A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America New Orleans vs. San Francisco for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Families

Should you visit New Orleans or San Francisco?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between New Orleans and San Francisco can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

New Orleans

New Orleans is a festive, vibrant, and energetic city. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the food, nightlife, and live music.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a scenic, beautiful, and outdoorsy coastal city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

New Orleans and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for couples and romance
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Good for shopping
  • 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 New Orleans different from San Francisco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Food?

Foodies will find both New Orleans and San Francisco both to be unique destinations.

Many restaurants in New Orleans have been singled out for their culinary prowess. It's the birthplace of bananas foster and popular for it's gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and red beans and rice.

Eat your way through San Francisco, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. 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.

New Orleans
San Francisco


Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Nightlife?

The nightlife vibe is much better in New Orleans than San Francisco.

People head to New Orleans just to party. The nightlife scene is at its best during Mardi Gras. But year-round you'll find Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, spring breakers, and anyone who wants to enjoy a crazy time heads to New Orleans.

San Francisco has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.

New Orleans
San Francisco

Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Music?

More people head to New Orleans to see live music than to San Francisco.

New Orleans is known as a music capital around the world. The city is known for its music festivals that feature jazz, blues, and many other types of live music. The Jazz Festival is a great time to visit.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in San Francisco. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.

New Orleans
San Francisco

Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Shopping?

While New Orleans and San Francisco are both popular shopping destinations, overall San Francisco is considered to be better.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in San Francisco. 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.

If you're looking to go shopping, New Orleans has some nice offerings. New Orleans shopping is mostly centered around malls and chain stores.

New Orleans
San Francisco

Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Families?

San Francisco is considered to a better choice for families.

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

New Orleans doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. While there are some family-friendly activities in New Orleans like a zoo and several great parks, the city is more known for its parties and nightlife scene.

New Orleans
San Francisco


Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Couples?

Both New Orleans and San Francisco are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

New Orleans is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy a lively evening, fun festivals, and exploring absolutely amazing restaurants will enjoy a visit to New Orleans.

Couples visit San Francisco frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.

New Orleans
San Francisco

Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Students?

Both New Orleans and San Francisco are popular destinations for students.

Plenty of students visit New Orleans. Students head to New Orleans to enjoy spring break and Mardi Gras.

Many students visit San Francisco. 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.

New Orleans
San Francisco

Is New Orleans or San Francisco better for Public Transit?

San Francisco generally offers a better public transit system than New Orleans.

With a huge network, the transit system in San Francisco can get you around easily. The transit network includes a subway (the BART), trams, cable cars, ferries, and buses.

Public transit is generally limited in New Orleans. The city has streetcar lines and bus lines that you can use, but you'll want to have a car if you want to venture outside of these main areas.

New Orleans
San Francisco

Is New Orleans or San Francisco a more walkable city?

New Orleans and San Francisco are similar when it comes to walkability.

New Orleans is somewhat walkable. If you stick to the French Quarter and downtown areas, most things are walkable in New Orleans.

San Francisco is a very walkable 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.

New Orleans
San Francisco


Should I spend more time in San Francisco or New Orleans?

How long in New Orleans or San Francisco?

Both New Orleans 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 New Orleans.

The ideal length of time for a trip to New Orleans is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Francisco is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in New Orleans or San Francisco? Ideal Length of Stay
    New Orleans 2-3 
    San Francisco 3-7

One day in New Orleans or San Francisco?

Many travelers enjoy the food and nightlife when visiting the fun-filled destination of New Orleans. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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.

San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind coastal city where you can fill many days. It's also a great beach destination, too. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire area has lots to do.

A weekend in New Orleans or San Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New Orleans. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind big city where you can fill many days. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This coastal city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in New Orleans or San Francisco?

Travelers enjoy the live music and food when visiting the festive destination of New Orleans. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This 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 quirky coastal city where you can fill many days. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in New Orleans or San Francisco?

You'll find food and nightlife around the city of New Orleans. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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.

San Francisco is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Most people come for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this coastal city.

Which city is cheaper, San Francisco or New Orleans?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in New Orleans is $191, 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 New Orleans and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New Orleans $100
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New Orleans $200
    San Francisco $212
Compare Hotels in New Orleans and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in New Orleans 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 New Orleans


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New Orleans $41
    San Francisco $13
Typical Local Transportation prices in New Orleans

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New Orleans are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New Orleans

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

  • Private transfer: New Orleans Airport (MSY) to New Orleans: $622
  • LimoBus New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $400
  • 28 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $267
  • New Orleans Round Trip Airport Transfer: $256
  • Private Roundtrip Transfer: MSY to Hotel or Cruise Port by Executive Sprinter: $250
  • 25 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $237
  • 20 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $227
  • Private Transfer from Port Of New of New Orleans Cruise: $210
  • 14 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $203
  • 11 Passenger Executive Van: New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $197
  • Handicap New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $139
  • One-Way Private New Orleans Arrival or Departure Transfer: $135

