The 15 Best Cheap Hotels in San Francisco, California [2021]

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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.

Best Cheap Hotels in San Francisco

1. Cornell Hotel de France

Cornell Hotel de France
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $122

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 homely and clean, while the hotel offers a continental-style 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.

Hot Tip: If you’re looking for things to do in San Francisco, why not check out these tours: Golden Gate Bay Cruise, Sunset Flight Tour, or the Electric Bike Tour.

2. Handlery Union Square Hotel

Handlery Union Square Hotel
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $186

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, a nearby fitness center, and the Daily Grill restaurant located just off the lobby area.

Bottom Line: With the Aquarium of the Bay, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, and Chinatown all being within easy reach, this is a great base from which to start your San Francisco adventure.

3. HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel

HI San Francisco Fishermans Wharf Hostel
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $98

Much more than just a hostel for weary travelers, this establishment 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.

4. Holiday Inn San Francisco — Golden Gateway

Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $187 or 22,500 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 by foot.

5. Hotel Beresford

Hotel Beresford
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $162

Located just a few steps away from the lively bars, restaurants, and theaters of Union Square, this cozy hotel is a popular choice with 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 an easy option for those on a budget.

6. Inn on Broadway

Inn on Broadway
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $59

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 all come complete with private bathrooms. 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.

7. Kensington Park Hotel

Kensington Park Hotel
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $150

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 Grand Lobby reception 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.

8. King George

Marina Inn
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $108

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 and 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.

9. Marina Inn

Marina Inn
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $135

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 far from the heart of the action here.

10. Palihotel San Francisco

Palihotel San Francisco
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $155

Located at 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 the 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.

11. Petite Auberge

Petite Auberge
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $175

This French-style, boutique B&B is tucked away close to Union Square and offers quaint accommodation in a Nob Hill location.

Housed in a 5-story building, this intimate hotel has homely, 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 is 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.

12. The Pickwick Hotel San Francisco

The Pickwick Hotel San Francisco
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $135

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 opportunities in the city. Spacious bedrooms offer cable TV and free Wi-Fi, while guests at the hotel 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 close by.

13. Staypineapple, Union Square

Staypineapple Union Square
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $100

Offering elegant yet 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 is just a short distance from Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, and Chinatown, and you will probably want to get out and explore everything this vibrant city has to offer.

14. Super 8 by Wyndham San Francisco

Super 8 by Wyndham San Francisco
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $88 or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points

Offering the usual fuss-free accommodation that Super 8 is so 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 is just a mile or so further.

Hot Tip: Looking for more options? Check out these San Francisco hotels that you can book with points.

15. Travelodge by Wyndham San Francisco Bay

Travelodge by Wyndham San Francisco Bay
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $149 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, motel-style hotel offers clean and comfortable accommodation 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.

Final Thoughts

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.


Frequently asked questions

What are the best cheap hotels near Fisherman's Wharf?

Considering the popularity of Fisherman’s Wharf, there are still some great budget options within reach of the area. Some cheap hotels to consider include:

How much is a cheap hotel in San Francisco?

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.

What is the best area to stay in San Francisco?

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.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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