Where to Stay in San Francisco When You’re on a Budget

gray table lamp beside white bed pillow

There’s lots to do and lots to see in San Francisco that is free or inexpensive so you can still soak up the atmosphere of the city and the wonderful landmarks, parks and museums even if you are trying to keep costs down. The big question for most travellers is where to stay in San Francisco when you’re on a budget? After all, accommodation is usually the major expense when you are venturing away from home.

The good news is that it may not be as expensive as you think.

So , where to stay in San Francisco when you’re on a budget but still want to enjoy yourself will largely depend upon how much you have to spend. Let’s take a look.

Check out hotel deals

You can find some good deals on hotels and inns in San Francisco and many of these start at around $89 per night. Check out whether any of these have special deals and if you are flexible on your dates you will probably be able to get a discount such as one free night if you book three nights or similar. Union Square is a good central location with lots of reasonably priced hotels, so this area is a good place to start your research. In addition some of the booking platforms offer discounts and reasonable prices. For example Booking .com often offers up to 40% discount on hotel deals.

AirB and B

Air B and B offers a range of accommodation from the luxurious to the budget, the weird and wonderful to the upmarket so checking out the site may throw up a hidden gem. It is important to check through the conditions. For example some places offer as much as a 20% discount if you book for a week. We found one location in The Bartlett that cost $940 for a week (for 2 people) including a $171 discount. Other locations on the Air B and B site offer similar reductions.


If you don’t want to spend much time in your accommodation and just want a safe place to lay your head at night, a hostel can be good option. There are lots of traveller’s hostels in San Francisco and many of these are in good central locations and offer a fun experience.

Prices can be around $30 per person per night so are ideal for independent travellers. (However you do have to bear in mind that if you are travelling in a group you might find that renting an apartment and splitting the costs is cheaper).

Most hostels offer private rooms as well as dormitory accommodation which are usually half the price of a private room so is well worth checking out where to stay in San Francisco when you’re on a budget.

Well rated hostels in San Francisco include The Music Hotel and Hostel  in Bush Street and  Hostelling International San Francisco City Center which offers a range of hostel accommodation across the city.

Where to stay in San Francisco when you’re on a budget will also depend upon the type of traveller you are. The lower priced hostels cater to a range of clientele including couples, digital nomads or party animals. The Green Tortoise Hostel for example is ideal if you want to party. Operated by Hostelling International (HI) it promises to be a great place to make memories and party with like minded travellers.

Back To Top