A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America San Francisco vs. Denver for Attractions, Food, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit San Francisco or Denver?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Francisco or Denver, 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 beautiful, outdoorsy, and quirky coastal city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, live music, and food.

Denver

Denver is a sprawling and park-filled city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the hiking, skiing, and nightlife.

San Francisco and Denver: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less hiking options
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


How is San Francisco different from Denver?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is San Francisco or Denver Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

San Francisco
Denver

Head to San Francisco if you're looking for good museums or notable landmarks, as it has more to offer than Denver.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, San Francisco has many famous sights for visitors. 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.

Denver offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Popular museums include the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the History Colorado Center, and the Forney Museum of Transportation.


Is San Francisco or Denver Better for Food?

San Francisco
Denver

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in San Francisco a bit more than Denver.

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.

Denver offers some easy restaurants to choose from. While you're in town you should try the Bison steak and fried pickles.

Is San Francisco or Denver Better for Nightlife?

San Francisco
Denver

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

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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Denver. The city has come a long way with its nightlife. Popular bars and clubs in town include the Grizzly Rose and 54Thirty Rooftop. Many places are concentrated in the Soco Nightlife District.

Is San Francisco or Denver Better for Hiking?

San Francisco
Denver

While Denver and San Francisco both have hiking trails, overall San Francisco is more well-known.

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.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Denver. The city is very close to many beautiful parks and hiking areas in the Rocky Mountains.

Is San Francisco or Denver Better for Families?

San Francisco
Denver

San Francisco and Denver 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.

Denver is a family-friendly place to visit. It is a family-friendly city with museums, playgrounds, and plenty of outdoor activities. There are also a few ropes courses near town that kids and adults alike will enjoy.


Is San Francisco or Denver Better for Public Transit?

San Francisco
Denver

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.

Denver has a few public transit options. If you're not planning to leave town, the light rail and bus systems offers good access to much of Denver.

Is San Francisco or Denver a more walkable city?

San Francisco
Denver

San Francisco is more walkable than Denver.

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.

Denver is not a walkable coastal city. While the downtown area is generally walkable, this is still a sprawling city where you'll really want to have a car to access areas outside of town.

Should I spend more time in Denver or San Francisco?

How long in San Francisco or Denver?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both San Francisco and Denver. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in San Francisco than Denver.

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 Denver is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in San Francisco or Denver? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Francisco 3-7 
    Denver 2-3

One day in San Francisco or Denver?

San Francisco is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the skiing and nightlife when visiting the sprawling destination of Denver. 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 Denver?

San Francisco is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.


Five days in San Francisco or Denver?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Francisco. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the skiing and nightlife when visiting the sprawling destination of Denver. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

A week in San Francisco or Denver?

San Francisco is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

You'll find nightlife and skiing around the city of Denver. 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, Denver 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 Denver is $174. 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 Denver in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Francisco $105
    Denver $69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Francisco $210
    Denver $138
Compare Hotels in San Francisco and Denver

Looking for a hotel in San Francisco or Denver? 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 Denver


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 Denver Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Francisco $13
    Denver $81
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 Arrival Transfer from San Francisco Airport SFO: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Francisco Airport SFO: $40
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Francisco to San Francisco Int. Airport (SFO): $43
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Francisco to SFO San Francisco Airport: $57
  • Cruise Terminal to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Cruise Terminal - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $65
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • Private transfer from San Francisco to SFO Airport for up to 4 passengers: $73
  • Private SFO Departure Transfer from San Francisco: $74
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $75
  • Private transfer from San Francisco Airport (SFO) to San Francisco City for up to 4 passengers: $80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $1,592
  • Private Transfer: Denver International Airport (DEN) to Aspen: $1,321
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $858
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $809
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $796
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Keystone resort - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $672
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Denver Airport (DEN) to Vail city: $582
  • Private Transfer: Denver International Airport (DEN) to Vail: $576
  • Private Denver International Airport Transfer to Vail or Beaver Creek: $450
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Arrival Private Transfer: $429
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Arrival Private Transfer: $404
  • Private Denver International Airport Transfer to Breckenridge or Keystone: $400

Is it cheaper to fly into San Francisco or Denver?

Prices for flights to both Denver 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
    Denver $34

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

Typical Food prices in Denver

Some typical examples of dining costs in Denver are as follows:


  • Sushi Dinner (for 2)
    $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Denver

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Denver.

  • Small-Group Food Tour in Denver: $69
  • Haunted Denver Walking Food Tour: $73
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Denver: $77
  • Walking Food Tour - Best of Union Station & LoDo: $79
  • Denver Cooking Classes-Local, seasonal, and hands on menus: $97

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Francisco $37
    Denver $42

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 Denver

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Denver are as follows:

  • 1.5 Hour LoDo Walking Tour in Denver: $25
  • Astrophotography Experience in the Colorado Rockies: $200
  • Best of Denver Tour: $64
  • Best of Denver Tour: $22
  • Bike and Brew Tour: $60
  • Breckenridge Ultimate Full Day Mountain Tour from Denver: $115
  • Capitol Hill History & Ghost Tour: $22
  • Craft Beer Tour in Lower Downtown Denver: $53
  • Denver Ghost Hunt: Mile High Ghost Tour: $12
  • Denver Ghost Tour: $23
  • Denver Guided Sightseeing Tour on Motor Scooters: $112
  • Denver History and Highlights Small Group Tour: $35

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
    Denver $4.25

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour in Lower Downtown: $26
  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - South Broadway (SoBo): $27
  • 3-Hour Brewery Walking Tour: $49
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71


When comparing the travel costs between San Francisco and Denver, 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. Denver Travel Comparison

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