A Travel Price Comparison for California San Diego vs. San Francisco for Attractions, Food, Beaches, and Hiking

Should you visit San Diego 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 San Diego 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.

San Diego

San Diego is a relaxed, outdoorsy, and idyllic coastal city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a eccentric, one-of-a-kind, and scenic coastal city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

San Diego and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Golden Gate Bridge


Is there more to do in San Diego or San Francisco?

Visitors will generally find more to do in San Francisco than San Diego. While San Diego is larger than San Francisco, San Francisco has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. San Francisco is more popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, hiking, shopping, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while San Diego is known for its nightlife, music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and quaint atmosphere. San Diego is popular for its relaxed coastal atmosphere, its many kid-friendly sights, and its beautiful beaches with critter-filled tidal pools. San Francisco is popular for its striking bayfront setting, stunning urban hikes, quirky personality, and reputation within the tech industry. It is also home to The Golden Gate Bridge.

How is San Diego different from San Francisco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in San Diego or San Francisco?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is renowned for its historical sights. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its sights and museums.

The museums and tourist attractions in San Francisco are world-renowned. 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.

San Diego offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.


Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Theater?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is a good destination for its theatre productions. However, San Diego is not a theatre destination.

If you have some extra time in San Francisco, take in a show. The city has around a dozen theaters where you can enjoy musicals or plays.

San Diego is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in San Diego or San Francisco? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is renowned for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

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. Head away from the touristy neighborhoods if you want to sample some of the more local restaurants around town.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. There are many casual dining options that serve informal foods like burgers or salads, but there are also award-winning fine dining restaurants with elegant atmospheres. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Nightlife?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Diego is a great coastal city for its evening party scene. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for nightlife.

The nightlife in San Diego has something for everybody. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues. There's a young student population that keeps the nightlife scene casual and fun.

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 San Diego or San Francisco Better for Music?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Diego is a great coastal city for its music scene. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for live music.

San Diego has a thriving music scene. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

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 San Diego or San Francisco Better for Resorts?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Diego is a nice place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, San Francisco is not a resort destination.

San Diego has a few great resort options. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.

San Francisco is not a resort destination.

Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Diego is a nice place to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, San Francisco is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

San Diego has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. Popular snorkeling and diving spots include La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay, and Turtle Town. The water's a bit chili, but it's still worth going for a dive or popping on a mask and snorkeling around for a bit.

San Francisco is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Beaches?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Diego is an amazing coastal city to visit for the beach. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its beaches.

The beaches in San Diego are among the best in the world. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Adults and kids alike will enjoy hitting the beach when the tides are out and looking for local critters in the tidal pools. Popular beaches in the area include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.

The beaches at San Francisco attract visitors from all over. 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.

Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Hiking?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is renowned for hiking. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for the nearby hiking options.

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.

San Diego is a popular spot for hiking. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. There is plenty of urban hiking in town, or you can visit more natural areas just out of town. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Is the Shopping Better in San Diego or San Francisco?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its shopping areas.

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.

Many visitors go to San Diego to go shopping. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping. There are suburban shopping malls in the area as well as souvenir shops in the more touristy areas.


Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Families?

San Diego
San Francisco

Both San Diego and San Francisco are world-class family-friendly destinations.

With a huge array of activities for kids, San Diego is very family-friendly. The city is filled with kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world-class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more. The year-round warm weather makes it easy to spend plenty of time outdoors in parks, playgrounds, and beaches where kids can stretch their legs and run around.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, 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. 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.

Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Couples?

San Diego
San Francisco

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

San Diego has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. The beaches offer a great playground for adults who enjoy the water and warm weather. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

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 San Diego or San Francisco Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is great for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for backpackers.

Many backpackers 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.

Plenty of budget travelers visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.


Is San Diego or San Francisco Better for Students?

San Diego
San Francisco

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

San Diego is a great destination for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego. There are also many great outdoor activities for the adventurous.

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

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is renowned for times when you don't have a car. However, San Diego is not a good destination for its public transit.

San Francisco has a great public transit system. The transit network includes a subway (the BART), trams, cable cars, ferries, and buses.

Public transit is generally limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around, and you'll likely enjoy your trip a bit more if you have your own vehicle.

Is San Diego or San Francisco a more walkable city?

San Diego
San Francisco

San Francisco is great for its high level of walkability. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its ease of walking around.

San Francisco is a very walkable coastal 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.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable coastal city. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.


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

Should I spend more time in San Francisco or San Diego?

How long in San Diego or San Francisco?

Both San Diego 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 in San Diego. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for San Diego, and 3-7 days is enough time in San Francisco.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in San Francisco than San Diego 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 San Francisco.


  • How many days in San Diego or San Francisco? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Diego 3-5 
    San Francisco 3-7

One day in San Diego or San Francisco?

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the outdoorsy destination of San Diego. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. 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.

People visit San Francisco because there is so much to do. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in San Diego or San Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Diego. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. 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.

People visit San Francisco because there is so much to do. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in San Diego or San Francisco?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the dynamic destination of San Diego. 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.

People visit San Francisco because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal city makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer.


A week in San Diego or San Francisco?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the coastal city of San Diego. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. 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 popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in San Francisco, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas.


