The 10 Best Hostels in San Francisco

Updated on: May 8, 2024 by Mick

San Francisco, a vibrant city with rolling hills and an iconic skyline, offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, making it a top destination for travellers from around the world. The best hostels in San Francisco cater to those who seek affordable accommodations without sacrificing the chance to immerse themselves in local culture and meet fellow wanderers. These hostels are strategically located near major attractions and provide various amenities to enhance the stay of their guests.

In San Francisco, hostels are more than just budget lodgings; they are hubs of social interaction and cultural exchange. From historic buildings in the heart of downtown to quieter spots with stunning bay views, these hostels reflect the city's diverse charm. They offer guests a unique opportunity to explore the city's bustling neighbourhoods, innovative culinary scenes, and vibrant nightlife.

Quick Introduction to Hostels in San Francisco

Hostels in San Francisco offer a practical and engaging way to explore one of America's most iconic cities. With options that cater to various budgets and preferences, these accommodations are ideal for travellers looking to maximize their experience while minimizing expenses. From bustling downtown locales to quieter, scenic spots, hostels provide a gateway to the city's diverse attractions and a chance to meet like-minded travellers from around the globe.

Here are some of the things you should consider before booking a hostel in San Francisco:

Price: Staying in a hostel in San Francisco is an economical choice, especially when compared to local hotels. Hostels in San Francisco start at €20 but expect to pay €25 to €40 for a dorm bed in a good hostel.

Location: Hostels in San Francisco are strategically placed to offer convenient access to major tourist attractions. Whether you want to be steps away from the Golden Gate Bridge, within walking distance of Chinatown, or near the lively streets of the Mission District, there’s a hostel in the perfect spot. Proximity to public transportation is also a common feature, helping guests navigate the city easily.

Amenities/Services: The amenities and services offered by San Francisco hostels can significantly enhance your stay. Common facilities include free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens, and cosy lounges. Many hostels also provide extras such as laundry services, bike rentals, and organized tours, which can help guests connect with the city and each other. These features are designed to make the hostel not just a place to stay, but a part of your travel experience.

Staff: The staff at San Francisco hostels are typically friendly and knowledgeable about the city. They can offer valuable insights on places to visit, eat, and explore, often pointing you to hidden gems not found in guidebooks. The personal touch that staff add can make your stay more enjoyable and informative, as they help create a welcoming and supportive environment for all guests.

Best Hostels in San Francisco - Quick Answers

Here's a summary of the best hostels in San Francisco organized into different categories:

The Best Hostels in San Francisco

Here’s my comprehensive guide to the 8 best hostels in San Francisco:

1. Green Tortoise Hostel

Green Tortoise Hostel Common Area

Green Tortoise Hostel is located in the vibrant North Beach neighbourhood of San Francisco, a hub of lively cafes and bustling nightlife. This hostel is known for its bohemian vibe and attracts a diverse group of travellers eager to explore the city's cultural offerings. It's within walking distance of Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, making it an excellent base for sightseeing and enjoying San Francisco's famous attractions.

Green Tortoise Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at Green Tortoise Hostel are designed to suit various needs, offering both private and dormitory options. The dorm rooms are spacious and come with comfortable beds and personal lockers. Private rooms provide a bit more solitude while still maintaining a sense of the hostel’s communal spirit.

A quick overview of Green Tortoise Hostel

  • Free breakfast is served every morning to kick-start your day.
  • Evening social events that help guests mingle and share travel experiences.
  • A fully equipped guest kitchen is available for those who prefer to cook their own meals.
  • A sauna is available for guests looking to relax after a day of exploring.
  • Free walking tours are organised by the hostel, offering a great introduction to the city's history and hidden gems.

Dorm beds from €42, Private rooms from €107
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

2. Samesun San Francisco

Samesun San Francisco Common Room

Samesun San Francisco is ideally situated in the heart of the city, offering easy access to vibrant districts like Union Square and the Mission District. The hostel has a friendly, welcoming vibe, making it a popular choice for backpackers and young travellers looking to explore San Francisco on a budget. Its central location ensures that guests are never far from major attractions, public transport, and excellent dining options.

Samesun San Francisco Dorm Room

The rooms at Samesun San Francisco are clean, comfortable, and modern. Guests can choose from various configurations, including mixed dorms, female-only dorms, and private rooms. Each room is equipped with secure lockers and free linens, ensuring a comfortable stay.

A quick overview of Samesun San Francisco

  • Complimentary breakfast is available every morning to fuel your city adventures.
  • Daily organized activities and tours that encourage guest interaction and fun.
  • A communal kitchen where guests can cook and share meals.
  • A lively common area perfect for relaxing and socialising with other travellers.

