A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Miami vs. San Francisco for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Beaches

Should you visit Miami or San Francisco?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Miami and San Francisco can help you decide which place is right for you.

Miami

Miami is a diverse, bustling, and high energy beach city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the shopping, 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. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for food, beaches, and hiking.

Miami and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less active music scene


How is Miami different from San Francisco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Food?

Miami
San Francisco

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Miami and San Francisco can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Miami has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The city's food scene is as diverse as its population. It is known for its Stone Crabs, fish sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, and Key Lime pie.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, San Francisco is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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.


Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Nightlife?

Miami
San Francisco

Party-goers will usually choose Miami over San Francisco.

Miami has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. From the posh nightlife clubs in South Beach, to the local salsa dancing venues in Little Havana, Miami is a city that thrives with energy.

If you're looking for night time activities San Francisco has a few options to choose from. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.

Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Music?

Miami
San Francisco

Miami generally offers more live music options than San Francisco.

Miami is a world class music destination. Popular live music venues include Ball and Chain, Cafe La Trova, Flamingo Theater Bar.

The music scene helps keep San Francisco active and fun. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.

Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Beaches?

Miami
San Francisco

Miami and San Francisco are good choices for a beach vacation.

Many people head to Miami to enjoy the beach. If you're looking for long sandy beaches, luxury yacht clubs, and fine dining restaurants, the area's beaches have them all.

You'll have a great beach vacation in San Francisco. Whether you're interested in surfing or simply taking in the dramatic views, the beaches of San Francisco will take your breath away.

Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Shopping?

Miami
San Francisco

Shopping is a popular activity in both San Francisco and Miami.

Miami is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city has every high end brand you could want, along with diverse neighborhoods with local finds and unique purchases.

Known for shopping, San Francisco draws large crowds to its 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.


Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Families?

Miami
San Francisco

San Francisco offers a wider variety of activities for kids than Miami.

San Francisco is a very family-friendly place to visit. With its many outdoor parks, hiking trails, beaches, and kid-friendly museums, this city makes a great family-friendly destination.

For families, Miami is not always the best place to visit. Because it's so big, you'll find some kid-friendly options in the area. There are kid-friendly museums and activities around the city.

Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Couples?

Miami
San Francisco

Both Miami and San Francisco are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Couples visit Miami frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. For couples who love nightlife, wining and dining, and high end beach clubs, this is the place to be.

San Francisco is a great beach city if you're traveling as a couple. 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.

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

Miami
San Francisco

Miami and San Francisco are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Miami is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. This city is large enough to have something for everyone, so you'll find several hostels in the area that bring in the backpackers.

It's common for backpackers 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.

Is Miami or San Francisco Better for Students?

Miami
San Francisco

Miami and San Francisco are comparable places to visit for students.

Miami is popular with students. Spring break in Miami is the stuff of legends.

San Francisco is a great beach city to visit as a student. 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 Miami or San Francisco Better for Public Transit?

Miami
San Francisco

San Francisco provides more public transit options than Miami.

Public transit in San Francisco is top-notch. The transit network includes a subway (the BART), trams, cable cars, ferries, and buses.

While Miami offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's an elevated metrorail as well as buses around the city.

Is Miami or San Francisco a more walkable city?

Miami
San Francisco

Miami and San Francisco both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Miami is very walkable. Many parts of city are surprisingly walkable and pedestrian friendly, allowing you to eat out, go shopping, or explore without the need for a car.

San Francisco is a very walkable beach city. 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.

Should I spend more time in San Francisco or Miami?

How long in Miami or San Francisco?

Both Miami 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 Miami.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Miami is 7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Francisco is 3-7 days.


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

One day in Miami or San Francisco?

Miami is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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.

In San Francisco, many people enjoy the nightlife and live music that this one-of-a-kind big city offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Miami or San Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Miami. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Francisco. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Miami or San Francisco?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the diverse big city of Miami. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This beach city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

San Francisco is a fun place to experience. In San Francisco, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this big city destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Miami or San Francisco?

You'll find live music and food around the beach city of Miami. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. 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.

