Is San Francisco Expensive?

Is San Francisco expensive to visit?

San Francisco is a popular destination that is also moderately priced. It falls in the middle range of travel cost prices globaly with a daily average travel cost of $222. If we compare it to the rest of North America, which is known to be an expensive region, it is a moderately priced place to visit. It ranks in the top 50% of cities in North America for its travel costs. Its travel costs are comparable with places such as Denver and Boston.



Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

How expensive is San Francisco?

For a trip to San Francisco, travelers spend on average $222 per day (U.S. Dollars). This is according to our calculations from previous visitors. As this is an average cost, your individual spending may vary, especially since there's a wide range of accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment options here. If you stick to moderately-priced hotels and restaurants, as well as take advantage of some of free things to do in the area, you can stick close to the average budget. See more travel costs for San Francisco here to see how all of the average spending costs pan out.

How expensive is a weekend trip (three days) to San Francisco?

On average, a weekend trip to San Francisco costs about $667 per person. This is based on the previous expenses of actual travelers, and includes accommodation, food, activities, local transportation, and more. For two people, a weekend trip costs $1,334.

How expensive is a one week (7-day) trip to San Francisco?

A one week trip to San Francisco costs about $1,557 per person on average, based on the previous expenses of other travelers. This includes accommodation, sightseeting activities, transportation, food, and nightlife. For two people, a one week trip costs $3,113.



San Francisco, California

Is it expensive to backpack in San Francisco?

With more than 10 hostels in the area, San Francisco is a popular backpacker destination for travelers looking to stay on a tight budget and have a fun time along the way. Here, hostels cost an average of $32 per night for a dorm bed, with private rooms being more expensive. (See hostel prices in San Francisco here.) It's also common to see a wide range in prices, as the cheapest hostels here cost $8, but the most expensive can be more than $52 per night.

Here are a few sample prices from popular hostels in San Francisco.

  • $35 for a dorm bed at HI San Francisco - Downtown
  • $28 for a dorm bed at Amsterdam Hostel
  • $31 for a dorm bed at HI San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf

Are hotels expensive in San Francisco?

When we look at our analysis of hotel prices in San Francisco, we find them to be somewhat lower in price in comparison to the rest of the world. The average nightly cost for a hotel room here is approximately $154. The area boasts about 7 five-star hotels with an average rate of $501 per night. For those seeking a balance between comfort and affordability, three-star hotels offer an average rate of $181 per night, while two-star hotels provide an even more budget-friendly option at $118 per night.


Hotels by star rating in San Francisco
Rating Number of Hotels Average Hotel Price
5 stars 7 $501
4 stars 50 $207
3 stars 68 $181
2 stars 99 $118
1 star 9 $57
No rating 3 $287

500 California Street, San Francisco
Overall Rating 9.3
466 Bush St, San Francisco
Overall Rating 8.9


San Francisco, California

How expensive are sightseeing activities in San Francisco?

In San Francisco, the cost of activities and things to do can vary by the type of activity, its length, and the location. To provide an estimate of what to expect during your visit, below are several popular activities that are common in the area. On average, previous travelers have spent around $46 per day on sightseeing and entertainment, which is less than the country's average of $55.

    • 2 or 3 Hour Private Group San Francisco City Tour Open-air Jeep: $169
    • North Beach: Gourmet Ghost Tour in San Francisco: $99
    • The Painted Ladies and Victorian Homes of Alamo Square Tour: $35
    • San Francisco Craft Beer Walking Tour in Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach: $109
    • 3-Hour Private Group San Francisco Open Top Jeep Tour: $249
    • Craft Beer Walking Tour in San Francisco's SoMa District: $109
    • 3-Hour Private Muir Giant Redwoods Trees and Sausalito Tour: $203
    • Half Moon Bay Guided E-Bike Tour: $110

    Is food expensive in San Francisco?

    In San Francisco, the cost of food can vary by the type of restaurant and food options available. To save money, eat at less expensive restaurants, try street food, or cook your own meals when possible. On average, previous travelers have spent around $46 per day on food, which is less than the country's average of $58.

    • Mission: Street Art & Food Tour in San Francisco: $99
    • Mission District Food Tour: Appetizers, Entrée and Dessert: $115
    • San Francisco Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $89
    • San Francisco Combo: Ferry Building Food Tour and Alcatraz: $174
    • Mission 18th Street San Francisco Food Tour: $150
    • San Francisco Premier Dinner Dance Cruise: $132

    Is transportation expensive in San Francisco?

    Exploring local transportation in San Francisco shows that the price can vary greatly by the type of transportation used. On average, previous travelers have spent $16 per person per day, which is less than the country's average of $46. If you want to save money, use public transit as it's much cheaper than taxis or private drivers.

    More for San Francisco

    If you're planning a trip to San Francisco, California, check out these other informative travel guides.



    We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.



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