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San Francisco on a Shoestring

Make the most of this uber hip city by the bay


Whilst San Francisco may be known as one of the seven most expensive cities in the US, don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t do it on a budget. From tasty food to totally unique activities (did we mention wine is cheaper in San Fran than anywhere else in the country?) we’ve got this super cool city on a shoestring covered.

Free wheel along the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco be like peas in a pod. One of the most popular tourist spots in the US, we reckon there’s no better way to see the bridge than on two wheels, cycling along with a bit of smoggy city air in your face (the views ace and the smog isn’t so bad). Top tip – avoid the traffic and rent bikes from Fisherman’s Wharf. Don’t forget your phone for the perfect Instagram shot!

Try scrumptious street food, with a twist

Dive into an explosion of cuisine at San Fran’s weekly Festival of Flavour. With an array of food trucks, live music, jaw dropping views of the bay and great local company you’ll be singing through the streets in no time. Also not to be missed is a weekly event called “Off the Grid” at Fort Mason in the Marina. Happening every Friday between 5-8pm this unique, often raucous experience is a real taste of San Fran culture and lifestyle.

Become culturally savvy

Given the city’s rich cultural pulse, it would only be right to explore San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. You’ll be wowed with the diverse collection of art showcasing pieces from the likes of René Magritte, Jeff Koons, Piet Mondrian and Marcel Duchamp. Best of all, Thursday nights at the museum are half price between 6-8.45pm, so you’ve got no excuse!

Entertainment, burgers and Laundry (trust us)

Believe it or not, this dynamic trio can all be experienced together at popular singles spot Brainwash. Literally genius. Bring along your dirty washing, stay for a juicy burger and catch some live music, comedy or poetry. There’s no entry fee, so it’s basically free entertainment whilst doing the most mundane of chores. Just don’t drop any dirty underwear in front of anyone…

Drop by China

No, we not kidding. San Fran’s Chinatown is not only the oldest and largest of its kind in the US but also unarguably the most popular. The fusion of colours, aromas, sights and smells attract tourists from all around the world to San Francisco’s oriental experience, where you can explore chinese culture, visit temples or snap up an authentic bargin. The entrance to Chinatown is on Grant Street, and be sure to snap a picture of yourself underneath the iconic Dragon Gate.

Travel by cable car

For an authentic, original blast from the past experience, there’s really no better way to get around San Fran than by cable car. This retro ride will give you a tour of the city’s most popular areas including Union Square, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and other districts, and will allow you to experience the city of yonder years, before the buses, cars and taxis invaded the roads. Viva the cable car!

Ready to put our pearls of wisdom to good use and experience San Francisco on a shoestring? We’ve got a range of awesome San Fran trips available – check them out here.

By Samantha Tollman

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