Dorm beds from €39, Private rooms from €180
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

3. HI San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf

HI San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf Outdoor Terrace

HI San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf is uniquely located in the historic Fort Mason, right on the edge of the bay, offering stunning views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. This hostel exudes a calm, friendly atmosphere, perfect for travellers who appreciate nature and history. Its proximity to the bustling Fisherman's Wharf area means guests are just steps away from some of the city's most famous attractions and seafood restaurants.

HI San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf Dorm Room

Rooms at HI San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf range from shared dormitories to private rooms, all maintained with cleanliness and comfort in mind. Each room features necessary amenities and offers either bay or park views, creating a serene backdrop for your stay.

A quick overview of HI San Francisco 

  • Free daily breakfast to start your mornings right.
  • Hostel-organized activities such as walking tours and day trips.
  • Common rooms including a large lounge, library, and game room for relaxation and socializing.
  • Fully equipped guest kitchen for preparing meals and socializing with other travellers.
  • Eco-friendly practices including comprehensive recycling and composting programs to minimize environmental impact.

Dorm beds from €35
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

4. Music City Hotel - Home of SF Music Hall of Fame

Music City Hotel - Home of SF Music Hall of Fame Reception

Music City Hotel is situated in the heart of San Francisco’s vibrant cultural district, offers a unique experience as the home of the SF Music Hall of Fame. This hotel attracts music lovers and travellers with its rock-and-roll theme and memorabilia decorating the walls. Situated near bustling nightlife and iconic venues, it’s perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the city’s rich musical history.

Music City Hotel Capsule Beds

The rooms at Music City Hotel are thematically decorated with music memorabilia and feature comfortable, modern furnishings. Options range from private rooms with ensuite bathrooms to shared dormitory-style accommodations, all equipped with essential amenities for a relaxing stay.

A quick overview of Music City Hotel

  • On-site SF Music Hall of Fame showcasing memorabilia from famous musicians.
  • Fully equipped shared kitchen for guests to prepare their meals.
  • Daily live music and events celebrating local and touring artists.
  • Free walking tours led by knowledgeable staff, offering insights into the city's music scene.
  • Discounts on local music shows and cultural events, helping guests fully experience San Francisco’s entertainment.

Dorm beds from €37, Private rooms from €110
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

5. HI San Francisco - Downtown

HI San Francisco Downtown Guest Kitchen

HI San Francisco - Downtown is perfectly situated in the bustling heart of the city, close to the trendy neighbourhoods and iconic landmarks like Union Square and the Cable Car Museum. The hostel attracts a vibrant, international crowd, making it a lively spot for young travellers and backpackers looking to explore urban San Francisco. Its central location provides easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

HI San Francisco Downtown Dorm Room

The rooms at HI San Francisco - Downtown are bright, clean, and modern. Guests can choose from a variety of room types including mixed dorms, female-only dorms, and private rooms. Each room includes secure storage for personal items and comfortable bedding, ensuring a restful sleep.

A quick overview of HI San Francisco Downtown

  • Free breakfast offered daily, providing a convenient start to your day.
  • Organized activities and tours that help guests explore the city’s cultural and historical sites.
  • 24-hour reception and security, ensuring safety and assistance at any time.
  • Common areas including a kitchen, lounge, and dining area.
  • Laundry facilities on-site, convenient for guests needing to refresh their travel wardrobe.

Dorm beds from €40, Private rooms from €94
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

6. Amsterdam Hostel

Amsterdam Hostel Common Area

Amsterdam Hostel is situated in the heart of San Francisco, just a short walk from Union Square, making it an ideal spot for travellers keen on exploring the city's bustling shopping districts and vibrant nightlife. This hostel offers a fun and friendly atmosphere, attracting a mix of young backpackers and budget-conscious travellers who appreciate its central location and lively social scene.

Amsterdam Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at Amsterdam Hostel are practical and comfortable, available in both private and shared dormitory styles. Each room provides essential amenities like secure storage and comfy beds, catering well to both short stays and longer visits.

A quick overview of Amsterdam Hostel

  • A communal kitchen where guests can cook their own meals, helping to save on dining out.
  • Daily organized events, including city tours and social nights, which provide great opportunities to meet other travellers.
  • A spacious common room, perfect for relaxing and hanging out with fellow hostel guests.
  • Laundry facilities on-site, a must-have for those traveling for extended periods.

Dorm beds from €30, Private rooms from €89
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

7. ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel

ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel Common Area

ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel is situated in a quaint corner of downtown San Francisco, is a haven for travellers seeking a communal and intimate atmosphere. Close to the Financial District and the vibrant streets of Chinatown, this hostel provides a quiet, friendly base from which to explore the bustling city. It's popular among backpackers and solo travellers who value a close-knit community feel and easy access to urban adventures.

ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at ITH Pacific Tradewinds are streamlined and comfortable, catering to budget-conscious travellers. Guests can choose from mixed dorms or female-only dorms, all equipped with personal lockers, cosy bedding, and access to shared bathrooms.

A quick overview of ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel

  • A communal kitchen where guests can cook their meals and interact with other travellers.
  • Regularly organized social and cultural events that bring guests together and offer a taste of local life.
  • Helpful staff known for their friendly advice and tips on the best local spots and how to navigate the city.
  • A prime location that provides easy access to public transportation, facilitating exploration of San Francisco’s key sights.
  • A cosy lounge area ideal for relaxing, reading, or chatting with fellow hostel-goers.

Dorm beds from €45, Private rooms from €107
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

8. Orange Village Hostel

Orange Village Hostel Common Area

Orange Village Hostel is located in the bustling heart of San Francisco, a short walk from Union Square, making it an excellent base for shopping, dining, and accessing public transit. This hostel appeals to a diverse crowd, from young backpackers to budget-conscious travellers, offering a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. It's an ideal spot for those wanting to explore the city's major attractions without breaking the bank.

Orange Village Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at Orange Village Hostel are tidy and functional. Guests can choose from private rooms or shared dorms, all featuring comfortable bedding and adequate storage. Bathrooms are shared and maintained with cleanliness in mind.

A quick overview of Orange Village Hostel

  • Complimentary breakfast served each morning, providing a convenient start to the day.
  • Fully equipped kitchen available for guests who prefer to prepare their own meals.
  • A common area where guests can relax and mingle with other travellers.
  • Secure luggage storage, allowing guests to explore the city freely without carrying their bags.

Dorm beds from €31, Private rooms from €76
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

9. SFO Crashpad

SFO Crashpad Common Area

SFO Crashpad is ideally located just minutes from San Francisco International Airport, offering a practical choice for travellers in transit. The hostel has a cosy, informal atmosphere, making it perfect for those seeking a brief stopover or affordable accommodation near the airport. It’s a straightforward and convenient option for backpackers and budget travellers looking for functionality and accessibility.

SFO Crashpad Dorm Room

The rooms at SFO Crashpad are straightforward and utilitarian, designed primarily for short stays. The accommodations include mixed dormitory rooms with comfortable beds, personal lockers, and shared bathroom facilities, providing the basics for a restful night's sleep.

A quick overview of SFO Crashpad

  • Free shuttle service to and from the airport, enhancing convenience for guests with flights.
  • Communal kitchen facilities, allowing guests to prepare meals and save money on eating out.
  • A lounge area equipped with comfortable seating and television, perfect for relaxation.
  • Luggage storage services, enabling guests to explore the area hands-free.

Dorm beds from €17
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

10. Adelaide Hostel

Adelaide Hostel Common Area

Adelaide Hostel is tucked away on a quiet street in the heart of San Francisco, just a few blocks from Union Square. Known for its warm, inviting atmosphere, this hostel is popular among travellers seeking a peaceful retreat amidst the city’s hustle. The friendly staff and charming decor make it a cosy place to unwind after a day of exploring.

Adelaide- Hostel- Dorm Room

Rooms at Adelaide Hostel are clean and comfortable, offering a mix of private and dormitory options. Each space is thoughtfully decorated, featuring bright linens and essential amenities to ensure a pleasant stay for all guests.

A quick overview of Adelaide Hostel

  • Free breakfast is provided daily, offering a variety of options to suit different tastes.
  • A spacious and well-equipped communal kitchen, perfect for preparing meals and socializing with other travellers.
  • Evening social events that foster a sense of community and provide opportunities for guests to mingle.
  • A cosy library nook filled with books and a quiet space for reading or working.
  • Secure luggage storage, giving guests the freedom to explore the city without heavy bags.

Dorm beds from €36, Private rooms from €120
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in San Francisco

San Francisco is a city that blends innovation, culture, and natural beauty, making it a top destination for travellers from all corners of the globe. The best hostels in San Francisco embody this blend, providing more than just a place to sleep. They offer a community and a launchpad for adventures in the city. Whether you're here to explore tech innovations, historical sites, or vibrant street art, these hostels offer a comfortable and cost-effective base.

These hostels cater to a variety of preferences, ensuring that every traveller finds a suitable match. From the bustling areas near Union Square to the quieter, picturesque neighbourhoods like Haight-Ashbury, each location offers a unique glimpse into the city’s eclectic nature. Hostels in San Francisco are designed to facilitate easy exploration of the city’s famed hills, colourful Victorian architecture, and bustling waterfront.

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