In San Francisco, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this outdoorsy big city offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Which city is cheaper, San Francisco or Miami?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Miami is $164, 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 Miami and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Miami $105
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Miami $210
    San Francisco $212
Compare Hotels in Miami and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Miami 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 Miami


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: Miami Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Miami $30
    San Francisco $13
Typical Local Transportation prices in Miami

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


  • Car Rental for a Day
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Miami

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Miami:

  • Roundtrip transfer from Miami International Airport to Key West: $1,500
  • Private Transfer from Miami Cruise Port to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $913
  • Private Transfer from Miami Airport to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $913
  • Private Transfer from Miami City to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $913
  • Private Transfer from Miami City to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $871
  • Private Transfer from Miami Cruise Port to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $871
  • Private Transfer from Miami Airport to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $871
  • Private Miami to Orlando Transfer for up to 11 - One Price - Mercedes Sprinter: $799
  • Private Transfer from Miami Cruise Port to Port Canaveral: $790
  • Private Transfer from Miami City to Port Canaveral: $790
  • Private Transfer from Miami Airport to Port Canaveral: $790
  • Transfer from Miami Beach to Orlando: $780

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: 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
  • Cruise Terminal to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Departure Private Transfer San Francisco to SFO Airport in Business Car: $84

Is it cheaper to fly into Miami or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Miami 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
    Miami $33
    San Francisco $32
Typical Food prices in Miami

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Miami:


  • Lunch with Drinks (for 2)
    $45
  • David's Cafe Lunch (for 1)
    $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Miami

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

  • Little Havana Street Food Tours: $61
  • Haitian Cooking Experience: $85
  • Private Little Havana Cuban Food Tour: $99
  • Private VIP Historical Citywide Food Tour: $159

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.
    Miami $25
    San Francisco $37

Tours and Activities in Miami

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

  • "Cigar Factory Tour": $35
  • 1 Hour Private Helicopter Tour of Miami and South Florida: $518
  • 1-Day Key West Tour ( Miami Departure ) ( MIA1-B ): $138
  • 1-Day Miami+Everglades Naitonal Park Tour ( Miami Departure )( MIA1-A ): $80
  • 1/2 Hour Jet Ski Island Adventure: $5.00
  • 10-Day Surf Adventure from Brisbane to Sydney Including Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Gold Coast: $2,371
  • 2 Hour Cycle Boat Tour: $50
  • 2-hour boat tour with Aquarius Boat Rental: $195
  • 3 Hour Private Sunset Sailboat Tour for up to 6 Complimentary beverages, snacks: $550
  • 3-hour tour with Aquarius Boat Rental: $248
  • 3.5-Hour Ultimate Learn to Surf Adventure: $35
  • 30 Minute Private Luxury Helicopter Sightseeing Tour of Miami: $299

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‚Äôs 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

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
    Miami $18
    San Francisco $15
Typical Alcohol prices in Miami

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Miami are as follows:


  • Evening at a Bar
    $32

Sample the Local Flavors in Miami

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Miami:

  • Making Your Own Gin Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience: $190

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 comparing the travel costs between Miami and San Francisco, we can see that San Francisco 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.


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

Both San Francisco and Miami during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Miami this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to San Francisco for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Miami is generally much warmer than San Francisco. Temperatures in Miami average around 83°F (28°C), and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Miami. Miami usually gets more rain in July than San Francisco. Miami gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Miami 83°F (28°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Miami or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Miami and San Francisco. Many travelers come to Miami for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to San Francisco in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Miami is a little warmer than San Francisco in the autumn. The temperature in Miami is usually 78°F (26°C) in October, and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

Miami gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Miami usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Miami gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Miami 78°F (26°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Miami or San Francisco in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Miami as well as San Francisco. Many visitors come to Miami in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to San Francisco for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, Miami is much warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the winter temperatures in Miami in January are around 67°F (20°C), and San Francisco is about 50°F (10°C).

Miami usually gets less rain in January than San Francisco. Miami gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Miami 67°F (20°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Miami or San Francisco in the Spring?

Both San Francisco and Miami are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Miami for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, Miami is generally much warmer than San Francisco. Temperatures in Miami average around 75°F (24°C), and San Francisco stays around 58°F (14°C).

In April, Miami usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Miami gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Miami 75°F (24°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Miami

Miami San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 79°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 83°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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Miami vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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