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

Should you visit Tucson or San Francisco?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Tucson and San Francisco can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Tucson or San Francisco?


Tucson, Arizona is the second largest city in the state and sits at an elevation of 2,400 feet. It's temperature is slightly milder than Phoenix and it is a pleasant place to visit. Most people arrive in the city by car, but Amtrak does travel through Tucson, as does Greyhound. The area is also served by the Tucson International Airport. Once in the city, you'll likely want to have access to a car, as the city is not very pedestrian friendly and public transportation is very much lacking. Many popular and beautiful sights are also outside of town in the surrounding desert, so having access to a vehicle is paramount if you hope to visit any of the places.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Historical Tours in United States of America.

Which place is cheaper, San Francisco or Tucson?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tucson is $157, while the average daily cost in San Francisco is $222. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Tucson and San Francisco in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tucson $93
    San Francisco $130
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tucson $186
    San Francisco $260
Compare Hotels in Tucson and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Tucson 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 Tucson

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: Tucson Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tucson $27
    San Francisco $16

Typical Local Transportation Prices in San Francisco

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in San Francisco:

  • Taxi to SFO
  • Golden Gate Bridge Toll
  • Alcatraz Tour

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Francisco

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

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in San Francisco HTL-APT (SFO): $119
  • Transfer in private vehicle from San Francisco Airport to City: $35
  • Transfer in private Minivan from San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Downtown city: $183
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from Vallejo to SFO (one way): $259
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to East Bay (one way): $262
  • SFO Airport Private Transfer to Downtown: $120
  • San Francisco to/from Yosemite National Park: 1-Way Transfer: $169
  • San Francisco to Yosemite One-Way Transfer: $169
  • San Francisco to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $110
  • San Francisco Airport to San Francisco Round Trip Transfer: $157
  • San Francisco Airport to San Francisco Private Arrival Transfer: $79
  • San Francisco Airport 1-Way Transfer to/from the City: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Tucson or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Tucson 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 Meals for one day
    Tucson $36
    San Francisco $46

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: $19
  • North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour: $79
  • Secret Food Tours San Francisco: $83
  • Mission District Food Tour with Tastings: $85
  • Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $87
  • Mission District Walking Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $89
  • Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco North Beach Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco Chinatown Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco Food Tour: Ferry Building and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: $90
  • Secret Food Tour of North Beach and Chinatown: $96

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tucson $16
    San Francisco $46

Tours and Activities in Tucson

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

  • Saguaro National Park Self Guided Driving Audio Tour: $75

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

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

  • 2hr - SUNSET Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $73
  • 2 or 3 Hour Private Group San Francisco City Tour Open-air Jeep: $169
  • 2-Day San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour (Unlimited Pass): $73
  • 2-Hour Double Decker City Tour of San Francisco: $73
  • 2HR Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Loop GoCar Tour: $172
  • 2hr - INTERACTIVE Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2hr - INTERACTIVE Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2hr - SUNSET Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2hr PRIVATE Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay 6 Guests: $695
  • 3-Hour Private Group San Francisco Open Top Jeep Tour: $249
  • 3-Hour Private Muir Giant Redwoods Trees and Sausalito Tour: $203

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 Drinks for one day
    Tucson $16
    San Francisco $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:

  • Chinatown San Francisco’s Bar Crawl: An Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • 2 to 3 Hour Bar Crawl in Castro San Francisco: $49
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $85
  • Private Wine Tour Napa or Sonoma from $99 per person up to 7 & Concierge Service: $99
  • Half-Day Wine Country Tour with Wine Tastings: $126
  • The Ultimate Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • Small Group: The Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • From The Ultimate Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • The Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • Alcatraz and Sausalito California Wine Tasting Experience: $150
  • Napa and Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $159

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tucson and San Francisco, we can see that San Francisco is more expensive. And not only is Tucson much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tucson would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tucson 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 Tucson.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Tucson Expensive? and Is San Francisco Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Tucson or San Francisco?

San Francisco has a larger population, and is about 41% larger than the population of Tucson. When comparing the sizes of Tucson and San Francisco, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.