Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Keri Stooksbury
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
San Francisco is one of the most vibrant cities in America, with millions of travelers visiting to experience its iconic landmarks and eclectic attractions every year. Offering a diverse culture, great food, awesome shopping districts, an unusual climate, and fantastic scenery, San Francisco is most definitely a city that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Surprisingly, for a city that is home to some of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in America, there are still plenty of budget-friendly hotels to be found across the city. Here are some of the very best ones.
Price per Night: From $159
Housed in a historic building on the cusp of the Pacific Heights neighborhood, this cute little hotel offers European-style decor paired with modern conveniences. Bedrooms are homey and clean, while the hotel offers a continental breakfast served in the lobby area every morning.
Packed full of old-world charm, the Cornell Hotel de France is just a short walk from the Powell Street cable car and is within easy reach of San Francisco’s famous Theater District, Chinatown, and a wide range of bars, shops, and other nearby attractions.
Price per Night: From $189
Located on the world-famous Union Square, this hotel is surrounded by shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants and is just a 5-minute walk from the Powell Street cable car. Bedrooms are elegant and clean and come complete with private bathrooms, while the hotel is also home to an outdoor swimming pool, a barbershop, and a business center.
Guests at the Handlery Union Square Hotel also have access to an on-site sauna and a nearby fitness center.
Price per Night: From $34
Much more than just a hostel for weary travelers, this property has an eclectic community feel and offers fantastic views out over San Francisco Bay.
With a free continental breakfast on offer every day and a full program of daily activities, this is a great place to stay on a budget. Offering clean and simple private bedrooms and dorm-style guest rooms, the accommodation here is simple but never dirty or downbeat.
The hostel also offers a shared lounge, a theater-style TV room, a recreation room, and an on-site cafe that serves up lots of organic goodness. Just over a mile from the world-famous Union Square, the HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel is surrounded by bars, cafes, and shops, as well as some of the city’s most famous tourist attractions.
Price per Night: From $147 or 28,000 IHG points
With a fantastic Nob Hill location, this chain hotel is tucked away among the quaint historic buildings and parks of one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods. Bedrooms here are bright and modern, and all come complete with flat-screen TVs, compact refrigerators, and private bathrooms.
The hotel is also home to a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, and an on-site restaurant. The Holiday Inn San Francisco is just a short stroll from the nearest cable car stop, and Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and Chinatown are just a few minutes away on foot.
Price per Night: From $97; call 800-533-6533 to make reservations
Located just a few steps away from the lively bars, restaurants, and theaters of Union Square, this cozy hotel is a popular choice for those looking to explore downtown San Francisco.
Packed full of vintage charm, bedrooms have a distinctly Victorian look about them, and the hotel is also home to its very own British-style pub and an on-site restaurant that serves seafood and steaks well into the evening.
Just a short drive from Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz Cruises, and within easy walking distance of Chinatown and many of the city’s most famous attractions, the Hotel Beresford is a great option for those on a budget.
Price per Night: From $69
Situated in the affluent and historic neighborhood of Pacific Heights, this motel-style hotel offers brilliant budget accommodation.
Bedrooms here and bright and spacious with flat-screen TVs and microwaves, and each comes with a private bathroom. While there are no on-site restaurant options, there are vending machines in the lobby area and the hotel is close to an array of local cafes and restaurants.
Being just a mile away from Fisherman’s Wharf and a short drive from both the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre and the North Beach District, the Inn on Broadway offers fuss-free accommodation in a convenient location.
Price per Night: From $165
Situated just 2 minutes away from Union Square, this boutique-style hotel with opulent-looking bedrooms that offer free Wi-Fi and cable TV is surrounded by lots of great shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants.
The reception area offers sherry pours each evening, and guests are encouraged to join in and meet each other. Fisherman’s Wharf is just a short drive away from the Kensington Park Hotel, as is the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown.
Hot Tip: The classic Union Square cable car stop is also close by, offering access to some of the most iconic neighborhoods and attractions the city has to offer.
Price per Night: From $95
At the heart of Union Square, this boutique hotel is housed in a historic building close to some of the best shopping and dining destinations in the city. Bedrooms are elegant, well-appointed, and offer cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and upscale bathrooms.
The King George is also home to the popular Winston’s Bar and Lounge and is just a short walk from Fisherman’s Wharf, the Financial District, and Chinatown, as well as many more of the city’s most iconic attractions.
Guests here can also enjoy a cocktail or 2 in the Mason Social Club, or enjoy a game of darts, pool, or shuffleboard in this friendly downtown hotel.
