The Ultimate Guide To Saving Money On Your San Francisco Vacation

The Ultimate Guide To Saving Money On Your San Francisco Vacation

San Francisco is one of the most popular places in the state of California to visit, and for good reason—it’s incredible. It can also be very, very expensive to enjoy, dashing the hopes of many middle-class Americans.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. San Francisco may be one of the most expensive cities in the country to live, but it is possible to enjoy a vacation there without breaking the bank. And Super Cheap Car Rental can help.

San Francisco does have a good public transportation system, but the easiest and quickest way to explore the city and the surrounding areas is by renting a car. The idea of a San Francisco inexpensive car rental might seem unrealistic, but at Super Cheap, we pride ourselves on having plenty of affordable options. And remember, we specialize in San Francisco underage car rental, so you won’t be punished for being a younger renter.

Here are our other tips for saving money on your vacation to the City by the Bay:


Dining Out

There’s no doubt about it, San Francisco is the perfect city for foodies. The dining scene is like no other, but unfortunately, the prices can be pretty hefty.

To save on your restaurant bills, try to time your trip around San Francisco Restaurant Week, which takes place in both January and June. When you arrive, download the Groupon and LivingSocial apps to see if there are any specials you can utilize while you’re there. And definitely, do your research on local happy hours—many of the top restaurants and bars have great food specials as long as you’re willing to eat early (or in some cases, late).



When it comes to San Francisco hotels, your best bet is to do your research. Some of them are always expensive, but some hotels offer significantly more affordable rates in the offseason or during the week. Look for places that are slightly off the beaten path or offer deals, such as free parking and free continental breakfast.

And don’t forget about vacation rental sites like VRBO and AirBnB. In a city as large as San Francisco, you’ll have plenty of options and could end up saving some serious cash.


Affordable Attractions

You don’t have to spend a fortune to explore the City by the Bay. Many of the top attractions are either free or very affordable. It costs nothing to take photos of Haight & Ashbury, the Golden Gate Bridge, or Fisherman’s Wharf.

If you’ll be in the city for a week or will have lots of time for sightseeing invest in a San Francisco CityPASS that’s good for admission to various attractions, unlimited ride on the historic cable car, and even a San Francisco Bay Cruise. If you want to see a show, visit the Cheap Tix booth in Union Square for same-day discounts on all kinds of local performances.


Free Things To Do

Want to save a lot of money? Explore one of San Francisco’s many free attractions. Here are some of our top suggestions:

  • Go for a drive in your rental car on the 49-Mile Drive, which is a fantastic way to see some of the best local sights. And all it will cost you is a little gas money.
  • Explore Chinatown on foot.
  • Walk through Golden Gate Park, one of the most iconic attractions.
  • And, of course, you can always walk across the Golden Gate Bridge for free.
  • Stroll along the waterfront, checking out Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Walk down the “crookedest” Lombard Street.
  • Simply sit and people watch in Union Square.


Free Tours

If you’d like to tour the City by the Bay for free, you’ll have several options. Plan and research ahead of time so you’ll have an idea of the way things work.

  • City Guides is a company that hires volunteer guides to give daily tours at locations around the city. These are often given by longtime locals who really know their stuff. Some of the most popular tours include Chinatown, the Palace Hotel, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Donations are appreciated, but they are not required.
  • Free Tours by Foot also gives free walking tours, but they’re really more of a “name your own price” company. You can get by with not paying, but it’s best to tip at least a little.
  • Urban hikes are also free, and you’ll get some great exercise to boot. The Crissy Field Walk is considered one of the best urban walks in the nation, while the Telegraph Hill Hike is slightly steeper and more challenging.


Free museum admission

If you want to visit the Cable Car Museum or the San Francisco Fire Museum, rejoice: Admission is always free. You can also enjoy the Wells Fargo History Museum free of charge, and while most of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has an admission fee, you can browse the gift shop and the ground floor exhibits for free.

San Francisco is a beautiful city, and by doing your research and planning ahead, you can enjoy an affordable and fun experience.