5 CHEAP HOSTELS in San Fransisco [Bargain guide]

Updated - January 30th 2023

San Fransisco is one of the most popular cities to visit in the world. It’s home to bustling restaurant and nightlife scenes along with some of the most sought-after travel spots! This of course includes the iconic Golden Gate Bridge which illuminates in the striking California suns along with the notorious Island of Alcatraz. The city also has a unique and vibrant feel to it with awesome pockets of fun neighborhoods along with a diverse foodie scene.

Unfortunately for travelers, a trip to San Fransisco can often hit the bank account hard and is widely known for being one of the most expensive cities in the US! That’s why it is super important to save money where you can and a great way to do this is by staying in hostels. They’re fun, super affordable, and are often in some of the most sought-after locations to explore a destination.

If a budget-friendly trip to San Fransisco is on your radar carry on reading to find some epic places to stay!

Quick Answers – The Coolest Hostels in San Fransisco

#1 The Overall Best Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco – Green Tortoise Hostel
#2 The Best Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco for Couples – Music City Hotel – Home of SF Music Hall of Fame
#3 The Best Centrally Located Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco – HI San Francisco – Downtown
#4 The Best Luxury Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco – Samesun San Fransisco
#5 The Best Hostel in San Fransisco for Solo Travelers – HI San Fransisco- Fishermans Wharf

#1 – Green Tortoise Hostel

The Overall Best Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco

Green Tortoise Hostel
Green Tortoise Hostel is our pick for the overall best cheap hostel in San Fransisco

Why we like the Green Tortoise Hostel…

For years the Green Tortoise Hostel has gained itself a reputation for being one of the best hostels in San Fransisco. With a friendly and vibrant atmosphere, along with an awesome location in the epic North Beach, we can see why. 

The hostel also has some amazing facilities on-site including a sauna area, a fully-equipped kitchen, and an epic common room with pool and ping pong tables, plus a music corner with stereos and multiple different instruments. 

We also love the complimentary add-ons provided by the Green Tortoise Hostel including a gourmet breakfast of bagels, fresh fruit, oatmeal, a selection of hot beverages and so much more. Along with this, you also have free access to luggage storage, printing, and unlimited use of shampoo and shower gels. 

Green Tortoise Hostel is perfect for…

If you want the ultimate package for a hostel in San Fransisco then this is arguably the best place to find it. Not only does the Green Tortoise Hostel have the epic on-site facilities and complimentary add-ons we have listed above but it also has an incredible location to explore the city’s top sites. The property is just a few minutes to San Francisco favorites like Chinatown, Little Italy and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

If you don’t fancy exploring the city by yourself you can get involved in one of the hostel’s organized activities, including pub crawls, Beer Olympics, and walking tours around the city.

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Heading to San Fransisco? Save some money with our guide to the coolest hostels in San Fransisco!

2 – Music City Hotel – Home of SF Music Hall of Fame

The Best Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco for Couples

Music City Hotel - Home of SF Music Hall of Fame
Music City Hotel – Home of SF Music Hall of Fame is our pick for the best cheap hostel in San Fransisco for couples

Why we like Music City Hostel…

A unique hostel in San Fransisco, Music City Hotel offers guests an authentic experience like no other. It is all about the music scene as you can probably tell with this hostel. Local musicians from all over the city come to perform events at the hostel and plenty of the guests being musicians themselves. You even get a free loaner instrument delivered to your room when staying at this hostel- pretty cool, right? 

The hostel also has a great location within striking distance of sought-after neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Union Square, and North Beach.

Music City Hostel is perfect for…

This is perfect for those who love music and want to connect with other musicians, the whole ethos of the hostel is about expressing your musical taste with other travelers. It is also great for couples that are traveling, there are a great selection of deluxe private rooms available at the hostel. There’s also  the opportunity to get out there and socialize in one of the many common spaces if you want to spend time with people and not just your other half!

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Have some time? Get out of the city with these epic day trips from San Fransisco!

#3 – HI San Francisco-Downtown

The Best Centrally Located Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco

HI San Francisco-Downtown
HI San Francisco-Downtown is our pick for the best centrally located cheap hostel in San Fransisco

Why we like HI San Fransisco-Downtown…

We love the epic organized activities put on by the team at HI San Fransisco-Downtown including its city-famous pub crawl which takes you to some of the best bars and pubs in San Fransisco. Plus you get some amazing discounts at the venues. You can also enjoy a free walking tour of the Mission District and Chinatown with a super knowledgeable guide or an extremely affordable bike trip to the famous Golden Gate Bridge. 