Price per Night: From $70
Offering a budget bed and breakfast with a smile, this intimate hotel is situated in the historic Marina District.
Cozy bedrooms have a home-away-from-home feel with floral wallpaper and pine beds, while guests are welcome to free newspapers and daily continental breakfast in the lobby. Being situated within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marina Inn is very centrally located.
Surrounded by some of the city’s best shopping districts, bars, restaurants, and major attractions, you will never be far from the heart of the action here.
Price per Night: From $150
Located in the heart of San Francisco, this hotel is just 2 blocks from Union Square with its shops, bars, restaurants, and both the Powell Street and Market Street cable cars.
Bedrooms here are bright and modern with free Wi-Fi and cable TV, while private bathrooms feel luxurious with plenty of marble. The on-site Fisher Loft restaurant offers discounted dining for hotel guests, as well as access to a late-night happy hour.
Just a short distance from some of the city’s most iconic attractions, including Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge, Palihotel San Francisco is an affordable hotel in an excellent location.
Price per Night: From $149
This French-style, boutique B&B is tucked away close to Union Square and offers quaint accommodations in a Nob Hill location.
Housed in a 5-story building, this intimate hotel has homey, country-style bedrooms with flat-screen TVs and fireplaces, as well as a comfortable lounge with refreshments, board games, and a free happy hour. There is also a free daily continental breakfast with newspapers.
The Petite Auberge offers a charming respite away from the busy streets of San Francisco and is full of antique touches. It’s just a short walk away from the Powell Street cable car, the Dragon’s Gate entrance to Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and many shops, bars, and restaurants.
Price per Night: From $129
A perfect choice for those who love a little retail therapy, this hotel is just 2 minutes away from the Westfield San Francisco Centre, offering 9 levels of some of the best shopping in the city. Spacious bedrooms offer cable TV and free Wi-Fi, while guests are also welcome to dine at the SOMA Restaurant and Bar.
Being just half a mile from the Museum of Modern Art, and just a short drive from Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, The Pickwick Hotel San Francisco is also surrounded by a wide range of bars, restaurants, and other attractions.
Price per Night: From $162
Offering elegant, affordable accommodations in a historic building, this hotel is less than a 5-minute walk from Union Square attractions. Shops, bars, and restaurants surround you, and Staypineapple offers well-appointed bedrooms with flat-screen TVs, coffee machines, and private bathrooms.
There is also a lively bar and restaurant on-site if you choose to stay in but it’s just a short distance from Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, and Chinatown, so you’ll probably want to get out and explore everything this vibrant city has to offer.
Price per Night: From $76 or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points
Offering the usual fuss-free accommodation that Super 8 is famous for, this downtown motel has all the basics you need for a sleepover in the city. Bedrooms here are clean and spacious and come complete with cable TV, a microwave, a refrigerator, free Wi-Fi, and a coffee maker, and guests are welcome to enjoy a free Grab & Go breakfast in the mornings.
The Super 8 by Wyndham San Francisco is located just 2 miles from Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown, while the Golden Gate Bridge and Park are just a mile or so further.
Hot Tip: Looking for more options? Check out these San Francisco hotels that you can book with points.
Price per Night: From $97 or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points
Just minutes away from some of the city’s coolest attractions and the world-famous Lombard Street, this modern property offers clean and comfortable accommodations that won’t break the bank. Bedrooms are modern and spacious with cable TV and free Wi-Fi, and there is on-site parking available, too.
Just a mile from Fisherman’s Wharf and within easy reach of Chinatown, Union Square, and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Travelodge by Wyndham San Francisco Bay is perfectly located for experiencing the very best the city has to offer. Cafes, restaurants, and bars can also be found just moments from the hotel entrance.
The City by the Bay is a wonderful place full of fantastic nightlife, awesome eateries, designer shopping districts, and of course, some of the most famous landmarks in America. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the Powell Street cable car, the eerie island of Alcatraz to the buzz of Chinatown, San Fran has something to offer every kind of visitor, even on a budget.
You can get a cheap motel, inn, or hotel for under $100 in San Francisco, but the best cheap hotels in terms of location and amenities will cost between $100 and $150 per night.
One of the most popular tourist areas to stay in San Francisco is around Fisherman’s Wharf and the Marina. Other popular areas to stay in are Embarcadero, Nob Hill, SoMa, and downtown.
Generally speaking, January and February are when San Francisco sees the fewest tourists, meaning prices for accommodations can be lower across the board.
Was this page helpful?
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.