One day in San Francisco with $50!

Hello hello! Here is my next solo trip. San Francisco.. One of the cities where you can truly lose your heart. One of top favorite places of mine. A must-visit city for many 🙂 I have been to San Fran quite a few times now. But for one day I became a tourist and experimented to see if I can enjoy the essence of this place frugally.
My budget = $50

Can you tour the city with just $50? Yes you can !!

I consciously made sure I did not spend anything additional and at the same time have a great time.

SF graphic

Start with a map and some tea!

I reached San Francisco , walked to a library, grabbed a map and went to a coffee shop to spread open the map and decide what I wanted to do for the day.



Walk to the pier

Being the day after the long weekend, there were hardly any people around. I walked to the Pier , enjoyed the clear water and empty roads. It takes about an hour to get to Pier 39 where all the action happens. You could go see the various shops at Pier 39. If the walk is too long, take MUNI, the bus that stops at every street. My next stop was to the Cable Car which was a 15 min walk.


Quiet and empty boardwalk


Cable Car Ride 

Going on a cable car ride is a must-do in San Francisco. Dating back to the 1850s, you can sit inside and enjoy the ride or be adventurous and hang onto the poles on the side. I, of course hung onto the poles and enjoyed the wind the entire time. If you want to learn more about the history of cable cars, you can also check out photographs and displays at the Cable Car Museum. The entrance is free. Check them out here.



Stop at world’s crookedest street, Lombard street

The Powell-Mason cable car line stops at Lombard and Columbus, so that’s an option for getting to the bottom of the curvy street. Alternatively, the Hyde Street cable car will drop you off at the top of the curvy street.

Union Square

The final stop is Union Square which the happening , shopping hub of San Francisco. Gift shops, art galleries, top brand shops, mall , you have it all there.


Go to Golden gate Bridge

From Union Square you could take the MUNI (38) to Golden Gate Bridge. Yet another most important landmark of SFO. Take pictures, drink in the view from Vista Point, bike, walk around, take a tour. Do what pleases you 🙂


Sunrise at the bridge.

Courtesy :

Grab a hot chocolate at Ghirardelli 

What is a trip to San Francisco without a hot chocolate from the famous Ghirardelli Square? After a long day touring around, go to Ghirardelli at the Fisherman’s Wharf and order a hot chocolate (or anything from their list).  Watch the chocolate making process and either sit down or enjoy your drink while walking along the pier.

From Golden Gate Bridge you can take the MUNI (28) back to Ghirardelli Square.


What it being made as you drink!


So how did I come to $50?

Cable car day pass* $20
Breakfast $4
Tea $3
Lunch $8
Hot Chocolate $4
Total $39

The rest $11 can be used for souvenirs , maybe?

*You can use it all day on MUNI and ride multiple times on the cable cars. This saves you money since each ride on MUNI and the cable car costs $2.75 and $7 respectively.

Have you been to SFO or are you planning to? Did you find this useful? What other cities would you like to be featured ?

P.S. It was my first attempt at an info-graphic. Feedback is invited 🙂

Please do leave a comment if you stop by 🙂


13 thoughts on “One day in San Francisco with $50!

  1. I do really like your infographic. You must be a clever cookie to be able to create something like that…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved Ghirardelli so much so that, I visited it a second time.. On my return i thought I had to throw away clothes to make space for the loot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post Jan. Great info-graphics, it actually carries me along with you on this adventure. I’ve always wanted to visit the Golden Gate Bridge but I’m not so adventurous 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post so much, Jan! It takes me back to my honeymoon… which was almost exactly 6 months ago. San Francisco was wonderful, although we spent a little bit more than $50 😉 I love that you used an actual map, it makes your trip seem all the more whimsical and magical. I’d be so afraid to navigate a new city by myself. I have no sense of direction, even with GPS literally yelling at me, telling me where to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome suggestions! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award, which you can read about here:
    No pressure to post about this on your blog, although I would love to read your answer to the questions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wow jan i love it u did great at this for a newbe … i am too but need to learn more keep going
    oh my blog if u r interested is it is blogging my memoir good work 🙂 blessings


  7. This is a great info. I love reading your solo trip planning and itineraries. It quite amazes me that you enjoy yourself :). I have never done such thing and would like to do some day in the near future. Giradelli sounds very promising :). I have been to SFO but was in car hitting all touristic places and moving on. I love your version better.


  8. I was in SFO early-April, and you can indeed cover it within $50 in a day! It is an awesome city 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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