San Francisco is a vibrant city with beautiful architecture, a rich culture, and famous landmarks. From the Golden Gate Bridge to your typical café, San Francisco has everything you need for your vacation. Whether you’re on a budget or have money to spend, this city will surely blow you away with its natural colour.

10 Free Places to Visit in San Francisco

They say the best things in life are free. Although San Francisco is known to be quite costly, you can still enjoy the city while on a budget. Here are 10 free places to visit in San Francisco. Pro tip: Make your travel smoother and more comfortable with a rental car SFO service.

  1. The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is the symbol of San Francisco. From action movies like James Bond to sci-fi films like Star Trek and X-Men, many films have featured architectural beauty, which led to its massive popularity. With an average of 10 million people flocking to the bridge each year, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge is essential for any tourist. The best part is it’s free. So, don’t worry about paying anything. People usually walk halfway across the bridge and take a picture before returning to the city. Since its completion in 1937, it remains one of the most famous bridges, with it being the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world. 

  1. San Francisco Cable Car Museum

San Francisco is filled with museums that could easily take your breath away. If you’re a cable car or history junkie, then the San Francisco Cable Car Museum may be perfect for you. The cable car museum features the Sutter Street Railway and the Clay Street Hill Railroad. It also shows you how the entire cable car system works. You can find this free museum at 1201 Mason Street. 

  1. Pier 39

Pier 39 is a local and tourist favorite, the most visited destination in San Francisco. It is free and offers various attractions like the Aquarium, shops, restaurants, and a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. This shopping center is a family-favorite stop that kids will love, especially with the sea lions constantly showing up at the pier. 

  1. Fisherman’s Wharf

Another popular tourist destination is the Fisherman’s Wharf. In 1906, after a massive earthquake hit San Francisco, this tourist sport quickly became famous for its Fishing Fleet.

  1. San Francisco Beaches

San Francisco is known for their city life; however, you’d be surprised at how beautiful and organic San Francisco’s beaches are. Whether traveling alone, with a friend, or with your family, visiting the local beach can be calming and a great experience without spending a dime. 

  1. City Lights

If you’re one to hit the books when things get tough, you’ll surely enjoy visiting the historical City Lights. Since its opening in 1953, this shop has been a historical place for all things literature. The shop became a famous meeting place for legendary writers like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. These days, many authors and up-and-coming writers, performance artists, and poets gather for regular readings and performances.

  1. Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts was built in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Located at the heart of the Marina District, this open-air and classic piece of architecture is a work of art surrounded by the lake. Dubbed one of the most peaceful and beautiful spots in San Francisco, feel free to wander around the monumental structure, but don’t be surprised if you see a wedding party or two. 

  1. Hamon Observation Tower

The Hamon Observation Tower, opened in 2005 as part of the de Young Museum, gives you views of downtown San Francisco, the Pacific Ocean, and the California Academy of Sciences.

  1. Maritime National Historical Park

If you’re interested in Maritime history, then the Maritime National Historical Park might be the perfect place to visit. As you go through the park, you’ll soon learn about the story of the city’s maritime heritage. 

  1. San Francisco Botanical Garden

The San Francisco Botanical Garden showcases over 8,000 plants, including tree species from various countries. The botanical garden can easily be your escape, where you can connect with nature and have the peace you might crave amid the bustling city. The San Francisco Botanical Garden offers free admission every day between 7:30 and 9:30 am, so plan your visit around this period. 

Budget Tips to Help You Save Money on San Francisco Travel

Over 20 million tourists visit the Golden State each year. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that San Francisco is an affordable city. With the city’s reputation for being costly, learning how to budget is vital, especially for those who need more money to spare. Here are a few budget tips that you can do to save on your SFO Travel:

  1. Map everything out.

With millions visiting San Francisco each year, the city’s high season spreads across the year. It’s important to know when hotel and airfares are cheaper. The city’s hotel rates are highest from August to October, so it’s best to visit around January or February when the weather and prices are lower. Once you’ve planned when you’ll visit, it’s also essential to map out where you’ll be visiting and the possible expenses you might incur for each visit. 

  1. Rent a car instead.

Although San Francisco is generally a city where public transportation thrives, if you want to travel based on your schedule and spend less by paying for taxis or Uber, your next best option is a rental car. Budget Rental Car is a car-for-rent service you can consider in San Francisco. With a rental car,  you can travel outside city limits and at your own pace. You won’t have to worry about missing the bus or cable car.

  1. Switch restaurants with casual spots.

When you’re on vacation, believe it or not, you spend the most on food. When visiting San Francisco, especially on a budget, buy food from casual shops and cafés across the city instead of expensive restaurants. You’ll not only understand the city more but also get to experience what San Francisco has to offer.


Travel on a Budget in San Francisco!

San Francisco’s high cost of living is well-known. However, even though the city’s expensive, you can still enjoy it to the fullest. The town offers several budget-friendly attractions that are waiting for you to visit. Move away from the television and experience the beauty San Francisco has to offer in real life, no matter the budget.