Basic prices in San Francisco. Calculate your budget.

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  • > Basic prices in San Francisco. Calculate your budget.

Basic prices in San Francisco. Calculate your budget.

When we travel to a foreign country, and more when they use a different currency, we are always worried about how much money to take. In our post today we review some basic prices in San Francisco based on the experience of our traveller colleagues so you can calculate how much money to take on your trip. In addition, we take the opportunity to give you some tips to travel to San Francisco, which never hurts.

As a general premise, there are quite expensive things in San Francisco like some tourist attractions, restaurants and supermarkets. But there are also cheaper options and not everything costs much more. Get used to paying more than what you see in the menus or labels since the prices of stores or restaurants are usually without taxes. The difference is not much if you don’t order alcoholic beverages, but it must be taken into account to avoid surprises. Also note that alcoholic beverages have special taxes in addition to the normal tax.



Before arriving in San Francisco (or any city in the United States) you will be paying. In order to enter as a tourist in the United States you must have requested ESTA, which is a document that authorizes you to enter as a tourist. Previously you will have to fill out a form indicating that your intentions are honest and pay a fee of $ 14 per person.

Get the ESTA for 2 people - $ 28.00


Food and drink

In San Francisco you can eat for a reasonable price (even very cheap), but if you go to the most tourist areas, you will end up paying more and that does not mean that you receive a higher quality. In addition, if you are looking to eat healthy, the best options to buy fresh fruit and vegetables are in China Town or in Mission since in the supermarkets that you find in the most tourist areas, it is quite complicated that they have something other than bananas or apples.


Picnics at Dolores Park, San Francisco
Picnics at Dolores Park, San Francisco


Eat picnic

San Francisco has many options for an outdoor picnic. In The Golden Gate Park, on an excursion to Sausalito, in Dolores Park... You can buy food to take away at a nearby restaurant, but we give you some supermarket prices so you can get an idea of ​​the prices there.

  • Large Lay’s Chips Bag - $ 3.49
  • Prepared turkey sandwich - $ 4.99
  • Egg salad prepared sandwich - $ 3.49
  • Salad ready to go - $ 6.99
  • Sliced turkey package - $ 5.99
  • Sliced ​​cheese package - $ 4.49
  • Hummus tub - $ 2.99
  • Sliced ​​bread package - $ 2.99
  • 4 kiwis in a greengrocer in China Town - $ 4.00
  • 4 peaches, 1 strawberry tub, 2 plums and 2 large bottles of water in Mariposa - $ 8.85


Tony's Pizza Napoletana at Little Italy, San Francisco
Tony's Pizza Napoletana at Little Italy, San Francisco


Eat pizza in Little Italy

There are quite a few pizzerias and it is possible that our colleagues’ choice was not the most affordable. But it had several award-winning pizzas and it is one of those places where water is free and they serve you whenever you ask.


Old Mision Dolores, San Francisco
Old Mision Dolores, San Francisco


Eat burritos in Mission

In the Latin Quarter you can find healthier food options and for a cheaper price. If you are one of those who miss eating legumes and some salad, it will be the perfect option for you. Tip for savers: in the taquerías they usually give you included with your meal a tray with a few tortilla chips. And there is a table with several sauces that you can get for free as pico de gallo, guacamole or sour cream.

  • Lunch for 2 at Taquería el Toro (2 burritos, large nachos and two Coronas) - $ 41.00


Dragon's Gate at Chinatown, San Francisco
Dragon's Gate at Chinatown, San Francisco


Eat in China Town

Chinese food lovers will find a paradise here. With many restaurant options also tend to be quite cheap, you can eat in quantity and take what you have left over in the typical cardboard boxes. In our example, a vegetarian restaurant where sometimes you are not very sure of what you eat, but it is all delicious.


Sausalito, California
Sausalito, California


Eat in Sausalito

One of the most common day trips in San Francisco is to rent a bicycle to cross the Golden Gate and spend the day in Sausalito. Once there, you can buy food to take away, you can have taken a picnic and eat along the way or you can opt for one of the many restaurants that are there for all tastes.


Burger King's meal in San Francisco
Burger King's meal in San Francisco


Eat at Burger King

If you travel to the United States you have to try some traditional fast food where the measures that are “normal” there are bigger than our “big one” and where the variety of flavored soft drinks is enormous.

  • Meal for two at Burger King - Impossible Whopper: $ 9.58 / Crispy Chicken: $ 8.61


Have some beers or some wines

Here the prices are very different depending on where you are. We give you several examples. In the case of wine tastings, they give you a list from which you can choose which ones to try and usually discount the price if you buy a bottle later.


Bike tour at the Golden Gate, San Francisco
Bike tour at the Golden Gate, San Francisco



The best option for transportation in San Francisco is the Visitor Passport with which you can use metro, bus, tram, street car and cable car. It costs about 6-7 dollars per day and you can use it as much as you want. You can also rent bicycles for days, the most common is to make the excursion to Sausalito and they offer you a ferry ticket to return that you only pay if you have used it. In addition, if you are going to want to travel some areas further away from the city, a good option is to do it by rental car. The car parks in the city center are quite expensive, but there are areas where it is highly recommended not to park.

  • 2 7-day Visitor Passport transport cards - $ 90.00
  • Rent of 2 bicycles for 1 day at Blazing Saddles - $ 27.00
  • 2 ferry tickets from Sausalito to San Francisco (with bike rental) - $ 26.00
  • Bicycle parking in Sausalito for 2 - $ 6.00
  • 6 days rental car - $ 268.56
  • Gasoline for about 650 miles - $ 55.00 (plus a full tank of the rental car)
  • Parking for one night in San Francisco - $ 30.00


Alcatraz Jail on the San Francisco Bay
Alcatraz Jail on the San Francisco Bay



San Francisco offers endless attractions. It depends on your time, your budget and your tastes to see more or less. We give you the prices of the most popular.


Nevada Fall at Yosemite
Nevada Fall at Yosemite


Attractions outside San Francisco

If you plan to take a short tour around San Francisco, you will also have a lot to see.

  • Car entrance fee to Yosemite valid for 6 days - $ 35.00
  • Car entrance fee to 17-Mile Drive (Monterey-Carmel) - $ 10.50
  • Car entrance fee to Point Lobos (Carmel) - $ 10.00
  • Tickets to Muir Woods (Mill Valley) - $ 15.00 per person plus $ 8.00 for parking the car
  • Whale watching (Monterey) - $ 49.00 per person


How to calculate the budget to travel to San Francisco?

With this list you can have an idea of the prices to calculate the money you want to take. To make an approximate quick calculation we recommend about 60-70 Dollars per person and day: $ 20 for lunch, $ 20 for dinner, $ 25 for tickets, $ 7 for transportation.

Although there are days that you don’t spend the entire budget, there will be others that you will spend more. If you are a forecaster, calculate $ 80 per day. If you have left over when you return you can always change them back to Euros.

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Enjoy your trip!