Money and Safety

  • San Francisco is known for being near the top of the lists of most expensive cities in the United States.  It is somewhat comparable to prices you would see in New York, Chicago, etc. 
  • ATMs are plentiful and can be found on just about any street corner, bodega, grocery store, etc.  Most people get by using credit and/or debit cards.
  • San Francisco is a great city for finding a vast price range of meals.  Budget conscious meals can range from $7-15, $20-40 for mid-range, or $45+ for the more higher end meals. Chinese food is known for being excellent in San Francisco and can be found on the less expensive side of price spectrum.  *Prices do not reflect the cost of alcohol.
  • Depending on where you are going, the average cost of cabs is $15-25 plus tip. Car share services, like Uber, are other alternatives to get around via car if you are not renting one.
  • Standard fares for buses or streetcars starts at $2.25.  Cable cars cost $6 per ride and can be bought onboard. BART fares start at $1.85 for a one-way ticket, and you can look into buying day (or multiple day) passes for this, the Muni, and all other public transits. 
  • The recent tech boom in San Francisco has caused hotel prices to dramatically increase.  A standard budget hotel option can cost between $100-200 per night.  Boutique hotels can range from $180-400 per night, with other luxury accommodations exceeding that.  There is always Airbnb (which I had an amazing experience with in SF), which can sometimes yield a less expensive lodging option.
  • San Francisco has a wide variety of leisure activities that range from FREE (Fishermans Wharf, Union Square, street/neighborhood events, etc.) to lower budget tickets to shows and events that start around $10-20, to opera or other shows that can range from $90-150+.
  • As with any large city, keep your city smarts about you. Be cautious of your surroundings, but enjoy yourself because San Francisco is a pretty safe city.
  • This is also a great and safe destination for solo women travelers as well as the LGBT travelers (SF has one of the biggest and most active communities in the country).  As long as you're being smart about what you're doing, staying away from seedy areas, and keeping your belongings close, you should be fine at all times.