A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America San Francisco vs. Aspen for Food, Hiking, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit San Francisco or Aspen?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Francisco or Aspen, 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.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind, scenic, and beautiful coastal city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include museums, theater, and nightlife.

Aspen

Aspen is a outdoorsy, authentic, and charming ski town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the shopping, skiing, and nightlife.

San Francisco and Aspen: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Public transit not as usable


How is San Francisco different from Aspen?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Food?

San Francisco
Aspen

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between San Francisco and Aspen can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, San Francisco is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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.

Many restaurants in Aspen have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The town hosts many food festivals and there is a growing selection of diverse restaurants.


Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Nightlife?

San Francisco
Aspen

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between San Francisco and Aspen.

If you're looking for night time activities San Francisco has a few options to choose from. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.

Aspen offers plenty to do in the evening. The people in Aspen know how to have a good time. The nightlife scene includes craft beer, live music, and dancing.

Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Music?

San Francisco
Aspen

San Francisco and Aspen are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

The music scene helps keep San Francisco active and fun. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.

The music scene in Aspen is very popular with diverse venues. Popular music venues in town include Silver City Mountain Saloon and Belly Up Aspen.

Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Hiking?

San Francisco
Aspen

San Francisco and Aspen are both places where visitors can find hiking trails.

Known for its hiking, San Francisco draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. 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.

Aspen is a popular spot for hiking. During the summer and fall seasons, hiking is a great way to explore Aspen's nearby beauty. Popular trails include the Ute Trail, the Lost Man Trail, and the famous Maroon Bells Scenic Trail.

Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Shopping?

San Francisco
Aspen

If you're looking to go shopping, San Francisco and Aspen both offer plenty of spots.

Many people travel to San Francisco specifically to go shopping. 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.

Aspen is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The has many great local shops and art galleries where you can pick interesting items or fine art.


Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Families?

San Francisco
Aspen

San Francisco and Aspen are both fun destinations for the whole family.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in San Francisco. With its many outdoor parks, hiking trails, beaches, and kid-friendly museums, this city makes a great family-friendly destination.

Aspen is a family-friendly place to visit. Families that enjoy skiing together hiking, rock climbing, and having adventures will enjoy a visit to this town. Aspen Mountain is not a great option for beginning skiers, but further away, Aspen Snowmass offers good beginner slopes.

Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Couples?

San Francisco
Aspen

San Francisco and Aspen are both fun to visit as a couple.

San Francisco is a great coastal city if you're traveling as a couple. 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.

Aspen is a very popular place to visit for couples. Aspen is both a popular ski destination as well as an established town. There are many great restaurants and activities that couples can enjoy.

Is San Francisco or Aspen Better for Public Transit?

San Francisco
Aspen

San Francisco has better public transit to get you around.

Public transit in San Francisco is top-notch. The transit network includes a subway (the BART), trams, cable cars, ferries, and buses.

Aspen has a few public transit options. There are several shuttle buses around the town.

Is San Francisco or Aspen a more walkable city?

San Francisco
Aspen

San Francisco and Aspen are similar when it comes to walkability.

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.

Aspen is very walkable. The town is compact enough that it can be explored on foot. If you're planning to head into the mountains to hike, you'll likely need a car.


Should I spend more time in Aspen or San Francisco?

How long in San Francisco or Aspen?

In either San Francisco or Aspen, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in San Francisco than Aspen because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to San Francisco is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Aspen is 3-5 days.


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

One day in San Francisco or Aspen?

Each neighborhood in San Francisco has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Even though Aspen is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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 San Francisco or Aspen?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Francisco. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Aspen. 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 San Francisco or Aspen?

San Francisco is a fun place to experience. Each neighborhood in San Francisco has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Aspen is a small town with plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This ski town 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 San Francisco or Aspen?

Each neighborhood in San Francisco has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Aspen is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. 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.

Which city is cheaper, Aspen or San Francisco?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Francisco is $175, while the average daily cost in Aspen is $235. 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 Francisco and Aspen in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Francisco $106
    Aspen $136
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Francisco $212
    Aspen $272
Compare Hotels in San Francisco and Aspen

Looking for a hotel in San Francisco or Aspen? 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 Francisco


Hotels in Aspen


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 Francisco Hotel Prices and Aspen Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Francisco $13
    Aspen $45
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:

  • Airport Transfer: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to San Francisco: $116
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to Oakland in Business Car: $135
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to Oakland in a Luxury Car: $155
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by Luxury Car: $145
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by SUV: $125
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Airport SFO to Oakland by SUV: $151
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to City by Business Car: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to Oakland by Business Car: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to Oakland in Luxury Car: $120
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to San Francisco Luxury Car: $104
  • Cruise Terminal to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Departure Private Transfer San Francisco to SFO Airport in Business Car: $84

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Private Transfer: Aspen to Denver International Airport (DEN): $1,321
  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $796
  • Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Aspen: $400
  • Private Departure Transfer to Aspen Airport (ASE): $36
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Aspen Airport (ASE): $36

Is it cheaper to fly into San Francisco or Aspen?

Prices for flights to both Aspen and San Francisco 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 Francisco $32
    Aspen $68

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.
    San Francisco $37
    Aspen $36

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Private Tour: 19th Century Gold Rush Exploration Game: $4.96
  • Syn City SF: The Synesthesia Walking Audio Tour of Haight-Ashbury by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • San Francisco's Barbary Past Walking Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Food, History, and Resistance: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of San Francisco's Japantown: $5.34
  • Union Square to Lotta's Fountain Walking Tour by VoiceMap: $5.40
  • Walk the Haight Audio Tour: Tune into San Francisco‚Äôs Hippie Counterculture: $5.99
  • San Francisco Private Tour: 70s Hippie Culture Exploration Game: $6.21
  • The Remarkable History of San Francisco's Glen Park and Glen Canyon Audio Tour: $7.55
  • Ultimate San Francisco Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Bike Tour of Tucson: $10
  • The Flyer San Francisco Admission Ticket: $12
  • San Francisco Scavenger Hunt: SF Park Tour and Haight-Ashbury Experience: $12

Tours and Activities in Aspen

Here are a few actual costs in Aspen for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour: $40
  • Glimpse of Aspen Tour: $40

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 Francisco $15
    Aspen $16

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 San Francisco and Aspen, we can see that Aspen 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 Aspen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aspen than you might in San Francisco.

Budget Your Trip

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San Francisco vs. Aspen Travel Comparison

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