Welcome to your detailed guide for hostels in San Francisco, USA. You can choose from 13 San Francisco hostels. In total, there are 41 cheap places to stay in San Francisco such as guesthouses and bnbs. Prices start from $31 for a dorm.
Above we list every single hostel there is in the city. Let us take a broader look at what you can expect - and what not. We created this cheatsheet for you to get a more complete picture of the hostel quality in San Francisco, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
Total number of hostels
Average dorm price
Average private room price
Most San Francisco hostels are located in
Downtown, Civic Center, South of Market
Average rating of all hostels
Below you can discover the best hostels to suit every traveller type. All of our recommendations are based on information shared by genuine travellers, the hostels and data that has been calculated from the system. Don't forget to check the ratings and see how these compare with the rates.
Travelling on your own to San Francisco? Fabulous!
Pick a great hostel designed with solo travellers in mind, and you're bound to meet plenty of like-minded people who have also dared to venture to San Francisco alone. Here are the top hostels for solo travellers in San Francisco. We've also highlighted which hostel offers special perks you, as a solo traveller, will love. Each hostel offers great social spaces to meet fellow backpackers and wonderful opportunities for making new friends. You'll soon realise that travelling on your own definitely does not mean travelling alone.
This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in San Francisco. To help you make friends with San Francisco before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
San Francisco was built on 43 hills and is perhaps most famous for the Golden Gate Bridge. The central neighborhoods include the Tenderloin, Union Square, the Mission, Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, and South of Market ("SoMa"). You will find San Francisco hostels in many of these districts. If you are visiting in summer, make sure to book your hostel in San Francisco well in advance since the city is going to be jam-packed with tourists.
The most fun way to get around in San Francisco is by cable car. There are three lines which take you around the city and up the steep and narrow streets. Besides that, there is a comprehensive public transport system, including, buses, trams and metro lines. You can also take a ferry to cross the Bay of San Francisco. The airport is connected to the city center by an express train (BART). It's always easy to get from your San Francisco hostel to anywhere in the city without needing a car.
While you are there, wander around, admire the Victorian architecture and enjoy the great views from the top of one of the numerous hills. Remember to bring good walking shoes since streets can be pretty steep. Take a ferry to Alcatraz, the famous former prison on the neighboring small island, visit one of the countless museums, including the renowned San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and enjoy relaxed coffee and culture at Fisherman’s Wharf. Chill out at Golden Gate Park after a day of walking around and don't forget to cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge (you can cross it by bus or on foot).
There are many San Francisco hostels to chose from.
Written by local enthusiast for San Francisco hostels Mona
There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in San Francisco. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in San Francisco. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right?
A hostel in San Francisco costs on average $42 for a dorm. A hostel in San Francisco with private rooms costs on average $108.
Hostelz.com shows all 13 Hostels in San Francisco. Simply filter by neighborhood and price to find your perfect budget place to stay.
HI - San Francisco Downtown (Union Square) is the best hostel in San Francisco for families.
HI - San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf Hostel is the best hostel in San Francisco for groups.
Pacific Tradewinds Hostel is the best rated hostel in San Francisco for female solo travellers.
Hostelz.com compares prices for 13 hostels in San Francisco, USA.
Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking San Francisco. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of San Francisco. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!
Check out Zeitgeist bar for pinball and beergarden!
San Francisco is a wonderful city to visit! I went with a friend during winter break from college and we had the time of our lives. Each night we stayed in a different hostel to get a feel for the different parts of the city. We also toured many attractions since we purchased the City Pass. With our passes we had access to the MUNI, buses, and even the trolley cars! We rode them every chance we got and they helped us immensely. During our time in the city we took the night tour of Alcatraz, we visited Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, we took a Bay Cruise Tour, we visited the San Francisco Zoo and The Aquarium at the Bay (amazing!), we explored the city at night since holiday lights were up, we walked around Chinatown and the Financial District, we did Height-Ashbury and Fremont Street, we went through Golden Gate Park and wandered the California Academy of Science Museum as well as the Exploratorium, and of course we paid our dues at Ghirardelli Square. All of this in a week! Basically the point I'm trying to make is that there are endless activities in San Fran and everyone should get a chance to visit at some point :)
As someone who has been homeless here, the reason there are so many homeless is that the rents are outrageous.
Get a "muni map" (public transportation system) and it will make touring the city quite a bit easier. The drivers are some of the friendliest and helpful you will ever come across. When in doubt, ask. Consider a boat trip below the Golden Gate or walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. Contrary to popular opinion, San Francisco has its share of bad restaurants, so be careful with guidebook suggestions.
