San Francisco – Surprisingly Affordable Place to Visit

Jonah Andersson August 29, 2012
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Early Morning in San Francisco
San Francisco is a beautiful city to visit; however, it can also be one of the more expensive ones to see. There are plenty of ways to save money without sacrificing comfort while on a vacation here.

Places to Stay

Hotels in San Francisco can be expensive, but multiple venues are reasonably priced here. You can receive a discount if you visit from November through February. It can be helpful to check travel websites to see if any last-minute deals are available. Union Square is an excellent area to consider, as hotels in this section of town have lower rates while also being close to major attractions.

San Francisco has a number of hostels for you to consider. Hostels are normally dormitories with community showers; however, there are a few in San Francisco that are four person rooms. Many do not require advance reservations, and a few of them even serve breakfast. Hostels are located in various locations throughout the city including in Union Square, the downtown area, and along Fisherman’s Wharf. You can save even more money by taking advantage of one of the hostels that has a fully-equipped kitchen.

Saving on Eating Out

One of the best ways to save money on eating out is by having food delivered to your hotel or dorm room. San Francisco is known for its Chinatown, which means there are plenty of Chinese restaurants that will gladly bring a meal to you without charging you a fortune. You may find that one order is large enough for two meals, so if you can rent a room with a refrigerator, you’ll be able to take advantage of leftovers.

If you do decide to eat out, you may want to check with the locals to find some inexpensive restaurants that are off the beaten path. You can also visit one of the many restaurant review sites to get a better idea which restaurants have inexpensive meal options. You could also ask hotel or hostel staff members for some recommendations that won’t break the bank.

Saving on Attractions

There are plenty of attractions in San Francisco that you can visit for free or at a reduced rate. One of the inexpensive ways to see the city is by taking a walking tour, which comes complete with a guide. You can also purchase a City Pass that provides a discount on a multitude of San Francisco attractions along with free rides in a cable car. Alcatraz is a popular tourist destination, and admission to this former prison is free with the purchase of a ferry ticket. Fisherman’s Wharf is free to visit, and will afford you the opportunity to see shipwrecks and sea lions, or simply enjoy a casual stroll or picnic lunch.

There are a number of options available when it comes to saving money on lodging, food, and attractions in San Francisco. If you’ve been dreaming of seeing the City by the Bay, make plans now to come here, even if you are on a budget.

Fran Bricks is a guest writer for, a site she recommends for accessing Online Menus – San Francisco.

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