A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America New York City vs. San Francisco for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit New York City or San Francisco?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for New York City 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

New York City

New York City is a energetic, cosmopolitan, and one-of-a-kind city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the theater, 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 York City and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Statue of Liberty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Golden Gate Bridge
Things to Consider
  • Less theater options
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less active music scene


Is there more to do in New York City or San Francisco?

You'll generally find more things to do in New York City than San Francisco. New York City is bigger than San Francisco, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. New York City is better known for its theatre productions, nightlife, music, and christmas markets, while San Francisco is more popular for its beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty. New York City is well known for its high-reaching skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, world-class theater scene, and endless energy. Also, New York City is famous for The Statue of Liberty. San Francisco is well known for its striking bayfront setting, stunning urban hikes, quirky personality, and reputation within the tech industry.

How is New York City 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 York City. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in New York City or San Francisco?

New York City
San Francisco

Spend time exploring the world-class sights and museums in either New York City or San Francisco.

Travelers visit New York City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building. This is a city that is filled with iconic landmarks and you could spend weeks here and still not see it all.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in San Francisco are among the most recognizable in the world. The city's landmarks are as diverse as the people who live there. The most recognizable landmark is the famous Golden Gate Bridge, but visitors also enjoy seeing Alcatraz Island, the Legion of Honor, the Palace of Fine Arts, as well as the small but fascinating Cable Car Museum.


Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Theater?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its shows and theatre. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for theatre.

Famous for its theaters and plays, you'll find world-renowned shows in New York City. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

San Francisco offers a number of shows and performances. The city has around a dozen theaters where you can enjoy musicals or plays.

Is the Food Better in New York City or San Francisco? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

New York City
San Francisco

Both New York City and San Francisco offer a number of world-class restaurants to choose from.

Eat your way through New York City, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, with everything from local dives to Michelin star options. There are many neighborhoods that are notable for their ethnic cuisine, particularly Little Italy and Chinatown. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

For foodies, San Francisco is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. 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. Head away from the touristy neighborhoods if you want to sample some of the more local restaurants around town.

Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Nightlife?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its evening party scene. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for nightlife.

New York City has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. There are world class bars and clubs, but also local venues that have a more relaxed atmosphere. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in San Francisco. It has a great nightlife with many local bars and trendy clubs. For the best nightlife away from the tourists, head to Valencia Street or Polk Street. If you want to be in a more touristy area, check out Union Square. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.


Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Music?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for live music.

New York City has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

You'll find some good live music in San Francisco. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.

Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Beaches?

New York City
San Francisco

San Francisco is an excellent place to visit for its beaches. However, New York City is not a beach destination.

Many people visit San Francisco for it's beautiful beaches. Whether you're interested in surfing or simply taking in the dramatic views, the beaches of San Francisco will take your breath away. Some of the best beaches include Ocean Beach, Baker Beach, and Muir Beach.

New York City is not a beach destination.

Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Hiking?

New York City
San Francisco

San Francisco is a must-visit destination for its hiking trails. However, New York City is not a hiking destination.

San Francisco is well-known for its hiking and trekking. The city's hikes take in the dramatic views of the bay and city. Just outside of town there are also countless hikes through the Redwoods and along the coastline. Popular hikes in the area include Lands End, Tomales Point Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore, and Muir Woods.

New York City is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in New York City or San Francisco?

New York City
San Francisco

Shoppers can find a variety of world-class stores in both New York City and San Francisco.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in New York City. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items. New York is known for its many flea markets where you can find vintage items at a good price. And if you're looking to pick up a souvenir shirt or knick knack, there are plenty of souvenir shops around town as well.

The abundance of shops in San Francisco make it a world-class shopping destination. 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 New York City or San Francisco Better for Christmas?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, San Francisco does not offer Christmas activities.

People travel from all around to experience the Christmas season in New York City. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.

San Francisco does not offer Christmas activities.

Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Christmas Markets?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is a great city for visiting Christmas markets. However, San Francisco does not offer Christmas markets.

The Christmas markets in New York City offer plenty to see during the holidays. There are a number of Christmas markets that pop up around town during the holiday season. Nothing will get you more in the holiday spirit than wandering these unique venues.

San Francisco does not offer Christmas markets.


Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Families?

New York City
San Francisco

San Francisco is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, New York City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, San Francisco is very family-friendly. With its many outdoor parks, hiking trails, beaches, and kid-friendly museums, this city makes a great family-friendly destination. There are also many amazing playgrounds with stunning views of the bay and city. Head to Chinatown for some unique and kid-friendly food, or down to Pier 39 for fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

New York City is a very kid-friendly city. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones. There are many kid-friendly restaurants as well and older kids will enjoy visiting the iconic landmarks in this world-class city.

Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Couples?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is an amazing city to visit for couples. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for romance.

