A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Houston vs. San Francisco

Should you visit Houston or San Francisco?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Houston 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. So, let's dig into it.

Houston

The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston is a sprawling urban center that has grown from its wealth in the oil industry. Visitors today are drawn to its cultural diversity which has additionally made Houston a foodie destination. Other attractions to Houston include its proximity to NASA's Space Center Houston on the Gulf coast, and its Downtown which features a vibrant museum and arts scene, shopping, and dining.

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 Houston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Houston is $210, while the average daily cost in San Francisco is $172. 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 Houston and San Francisco in more detail.




Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $226 for a double occupancy room in Houston.

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 $103, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $206.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Houston $113
    San Francisco $103
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Houston $226
    San Francisco $206


Food

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Houston for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

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
    Houston $28
    San Francisco $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $65
  • Culinary Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $67
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $74
  • The Heights Food Tour: $74

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

The average price of local transportation around Houston is $58 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

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.
    Houston $58
    San Francisco $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Private Transfer: Houston International Airport (HOU) to Houston: $622
  • Private Transfer: Houston to Houston International Airport (HOU): $622
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From George Bush Intercontinental Houston Airport to Houston City - One Way: $471
  • Sprinter Van IAH Transfer to Galveston: $462
  • Galveston Private Transfer - Houston Airport to Galveston Port/Hotel: $408
  • Sprinter Van Airport Transfer in Houston: $320
  • SUV Airport Transfer to Galveston: $299
  • Sedan Airport Transfer IAH to Galveston: $256
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston City to Houston Airport HOU by Minibus: $200
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston Airport HOU to Houston City by Sprinter Minibus: $200
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $187
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by Minibus: $175

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:

  • Airport Transfer between San Francisco Airport & City Center: $17
  • Airport Transfer: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to San Francisco: $116
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to Oakland in Business Car: $135
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to Oakland in a Luxury Car: $155
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by Luxury Car: $145
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by SUV: $125
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Airport SFO to Oakland by SUV: $151
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to City by Business Car: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to Oakland by Business Car: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to Oakland in Luxury Car: $120
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to San Francisco Luxury Car: $104
  • Carmel 1-Way Transfer to/from San Francisco Airport: $410


Entertainment

Houston's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $11 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

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.
    Houston $11
    San Francisco $37

Tours and Activities in Houston

Here are a few actual costs in Houston for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1-Day Houston City Tour ( Houston departure ) (HU1): $60
  • 1-Day Mexico Gulf+NASA Tour (Houston departure) (X1): $60
  • 2-Day Austin+San Antonio Tour (Huston departure)(HS2): $198
  • 2-Days New Orleans Tour (Houston departure)(HN2): $238
  • 3D Printer Factory Tour plus 2 ft Tall Rocket!: $31
  • 7-Day Texas Tour ( Houston departure ) ( APH7 ): $788
  • Astroville Light Rail Train Tour of Houston with Tunnel Access: $40
  • Astroville Rockets Basketball Game Day Tour with Tunnel Access: $36
  • Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $26
  • Astroville Weekend Downtown Houston Tour With Tunnel Access: $35
  • Audi R8 Supercar Experience at Grandsport Speedway: $435
  • Best City Tour 2 hours: $51

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Private Tour: 19th Century Gold Rush Exploration Game: $4.96
  • Syn City SF: The Synesthesia Walking Audio Tour of Haight-Ashbury by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • San Francisco's Barbary Past Walking Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Food, History, and Resistance: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of San Francisco's Japantown: $5.34
  • Union Square to Lotta's Fountain Walking Tour by VoiceMap: $5.40
  • Walk the Haight Audio Tour: Tune into San Francisco’s Hippie Counterculture: $5.99
  • San Francisco Private Tour: 70s Hippie Culture Exploration Game: $6.21
  • The Remarkable History of San Francisco's Glen Park and Glen Canyon Audio Tour: $7.55
  • Ultimate San Francisco Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Bike Tour of Tucson: $10
  • The Flyer San Francisco Admission Ticket: $12
  • San Francisco Scavenger Hunt: SF Park Tour and Haight-Ashbury Experience: $12


Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Houston may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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
    Houston $11
    San Francisco $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

Also in Houston, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Skip the Line: Distillery Tour Ticket: $21
  • Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $29
  • Brewery Tour: $53
  • Astroville Downtown Bar Crawl & Tunnel Access (2 Cocktails Beverages Included): $58
  • Bar Crawl with Tunnel Access and 2 Cocktails: $67
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • SUV St. Arnold Brewery Tour: $487

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 Houston and San Francisco, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is San Francisco much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Francisco would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Francisco 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 Houston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Houston than you might in San Francisco.

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Houston vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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