8 Tips for Traveling San Francisco on a Budget

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

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San Francisco is a city full of vibrant colors, diverse music, and picturesque views. In this lively city, you will find happiness and will definitely enjoy one of the best experiences of your life.

San Fran is one of the most expensive and luxurious places to visit in the US; it should not stop you from having it on your bucket list. You also do not have to break into your bank account and invest your life savings on it. The California city has many cheap spots, places, and things to do. All you need is to find low-cost rates and places to stay.

Let’s explore our ways to visit San Francisco without breaking into your bank. Let’s ride on!

1. Know when the season is right

Usually, airfares and accommodation are pricey in the busiest times of the year like Christmas and New Year Eves. Avoid the summer and early autumn and plan your visit in spring for best rates.

2. Score the cheap flights

Score the cheap flights to San Francisco with one easy tip. Instead of going from your home airport directly to San Francisco, add a stop like San Jose Airport and Oakland Airport. In this way, you can save even a hundred dollars from the flight.

3. Fly on ‘off’ days

Flying on specific days matters a lot if you are looking for cheaper rates. People usually prefer weekend for take-off. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest, and flights are hence expensive. Avoid these days and go for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

4. Get affordable accommodation

Always check the hotel rates, their parking fees, and add on charges that are usually not included in the daily rate. Compare the price with other hotels and accommodations. Look for places on Lombard and Geary Streets west of Market as they are a little cheaper than others. Use Booking.com or TripAdvisor for renting a house, bungalow, or apartment. It will help you save a good sum of money.

5. Look for the hostel as an accommodation:

If you cannot afford apartments or houses, look for hostels. Hostels are much cheaper where you can share a place with family and friends and other travelers.

6. Make use of Public Transit

Worried about how to get around San Francisco for cheaper rates because taxis are expensive? BART is there for you. This network of the train will take you from Sausalito to San Jose, including the San Francisco (SFO) and Oakland (OAK) airports. Bay Area Rapid Transit fares are based on the distance covered. You can grab the card once you get to San Francisco and can use it every time you take BART. You can also use the SF Bay Area Transit app to find the best mode of transportation and the best route.

7. Eat cheap

Check online for cheap eating places on Eater San Francisco and SFist.com. Find the best local food for cheap on Saturdays from the outdoor farmers market in the San Francisco Ferry building

8. Visit places for Free

Visit places like parks and museums with free entry. The Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is a must to visit and have many free events going all the time. Places that you can visit for free or cheap rates are Coit Tower, Lombard Street Murals, and Painted Ladies. There are also apps like CityGuideDeals and San Francisco Travel that will help you plan your trips and get deals.

Explore this city on Budget with these tips and rake advantage of free things.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. See the disclosure policy for more information.

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