A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbus vs. San Francisco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Columbus or San Francisco?

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

Should I visit Columbus or San Francisco? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Columbus or San Francisco?

Columbus

The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.

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.

Which city is cheaper, San Francisco or Columbus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $126, while the average daily cost in San Francisco is $175. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbus and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    San Francisco $212
Compare Hotels in Columbus and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Columbus 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 Columbus


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: Columbus Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    San Francisco $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $87
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $87

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:

  • San Fransisco Downtown to OAK Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $83
  • San Fransisco Downtown to OAK Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $100
  • San Fransisco Downtown to OAK Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $83
  • San Francisco to San José Airport (SJC) - Departure Private Transfer: $160
  • San Francisco to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $85
  • San Francisco to Oakland Airport (OAK) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $105
  • San Francisco Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $130
  • San Francisco Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $150
  • San Francisco Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $130
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Private Transfers: $108
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $75

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Columbus 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
    Columbus $39
    San Francisco $32

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: $15
  • Traveling Spoon Pad Thai and Papaya Salad Private Online Cooking Class: $25
  • Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Cooking with Ale: let's make Tiramisu - private groups: $80
  • San Francisco Food Tour: Ferry Building and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: $80
  • American Cooking Class in San Francisco with a Local near Golden Gate Park: $82
  • San Francisco Chinatown Food Tour: $89
  • Russian Hill Gourmet Food Tour: $97
  • I Can't Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown - Food Tour: $98
  • Mamaz Social Food Arepa Class and Dinner: $100
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Francisco: $103
  • Hayes Valley Gourmet Food Tour: $108

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $37
    San Francisco $37

Tours and Activities in Columbus

For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Central Park Bike Tour: $53
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour: $60
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus: $11

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

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

  • 1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $55
  • 1-Hour Golden Gate and Lombard GoRide Scooter Tour: $54
  • 1HR San Francisco Chinatown and Downtown GoCar Tour: $71
  • 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $79
  • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour & Alcatraz: $150
  • 2-Day Muir Woods and Wine Country Tour from San Francisco: $569
  • 2-Day San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour + Night Tour: $79
  • 2-Day Yosemite National Park Tour from San Francisco: $499
  • 2-Day Yosemite National Park Winter Tour from San Francisco: $589
  • 2-day Monterey & Yosemite Small Group Tour from San Francisco: $495
  • 2HR Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Loop GoCar Tour: $131
  • 2HR Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio GoRide Scooter Tour: $82

For more ideas for your next trip, check out 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
    Columbus $16
    San Francisco $15

Sample the Local Flavors in San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Bar Hunt: Soul of San Francisco Bar Crawl: $12
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Crawl: $60
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $70
  • Half-Day Sonoma Wine Tour: $100
  • Shore Excursion: Napa and Sonoma Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience Full-Day Tour: $135
  • San Francisco City & Wine tour: $140
  • Chariot wine tour: $145
  • From Full-Day Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $149
  • Viticulture with Charm: Sonoma Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco: $149
  • Small Group Redwoods and Wine Country Trip Including Wine Tasting and Cave Tour: $152
  • Small Group Muir Woods with Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $169
  • The Perfect Blend: Napa and Sonoma Combo Wine Tour from San Francisco: $169


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and San Francisco, we can see that San Francisco is more expensive. And not only is Columbus much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbus would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbus and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in San Francisco would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Francisco than you might in Columbus.


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

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Columbus or San Francisco in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and San Francisco. Furthermore, many visitors come to San Francisco in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Columbus is generally a little warmer than San Francisco. Temperatures in Columbus average around 77°F (25°C), and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

Columbus gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Columbus usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Columbus or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Columbus as well as San Francisco. Additionally, most visitors come to San Francisco for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Columbus is cooler than San Francisco in the autumn. The temperature in Columbus is usually 57°F (14°C) in October, and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

Columbus usually gets more rain in October than San Francisco. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Columbus or San Francisco in the Winter?

Both San Francisco and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, the winter months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Columbus can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Columbus is much colder than San Francisco. Typically, the winter temperatures in Columbus in January are around 30°F (-1°C), and San Francisco is about 50°F (10°C).

In January, Columbus usually receives less rain than San Francisco. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Columbus or San Francisco in the Spring?

Both San Francisco and Columbus during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

In April, Columbus is generally cooler than San Francisco. Temperatures in Columbus average around 54°F (12°C), and San Francisco stays around 58°F (14°C).

Columbus usually gets more rain in April than San Francisco. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Columbus

Columbus San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Columbus vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.