From Bay Views to City Views, Here Are 6 Hostels in San Francisco
Perfect locations, inexpensive lodgings, free WiFi, access to a kitchen—these are only a few reason why staying in a hostel is an ideal choice.
Staying in a hostel will not only save you money, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet people from around the world. All of these hostels host daily activities from walking tours to pub crawls. If you’re in the creative field or working on your startup, stay at the Adelaide Hostel or The Red Victorian. Both hostels offer community spaces allowing you to network with fellow entrepreneurs.
Lower Nob Hill - 5 Isadora Duncan Ln San Francisco, CA 94102
Get your day started at the Adelaide Hostel with a free breakfast, everyday from 7AM to 10AM. The hostel serves a little of everything: oatmeal, bagels, coffee, etc. Explore the city with your new friends from the hostel—you’ll be walking distance from Downtown/Union Square, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Chinatown. Plan out your days in San Francisco by using the free WiFi. There are also computers and public phones available to guests.
Travelers can stay up to 14 nights, however those with certain visas like the J1 and students at local schools have the opportunity to stay longer. For those staying longer than a weekend, the hostel has a laundry room and detergent at no cost. You’ll meet many other tourists like yourself, as this is a traveler's hostel; they’ll want to see proof of where you’ll be traveling next. Get to know other travelers by attending Adelaide’s weekly events: walking tours, pub crawls, city view tours, and more.
No need to worry about your belongings, there is a free luggage storage room available to guests. Like most lodgings in San Francisco, free parking isn’t available. The average rate for overnight parking in the area is $25. If you’re flying in and out of town from SFO, the hostel provides discounted shuttle services.
Pacific Tradewinds Backpacker Hostel
Financial District - 680 Sacramento St San Francisco, CA 94111 between Kearny St and Montgomery St
Take advantage of the free Wifi and computers to plan your outings or to video chat with family and friends back at home. All guests have access to the free coworking service, Nomad-A-What. Learn more about the startup program in this video.
For you backpackers, no need to carry your stuff everywhere you go—take advantage of the free luggage storage. For your smaller possessions, use the free lockers under your bed.
When traveling for long periods of time with minimal clothing, washing socks in the sink can become necessary. No need for sink washing here! The hostel has a free nightly sock wash.
Or if you have a full load of clothes, for a small fee a staff member will wash, dry, and fold your laundry while you’re out exploring the city.
Unlike some hostels, you’ll be provided with towels and showers without charge. If needed, they also have leftover soaps and shampoos around you can use. Other freebies include earplugs (in case you’re paired with a heavy snorer), blow dryers, and hair straighteners.
Wondering what to do while you’re in the city?
There are plenty of activities to join, from pier crabbing lessons to free admission to museums. A few places you’ll be near include Pier 41, Lombard St., Union Square, and The Exploratorium.
Hostelling International - Fishermans Wharf
Marina/Cow Hollow - Fort Mason Bldg 240 San Francisco, CA 94123
For those who want a quieter place to stay, the Hostelling International’s Fishermans Wharf location is for you. Not to mention, you’ll be overlooking the San Francisco Bay and have a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
Watch this video to take a tour of the hostel.
You’ll have many opportunities to mingle with other guests. The hostel hosts daily activities: bike rides over the Golden Gate Bridge, walking tours of scenic neighborhoods, local food tasting, pub crawls, and much more.
Choose between a private or shared room and enjoy a free continental breakfast. Relish the beautiful view of the bay as you sip coffee from the on-site cafe, Cafe Franco. The cafe also serves meals three times a day, or those who like to cook can take advantage of the self-serve kitchen. Meet other travelers in one of the many common area.
Take a stroll by foot or bike down the nearby paved paths to get more striking views of the bay. The hostel is close to the Marina District and North Beach. Other local sites include: Pier 41, Fort Mason, San Francisco National Maritime Museum, and Musee Mecanique.
All in all, this is the hostel to stay at if you want to be in a serene environment.
Hostelling International - SF City Center
Tenderloin - 685 Ellis St San Francisco, CA 94109 between Hyde St and Larkin St
The newly renovated hostel has a hotel feel and look. Start your day off at the on-site cafe, Ivy’s Place, and help yourself to the free continental breakfast. Unlike other hostels, this site sells beer and wine in the evenings. Socialize with other travelers in one of the four lounge areas. The hostel offers daily activities: Chinese tea tasting, a pub crawl on Polk St., karaoke night, taco night, and much more.
The location will make you feel like a local, yet you’ll still be close to all the tourist destinations. Being in a local neighborhood means you’ll be surrounded by reasonably priced restaurants and bars. Furthermore, you’ll be near live music venues. Skip the tourist attractions and view the nearby street art in the Tenderloin district.
If you’re in town Sunday or Wednesday, take a stroll down to the Civic Center Plaza for the farmer’s market. Then cook your freshly bought produce in the fully equipped kitchen.
As for the tourist attractions, you’ll be walking distance from the Asian Art Museum. You’ll also be close to the San Francisco Symphony. Tours of the symphony hall are available on Mondays from 10AM to 2PM for $5.
Avoid the tourist traps, get the local experience at the Hostelling International’s City Center location.
Watch this video to take a tour of the hostel
Hostelling International - Downtown
Union Square - 312 Mason St San Francisco, CA 94102 between Ofarrell St and Elwood St
For those who want to be centrally located, the Hostelling International's downtown location is the spot for you. All three Hostelling International locations in San Francisco welcome groups of eight or more. Going solo or with a small group? Stay with other travelers or get your own private room (with or without a private bathroom). Watch this video to take a tour of the hostel.
Like the other Hostelling International locations, the continental breakfast is free and they also host daily activities: a walking tour/history lesson of Social Movements that have taken place Downtown San Francisco, homemade dinners, a walking tour through Chinatown, and many more.
If you have extra time to spare, visit the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Plaza. Besides fresh produce, you’ll find vendors selling a variety of unique bites. Whip up a meal with local produce in the self-service kitchen or visit one of the many Downtown restaurants.
Walk to Union Square, Museum Row, or do some shopping. A must see museum is nearby, the SF MOMA. Being downtown means all public transportation is close by, giving you easy access to visit any part of San Francisco.
The Red Victorian
The Haight - 1665 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117 between Cole St and Belvedere St
The Red Victorian is run by The Embassy Network, a lodging for creative travelers. There are spaces available for people to work and share their projects with one another. Staying at an Embassy Network location is ideal for those traveling for business. Your business or organization will be given receipts every time you stay for easy reimbursements. You have the option to stay long-term or short term. For those frequent travelers, sign up for the membership program to save you money.
A hotel/hostel with rooms ranging from $63 to $179. Stay in a typical hostel room with two bunk beds with a shared bathroom or one of the private themed rooms.
Regardless of your choice, you’ll be sure to meet creative people like yourself. This is a hostel to network, and get ideas and advice from people who are working towards the same goal, success.
When you need a break from work, take part in their daily events. Get in touch with your artistic side at their figure drawing class with live models and music. Be in the audience of a podcast about startup/tech companies and artistic companies or a lecture about design affordability. The events change weekly, so check their event calendar.
You’ll be walking distance from Golden Gate Park. While you’re there, visit the Conservatory of Flowers, California Academy of Sciences, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden.
Aside from saving money and meeting new people, hostels are perfect for foodies on a budget.
For you micro-brew lovers, San Francisco has a variety of tap rooms with unique blends of beer you won’t find anywhere else.
Regardless of where you stay, public transportation is everywhere and of course, you can always Uber your way around town. For a short trip to San Francisco, an itinerary is necessary, so start planning your San Francisco adventure today!
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