- 1 Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco: 25 Activities & Attractions for $15 or Less Each
- 2 1. Baker Beach
- 3 2. Alamo Square
- 4 3. Beat Museum
- 5 4. Botanical Gardens
- 6 5. Cable Car Museum
- 7 6. Camera Obscura
- 8 7. Chinese Temples
- 9 8. City Hall
- 10 9. Coit Tower
- 11 10. Columbarium
- 12 11. Conservatory of Flowers
- 13 12. de Young + Legion of Honor
- 14 13. Diego Rivera Frescos
- 15 14. GLBT Museum
- 16 15. Golden Gate Bridge
- 17 16. Golden Gate Cookie Factory
- 18 17. Grace Cathedral
- 19 18. Haas Lilienthal House
- 20 19. Japanese Tea Garden
- 21 20. Lombard Street
- 22 21. Maritime Museum
- 23 22. Mission San Francisco de Asis
- 24 23. Palace of Fine Arts
- 25 24. Pier 24 Photography Museum
- 26 25. Street Art & Murals
- 27 Save on Your Hotel Stay
- 28 Extra Information About affordable things to do in san francisco That You May Find Interested
- 29 Frequently Asked Questions About affordable things to do in san francisco
- 29.1 What in San Francisco shouldn’t I miss?
- 29.2 Is San Francisco affordable?
- 29.3 What should I do in San Francisco for a half day?
- 29.4 What month is the least expensive to travel to San Francisco?
- 29.5 Does Fishermans Wharf merit a visit?
- 29.6 When is the ideal time to travel to San Francisco?
- 29.7 In San Francisco, how much cash should I bring?
- 29.8 How long should you spend in San Francisco?
- 29.9 Do two days in San Francisco suffice?
- 29.10 How should I dress for San Francisco?
Below is information and knowledge on the topic affordable things to do in san francisco gather and compiled by the yugo.vn team. Along with other related topics like: Free things to do in San Francisco, Free things to do in San Francisco at night, Unique things to do in San Francisco, Cheap things to do in SF at night, Free things to do in SF this weekend, What to do in San Francisco without a car, Things to do on your own in San Francisco, Cheap things to do in the Bay Area.
ngs to Do in San Francisco: 25 Ideas for $15 or Less
Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco: 25 Activities & Attractions for $15 or Less Each
Cheap things to do in San Francisco offer you the chance to save some money on your visit. My list of 25 activities includes both free options and others that cost $15 or less per person.
On my list, you will find top attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and Alamo Square. You will also find fun museums such as the Conservatory of Flowers, the Beat Museum, and the Mission San Francisco de Asis.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
1. Baker Beach
View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach
Gorgeous Baker Beach lies tucked away from all the hustle and bustle, on the northwest corner of San Francisco. With unique views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the west, this is a fun place to explore the scenic cliffs and the water where the bay meets the Pacific Ocean.
The walk to get here is fun and beautiful in itself–you can either take the coastal trail from the Presidio and walk down the Sand Ladder or take the stairs from the lovely Sea Cliff neighborhood.
>> Pictures of and tips to get to Baker Beach
2. Alamo Square
This famous San Francisco attraction may be free to visit, but the view is worth a million bucks! You can relive that scene from “Full House” where the Tanners are having a picnic on the lawn right in front of a row of pretty Victorian homes with the SF skyline in the background.
Just head to the centrally located Alamo Square neighborhood and get your camera ready to capture the pastel-colored, ornate Painted Ladies.
>> More info on visiting Alamo Square
>> More about all of the Painted Ladies around SF
3. Beat Museum
Kerouac fans get ready to be amazed–this museum in SF’s North Beach is a real mind blower! And if you don’t know about Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, or Lawrence Ferlinghetti, there’s no better place to discover their work than right here where the Beat Generation began.
Predecessors to the hippies of the Haight Ashbury, these 1950s writers and artists settled here and created a historic counterculture movement to which this museum now pays tribute.
>> More about SF’s Beat Museum in North Beach
4. Botanical Gardens
Cost: $13 from February – October, $10 from November – January
One of the most relaxing and cheap things to do in San Francisco is visiting the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. This well-groomed, beautifully managed 55-acre space features colorful plants and flowers from all over the world.
