boston averages around 54°F (12°C) in October, and San Francisco fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

In October, Boston usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Boston gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Boston 54°F (12°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Boston or San Francisco in the Winter?

Both San Francisco and Boston during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Boston because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

The weather in Boston can be very cold. In the winter, Boston is much colder than San Francisco. Typically, the winter temperatures in Boston in January average around 29°F (-2°C), and San Francisco averages at about 50°F (10°C).

Boston usually gets less rain in January than San Francisco. Boston gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Boston 29°F (-2°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Boston or San Francisco in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Boston and San Francisco. The beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Boston this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to San Francisco for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, Boston is generally much colder than San Francisco. Daily temperatures in Boston average around 48°F (9°C), and San Francisco fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

In April, Boston usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Boston gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Boston 48°F (9°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Boston

Boston San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)