San Francisco’s Best Budget Attractions

Today’s article was written by Hari Apostolides.


Photo Credit; Samuel Wantman

San Francisco is an unforgettable place to explore. Famous for sites like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the city is known for its friendliness and culture. But, as we all know, travelling across the pond is usually far from cheap, which makes visiting this city an activity that stretches the purse strings more than we’d perhaps like.

The good news is that while getting to San Francisco may cost more in air fares than destinations closer to home, the metropolis is home to many budget-friendly attractions and accommodation options (visit Hostelbookers to for more on the latter). This means that it’s easy to keep your spending down while you’re here.  To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of the best wallet-friendly places to visit and things to do.

Golden Gate Park

One of the world’s largest manmade parks, Golden Gate Park is seriously impressive. However, it’s not its size alone that makes an impact – its scenery and wealth of things to do means it’s easy to while away hour after hour here.

Walking is a simple and free means of exploring the park. In many ways it’s also the best because it allows you to discover it at your own pace and explore the spots that interest you in-depth. Pack a picnic and you could easily make a day trip of it!

Among the most interesting places to visit while you’re here is the Japanese Tea House and Garden. This absolutely stunning garden is a delight to explore, enter before 10am on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday and you’ll get in for free – avoiding the usual entry fee. My favourite fact about this place is that its designer, Makoto Hagiwara, is believed to have invented the fortune cookie here and introduced it to the US.

Golden Gate Bridge


Photo Credit; Carey Bass

The Golden Gate Bridge is the most iconic structure in San Francisco. Yes, you can simply admire it from afar, but walking across it gives you a much better experience – and neither will cost you money.

As the bridge is 1.7 miles long, it takes longer to cross on foot than your average bridge, but the views of the bay and Alcatraz – not to mention the close-up look at the bridge itself – makes it well worth it. You should bear in mind that it’s not always open to pedestrians, so keep an eye on the attraction’s website ( to make sure you’ll be able to cross when you arrive.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

On the first Tuesday of every month a number of museums waive their entry fees in San Francisco. Among them is the amazing San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which also offers half-price tickets on Thursday evenings (handy if your travel plans don’t line up with the Tuesday offer).

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