New York City has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city. Whether you're interested in theater, the arts, music, or nightlife, this city has it all.

San Francisco is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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. There are also many scenic walks and breathtaking views that couples can appreciate.

Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City and San Francisco are both great destinations for backpackers.

New York City is very popular with the backpacker crowd. It isn't a particularly budget-friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd. This is probably one of the most popular cities for backpackers in the entire United States.

San Francisco is a great city to visit for backpackers. 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 New York City or San Francisco Better for Students?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its student-friendly activities. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for students.

New York City is a great destination for students. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Students come from all over to stay in 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.

Is New York City or San Francisco Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

New York City
San Francisco

Visitors will find world-class public transit in both New York City and San Francisco.

New York City has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of San Francisco can take you anywhere. The transit network includes a subway (the BART), trams, cable cars, ferries, and buses.

Is New York City or San Francisco a more walkable city?

New York City
San Francisco

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its walkability.

New York City is a very easy city to get around on foot. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

San Francisco is very walkable. 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.


For even more information, also check out Is New York City Worth Visiting? and Is San Francisco Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in San Francisco or New York City?

How long in New York City or San Francisco?

Both New York City and San Francisco have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, New York City has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in New York City than San Francisco. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in San Francisco than New York City. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in San Francisco, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in New York City than San Francisco. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in New York City that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in New York City than San Francisco if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in New York City.


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

One day in New York City or San Francisco?

New York City is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the scenic big city of San Francisco. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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.

A weekend in New York City or San Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New York City. 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. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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.

Five days in New York City or San Francisco?

New York City is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the scenic big city of San Francisco. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.


A week in New York City or San Francisco?

New York City is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Many travelers enjoy the theater and nightlife when visiting the beautiful coastal city of San Francisco. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, San Francisco or New York City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in New York City is $326, while the average daily cost in San Francisco is $222. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for New York City and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    San Francisco $130
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    San Francisco $260
Compare Hotels in New York City and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in New York City 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 York City


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: New York City Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    San Francisco $16
Typical Local Transportation Prices in New York City

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


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

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

  • Private Transfer: JFK Airport to Manhattan Up to 12pax: $600
  • Private Transfer: between Manhattan and Philadelphia: $528
  • La Guardia Airport Private Limousine Transfer: $489
  • Skip-the-line Tickets to Bronx Zoo with Private Transfers: $410
  • JFK Airport: Private Transfer to New York City: $400
  • JFK Airport To Manhattan Luxury SUV Transfer: $370
  • (EWR) Airport: Private Transfer to New York City: $325
  • (LGA) Airport: Private Transfer to New York City: $325
  • Family And Group Airport Transfer: $300
  • JFK Departure - Private Van Transfers to JFK Airport: $300
  • Skip the line One World Observatory Private Tour with Transfers : $296
  • Skip-the-line One World Observatory Tour with Transfers: $296

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:

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in San Francisco HTL-APT (SFO): $104
  • Transfer in private Minivan from San Francisco Downtown to Airport (SFO): $183
  • Transfer in private Minivan from San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Downtown city: $183
  • Transfer from San Francisco to San Francisco Cruise Port by Sedan: $127
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to East Bay (one way): $262
  • SFO Airport Private Transfer to Downtown: $120
  • Private Transfer from SFO Airport to downtown: $73
  • San Francisco to/from Yosemite National Park: 1-Way Transfer: $169
  • San Francisco to Yosemite One-Way Transfer: $169
  • San Francisco to San Francisco Airport Private Departure Transfer: $79
  • San Francisco to Oakland Airport (OAK) Private Departure Transfer: $64
  • San Francisco Airport 1-Way Transfer to/from the City: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into New York City or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and New York City 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 York City $50
    San Francisco $46
Typical Food Prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • New York, Queens Culinary Stroll : Food Tour on Foot: $26
  • Lower East Side and Essex Market Multicultural Food Tour: $39
  • Half-Day Private Pizza Crawl in Manhattan: $40
  • Ultimate Greenwich Village NYC Food Tour: $63
  • NYC: Greenwich Village Guided Food Tour: $63
  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Downtown Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Greenwich Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • East Village Food Tour: $65
  • West Village Pizza Walk: $65

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: $19
  • North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour: $79
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Bay: $82
  • Mission District Food Tour with Tastings: $85
  • Secret Food Tours San Francisco: $85
  • Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $87
  • San Francisco Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $89
  • Mission District Walking Food Tour: $89
  • Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco North Beach Food Tour: $89
  • Secret Food Tour of North Beach and Chinatown: $98
  • Mission: Street Art & Food Tour in San Francisco: $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New York City $180
    San Francisco $46
Typical Entertainment Prices in New York City