It is great but expensive. Living near Chinatown and eating there is a quite smart choice.
Last I saw, San Francisco was super gentrified, and super whitified, with grimy streets that never seem to get cleaned and an endless supply of drug addicts and homeless. It's odd, as it thinks of itself as so progressive.
San Francisco is the most wonderful city that I have ever stayed. It has all that I can ask for in a city -- good people, wonderful days, beautiful nights, and awesome sightseeings. I'd come back there as fast as I can.
San Francisco is a very nice city -- lots of places to go and see. You can walk easily and there are lots of tourists in San Francisco.
I stayed twice four weeks in San Francisco and loved it so much. I want to get back there a.s.a.p. -- very European style, yet totally American. It's brilliant -- cool bars, good food, super streets!
I travel to San Francisco often because my company has an office on lower Haight. Since I am from Philly, the homeless population is not too aggressive but they are everywhere you go. The best way to see the city is by bike. Be careful in Berkeley parking your bike -- the homeless will take apart your bike in broad daylight. Go in the fall or spring (although last April it rained for a month straight). Dotties True Blue Cafe is a must for breakfast! (Jones Street in the Tenderloin). Best beers are at Tornado (Haight). Tuesdays only, try a burger at Rosamunde Sausage Grill. If you want to see music, try Cafe Du Nord, Covered Wagon Saloon,The Independent, Slim’s, El Rio, Bottom Of The Hill, Amnesia, Make-Out Room, Hemlock Tavern, Hotel Utah, Thee Parkside, 12 Galaxies, or Rickshaw Stop -- too many to count.
I lived in Frisco from 1965 to 1978 and it was perfectly acceptable to call it that, as most old timers (and now I am one of those) called it Frisco. In fact, my dad's middle name was Frisco, named after the city some call San Francisco. If it was good enough for our ancestors, it good enough for me.
As a New Yorker visiting SF, I thought SF was overrated -- in terms of diversity, cultural & intellectual stimulation, and nightlife. And as others have mentioned, the city has a terrible problem with the homeless, who essentially own the streets, espeically at night. If you go, I do recommend visiting Berkeley, which is really cool.
I love San Fransisco and especially the shopping and the cable cars. and my favorite, Lori's Diner.
If you like arts, having international trades at your fingertips, rich cultural diversity, enough restaurants and coffee to keep you busy for years, progressiveness, the bustle and rage and charm of the raw American coastal city, the ocean, the mountains, the hilly streets, the Pacific Northwest, the traffic, the history, the architecture, the celebrity, the tourism, the cheap seafood, then SF is for you - but also be prepared for everything that goes with being a major city that everybody wants to be in - crime, smog, homeless, traffic, crazy housing prices, crap employment outlook.
I arrived in San Francisco mid-Feburary. The winter can be cold and wet. The city has a great public transportation system that's reasonably priced. You will find however, the city is kind of dirty and gritty. There seems at times to be an endless supply of homeless people, beggers, and crazies that wander the streets. It is a bit off-putting, but most of the times its ok.
Don't come looking for job!!! I'm from Louisiana where a boom-and-bust economy is the norm, but it didn't prepare me for SF. It was really depression-era bad, literally. I wish I was only joking. It was delusional – all shiny, happy people telling you either it will get better – it didn’t - or it wasn’t that bad – it was worse. If you spoke against this prevailing attitude – well, you may find work as a drug dealer, but who knows?
The great meadow beside the Fort Mason Hostel is an absolutely perfect place for a picnic. We just had one there yesterday!
San Francisco has something for everyone - art museums, night clubs, the ocean, Golden Gate Park, the zoo, etc. Driving and parking can be frustrating, so take advantage of Muni and BART (public transportation.) Whatever you do, don't call San Francisco "Frisco" or "SanFran." These nicknames drive the locals nuts, and only a select few can call the city this. As a tourist, you're probably not one of them. Stick with "San Francisco," or for the adventurous types, "The City," (though use with discretion.)
If you don't want to wait in line for the cable cars that run from Market Street to Fisherman's Warf, it's best to go try the California cable car line instead (from Market to Van Ness on California Street). It isn't as hilly, so it's not quite as much fun, but there's almost never a line. Or if you do take the other lines, at least go at night when there's usually much less of a wait (check the schedule at transitinfo.org).
Don't miss the Haight Ashbury area (centered around the intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street) to get a taste of what the San Francisco 60s was all about.
Pack smart, not hard
Hostel? Check! Now le0t's have at your hostel packing list for San Francisco and USA.
You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:
These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.