There is plenty of natural beauty to admire here no matter what time of year you visit, and the Magnolia Collection and Redwood Gardens are always must-sees.
>> What to expect on a visit to the Botanical Gardens
5. Cable Car Museum
During your visit, top off that coveted cable car ride with a trip to the SF Cable Car Museum so you can see for yourself all the behind-the-scenes action that makes them work.
This museum is free to visit, and you’ll not only see the giant wheels that pull the cables, but a lovely exhibit of cable car photos and history that explains the evolution of this historic method of transportation. The museum is located between Nob Hill and Chinatown, and doubles as a barn for the cars at night.
>> What there is to see at the Cable Car Museum
6. Camera Obscura
San Francisco is home to the country’s oldest camera obscura and it is the only one that exists in a free-standing building. The concept of this giant optical device that produces 360-degree live images was conceived by Leonardo da Vinci, but this one dates back to the heyday of SF’s former amusement park, Playland at the Beach.
Located on Point Lobos Avenue, right behind the Cliff House, this fun relic is a great stop for photography and history buffs.
>> More hidden gems in San Francisco
7. Chinese Temples
There is so much to see and do in Chinatown, it’s easy to miss the Buddhist temples, but they are interesting pieces of culture and open to the public. You’ll find these sacred places decorated with red and gold, carvings and statues, lanterns, flowers, fruit, and more.
Some of the religious figures are among the oldest Chinese artifacts in the US. Click the link below to find out how to get to these places of worship.
>> More details on visiting the best ones
8. City Hall
SF City Hall is the centerpiece of the Civic Center district. Built in 1915, it has a grand presence with its ornate columns, large rotunda, and golden dome (the tallest dome in the country, even higher than the US Capitol!).
If you visit during the day, you’ll be able to walk around inside and admire the marble staircase and carvings that set the backdrop for so many weddings. At night, this architectural beauty is all lit up, and sometimes in different colors for the holidays or in support of the local sports teams.
>> What to see during your visit
9. Coit Tower
One of the most spectacular cheap things to do in San Francisco is to take in the excellent views of the bay and city from the observation deck of Coit Tower. You can also enjoy the colorful and historic Diego Rivera-inspired murals that line the interior, depict scenes of local life from the 1930s (this part is free).
Coit Tower sits atop Telegraph Hill. To get here, you could either drive, take public transit, or walk up the Filbert stairs while listening to the park’s well-known wild parrots.
>> Pictures of its murals and tips to visit
A building that stores the ashes of the deceased is not exactly your typical tourist destination, but the SF Columbarium is truly beautiful and worth a visit.
This neoclassical building was once part of a larger cemetery, but in the 1920s when burials were banned within city limits and all existing graves were being relocated, the Columbarium remained one of only two official places of remembrance in San Francisco. Step inside to check out the large rotunda, stained-glass windows, and the Harvey Milk tribute.
>> How to get here and what to see during your visit
11. Conservatory of Flowers
Another one of the best cheap things to do in San Francisco is located in Golden Gate Park in a prominent, ornate white building. Opened in 1879, the Conservatory of Flowers stands out as the country’s oldest public greenhouse made of glass and wood. Inside, it houses a great array of flowers from all over the planet, from lowland and highland tropics to aquatic plants and potted plants.
There is also an incredible dahlia garden and special exhibits.
>> Pictures of its plants and what else you will see inside
Go Card: The Conservatory of Flowers is also part of the Go Card. It’s a discount pass that will help you save during your stay. Learn more here.
12. de Young + Legion of Honor
Cost: $15 total (coming out to $7.50 each)
It seems strange to have a $15 ticket here, but there is a great deal for visiting the two best fine arts museums in San Francisco. Admission is $15 to either one, but with your ticket you also get same-day admission to the other.
Essentially, you get to see two renowned museums in one day for $7.50 each! By visiting both, you get to enjoy a diverse selection of paintings and sculptures, and two different areas of the city: Golden Gate Park and the Presidio.