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 New Orleans or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and New Orleans 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
    New Orleans $36
    San Francisco $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New Orleans

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

  • New Orleans Cooking Class: $34
  • New Orleans Lunch & Lesson: Cajun & Creole Cooking Class: $35
  • French Quarter Food Tour: $42
  • New Orleans Food Tour: $44
  • Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option: $50
  • Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Jazz Cruise with Optional Dinner: $52
  • Dinner at Tujague's Restaurant in New Orleans: $68
  • New Orleans French Quarter Food Tour: $69
  • French Quarter Food Tour: $75
  • New Orleans' Lower Garden Food Tour: $75
  • French Quarter Food Tour: $75
  • Lower Garden District Food Tour: $75

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.
    New Orleans $44
    San Francisco $37
Typical Entertainment prices in New Orleans

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New Orleans's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Zoo & Aquarium Tickets (2)
    $75
  • Riverboat Cruise
    $70
  • French Quarter City Tour
    $100

Tours and Activities in New Orleans

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

  • 2 Nights in French Quarter Hotel, City Tour and Attraction Pass: $565
  • 2-Hour French Quarter and Cemetery Tour: $20
  • 5 in 1 New Orleans Cemetery Tour: $20
  • 8-in-1 Combo Haunted Walking Tour in New Orleans: $27
  • A Locals' Drink Dat! Cocktail Tour: $120
  • A Locals' French Quarter Tour: $120
  • A Taste of Jazz, Bars & Drinks Private Tour: $108
  • A Walk in the Park: City Park New Orleans Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Adults Only - Ghost, True Crime, Voodoo, & Vampire Tour: $17
  • Adults Only Ghost, Voodoo, and Vampire Walking Tour: $27
  • American Adventure: Uptown Bike Tour in New Orleans: $50
  • Antique car chauffeured tour of New Orleans and/or transportation service: $60

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
    New Orleans $48
    San Francisco $15

Sample the Local Flavors in New Orleans

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New Orleans:

  • New Orleans Bar Hunt: New Orleans Ballin' Bar Crawl: $12
  • Big Easy Ghost and Vampire Pub Crawl: $20
  • Haunted Pub Crawl in New Orleans: $22
  • New Orleans Haunted Pub Crawl: $25
  • Haunted New Orleans Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • NOLA Distillery Tour: $28
  • Pub Crawl & Historical Chronicles Walking Tour: $30
  • Haunted Pub Tour: $35
  • Frenchmen Street Live Music Pub Crawl: $48
  • Frenchmen Street VIP Live Music Pub Crawl: $49

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 New Orleans and San Francisco, we can see that New Orleans 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 New Orleans 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 New Orleans or San Francisco in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both New Orleans and San Francisco. Most visitors come to New Orleans for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, New Orleans is generally much warmer than San Francisco. Temperatures in New Orleans average around 82°F (28°C), and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

New Orleans gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, New Orleans usually receives more rain than San Francisco. At this time of the year, New Orleans gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    New Orleans 82°F (28°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit New Orleans or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to New Orleans as well as San Francisco. The autumn months attract visitors to New Orleans because of the shopping scene and the music scene. Also, the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

New Orleans is a little warmer than San Francisco in the autumn. The temperature in New Orleans is usually 69°F (21°C) in October, and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

New Orleans usually gets more rain in October than San Francisco. New Orleans gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    New Orleans 69°F (21°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit New Orleans or San Francisco in the Winter?

Both San Francisco and New Orleans are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to New Orleans this time of year. Also, many travelers come to San Francisco for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

In the winter, New Orleans is around the same temperature as San Francisco. Typically, the winter temperatures in New Orleans in January are around 51°F (11°C), and San Francisco is about 50°F (10°C).

It's quite rainy in New Orleans. In January, New Orleans usually receives more rain than San Francisco. At this time of the year, New Orleans gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    New Orleans 51°F (11°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit New Orleans or San Francisco in the Spring?

Both San Francisco and New Orleans during the spring are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many visitors come to San Francisco in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, New Orleans is generally a little warmer than San Francisco. Temperatures in New Orleans average around 68°F (20°C), and San Francisco stays around 58°F (14°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in New Orleans. New Orleans usually gets more rain in April than San Francisco. New Orleans gets 4.5 inches (114 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    New Orleans 68°F (20°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and New Orleans

New Orleans San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 51°F (11°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 62°F (16°C) 5 inches (126 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 5.9 inches (151 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 6.2 inches (157 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (140 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 61°F (16°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 55°F (13°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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New Orleans vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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