HI San Fransisco-Downtown is perfect for…

If you want a super central location when visiting San Fransisco in the heart of downtown, you need to stay at HI San Fransisco’s Downtown branch. Providing some of the most affordable prices amongst the hustle and bustle of a sought-after neighborhood we can see why this hostel is super popular amongst backpackers.

Within minutes you’ll find yourself surrounded by world-class restaurants, lively bars, amazing theatres along with some of the city’s top sites. This makes the location of this hostel arguably unbeatable! You will also find yourself just moments away from the famous Chinatown neighborhood which is a bucket list destination you have to explore.

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No plans tonight? Check into one of San Fransisco’s party hostels for more than just a place to sleep!

#4 – Samesun San Fransisco

The Best Luxury Cheap Hostel in San Fransisco

Samesun San Fransisco
Samesun San Fransisco is our pick for the best luxury cheap hostel in San Fransisco

Why we like Samesun San Fransisco…

Samesun San Fransisco is located in what is nicknamed the ‘beating heart of San Fransisco’. It’s slotted in between Fisherman’s Wharf and Mission District, which is a beautiful neighborhood full of colorful murals and taquerias.

You will be able to tick off bucket list activities in no time whilst staying at Samesun San Fransisco. The Palace of Fine Art, China Town, Little Italy, and The Golden Gate Bridge being within striking distance of the property. 

Samesun San Fransisco is perfect for…

Slightly pricier than some of the other hostels on our list but still very affordable, Samsun iHostel s perfect for those who want a little sense of luxury when staying in San Fransisco but don’t want to splash out on a super fancy hostel or hotel.

Beautifully deluxe facilities and a vibrant atmosphere are what you can expect at this hostel with a plethora of room options including spacious dorms all the way to fancy private rooms featuring ensuites and balconies.

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#5 – HI San Francisco-Fisherman’s Wharf

The Best Cheap Hostel in for Solo Travelers

HI San Francisco-Fisherman's Wharf
HI San Francisco-Fisherman’s Wharf is our pick for the best cheap hostel in for solo travelers

Why we like Hi San Francisco-Fisherman’s Wharf…

The final hostel on our list is a second one from the famous brand of HI but this time we have chosen its Fisherman’s Wharf branch. This one is for those who want to be near the waterfront when visiting the place nicknamed ‘ The City by the Bay’.

On-site at the hostel you will find plenty of spaces with epic views of the nearby surroundings including San Francisco Bay and the National Park. Within a stone’s throw away from the hostel, you will also find Pier 39, which is known as the posh district. Here you can find plenty of great restaurants and cafes that have views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

HI San Fransisco-Fisherman’s Wharf is perfect for…

A bustling social atmosphere makes HI San Fransisco-Fisherman’s Wharf a perfect place to stay for those traveling solo. On-site, you will find cozy common areas, spacious dorm rooms along with a games room equipped with a pool table and a free jukebox, all of which are perfect for meeting other backpackers.

Having no luck meeting people in these areas? Not to worry the hostel also puts on a range of epic events perfect for mingling and meeting other like-minded travelers. This includes pub crawls, walking tours, and museum visits.

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Conclusion to the Best Hostels in Hostels in San Fransisco

San Fransisco is a dream destination you need to add to your travel bucket list – it has a cool and vibrant atmosphere matched with some amazing sites. You also can’t look past its amazing foodie scene along with the epic nightlife.

In this guide, we have broken down five affordable hostels to help you find reasonably priced accommodation in a city that is known for being notoriously expensive and we have certainly found some good ones. If we’re being honest it was very hard to narrow it down to just five but if we were to take it one step further and pick our favorite place it would have to be Green Tortoise Hostel. The atmosphere is arguably unmatched and it is in an excellent location.

We really hope you enjoyed reading this article and it has helped you out with your travel planning. Please do let us know if you end up using any of our recommendations we listed above we love hearing from you guys :)

***Disclaimer*** Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, One Weird Globe will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going :)

Aiden Higgins
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