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


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • 3 Hour Session at Williamsburg's Adventure Park Area 53: $42
  • 9/11 Memorial Tour with Skip-the-Line Museum Ticket: $55
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Amish FarmNHouse Tour from NY: $137
  • Classic 1-Hour Central Park Pedicab Tour : $69
  • New York City Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village: $36
  • Private Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour: $190
  • THE VIP CARRIAGE RIDE with photo stops (50min) ~ Skip the line : $150
  • & Juliet on Broadway Ticket with VIP Experience and Lunch: $299
  • 1 Day Tour to Philadelphia and Hershey's Chocolate World: $195
  • 1 HR - NYC Private Classic Car Experience - Downtown: $249
  • 1 HR - NYC Private Classic Car Experience - Midtown: $75
  • 1 Hour Live Interactive Driving Virtual Tour of Manhattan: $200

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

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

  • Private Walking Tour in Muir Woods and Tickets : $20
  • 2 or 3 Hour Private Group San Francisco City Tour Open-air Jeep: $169
  • 2-Hour Double Decker City Tour of San Francisco: $73
  • 2-Hour Interactive Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2-Hour Sunset Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2-Hour Sunset or Evening Private Jeep Tour of San Francisco: $169
  • 2hr - INTERACTIVE Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2hr - SUNSET Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2hr PRIVATE Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay 6 Guests: $695
  • 3 Hour Sightseeing Small Group Guided Tour in San Francisco: $89
  • 3-Hour Private Group San Francisco Open Top Jeep Tour: $249
  • 3-Hour Private Muir Giant Redwoods Trees and Sausalito Tour: $203

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, The Best Museums in New York City, 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 York City $29
    San Francisco $22

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • NYC: Brooklyn Nightlife Pub Crawl: $17
  • Fall in Love with Brooklyn Nightlife - NYC's Best Bar Crawl : $19
  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $22
  • New York Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $27
  • Pub Crawl and Rooftop Clubbing Experience: $29
  • NYC: Boos & Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $38
  • New York Rooftop Pub Crawl: $39
  • NYC: Tour Manhattan's Only Whiskey Distillery with Tastings: $42
  • Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Broadway Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • Williamsburg Definitive Dive Bar Crawl with the Bar Buds: $70

Sample the Local Flavors in San Francisco

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in San Francisco:

  • Chinatown San Francisco’s Bar Crawl: An Audio Tour: $4.99
  • SF Pub Crawl and Clubbing Experience: $27
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Sunset Distillery with Local Whiskey or Cocktail Tasting: $40
  • Walk with Spirits: A Haunted Pub Crawl in San Francisco: $45
  • 2 to 3 Hour Bar Crawl in Castro San Francisco: $49
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $85
  • Small Group: Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour from San Francisco: $109
  • Half-Day Wine Country Tour with Wine Tastings: $126
  • The Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • From The Ultimate Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • Private Wine Tour Napa or Sonoma from $149 per person up to 6: $149


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between New York City and San Francisco, we can see that New York City 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 New York City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in New York City than you might in San Francisco.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is New York City Expensive? and Is San Francisco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, New York City or San Francisco?

New York City has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of San Francisco. When comparing the sizes of New York City and San Francisco, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit New York City 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 York City or San Francisco in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both New York City and San Francisco. Many visitors come to New York City in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to San Francisco for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, New York City is generally a little warmer than San Francisco. Daily temperatures in New York City average around 77°F (25°C), and San Francisco fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

New York City gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, New York City usually receives more rain than San Francisco. New York City gets 4.5 inches (114 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    New York City 77°F (25°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit New York City or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to New York City as well as San Francisco. Most visitors come to New York City for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

New York City is cooler than San Francisco in the autumn. The daily temperature in New York City averages around 57°F (14°C) in October, and San Francisco fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

New York City usually gets more rain in October than San Francisco. New York City gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    New York City 57°F (14°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit New York City or San Francisco in the Winter?

Both San Francisco and New York City are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to New York City because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

The weather in New York City can be very cold. In the winter, New York City is much colder than San Francisco. Typically, the winter temperatures in New York City in January average around 31°F (-1°C), and San Francisco averages at about 50°F (10°C).

In January, New York City usually receives less rain than San Francisco. New York City gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    New York City 31°F (-1°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit New York City or San Francisco in the Spring?

Both San Francisco and New York City during the spring are popular places to visit. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to New York City this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to San Francisco for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, New York City is generally cooler than San Francisco. Daily temperatures in New York City average around 52°F (11°C), and San Francisco fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

New York City usually gets more rain in April than San Francisco. New York City gets 3.8 inches (98 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    New York City 52°F (11°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and New York City

New York City San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 31°F (-1°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 42°F (6°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 52°F (11°C) 3.8 inches (98 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 76°F (24°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 68°F (20°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 36°F (2°C) 3.4 inches (88 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)