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

Should you visit Tampa or San Francisco?

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

Should I visit Tampa or San Francisco? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Tampa

Tampa is a easy-going, low-key, and laid-back city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the beaches.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a outdoorsy, quirky, and eccentric coastal city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and theater.

Tampa and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


How is Tampa different from San Francisco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Tampa or San Francisco Better for Food?

Tampa
San Francisco

For a nice culinary experience, head to San Francisco, which is well known for it's local dishes and restaurants.

For foodies, San Francisco is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. 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.

Tampa offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.


Is Tampa or San Francisco Better for Nightlife?

Tampa
San Francisco

Both Tampa and San Francisco have similar vibes after the sun sets.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Tampa. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

San Francisco has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.

Is Tampa or San Francisco Better for Beaches?

Tampa
San Francisco

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Tampa and San Francisco are good choices.

Tampa is considered a top beach destination. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

San Francisco is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. Whether you're interested in surfing or simply taking in the dramatic views, the beaches of San Francisco will take your breath away.

Is Tampa or San Francisco Better for Families?

Tampa
San Francisco

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Tampa or San Francisco.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Tampa. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.

San Francisco is 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.

Is Tampa or San Francisco Better for Couples?

Tampa
San Francisco

There's generally more to do as a couple in San Francisco than Tampa.

San Francisco makes for a fun place to visit for 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.

Tampa is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore.


Is Tampa or San Francisco Better for Public Transit?

Tampa
San Francisco

San Francisco generally offers a better public transit system than Tampa.

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

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Tampa. There is the street car that runs from downtown Tampa to Ybor City and stops at 11 stations.

Is Tampa or San Francisco a more walkable city?

Tampa
San Francisco

San Francisco is more walkable than Tampa.

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.

Tampa is generally not very walkable. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

Should I spend more time in San Francisco or Tampa?

How long in Tampa or San Francisco?

Both Tampa 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 Tampa.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Tampa is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Francisco is 3-7 days.


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

One day in Tampa or San Francisco?

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the easy-going destination of Tampa. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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.

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.

A weekend in Tampa or San Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tampa. Most people come for the beaches. 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.

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.


Five days in Tampa or San Francisco?

Travelers enjoy the when visiting the easy-going destination of Tampa. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting 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.

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.

A week in Tampa or San Francisco?

You'll find around the city of Tampa. 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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, San Francisco or Tampa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $136, 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 Tampa and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $68
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $136
    San Francisco $212
Compare Hotels in Tampa and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Tampa 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.

Hotels in Tampa


Hotels in San Francisco


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: Tampa Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $58
    San Francisco $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Private Transfer from Tampa to Port Canaveral: $526
  • Private Transfer from Tampa to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $457
  • Private Transfer from Tampa to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $393
  • Private Tampa Area to Orlando Area Transfer up to 11 One Price Mercedes Sprinter: $300
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $167
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $167
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $164
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Anna Maria Island: $120
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Sarasota: $120
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Hotel to Airport or Cruise Port: $113
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $113
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $113

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Tampa 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
    Tampa $34
    San Francisco $32

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.
    Tampa $15
    San Francisco $37

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • 2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa: $60
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $63
  • Bayshore Drive Motorbike Tour: $199
  • Bicycle Tour Orlando, Over Tampa Bay Ride: $150
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket: $110
  • Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour: $59
  • Motorcycle Tour of Sunshine Skyway Bridge: $299
  • Nature Coast Private Day Tour From Tampa with Photographer , Max Group of 4: $250
  • Orlando: Aquatica Water Park Admission Ticket: $128
  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $26
  • Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket: $45

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

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
    Tampa $20
    San Francisco $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tampa:

  • Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City: $26
  • Private Tampa Brewery Tour - Party Bus: $600

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 Tampa and San Francisco, we can see that San Francisco is more expensive. And not only is Tampa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tampa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tampa 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 Tampa.


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

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 Tampa or San Francisco in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Tampa and San Francisco. Many travelers come to Tampa for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to San Francisco in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Tampa is much warmer than San Francisco in the summer. The temperature in Tampa is usually 82°F (28°C) in July, and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

Tampa gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Tampa usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Tampa gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tampa 82°F (28°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Tampa or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Tampa as well as San Francisco. Many visitors come to Tampa in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions. Also, most visitors 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 during these months.

In the autumn, Tampa is a little warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Tampa in October are around 75°F (24°C), and San Francisco is about 63°F (17°C).

Tampa usually gets more rain in October than San Francisco. Tampa gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tampa 75°F (24°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Tampa or San Francisco in the Winter?

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

In January, Tampa is generally much warmer than San Francisco. Temperatures in Tampa average around 60°F (15°C), and San Francisco stays around 50°F (10°C).

In January, Tampa usually receives less rain than San Francisco. Tampa gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tampa 60°F (15°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Tampa or San Francisco in the Spring?

Both San Francisco and Tampa during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches and the activities around the city. Furthermore, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

Tampa is much warmer than San Francisco in the spring. The temperature in Tampa is usually 71°F (22°C) in April, and San Francisco stays around 58°F (14°C).

Tampa usually gets more rain in April than San Francisco. Tampa gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tampa 71°F (22°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Tampa

Tampa San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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Tampa vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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