They say only in San Francisco for a reason. Known for culture, music and diversity, picturesque views throughout the city, San Francisco is an eclectic city to visit. This city is “out there.” There are a lot of alternative lifestyles here, lots of hippies, and tons of college students. Throw in a very liberal bend and you are going to get one of the funkiest and coolest cities in America.
- Hostel Prices:Dorm rooms cost between $20-$27 and private rooms $50 per night.
- Budget Hotel Prices: Budget hotels cost between $60-90 USD per night for a double room. Use this site for finding cheap hotels in San Francisco.
- Average Cost of Food: San Francisco offers quite a few budget menus and moderately priced eateries to its visitors. Chinese food is very good here, and tends to be less expensive than other choices.
- Public Transportation Cost: The SFMTA applies to buses, metros, and historic streetcars. You can buy an adult pass for $2. Or you can but a 1-day pass for $13, 3 day pass for $20, or a 7 day pass for $26.
Top Things to Do
- Visit Fisherman’s Warf, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square – This covers numerous blocks along the waterfront and one of the most popular free things to do in the city. There are street performers, souvenir shops, and tons of restaurants.
- The Golden Gate Bridge - The Golden Gate Bridge may be one of San Francisco’s most famous locations as well as being an piece of engineering art. You must take a walk on the Golden Gate Bridge while you are there. Don’t forget to go to Golden Gate Park as well.
- Visit Alcatraz - This is a former federal prison on Alcatraz Island and is a landmark famous throughout the world. There is not charge to visit the island, but you will have to pay to get there. It’s good to take a tour if you can so you can get the historical context of the island.
- Mission San Francisco: This is San Francisco’s oldest building and California’s second oldest Spanish mission. Mission San Francisco preserves the city’s beginnings and gives you a window into its Spanish past.
- Ride the Cable Cars - Riding the cable cars are an excellent way to tour the city and experience various neighborhoods in San Francisco. Also visit the Cable Car Barn Museum where you can see the massive motors that spin the cables that draw San Fran’s cable cars up and down the hills. Exhibits include antique cable cars and photos from renovation.
- Visit the Exploratorium - This is a hands-on science museum inside The Palace of Fine Arts. A Roman style remainder of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The outdoor rotunda, and its lagoon, are some of the city’s most photographed sites.
- Chinatown - Next to NYC, this is the most famous Chinatown in the United States. Immigrants from China first came to the west coast and first to San Francisco. Explore the shops and eateries here in this amazing area.
- Harbor Tours - Take a cruise of the bay to see the city from the water.
- Seek out the free events – Union Square is a prime hot spot where you will find exhibits or various other forms of free entertainment. This is also a prime area to see the works of local artists.
- Use public transportation - It is incredibly expensive to park in San Francisco, and with some of the best public transportation in the country, it’s better to skip getting a car.