Flights to San Francisco
Cheapest time to book
How to fly
Student flights from the USA to San Francisco
San Francisco is a bucket-list destination, perfect for everything from weekend getaways to summer vacations—and a great city to study in as well! Centrally located along California’s coast, you’ll have access to plenty of beaches while also being in the heart of a big city. Whether you’re visiting for a few days or settling down for a few years of school, you can indulge in delicious foods from a variety of cultures and regions, see some iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Pier 39 and visit world-class museums and events.
Hoping to snag a cheap deal but aren’t sure when you want to travel yet? No worries—sign up for our emails and get all of our best discounts delivered, so you’ll never miss a sale again. Then keep reading for more info on the best time to book tickets to San Francisco, where to stay, and more.
What are the main San Francisco airport hubs?
The main airport in San Francisco is the San Francisco International Airport. If you need to, you could also fly in Oakland International Airport, which is just across the bay.
San Francisco / SFO: As SF’s main airport hub, servicing thousands of domestic and international flights daily, there’s a pretty solid chance that this is where you’ll be flying into. It’s also conveniently located about 20 minutes south of the city. Once you land, you can take BART (the train system) into the city or opt for an Uber/Lyft, if you’re not renting a car.
Oakland / OAK: The Oakland airport is much smaller than SFO and sits across the Bay, about 25 minutes from Union Square in San Francisco. It primarily services shorter-haul domestic flights on regional and/or low-cost carriers like Allegiant, Spirit and Southwest, although most major airlines do offer some flights to Oakland as well. If you’re staying outside of the city or coming from nearby, Oakland may offer you some cheap deals as well!
When is the cheapest time to book a flight from the USA to San Francisco?
Prices based on bookings made 21-30 days prior to departure.
San Francisco universities and campuses
San Francisco has a number of top universities, drawing thousands of students to the city every year. Stanford and UC Berkeley are two of the most prestigious, although there’s plenty more to choose from. San Francisco State University is one of the largest and the University of San Francisco is another great choice that’s centrally located and offers plenty of program options. While San Francisco is a great place to study technology, science or engineering, it’s also a great place to study humanities and the arts, among other subjects, as well.
San Francisco lifestyle and culture
San Francisco’s culture in terms of arts, music, festivals, food and such is diverse and eclectic—it’s easy to find arts and food from all corners of the globe packed into this tiny city. The temperate climate and plethora of nature and outdoor adventures around the city (or in neighboring areas of California) make it the perfect place for getting outside and taking a break from the fast-paced city. Speaking of fast-paced: locals in SF, like many big cities, tend to hustle, so you’ll likely encounter an energetic and competitive lifestyle and culture if you decide to stick around for awhile.
Exploring San Francisco on a student budget
There’s no way around it: San Francisco is expensive. From fancy lattes to hotel rooms downtown, there can be a fair amount of sticker shock during a trip to SF. However, if you’re on a budget, no need to fret! There’s loads of free and cheap things to do in San Francisco. If you do some advance planning, you can also find plenty of amazing restaurants tucked away from the more touristy areas of SF offering amazing food at cheaper prices.