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

Should you visit Detroit or San Francisco?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Detroit or San Francisco, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Detroit

Detroit is the largest city in the Midwestern state of Michigan. Near Downtown, the neoclassical Detroit Institute of Arts is famed for the Detroit Industry Murals painted by Diego Rivera, and inspired by the city's ties to the auto industry, giving it the nickname "Motor City." Detroit is also the birthplace of Motown Records, whose chart-topping history is on display at their original headquarters, Hitsville U.S.A.

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 Detroit?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Detroit is $107, 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Detroit and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Detroit can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $51, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $102.

The prices for places to stay in San Francisco can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $106, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $212.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Detroit $51
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Detroit $102
    San Francisco $212

Food

In Detroit travelers spend around $36 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

On average, meal and food prices in San Francisco cost around $32 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $13.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Detroit $36
    San Francisco $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

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

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $94
  • Detroit Revival Food Tours: $139

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
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: North Beach & Chinatown Food Tour: $66
  • North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour: $69
  • Mission District Walking Food Tour: $75
  • San Francisco North Beach 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
  • Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $82
  • 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

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Detroit than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $30 on transportation in Detroit on average per day.

San Francisco's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $13 per person, per day on transportation in San Francisco.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Detroit $30
    San Francisco $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW): $622
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $212
  • Private Transfer From Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Detroit City: One Way Arrival Transfer: $149
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $122
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $122
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $106
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $106
  • Transfer from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Detroit: $100
  • Detroit - Wayne County Airport One Way Transfer: $80
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $43

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: $83
  • San Fransisco Downtown to OAK Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $100
  • Private One-Way Airport Transfer: $220
  • San Francisco to/from Yosemite National Park: 1-Way Transfer: $109
  • 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 Hotels to San Francisco Airport Transfer: $109

Is it cheaper to fly into Detroit or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Detroit 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Detroit, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $17 per day, per person.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Francisco can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $37 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Detroit $17
    San Francisco $37

Tours and Activities in Detroit

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

  • 2020 Preservation Detroit Saturday Eastern Market Tour: $18
  • 90 minute Segway Experience: $64
  • Detroit Beer History Walking Tour: $39
  • Detroit Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $30
  • Detroit Walking Tour Including Rides on the People Mover: $29
  • Corktown is Popping! Small Group Walking Tour: $29
  • Downtown Detroit Walking Tour with a Local: $29
  • Foods and Flavors of Detroit Private Tour: $130
  • Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Entry & Guided Tour: $15
  • The Rise, Fall & Renewal Walking Tour: $29
  • Pre Mother's Day Detroit Shopping Tour: $49

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-Day Small-Group Napa Valley Tour for Wine Lovers: $209
  • 1-Hour Golden Gate and Lombard GoRide Scooter Tour: $54
  • 1.5-Hour Waterfront Mini Segway Tour: $55
  • 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-Hour San Francisco Bay Happy Hour & Cocktail Cruises: $35

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

Typically, people visiting Detroit spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In San Francisco, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Detroit $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
  • 3-Hour Pub Crawl in San Francisco: $18
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Tour: $58
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Crawl: $60
  • From Tri-Valley Half-Day Wine Tour: $75
  • Half-Day Sonoma Wine Tour: $100
  • San Francisco City & Wine tour: $115
  • Shore Excursion: Napa and Sonoma Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience Full-Day Tour: $135
  • Napa & Sonoma Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour with Optional Lunch: $135
  • Full-Day Muir Woods with Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour: $135
  • Chariot wine tour: $145
  • Viticulture with Charm: Sonoma Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco: $149


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Detroit and San Francisco, we can see that San Francisco is more expensive. And not only is Detroit much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Detroit would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Detroit 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 Detroit.

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
Detroit 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.