Which city is cheaper, San Francisco or San Diego?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
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 is a energetic, 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 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 here because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the beaches, hiking, and shopping.
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.
Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both San Diego and San Francisco.
Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around San Diego. 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.
You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put San Francisco on the map. 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.
Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in San Francisco a bit more than San Diego.
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.
There are many up and coming restaurants in the San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.
The vibe at night is comparable in San Diego and San Francisco.
Many people head to San Diego for the nightlife scene. 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 variety of activities in the evening in San Francisco. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.
San Diego and San Francisco are both destinations where visitors can find live music.
The music scene in San Diego draws a good crowd. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.
The music scene in San Francisco is active and vibrant. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.
San Diego and San Francisco both offer beautiful beaches.
San Diego offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Popular beaches include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.
San Francisco is considered a top beach destination. Whether you're interested in surfing or simply taking in the dramatic views, the beaches of San Francisco will take your breath away.
Hiking trails can be found around both San Diego and San Francisco.
Many visitors go to San Diego for the hiking trails. The city is field with parks and has tons of natural beauty. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.
People visit San Francisco specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. 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 Francisco is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.
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.
Both San Diego and San Francisco are family-friendly destinations.
With a huge array of activities for kids, San Diego is very family-friendly. It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.
San Francisco is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. With its many outdoor parks, hiking trails, beaches, and kid-friendly museums, this city makes a great family-friendly destination.
San Diego and San Francisco both fun destinations for a couple.
San Diego makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. 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.
For backpackers, both San Diego and San Francisco are fairly comparable places to visit.
It's common for backpackers to visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.
San Francisco is a good coastal 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.
For students, both San Diego and San Francisco are fairly comparable places to visit.
San Diego is a very popular place to visit for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego.
San Francisco is a very popular coastal city for students and younger travelers. 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.
San Francisco has better public transit to get you around.
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.
San Diego and San Francisco are similar when it comes to walkability.
San Diego is a somewhat walkable place. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.
San Francisco is a very walkable destination. 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.
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 San Diego.
The ideal length of time for a trip to San Diego is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Francisco is 3-7 days.
Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the dynamic 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.
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.
Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the hip 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 for a trip here.
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.
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.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in San Diego is $161, 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 San Diego and San Francisco in more detail.
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.
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.
Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in San Francisco:
Also for San Francisco, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:
For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For San Francisco, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Francisco.
Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in San Francisco:
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.
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.
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 are around 71°F (22°C), and San Francisco is about 63°F (17°C).
In July, San Diego usually receives less rain than San Francisco. At this time of the year, San Diego gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain.
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. Temperatures in San Diego average around 68°F (20°C), and San Francisco stays 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.
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 temperature in San Diego is usually 57°F (14°C) in January, and San Francisco stays around 50°F (10°C).
In January, San Diego usually receives less rain than San Francisco. At this time of the year, San Diego gets 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain.
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 are around 62°F (17°C), and San Francisco is 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.
|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)|
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