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Here Are 9 Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco This Weekend

Here Are 9 Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco This Weekend

Discover affordable San Francisco weekend activities, from iconic bridge walks to street art tours and free museum visits. Team


2 min read

November 07, 2023

San Francisco, with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, bustling Fisherman's Wharf, and scenic parks, can be a surprisingly affordable destination for those who know where to look. While the city is known for its high cost of living, there's a treasure trove of activities that won't burn a hole in your wallet, especially if you're planning for a weekend excursion. Here's a list of the cheapest things to do in San Francisco this weekend that promise fun without the splurge.

1. Stroll Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Beginning with the most iconic of San Francisco sights, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge is absolutely free. Soak in the panoramic views of the bay and the city skyline. Just be sure to dress in layers as the weather can be quite fickle. It is also a classic spot for a challenging, but fun morning run.

2. Explore Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is a massive urban oasis that's larger than New York's Central Park. Spend a day wandering through its many gardens and trails. Visit the Buffalo Paddock to see bison roam, or relax by Spreckels Lake where model boats often sail. The park often hosts free events and concerts, especially on weekends.

Golden Gate Park is so massive it's easy to lose a day exploring.

3. Discover the Mission Murals

The vibrant neighborhood of Mission District is famous for its elaborate street art. Walking tours can be expensive, but self-guided tours of the murals are free. Download a map and delve into the colorful storytelling painted on the walls of Balmy Alley, Clarion Alley, and beyond.

4. Visit the Cable Car Museum

Experience a piece of San Francisco's history without spending a penny at the Cable Car Museum. Not only can you learn about the city's famous transportation system, but you can also see the actual cable machinery in operation.

The Cable Car Museum is a great place to delve into the City by the Bay's rich history.

5. Indulge in a Picnic at Dolores Park

Grab some affordable bites from a local grocery store or taqueria and head to Dolores Park for a picnic with a view. The park offers a great vantage point of the San Francisco skyline and is a popular spot for locals to relax on a sunny day.

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6. Browse the Ferry Building Marketplace

The historic Ferry Building hosts a marketplace that's free to explore. On weekends, you can find a farmers' market with free samples of local produce and artisanal treats. It's a feast for the senses without the need to purchase.

7. Take a Scenic Drive Down Lombard Street

While most people walk down the "crookedest street in the world," driving down Lombard Street is also an experience — and it's free. Just be prepared for a bit of a wait as this is a popular attraction.

8. Enjoy the Beaches

San Francisco is home to several beaches, including the popular Baker Beach with its stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Pack a lunch, bring a book, and enjoy a day by the sea.

Baker Beach is a standout place to explore with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

9. Join a Free Walking Tour

The San Francisco Public Library sponsors free walking tours all over the city. Led by volunteers, these tours offer insight into the history and culture of various neighborhoods and landmarks.

Whether you're looking to immerse yourself in nature, appreciate local art, or delve into the city's history, San Francisco has a plethora of affordable options. This weekend, take advantage of these wallet-friendly activities and experience the cultural richness of this unique city without the financial strain.

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