A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America San Francisco vs. Boulder for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Francisco or Boulder?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Francisco or Boulder, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison 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 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.

Boulder

Boulder is located on the edge of the Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado. As home to the University of Colorado at Boulder, it's a college town with a liberal vibe and progressive values. In recent years, Boulder's economy has received a boost from the tech industry, which has grown rapidly in the area.

Boulder is also a great city to visit. It's surrounded by a beautiful mountain setting and there are countless outdoor sporting activities that you can enjoy. One unique aspect of Boulder is its role as home to many serious athletes who come here to train in the area's top facilities and programs.

Boulder's climate is similar to most of Colorado. It's a dry city with plenty of sunshine. Winters can vary dramatically from mild to incredibly cold and snowfall averages 44 inches a season. Summers are warm and dry with temperatures climbing above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmest months.

Which city is cheaper, Boulder or San Francisco?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Francisco is $172, while the average daily cost in Boulder is $153. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for San Francisco and Boulder in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in San Francisco can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $103, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $206.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Boulder, $164 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Boulder, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $82, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Francisco $103
    Boulder $82
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Francisco $206
    Boulder $164

Food

On average, meal and food prices in San Francisco cost around $32 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $13.

In Boulder travelers spend around $43 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Francisco $32
    Boulder $43

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
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: North Beach & Chinatown Food Tour: $66
  • North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour: $69
  • Mission District Walking Food Tour: $75
  • San Francisco North Beach 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
  • Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $82
  • 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

Typical Food prices in Boulder

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


  • 2 Coffees
    $8.75
  • Nice Dinner for Two
    $71

Local Transportation

San Francisco's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $13 per person, per day on transportation in San Francisco.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Boulder than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $41 on transportation in Boulder on average per day.


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

  • Private Transfer from San Fransisco City To Carmel-by-the-Sea.: $450
  • Carmel 1-Way Transfer to/from San Francisco Airport: $410
  • Private transfer from SFO to or from Sacramento (SUV): $400
  • Private Airport Transfer From SFO to San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf: $395
  • Private Airport Transfer from SFO To Carmel-by-the-Sea.: $370
  • Napa Valley 1-Way Transfer to/from the San Francisco Airport: $310
  • Private Airport Transfer from SFO to Yountville, Napa Valley: $300
  • Private Airport Transfer From SFO to Napa Valley: $270
  • SFO Roundtrip Airport Hotel Transfer: $267
  • Private Airport Transfer from SFO to Sonoma Valley: $255
  • Private Transfer from SFO to Napa: $235
  • Private One-Way Airport Transfer: $220

Is it cheaper to fly into San Francisco or Boulder?

Prices for flights to both Boulder 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Francisco can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $37 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing expenses in Boulder, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $26 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Francisco $37
    Boulder $26

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-Day Small-Group Napa Valley Tour for Wine Lovers: $209
  • 1-Hour Golden Gate and Lombard GoRide Scooter Tour: $54
  • 1.5-Hour Waterfront Mini Segway Tour: $55
  • 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-Hour San Francisco Bay Happy Hour & Cocktail Cruises: $35

Tours and Activities in Boulder

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

  • A natural healing experience in a private epsom salt bath.: $16
  • Amazing Boulder Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Astronomy Tour: $41
  • Best of Boulder E-Bike Tour: $104
  • Boulder Backroads: E-Bike Dirt Road Tour: $200
  • Denver: 8-Hour Private Tour of Rocky Mountain National Park: $609
  • Downtown An audio tour around this weird and beautiful town: $5.00
  • Electric Cruiser Fat Tire Bike Tour - Best of Boulder: $97
  • Half-Day eBike Mural Tour in Boulder: $90
  • High-Vibes Foodie Tour: $106
  • Hiking Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park from Boulder: $173
  • Holistic & Medicinal Tour: $42

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In San Francisco, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Boulder, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $22.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Francisco $15
    Boulder $22

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
  • 3-Hour Pub Crawl in San Francisco: $18
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Tour: $58
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Crawl: $60
  • From Tri-Valley Half-Day Wine Tour: $75
  • Half-Day Sonoma Wine Tour: $100
  • San Francisco City & Wine tour: $115
  • Shore Excursion: Napa and Sonoma Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience Full-Day Tour: $135
  • Napa & Sonoma Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour with Optional Lunch: $135
  • Full-Day Muir Woods with Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour: $135
  • Chariot wine tour: $145
  • Viticulture with Charm: Sonoma Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco: $149


When comparing the travel costs between San Francisco and Boulder, 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.

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San Francisco vs. Boulder Travel Comparison

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