Cheapest Time to Visit San Francisco (and Other Budget Tips)

San Francisco is one of the most famous cities in the world and is known to be expensive. This is the cheapest time to visit and other budget tips.

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  • What is the cheapest time to visit San Francisco?
  • Other San Francisco Budget Tips

San Francisco is one of the most famous cities in the world. The city is known for its rich and diverse culture, fascinating neighborhoods, famous architecture, cable cars, and amazing cities. There is a lot to enjoy in this fun city, but being an affordable destination is definitely not among them. But travelers don’t have to worry, as there are plenty of ways to create an affordable tour to San Francisco, starting with visiting during the cheapest time of the year. One just needs to plan to find out everything on time. This is the cheapest time to visit San Francisco and other budget tips.

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What is the cheapest time to visit San Francisco?

Book flights to San Francisco

Let’s start with booking flights as this is the most important part of traveling to San Francisco. What is the cheapest to book flights? Well, January is the cheapest month of the year to book flights or fly to San Francisco. Of course, very few visitors travel in January, because once the month begins, most tourists are already experiencing post-holiday travel stress. While booking on time is important, getting great deals and how far you book in advance matters even more. When travelers book, they usually buy tickets three months in advance. This means that those who book flights to San Francisco in January are likely to visit in March or April, which are among the cheapest months to explore the city.


How to reduce airline tickets when visiting San Francisco?

  • Take advantage of the days of the week. Most tourists who visit Francisco for business reasons fly on Mondays and Fridays, which makes midweek the cheapest time to enjoy great flight deals.
  • Use Oakland Airport (OAK) instead of San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Other than being close to downtown San Francisco like San Francisco International Airport, flights to the airport are cheaper than those to San Francisco International Airport and arrive faster.
  • Check online flight ticket price quotes from different airlines before booking a flight. It is advisable to visit these websites directly and check the prices to find the ones that offer the cheapest deals.

Related Topics: Interested in an all inclusive booking? This is the cheapest time to book

When is it cheap to stay in San Francisco?

Low season is best to visit San Francisco for cheap hotels. While hotel prices vary, depending on certain factors, May and December are the best months to find cheaper accommodation in the city. Visitors who get there by Wednesdays are likely to get better deals than any other day of the week. Sundays, on weekends, are the most expensive to try to get housing in the city.

Travelers must book accommodation at least 90 days prior to visiting the city to receive the best hotel deals for their stay.

  • The cost of a 3-star hotel in San Francisco: It’s $88 – $444
  • The cost of a 3-star hotel in San Francisco during the weekend: From $99
  • 4 star hotel cost: From $185
  • Average number of days of stay in San Francisco: 3 days


Where to find cheap hotels in San Francisco

San Francisco has some of the highest hotel rates in the United States, averaging $200 per night at the city’s best hotels. Most of these luxury hotels add parking and spa fees to the final cost of the hotel, which obviously makes matters worse.

While this city is known for being expensive, travelers can find affordable hotels. Hotels located around the city center, for example, in the Union Square area offer the best deals. Tourists based in Lower Nob can start with the Herbert Hotel, which is an ideal choice for visitors planning a stay in the city on a budget. The hotel is within walking distance of Union Square. There are other cheaper accommodation options near the Marina District and Koh Hulu.


There are cheaper, family-friendly hotels in the Marina District, near Fisherman’s Wharf, one of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods.

Other San Francisco Budget Tips

  • Go sightseeing on foot: When touring the city to explore some of the most stunning scenery, travelers can’t afford to spend a lot of money. San Francisco is ranked among the five best walkable cities in the country, and visitors can easily walk around and explore some of the city’s most iconic sites.
  • Getting around using public transportation: Buying a multi-day transit pass is the cheapest way to get around the city, and it will save visitors a lot of money. This is an excellent option, especially for travelers looking to stay around for a few days, but have many places to explore on their bucket lists.
  • cheap eats: Tourists don’t have to spend money in restaurants to get some good food. Visit places like La Taqueria and Mission Chinese Food for great meals for less money. Also, street food is a good option to save more cash.


Travelers should practice the planning rule to save their money when visiting San Francisco. The airfare and accommodation prices will be less expensive if one booked one to three months in advance.

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