Cheap Flights to San Francisco

San Francisco photo

San Francisco overview


The view alone of the Golden Gate Bridge glinting in the sunlight makes catching a cheap flight to San Francisco worth it. A vibrant city made up of several distinct and inviting neighbourhoods, San Fran is renowned for its chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills, and eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture. North Beach is one of the most beloved neighbourhoods. Known for its cafe culture, it has everything that has made San Francisco famous: cable cars, roller-coaster-like streets, funky bars and bohemian life. Pacific Heights is swanky with elegant mansions; the Castro is known around the world as a centre for progressive gay culture; Chinatown is the largest of its kind that you will find without flying to Asia; and Haight-Ashbury, no longer the epicentre of hippie culture, still holds on to its laidback vibe even as its streets fill with exclusive boutiques and hip – though pricey – restaurants.

Culture buffs flying to San Francisco have endless venues and activities to choose from on their holidays. Located on a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the city is home to the San Francisco Opera, the second-largest company in the United States. The Fillmore Auditorium, a historic music venue, gained fame in the 1960s, housing a stage where now-famous musicians such as Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane first performed and created what is known as the “San Francisco Sound.” The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is home to cherished 20th Century and contemporary works of art. The California Academy of Sciences, a natural history museum, also hosts the Morrison Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium. San Francisco is home to great sports franchises such as the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL and two Major League Baseball teams: the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants.

Getting around San Francisco

Renting a car in San Francisco is more trouble than it’s worth. The city is covered with steep hills and one-way streets, traffic backups can be a nightmare and parking is scarce and expensive. You’ll only need a car if you’re heading out of town. It’s easy to get around on foot and the public transportation system can get you anywhere else. San Francisco’s main transportation network is the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). It has 100 bus lines with electric trolley buses and the famous historic cable cars. Riding one of the cable cars from the Nob Hill down to Fisherman’s Wharf is an integral part of the San Francisco tourist experience. Check out the Muni Passports that offer unlimited rides for several days. Biking is a popular way to get around, but you’ll have to steel yourself to get up and over some of the hills. The easiest way to get a cab is calling ahead or lining up for one at a hotel stand. To get out of the city, you can hop aboard the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the fast and efficient subway linking the city to the East Bay. You can also catch one of the many ferries sailing for Sausalito, Larkspur and Tiburon.

San Francisco insider information

  • Golden Gate Park, larger than Central Park in New York, is a wonderful green space. It boasts some major attractions such as the Japanese Tea Garden, the Music Concourse Area, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum and the Academy of Sciences, one of the largest natural history museums in the world. 
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum has more than 7,500 plant species. The National AIDS Memorial Grove was first envisioned in 1988 by a small group of San Franciscans who were looking for a way to express their grief at the deaths of so many family members and friends. Today, this serene space is a living tribute to all whose lives have been touched by AIDS.
  • A starter list of free attractions for those on a budget includes the Cable Car Museum; Creativity Explored; Musée Mécanique in Fisherman's Wharf, home to one of the largest privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in the world; Mission Dolores (although the suggested donation is $5), Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Centre; the Randall Museum (where children and adults can explore the creative aspects of art and science); galleries at the San Francisco Art Institute; the Wells Fargo Bank History Museum and the Tattoo Art Museum.
  • Alcatraz: more than just the prison where Al Capone and Robert Stroud and others languished, the island was the location of the first U.S. fort and lighthouse on the West Coast. Make reservations in advance, perhaps as you book your cheap flights to San Francisco, as tours fill up quickly. If visiting at the end of September, watch or join the Alcatraz Invitational Swim.
  • Wine country is just an hour or so from San Francisco. Most of California's wineries are in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. Napa Valley has more wineries and attracts more tourists. Sonoma is lower key with family-run wineries.
  • Pick up a CityPass. For little more than $50 you get a book containing tickets to San Francisco's greatest attractions, at savings of almost 50 per cent. It's valid for nine days from the first day of use and contains admission tickets to the following attractions: Muni & Cable Car 7-Day Passport, California Academy of Sciences, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, Aquarium of the Bay and SF Museum of Modern Art.

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How much do things cost in San Francisco?

Loaf of white bread
C$ 5.12
Bottle of wine
C$ 18.94
A dozen eggs
C$ 4.94
Large bottle of water
C$ 2.70
Cheap meal
C$ 18.94
C$ 5.56
3 course meal for 2
C$ 94.70
Small bottle of water (0.33 litre)
C$ 2.21
Clothing & Shoes
Pair of Nike shoes
C$ 106.48
Pair of jeans
C$ 69.46
One-way ticket (local transport)
C$ 3.16
1 km taxi journey
C$ 2.26
Taxi - fixed fee
C$ 4.42
Petrol (1 litre)
C$ 1.11
How much does an apartment cost in San Francisco?
1 bedroom apartment downtown
C$ 4160
3 bedroom apartment downtown
C$ 7572
1 bedroom apartment in the suburbs
C$ 3268
3 bedroom apartment in the suburbs
C$ 5401

International departures to San Francisco