>> More about what to expect in the de Young
>> What you will find inside the Legion of Honor
13. Diego Rivera Frescos
Diego Rivera was a celebrated but controversial Mexican painter whose legacy in San Francisco includes three brilliant large frescos. His murals date back to the 1930s and 40s, when he was a devoted member of the Mexican Communist Party.
His work reflects different aspects of Californian lives and struggles and has been admired for generations in these three public spaces where you can visit them for free.
>> Where you can find all three
14. GLBT Museum
Walking inside the GLBT Museum in SF’s famous Castro district is one of the most emotionally powerful cheap things to do in San Francisco.
You’ll be exposed to the past century of history in the international, as well as local, queer community–including information on Harvey Milk, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who was assassinated while serving as California’s first openly gay elected official.
>> More about visiting
15. Golden Gate Bridge
On opening day in May 1937, some 200,000 people made the first historic pedestrian crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge. At that time, it was the longest suspension bridge ever built.
Today, the bridge continues to welcome thousands of visitors from far and wide to see this shining orange architectural beauty in person. The Golden Gate Bridge is SF’s symbol of pride and accomplishment, and probably the most recognizable bridge in the world.
>> How to get here and what else you will see
>> You can also explore the bridge with this self-guided audio tour
If you’re going to spend some time in SF’s Chinatown, take a few minutes to stop by the Golden Gate Cookie Factory for free. After having eaten so many fortune cookies at the end of a good Chinese meal, it’s such a fun experience to see them being made!
Watch the baking, folding, and fortune-wrapping of these treats executed by those who have kept this factory operating since 1962.
>> How to find this hidden gem
>> See more of Chinatown on this guided tour
17. Grace Cathedral
One of the memorable cheap things to do in San Francisco is to visit Grace Cathedral, the third largest Episcopalian church in the nation.
Located in the Nob Hill neighborhood, this beauty sticks out with its big French Gothic bell towers and its golden “Gates of Paradise.” The inside is even more stunning, with its murals, labyrinth, and AIDS memorial.
>> What to see and do on your visit
18. Haas Lilienthal House
You’ll see plenty of beautiful Victorian homes in San Francisco, but this is the only one actually open to the public. Built in 1886, it’s a Queen Anne-style mansion with classic architectural features that have been very well preserved.
Step inside to admire the grand woodwork and furniture and get a glimpse of what it was like to live in SF during this era as if you were the Haas Lilienthal family.
>> More about this historic Victorian and how to visit
19. Japanese Tea Garden
Cost: $13 (Free on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before 10am)
From the ornate wooden entrance gate to the five-story pagoda, continuing to the high arching drum bridge and to the zen rock garden, taking a stroll in the Japanese Tea Garden is like stepping into another world.
This impeccably landscaped and beautifully serene place will have you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Don’t miss this gem in Golden Gate Park–it’s inexpensive to visit at any time, and totally free on some weekday mornings!
>> When to visit and tips to get here
20. Lombard Street
Another favorite among the cheap things to do in San Francisco is visiting the famously crooked Lombard Street. It’s so steep that cars traverse its curves back and forth eight times in just a one-block stretch as they descend from Hyde to Leavenworth.
From the top, you get a great view of Coit Tower and the SF Bay, and from the bottom you can snap that classic picture of the winding red-brick road peeking out from the green gardens.
>> How to enjoy your visit
21. Maritime Museum
This small but well-done museum in the popular Fisherman’s Wharf district brings to light what made this waterfront community thrive in the first place. Completely free to enjoy, the museum does a great job of teaching about life at sea for San Franciscans through old artifacts, colorful murals, and hands-on exhibits.
Plus, you’ll get excellent views of Alcatraz, the Hyde Street Pier, and the Golden Gate Bridge from here.
>> More about their interactive exhibits
22. Mission San Francisco de Asis
Ever wonder what gave SF’s now trendy Latin district its name? Made with thick adobe walls, the Mission San Francisco de Asis (more commonly known as Mission Dolores) is the oldest building in San Francisco and played a huge role in the Spanish colonial era of this city.
Here you’ll find a chapel, basilica, cemetery, and a lot of interesting history.
