Travel Budget for San Francisco Visit San Francisco on a Budget or Travel in Style

San Francisco, California, United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to San Francisco?

Budget-Friendly Travel Planning

How much money will you need for your trip to San Francisco? You should plan to spend around $222 per day on your vacation in San Francisco, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $46 on meals for one day and $16 on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in San Francisco for a couple is $261. So, a trip to San Francisco for two people for one week costs on average $3,113. All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

A vacation to San Francisco for one week usually costs around $1,557 for one person. So, a trip to San Francisco for two people costs around $3,113 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs $6,227 in San Francisco. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in San Francisco can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is San Francisco? How much money do I need for San Francisco?

How much does a trip to San Francisco cost? Is San Francisco cheap or expensive? The average San Francisco trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these San Francisco prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers to find the price of travel in the area.

Accommodation Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in San Francisco is $130. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in San Francisco is $261. This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotel Prices in San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in San Francisco? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in San Francisco based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $154. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

Transportation Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in San Francisco is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $16 per person, per day, on local transportation in San Francisco.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

Flights to San Francisco
How much does it cost to go to San Francisco? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.

Rental Cars in San Francisco
The price of renting a car in San Francisco will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

What did other people spend on Transportation in San Francisco?

Typical prices for Transportation in San Francisco are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in San Francisco, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

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

Food Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in San Francisco can vary, the average cost of food in San Francisco is $46 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in San Francisco should cost around $18 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Francisco is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


Entertainment Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The Go City San Francisco Pass offers great discounts on attractions in San Francisco. With the Go City Explorer pass, you can choose to visit specific sights and attractions at a discount. Or, you can visit as many included attractions as you like with a multi-day All-Inclusive Pass. The average visitor saves 30% off of the regular admission prices.

Recommended Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in San Francisco is $33 per day. The usual amount for a tip in San Francisco is 10% - 20%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Unfortunately, bad things can happen on a trip. Well, you've just got to deal with it! The average price for a scam, robbery, or mishap in San Francisco is $21, as reported by travelers.

  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1

Alcohol Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $22 on alcoholic beverages in San Francisco per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


Water Budget in San Francisco
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $6.27 on bottled water in San Francisco per day. The public water in San Francisco is considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

Last Updated: Apr 21, 2023
San Francisco On a Budget
San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, 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.

San Francisco's climate is notoriously cool and foggy. The winters are damp while the summers are dryer but surprisingly chilly. Throughout the course of one day you can expect a variety of weather changes. Summer mornings often start with fog. Afternoons are warmer, but the chill and fog return again by the late afternoon. Winter is the rainy season, but temperatures are milder and sunny days may even have a warmer temperature than during the summer. Fall is a great time to visit because the fog is not a frequent and the rains have not yet arrived. San Francisco also has many microclimates that are created by the city's hills and coastal setting. It is not uncommon for one neighborhood to be experiencing dramatically different weather than another.

Be warned, summer days in San Francisco can get cold! (May to September) Pants and a light jacket are often required. While it doesn't actually rain very much, the fog affects the weather and brings in cold air from the sea, and you will get cold whether you believe it or not. The locals will be dressed for it, but you'll be chilly!
Sights throughout San Francisco are plentiful. Some of the most famous places to visit in the city include the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts, Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Piers along the water, and Lombard Street. In fact, all of these places are also fun things to do in San Francisco with kids, too.

The Painted Ladies are a famous and beautiful series of Victorian Row houses made popular by the San Francisco based sitcom, Full House. You can see them at Alamo Square along with a nice view of the city's skyline.

Furthermore, visitors can find plenty of hidden gems in San Francisco that can be found in local neighborhoods, and they make nice spots for picnics, a walk, shopping, or history buffs.

Some of the best parks in the city include Golden Gate Park, Lincoln Park, Mission Dolores Park, Baker Beach and China Beach. Several of the parks are also great spots for hikes in San Francisco where you can see amazing views over the ocean and of the skyline from a distance.
San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods. Each has its own character and personality.

Union Square and the Financial Districts are notable with tourists as this is where you'll find many hotels, shopping areas, and some entertainment. Fisherman's Wharf is also a popular area with tourists. It sits on the waterfront and has many famous sights such as Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square. Nob Hill is a notoriously upscale neighborhood, and from the top of the hill you can get great views of the bay and the financial district. Haight Ashbury is the crux of the "hippie" movement, although today it is little more than a tourist attraction along as well as a nice spot to grab some food and drinks. Golden Gate Park is also a wonderful place to explore, and Chinatown is a fun place to walk around and try dim sum dumplings.

Other neighborhoods that tourists frequent include North Beach, Castro, and Twin Peaks.

San Francisco is a large and vibrant city. It has no shortage of activities and events. There are boat tours of the bay, as well as concerts, shows and festivals throughout the year. For more information, read this article for a listing of some terrific and budget-friendly tours in San Francisco.

Popular festivals include the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, Chinese New Year, San Francisco Blues Festival, the International Film Festival and Bay to Breakers. With plenty of fun and unusual activities to do in San Francisco, you'll quickly learn why this city on the bay has earned its quirky reputation.

With so many things to do, it's really suggested that you spend at least a few days here. In fact, a 3-day itinerary of San Francisco is recommended so that you can see most of it.
Food and Dining
Food in San Francisco is wonderful, and you'll have any number of international options throughout the city. There is no shortage of Asian restaurants. Specifically, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese are quite abundant. If you're looking for some great meals at a reasonable price then avoid eating in the Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf neighborhoods. These restaurants are overpriced and cater almost exclusively to tourists. Instead, head into some residential neighborhoods and you'll find some wonderful local restaurant options. If you're looking for good Mexican food, go to the Mission neighborhood which has some wonderful taquerias.

San Francisco is a compact city so walking around is very appealing. Many people are surprised at the steepness of the hills, so if you hope to cover any significant distance, plan your routes around hills wisely.

Public transportation is readily available in San Francisco, although it can be somewhat inefficient and frustrating. The system tends to be overcrowded, particularly if you're traveling during peak hours. There are several different modes of transport including the subway, streetcars, buses, trolley buses and cable cars. The Muni system includes the Metro subway, the buses, trolley buses and cable cars. The BART and Caltrain systems are regional and are not included in the Muni System.

Taxis in the city can be expensive and inefficient. In general, it is best to plan your day around public transit. This will save you both time and money. Driving is also not recommended. Traffic can be frustrating and parking is expensive and difficult to find. There is really no reason to have a car in the city.
Looking for a party hostel in Las Vegas or San Diego? Traveling alone to NYC or LA? Want a budget hostel in San Francisco?
1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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Travel Tips

San Francisco Multi Day Bus Pass

By wanderinggurl in Transportation
Instead paying for buses and cable cars as you go, buy a multi day pass. The pass is good on all buses, trams, trolleys, and the cable car (which costs $5 one way otherwise!). If you plan to take the cable car at all, the multi day pass is the way to go!

Shanghai Dumpling King

By wanderinggurl in Food
If you want the best dumplings in town, check out the Shanghai Dumpling King in the Richmond District (Balboa and 31st). It's cheap and wonderful!

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