Which place is cheaper, San Francisco or San Diego?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Diego is $202, 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 San Diego and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $115
    San Francisco $130
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $230
    San Francisco $260
Compare Hotels in San Diego and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in San Diego 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 San Diego


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: San Diego Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Diego $24
    San Francisco $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Tijuana Intl Airport (TIJ) to Playas de Rosarito -Round-Trip Private Transfer: $243
  • San Diego Airport (SAN): Private Transfer to San Diego: $191
  • Private Transfer Airport Tijuana/Valle de Guadalupe (Ensenada) or back.: $181
  • RoundTrip transfer in private minivan from-to Airport(SAN) in San Diego Downtown: $173
  • Private Transfer from Tijuana to Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe: $154
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to Carlsbad - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $150
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego hotel/address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $150
  • Transfers between Temecula area and San Diego Airport : $140
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego by Executive SUV: $134
  • RoundTrip transfer in private car from-to San DiegoAirport in San Diego Downtown: $127
  • Tijuana Intl Airport (TIJ) to Playas de Rosarito - Arrival Private Transfer: $122
  • Arrival Private Transfer: San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego in Luxury SUV: $116

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 Francisco Airport (SFO): Transfer to Cruise Terminal: $565
  • Carmel 1-Way Transfer to/from San Francisco Airport: $535
  • SFO Airport Private Transfer to/from Sacramento: $414
  • Napa Valley 1-Way Transfer to/from the San Francisco Airport: $400
  • San Francisco Airport (SFO): Transfer to San Francisco: $348
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Calistoga Resorts Round-Trip Transfer: $298
  • Private Transfer: Round trip transfer from San Francisco International Airport: $290
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to East Bay (one way): $262
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by SUV: $245
  • San Francisco Airport (SFO) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $223
  • Departure Private Transfer San Francisco to SFO Airport in a SUV: $203
  • Private Transfer from Cruise Port to San Francisco Airport (SFO): $184

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and San Diego 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
    San Diego $45
    San Francisco $46
Typical Food Prices in San Diego

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • Pizza and Gelato Tour in San Diego: $80
  • Old Town Tequila and Tacos Walking Food Tour: $81
  • Little Italy Food and Drink Walking Tour: Pizza, Pasta & Piazzas: $85
  • Gaslamp Quarter Downtown San Diego Food Tour: $89
  • Gaslamp Quarter Food Tour: $89
  • San Diego, Seaport Village: Waterfront Walking Food Tour: $99
  • Seaport Village Food Tour in San Diego : $99
  • Guided Secret Food Tour: $104
  • Scenic Buffet Dinner Cruise: $108
  • San Diego Dinner Cruise: $116
  • Gourmet Dinner Cruise: $118
  • Thanksgiving Day Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $121

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.
    San Diego $48
    San Francisco $46
Typical Entertainment Prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission Ticket: $24
  • 1 Hour GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $92
  • 1-Hour Voodoo Escape Room Experience in San Diego: $35
  • 1.5 Hour Walking Tour from La Jolla in San Diego: $59
  • 1Hr GPS Self Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $63
  • 2-Hour San Diego Pier Fishing Experience: $75
  • 2.5-Hour Catamaran Sail Adventure: $119
  • 2Hr GPS Self Guided Scooter Tour: Downtown & Balboa Park: $82
  • 4 Hour Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour or Rental: $87
  • A Seaside Stroll: La Jolla's Hidden Treasures Self-Guided Tour: $9.99
  • All Day San Diego Scenic Tour: $125
  • Balboa Park Electric Scooter Tour with Pictures: $59

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 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
    San Diego $21
    San Francisco $22

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

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

  • History Tour Pub Crawl of Famous Gaslamp Quarter: $30
  • Brewery Tour with Tastings and Food Pairings: $85
  • Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $125
  • Private Wine Tasting Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $135
  • Cruise & Booze Brewery tours : $149
  • Baja Tour Guide wine tour: $169
  • Sidecar Wine Tasting Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Tap Room Sidecar Tour: $199
  • California Sunset Brewery Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Beer Tasting Tour in San Diego: $215
  • Ensenada Valle De Guadelupe Private Wine Tasting Experience: $240
  • Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tour: $249

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 comparing the travel costs between San Diego 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.

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


Which is Bigger, San Diego or San Francisco?

San Diego has a larger population, and is about 67% larger than the population of San Francisco. When comparing the sizes of San Diego 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 San Diego 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 San Diego or San Francisco in the Summer?

Both San Francisco and San Diego are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to San Diego in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, 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 the summer, San Diego is a little warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the summer temperatures in San Diego in July average around 71°F (22°C), and San Francisco averages at about 63°F (17°C).

In July, San Diego usually receives less rain than San Francisco. San Diego gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Diego 71°F (22°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit San Diego or San Francisco in the Autumn?

Both San Francisco and San Diego during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to San Diego for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Furthermore, 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.

In October, San Diego is generally a little warmer than San Francisco. Daily temperatures in San Diego average around 68°F (20°C), and San Francisco fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

San Diego usually gets less rain in October than San Francisco. San Diego gets 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Diego 68°F (20°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit San Diego or San Francisco in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both San Diego and San Francisco. The winter months attract visitors to San Diego because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

San Diego is a little warmer than San Francisco in the winter. The daily temperature in San Diego averages around 57°F (14°C) in January, and San Francisco fluctuates around 50°F (10°C).

In January, San Diego usually receives less rain than San Francisco. San Diego gets 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Diego 57°F (14°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit San Diego or San Francisco in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to San Diego as well as San Francisco. The beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to San Diego this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to San Francisco for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, San Diego is a little warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the spring temperatures in San Diego in April average around 62°F (17°C), and San Francisco averages at about 58°F (14°C).

San Diego usually gets less rain in April than San Francisco. San Diego gets 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Diego 62°F (17°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and San Diego

San Diego San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)