>> Pictures and what to look for during your visit
23. Palace of Fine Arts
This celebrated work of architecture is one of the most photographed and filmed sites in San Francisco. The Roman columns, grand rotunda, and reflective lake are both peaceful and awe-inspiring, the perfect place to take a romantic stroll or have a picnic with the family.
The Palace of Fine Arts is the only remaining relic of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, the city decided to keep it since it was too beautiful to tear down like the rest of the fair.
>> Ways to enjoy this historic attraction
24. Pier 24 Photography Museum
Another one of the cheap things to do in San Francisco for art and photography fans is to visit the Pier 24 Photography Museum. Behind the unassuming door to the pier, you’ll find a whopping 20 different galleries of beautiful photographs, each with a unique layout.
Admission is completely free, but you will need to make a reservation in advance to get in. They recommend allowing about two hours to enjoy the whole museum.
>> How to book your visit
25. Street Art & Murals
Meandering the city and admiring the art all around it is one of my favorite cheap things to do in San Francisco. There are over one thousand murals spread throughout the city’s streets, and many are concentrated in the Mission and North Beach districts.
There are also incredible, historic murals on the inside walls of Coit Tower, the Rincon Center, and the Beach Chalet. Click the link below for tips on where to look for these incredible works of art.
>> Where to find the most colorful pieces
>> This guided tour is another fun way to explore the area and its murals
Save on Your Hotel Stay
Find great deals on your hotels on Booking.com and TripAdvisor. Both give you an insider’s view on deals all around town. Click the links below for details.
Booking: Find great deals all around San Francisco for your upcoming stay!
TripAdvisor: What’s the #1 hotel in San Francisco? Read reviews & find hotel deals on TripAdvisor!
VRBO: In addition to hotels, you’ll also find some great places to stay locally through VRBO. Book an apartment or a room and feel more like a local. Find some great places to stay on VRBO here.
In addition to these 25 cheap things to do in San Francisco, you will also find hundreds more free activities.
Free Events: Every month, you will find almost a dozen free festivals and events. Many are fun street festivals with live music and other entertainment. Some of our film festivals are also free. Click here for an entire list ordered by month and a few that last several months long.
Free Attractions: SF has many other free attractions in addition to the ones mentioned above. Find a list of my 10 favorites here.
Free Museums: I’ve mentioned some of the free museums above, but you will find more on this list. They include the Maritime Museum, the Wells Fargo Museum, and the Fire Department Museum. Find a full list here.
All Free Things to Do: This is where you will find all of the best free things to do. Click here to check it out today.
Extra Information About affordable things to do in san francisco That You May Find Interested
If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.
Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco: 25 Ideas for $15 or …
Rating: 4⭐ (551379 rating)
Highest Rate: 5⭐
Lowest Rate: 2⭐
Sumary: Cheap things to do in San Francisco include City Hall, free and inexpensive museums, & our famed street art. Find my list of 25 at $15 or less per person.
Matching Result: Results 1 – 30 of 315 — Best Budget-Friendly Things to Do in San Francisco · 1. Alcatraz Island · 2. Golden Gate Bridge · 3. Cable Cars · 4. Pier 39 · 5. Lombard Street.
- Intro: Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco: 25 Ideas for $15 or Less Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco: 25 Activities & Attractions for $15 or Less Each Cheap things to do in San Francisco offer you the chance to save some money on your visit. My list of…
How to Visit San Francisco on a Budget
Rating: 4⭐ (551379 rating)
Highest Rate: 5⭐
Lowest Rate: 2⭐
Sumary: Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t visit museums, enjoy breathtaking views, see local landmarks or get lodging in a great location in San Francisco.
Matching Result: Free Things to Do · Golden Gate Bridge · Free San Francisco Walking Tours · The Presidio · Free San Francisco Festivals · Mission District Murals.
- Intro: How to Visit San Francisco on a BudgetMajor California cities are not exactly known for being affordable to visit, which is why you might be surprised at how many cheap or free attractions San Francisco has. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t visit museums, enjoy breathtaking…
60+ Free and Affordable Things To Do In San Francisco …
Rating: 4⭐ (551379 rating)
Highest Rate: 5⭐
Lowest Rate: 2⭐
Sumary: Your ultimate travel guide to the best free and affordable things to do in San Francisco, California. You won’t need to go broke exploring this vibrant city.
