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

Should you visit Sacramento or San Francisco?

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

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

Where Should I go: Sacramento or San Francisco?

Sacramento

Sacramento is the capital city and one of the oldest cities in the state of California. It was founded in 1849 in the midst of the Gold Rush, and has since grown to a population of over 500,000 people. The atmosphere is more laid back than most major cities, and its heritage is rooted in the Gold Rush and Transcontinental Railroad era.

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 Sacramento?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sacramento is $225, 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 Sacramento and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sacramento $88
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sacramento $176
    San Francisco $212

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sacramento $41
    San Francisco $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $455
  • Private transfer from Sacramento to SFO: $340
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $228
  • Private Sacramento Transfer Airport to Hotel: $150
  • Private Sacramento Transfer Hotel to Airport: $150
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address- RoundTrip Private Transfer: $144
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Roseville City - One Way: $144
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Sacramento City - One Way: $73
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer: $72
  • Sacramento City to Sacramento Airport (SMF) - Departure Private Transfer: $72

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 Sacramento or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Sacramento 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
    Sacramento $42
    San Francisco $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sacramento

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

  • Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour: $82
  • Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour: $85

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.
    Sacramento $15
    San Francisco $37

Tours and Activities in Sacramento

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

  • California Gold Rush: The Sacramento Grid on a Self-Guided Bicycle Audio Tour: $8.30
  • Sacramento Historic River Cruise: $30
  • Sacramento Historic River Cruise: $20
  • Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Sacramento Sutter District History and Food Walking Tour: $78
  • Sacramento Urban Murals: Cycle the streets of Sacramento with an audio tour: $5.00
  • Rock The Yacht River Cruise: $33

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
    Sacramento $9.31
    San Francisco $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Bar Hunt: Sacramento Sprint Bar Crawl: $12
  • Bk Best Wine Tasting Tours Amador County 4 Hour Chevrolet Suburban Passengers 7: $385
  • 4 Hour Private Amador County Wine Tasting Tours Mercedes Sprinter Passengers Van: $409
  • Amador Wine Tour from Sacramento: $436
  • 6 Hour Wine Tasting Tours Napa Valley Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passengers Van: $625

Sample the Local Flavors in San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Bar Hunt: Soul of San Francisco Bar Crawl: $12
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Crawl: $60
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $70
  • Half-Day Sonoma Wine Tour: $100
  • Shore Excursion: Napa and Sonoma Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience Full-Day Tour: $135
  • San Francisco City & Wine tour: $140
  • Chariot wine tour: $145
  • From Full-Day Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $149
  • Viticulture with Charm: Sonoma Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco: $149
  • Small Group Redwoods and Wine Country Trip Including Wine Tasting and Cave Tour: $152
  • Small Group Muir Woods with Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $169
  • The Perfect Blend: Napa and Sonoma Combo Wine Tour from San Francisco: $169


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


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

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

In the summer, Sacramento is a little warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the summer temperatures in Sacramento in July are around 76°F (24°C), and San Francisco is about 63°F (17°C).

In July, Sacramento usually receives less rain than San Francisco. At this time of the year, Sacramento gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Sacramento 76°F (24°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Sacramento or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Sacramento as well as San Francisco. Additionally, many travelers come to San Francisco for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Sacramento is generally around the same temperature as San Francisco. Temperatures in Sacramento average around 64°F (18°C), and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

Sacramento usually gets less rain in October than San Francisco. Sacramento gets 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Sacramento 64°F (18°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Sacramento or San Francisco in the Winter?

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

Sacramento is cooler than San Francisco in the winter. The temperature in Sacramento is usually 45°F (7°C) in January, and San Francisco stays around 50°F (10°C).

In January, Sacramento usually receives around the same amount of rain as San Francisco. At this time of the year, Sacramento gets 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Sacramento 45°F (7°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Sacramento or San Francisco in the Spring?

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

In the spring, Sacramento is around the same temperature as San Francisco. Typically, the spring temperatures in Sacramento in April are around 58°F (15°C), and San Francisco is about 58°F (14°C).

Sacramento usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as San Francisco. Sacramento gets 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Sacramento 58°F (15°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Sacramento

Sacramento San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 45°F (7°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 51°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 58°F (15°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 76°F (24°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 72°F (22°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 45°F (7°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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Sacramento vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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