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

Should you visit San Francisco or Portland?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Francisco or Portland, 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 scenic, beautiful, and outdoorsy coastal city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include live music, food, and beaches.

Portland

Portland is a progressive, quirky, and eclectic city. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and live music.

San Francisco and Portland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable


How is San Francisco different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is San Francisco or Portland better for Food?

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

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.

Portland offers some easy restaurants to choose from. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes.

San Francisco
Portland


Is San Francisco or Portland better for Nightlife?

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

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 Portland. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.

San Francisco
Portland

Is San Francisco or Portland better for Music?

San Francisco and Portland 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.

You'll find some good live music in Portland. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

San Francisco
Portland

Is San Francisco or Portland better for Hiking?

San Francisco and Portland 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.

Portland is a popular spot for hiking. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty.

San Francisco
Portland

Is San Francisco or Portland better for Shopping?

San Francisco usually beats out Portland for shopping.

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.

Portland is a great destination for shopping. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops.

San Francisco
Portland


Is San Francisco or Portland better for Families?

San Francisco and Portland 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.

Portland is a family-friendly place to visit. Kid-friendly activities in town include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.

San Francisco
Portland

Is San Francisco or Portland better for Couples?

San Francisco and Portland 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.

Portland is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

San Francisco
Portland

Is San Francisco or Portland better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

For backpackers, both San Francisco and Portland are fairly comparable places to visit.

It's common for backpackers to 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.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Portland. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.

San Francisco
Portland

Is San Francisco or Portland better for Public Transit?

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.

Portland has a few public transit options. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.

San Francisco
Portland


Is San Francisco or Portland a more walkable city?

San Francisco and Portland 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.

Portland is very walkable. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

San Francisco
Portland

Should I spend more time in Portland or San Francisco?

How long in San Francisco or Portland?

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

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 Portland is 2-3 days.


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

One day in San Francisco or Portland?

San Francisco is a big city with plenty to do. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the tree-lined destination of Portland. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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 Portland?

San Francisco is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portland. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 for a trip here.

Five days in San Francisco or Portland?

San Francisco is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in San Francisco, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

Travelers enjoy the live music and shopping when visiting the quirky destination of Portland. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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 Portland?

San Francisco is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that San Francisco has to offer. This coastal city offers something for everyone.

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the city of Portland. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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, Portland 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 Portland is $143. 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 Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Francisco $106
    Portland $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Francisco $212
    Portland $152
Compare Hotels in San Francisco and Portland

Looking for a hotel in San Francisco or Portland? 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 Portland


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Francisco $13
    Portland $23
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 Fransisco Downtown to OAK Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $83
  • San Fransisco Downtown to OAK Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $100
  • San Fransisco Downtown to OAK Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $83
  • San Francisco to San José Airport (SJC) - Departure Private Transfer: $160
  • San Francisco to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $85
  • San Francisco to Oakland Airport (OAK) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $105
  • San Francisco Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $130
  • San Francisco Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $150
  • San Francisco Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $130
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Private Transfers: $108
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $75

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

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

  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Beaverton hotel - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $281
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $281
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $281
  • PDX - Portland Airport Transfer - Chauffeured Round Trip in a Luxury Sedan/SUV: $267
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $204
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $141
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Beaverton hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $141
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Arrival Private Transfer: $141
  • PDX - Portland One Way Airport Transfer in a Chauffeured Sedan/SUV: $133
  • Transfer from Portland International Airport to Portland: $109
  • Portland downtown to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $102
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $102

Is it cheaper to fly into San Francisco or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland 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
    Portland $35

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 Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

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

  • Arts District Food Tour: $84
  • Portland's Art District Food Tour: $84
  • Walking Food Tour in Downtown Portland with Brunch: $86
  • Downtown Deluxe Food Tour: $89
  • Tastes of Downtown Portland Walking Food Tour: $89
  • 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $108

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Francisco $37
    Portland $19

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-Hour Golden Gate and Lombard GoRide Scooter Tour: $54
  • 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-day Monterey & Yosemite Small Group Tour from San Francisco: $495
  • 2HR Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Loop GoCar Tour: $131
  • 2HR Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio GoRide Scooter Tour: $82

Tours and Activities in Portland

For Portland, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1-Hour Private Air Tour of Mount Hood and Columbia Gorge: $430
  • 2-Hour Champagne Brunch Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $78
  • 2-Hour Lunch Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $69
  • 20-Minute Columbia River Gorge Air Tour: $65
  • 20-minute Private Gorge Air Tour for 3: $130
  • 30-minute Multnomah Falls & Columbia Gorge Air Tour: $128
  • 40-minute Aerial Tour of Portland: $184
  • 40-minute Private Downtown Portland Air Tour for 3: $286
  • 5 Lighthouse Bike Tour with XL Lobster Roll: $132
  • A Walk Through Time Tour in Portland: $40
  • Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland: $65
  • All Day Northern Oregon Wineries and Forest Bike Tour: $245

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
    Portland $14

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 Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Power Through Portland Bar Crawl: $12
  • Oregon Priority Wine Tasting Pass: $40
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $49
  • Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour: $55
  • Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $71
  • Oregon Famous Wine Country Wine Tasting Adventure: $75
  • Brews & Bites - Food Carts & Brewery Tour: $94
  • Views and Brews, Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $118
  • 5-Hour Willamette Valley Wine Tour with Tastings: $120
  • Oregon Coast Brewery Tour: $130
  • Willamette Valley Wine Tasting from Portland: $139
  • Full-Day City & Oregon Wine Tasting Tour: $140


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Francisco and Portland, we can see that San Francisco is more expensive. And not only is Portland much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Portland would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Portland 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 San Francisco would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Francisco than you might in Portland.


When is the best time to visit San Francisco or Portland?

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 Francisco or Portland in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both San Francisco and Portland. The beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, San Francisco is cooler than Portland. Typically, the summer temperatures in San Francisco in July are around 63°F (17°C), and Portland is about 68°F (20°C).

In July, San Francisco usually receives less rain than Portland. At this time of the year, San Francisco gets 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit San Francisco or Portland in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to San Francisco as well as Portland. Many travelers come to San Francisco for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Portland in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, San Francisco is generally a little warmer than Portland. Temperatures in San Francisco average around 63°F (17°C), and Portland stays around 55°F (13°C).

San Francisco usually gets less rain in October than Portland. San Francisco gets 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit San Francisco or Portland in the Winter?

Both Portland and San Francisco are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to San Francisco in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Portland for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

Portland can be very cold during winter. San Francisco is much warmer than Portland in the winter. The temperature in San Francisco is usually 50°F (10°C) in January, and Portland stays around 40°F (4°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Portland. In January, San Francisco usually receives less rain than Portland. At this time of the year, San Francisco gets 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit San Francisco or Portland in the Spring?

Both Portland and San Francisco during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to San Francisco for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Portland because of the small town charm and the natural beauty.

In the spring, San Francisco is a little warmer than Portland. Typically, the spring temperatures in San Francisco in April are around 58°F (14°C), and Portland is about 51°F (11°C).

San Francisco usually gets less rain in April than Portland. San Francisco gets 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and San Francisco

San Francisco Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
San Francisco vs. Portland Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.