Certainly one of the most beloved tourist cities in the world, everyone should try to visit San Francisco at least once in their life. Parts of the city feel almost like an amusement park, but there’s more to it than that.

San Francisco is one of the US’s most expensive cities for visitors, probably behind only New York City. Hotels actually come in almost all price ranges, but cheaper ones will inevitably be in an inconvenient or sometimes even run-down location. The public transportation system is good, but still getting around for tourists can be challenging.

The most famous attractions in the city tend to be expensive, but there are nearly limitless cheap and free things to do in San Francisco, so even those on a backpacker budget can have a great time. With an extra day or two you can do a cheap wine-tasting day trip to the Napa Valley area.

Food and drinks can be expensive as well, though if you get off the tourist trail and go to locals’ neighborhoods prices can be very reasonable indeed.

San Francisco prices


1 USD = 1 USD

San Francisco facts

Population 800,000
Metro area 4,200,000
Time zone UTC-8
Currency US dollar
Airports San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), San Jose International Airport (SJC)

San Francisco hotel prices

Rating Price (USD)
55.00 - 110.00
92.00 - 315.00
180.00 - 350.00
295.00 - 415.00
560.00 - 720.00

Hotel seasons


San Francisco hotels have their high season during summer, or more realistically from April through October, though June through August are the busiest months. The city also has many special events and conventions, and if one of those is in town the room prices can double or worse. The low season is from December through March, except for the holidays, and good deals can be found at many of the nicer places then.

San Francisco hostel prices

Type Price (USD)
Hostel bed
41.00 - 45.00

San Francisco attraction prices

Location Description Type Price(USD)
Coit Tower This historic tower offers the best views of the city from the top. There's an elevator, plus various exhibitions. adults 9.00
ages 65+ 6.00
ages 5-11 6.00
Alcatraz Island & cruise This former prison out in the harbor is one of the city's top sights for first-timers. Night tours are more expensive. adults 39.90
ages 5-11 24.40
ages 62+ 37.65
Ripleys Believe It Or Not! Odditorium This museum chain has long had a location at Fisherman's Wharf. Discount for buying online. adults 23.00
ages 5-12 17.00
SF Museum of Modern Art Buy tickets online to reserve a time to visit. adults 25.00
senior 22.00

San Francisco transportation prices USD

Taxi from SFO airport to city center 40.00 - 60.00
Suburban rail from SFO to city center 9.15
Cable car ride 7.00
3km taxi ride in San Francisco 11.00 - 15.00
Public transit ride in San Francisco 1.35 - 2.75

San Francisco food and drink prices USD

Food type   Price
Budget breakfast Most hostels include free breakfast, but few hotels do. Fast food options are cheapest otherwise. 5.00 - 8.00
Budget lunch There's plenty of reasonable casual dining, even in the touristy areas, plus some interesting ethnic fast food. 8.00 - 12.00
Budget dinner Assuming you want a sit-down meal, the city can be expensive unless you know where to go. 11.00 - 18.00
Beer (pint) Domestic brews can be reasonable, but imports are pricey. 5.00 - 8.00
Cocktails (glass) If you avoid nightclubs and hotel bars, cocktails are usually not outrageous. 5.00 - 12.00
Beer (retail can) Even though bars are fairly expensive, buying beer in local markets can be cheap. 1.00 - 1.50

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Avg temps & precip


weather advise for AmsterdamWeather advice

San Francisco has an amazingly mild climate all year long, as temperatures barely swing between winter and summer. Summers are to most people’s liking, with warm days and mild nights, with virtually no rain. Winters are cool, but almost never frozen or snowy, though strong winds can make the city feel much colder than the temperature indicates, and rain is fairly common as well. Spring and autumn are both fairly dry with pleasant temperatures.

Sunrise and sunset


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