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?

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

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

Where Should I go: Detroit or San Francisco?

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 $112, 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 Detroit and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Detroit $56
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Detroit $112
    San Francisco $212
Compare Hotels in Detroit and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Detroit 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 Detroit


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: Detroit Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • 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: $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 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.





Food
  • 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
  • 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.
    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
  • 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-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
    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
  • 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 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.


When is the best time to visit Detroit 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 Detroit or San Francisco in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Detroit and San Francisco. Furthermore, the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

In the summer, Detroit is a little warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the summer temperatures in Detroit in July are around 74°F (24°C), and San Francisco is about 63°F (17°C).

In July, Detroit usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Detroit gets 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Detroit 74°F (24°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Detroit or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Detroit as well as San Francisco. Additionally, many travelers 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.

In October, Detroit is generally cooler than San Francisco. Temperatures in Detroit average around 54°F (12°C), and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

Detroit usually gets more rain in October than San Francisco. Detroit gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Detroit or San Francisco in the Winter?

Both San Francisco and Detroit are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to San Francisco in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Detroit. Detroit is much colder than San Francisco in the winter. The temperature in Detroit is usually 25°F (-4°C) in January, and San Francisco stays around 50°F (10°C).

In January, Detroit usually receives less rain than San Francisco. Detroit gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Detroit or San Francisco in the Spring?

Both San Francisco and Detroit during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, most visitors come to San Francisco for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Detroit is much colder than San Francisco. Typically, the spring temperatures in Detroit in April are around 49°F (9°C), and San Francisco is about 58°F (14°C).

Detroit usually gets more rain in April than San Francisco. Detroit gets 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Detroit 49°F (9°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Detroit

Detroit San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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Detroit vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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