Matching Result: SF’s 117-Year-Old Bar “Savoy Tivoli” Reopens After 4 Years · Huge End-of-2022 Craft Market at Hangar 1’s Alameda Distillery · Bay Area Might Get a New 4-Lane “ …
- Intro: 60+ Free and Affordable Things To Do In San Francisco, California – Travels With ElleIf you like nature, stunning architecture, shopping, museums, divey/hipster bars, and exceptional food in a city with a laid back vibe, San Francisco is a must. There’s so much to see and do within 49 square…
Top 10 Things To Do in San Francisco For $10 or Less
Rating: 4⭐ (551379 rating)
Highest Rate: 5⭐
Lowest Rate: 2⭐
Sumary: San Francisco is a famously expensive city, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find anything cheap, or even free to do. In fact, the Golden Gate City overs such a wide range…
Matching Result: Fly fishing, archery, golf, soccer, archery, lawn bowling and model boat sailing are just a few of the activities here. It’s worth visiting just to enjoy a …
- Intro: Top 10 Things To Do in San Francisco For $10 or Less – Trips To Discover Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. San Francisco is a famously expensive city, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find anything cheap, or…
Frequently Asked Questions About affordable things to do in san francisco
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic affordable things to do in san francisco, then this section may help you solve it.
What in San Francisco shouldn’t I miss?
- View of Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach.
- Visit the Musee Mecanique.
- Eat at Spark Social Food Trucks.
- Have Tea at the Japanese Tea Garden.
- Soak Up the sun at Dolores Park.
- See the Mission Murals.
- Visit Haight Ashbury.
- Eat Italian at North Beach.
Is San Francisco affordable?
There are ways to reduce the cost of your trip to San Francisco, despite the city’s well-deserved reputation as being pricey and the Bay Area as a whole consistently ranking as one of the most expensive places to live in the country.
What should I do in San Francisco for a half day?
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page may result in me earning a small commission.
- Visit the Golden Gate Bridge. …
- Explore Alcatraz Island. …
- Stroll Around the California Academy of Sciences. …
- Enjoy the Museum of Modern Art. …
- Sample Some of Our Amazing Cuisines. …
- Admire Our Street Art & Murals. …
- Cruise the SF Bay. …
- Take a City Tour.
What month is the least expensive to travel to San Francisco?
Does Fishermans Wharf merit a visit?
Fisherman’s Wharf really is a must-see if you’re looking to explore all of San Francisco, from its alternative underbelly to its mainstream attractions, but it’s so tourist-heavy that some visitors might prefer the quieter, more authentic attractions nearby (like the Castro or Presidio Tunnel Tops).
When is the ideal time to travel to San Francisco?
Believe it or not, fall offers some of the city’s warmest temperatures year-round, as well as fewer crowds than summer. Spring is another good time to visit thanks to its mild temperatures and lack of rain (compared to other parts of California). September to November is the best time to visit San Francisco.
In San Francisco, how much cash should I bring?
You should budget approximately 75 per day for your trip to San Francisco, which is the average daily price based on the costs incurred by other visitors. Previous visitors have spent, on average, 2 on meals for one day and 3 on local transportation.
How long should you spend in San Francisco?
Most tourists find that three days in San Francisco are sufficient to get a good overview of the city; however, if you have a week, it’s strongly advised that you take a few day trips from San Francisco, such as to the Wine Country or to the vibrant cities of Oakland and Berkeley, which are located across the Bay.
Do two days in San Francisco suffice?
So, with this in mind, here is a brief but detailed 2 day San Francisco itinerary that gives you a general overview of the city and its most famous Californian landmarks, like Pier 39, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate. First-timers should spend at least 2 or 3 days maximum here.
How should I dress for San Francisco?
You don’t have to worry about being too formal so leave the blazers and fancy dresses at home if you’re going to San Francisco, but outside the city, you’ll experience more real seasons, so layers are key when it comes to clothing.