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Traveling to San Francisco? With its thriving art, cultural scene and stunning natural beauty, the city presents a number of options if you're traveling on a budget.Here is a list of 11 things that you can do in San Francisco without spending much at all!
1. Visit theart galleries
San Francisco is full of wild, unexpected art shows at several galleries that are free to visit. Though quieter during the week, the galleries areincredibly fun at weekends or openings.Search online for the nearest art gallery and plan a visit accordingly.
2. Or any of the museums
Like the art galleries, San Francisco is loaded with a number of museums.Many museums, such as the Autodesk Gallery, the Cable Car Museum, and MuseeMecanique offer free entry all year round, whereas entry into museums like MH de Young Memorial Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Legion of Honoris free only on a specific day of the month. There are many online sites where you can find museums near you that are offering free entry.
3. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
Walking or cycling across this iconic bridge is free. The walkway is on the eastern side facing the bay, Alcatraz, and the city.It's not open to pedestrians 24 hours so you need to check the official website for the opening hours (generally, PST 5 am to 6:30 pm).
4. Enjoy a weekend at the Golden Gate Park
During good weather conditions, this 1017-acre park full of museums, lakes, gardens and forests is an unreal setting to spend a day. Plus a lot is free, including weekly concerts and entry to the museums and some of the gardens like the Hamon Observation Tower in the de Young Museum that offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of downtown San Francisco and the Japanese Tea Garden where you can get a free entry if you arrive between 9-10 am on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. Weekends are a prime time to visit because it's car-free on Saturdays and Sundays.
5. Take a walking tour
Local residents passionate about their city lead terrific walking tours of various neighborhoods and themes. These walking tours are a particularly good way to experience lesser-known parts of the city and to interact with the locals. Oh yes, they are absolutely free!
6. Pay a visit to the Ferry Building
Ferry Building is a vibrant destination filled with local purveyors of everything, from chocolate, coffee and cheese to cookware. To get more of the local flavors, visit the farmers' market. This market in San Francisco is considered one of the best in the country and takes place every Tuesday and Saturday.
7. Attend author talks and readings
San Francisco is very much a literary town, and the bookstores in the city offer endless opportunities to hear authors speak. You will find many bookstores that often host best-selling authors and public figures of international stature. What's the best part? They are totally free unless you plan to buy a book!
8. Enjoy free incoming calls from home
One of your biggest tasks while traveling on a tight budget is to control your mobile expenses! Though many people suggest buying a local SIM card when you travel overseas, the drawback with them is that people back home need to pay way too much to call you.
So, it's better to carry one of the World SIM cards or USA SIM cards that could help you save more on your mobile expenses. A great choice is the prepaid or a postpaid USA SIM card offered by Matrix Cellular that offers incoming calls absolutely free. Not only this, with the Matrix International SIM cards you will also enjoy the local call rates for the country you are traveling to with free internet usage on your mobile.
9. Have fun at Pier 39
This waterfront complex is full of attractions, shops, street performers, restaurants, and the best views of the sea lions. In case you're traveling to the city in February, head to Pier 39 for the annual Tulipmania, where more than 39,000 tulip bulbs bloom for weeks at this time. Free tours are given by members of the landscaping team throughout the week that end with complimentary refreshments.
10. Watch movies
Watching free movies in the park are popular among the locals and visitors alike.
Many companies host free movie events in parks,such asthe Washington Square Park, Dolores Park, Mission Bay Parks and Union Square.
11. Relax on the beach
The city has a number of outstanding beaches, including the Baker Beach that has an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Ocean Beach on the Western edge of town for watching surfers and sunsets.