The rest of the world may have moved on from the days of barefoot hippies with flowers in their hair, but there’s something about San Francisco that has maintained that same carefree vibe.
But where to start… Do you want to locate yourself close to tourist sights? Spend your time bar hopping? Or head out to the national park? The hilly Californian city has a whole lot to offer and it can be hard to know where to start planning your trip.
Don’t worry: there’s nothing to stress about. Our list of the top hostels (with a few budget hotels, too) is designed to help you save time and money while traveling to San Fran!
Written for travelers, by travelers, this epic guide will help you easily find an awesome hostel at an awesome price!
So, let’s get stuck into our list of the best hostels in San Francisco!
Editor’s note – Check out our 13 best day trips from San Francisco and see beyond the tourist hotspots!
The Best Hostels in San Francisco: Round-up
Best Overall Hostel in San Francisco – USA Hostels San Francisco
Best Party Hostel in San Francisco – Green Tortoise Hostel
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in San Francisco – Music City Hostel
Best Hostel in Downtown San Francisco – HI San Francisco Downtown
Best Hostel near Fisherman’s Wharf – HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf
Best High-end Hostel in San Francisco – HI San Francisco City Centre
Best Cheap Hostel in San Francisco – Amsterdam Hostel
Best Hostel with a Private Room in San Francisco – Orange Village Hostel
11 Best Hostels in San Francisco
Best Overall Hostel in San Francisco
Why we like USA Hostels San Francisco…
We like this funky hostel for its really clean and well kept dorm rooms and communal areas. There’s a fun atmosphere that makes every guest feel comfortable and relaxed. We like the comfy beds for a good night’s sleep. The private rooms are really homely and the dorm rooms feel secure and safe, making this the best overall hostel in San Francisco.
USA Hostels San Francisco is perfect for…
The perfect cool hostel in San Francisco for people who want a little of everything. If you want to party, socialise or just spend some time reading a book, there’s space to do all three. There\s even space to fit in a workout or catch up on some emails if you want to.
Best Party Hostel in San Francisco
Why we like Green Tortoise Hostel…
San Francisco is full of fun and vibrancy and is a great city for people who want to party. This San Francisco backpackers hostel is a reflection of that. It’s easily the best party hostel in San Francisco – make sure to go on one of their legendary bar crawls and get stuck into the sociable atmosphere.
Green Tortoise Hostel is perfect for…
We think this is one of the top hostels in San Francisco for its unique charm and easygoing ethos. The perfect hostel for party people, the staff here even serve up a load of free meals, so if you’re travelling on a budget this is also a great choice of hostel.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in San Francisco
Why we like Music City Hostel…
Travelling solo can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s good to stay somewhere that you can meet other travellers. Music City Hostel makes its case for the title of best hostel for solo travellers with its fantastically helpful staff. Below the hostel there are music studios where musicians perform to guests, which is cool!
Music City Hostel is perfect for…
Not just a place for lovers of the San Francisco music scene, this cool hostel in San Francisco is surrounded by the top city sights. You will never be stuck for things to do if you stay here. With so many eateries and bars in walking distance, there’s always something entertaining (and tasty) happening nearby.
Best Hostel in Downtown San Francisco
Why we like HI San Francisco Downtown…
Staying in the centre of the city sometimes means compromising on comfort, but this is the best hostel in Downtown San Francisco not only for its value for money but also for its endlessly helpful staff. There’s a free breakfast served up every morning, which we love, and so much stuff to see and do right on the doorstep.
HI San Francisco Downtown is perfect for…
This is the kind of cool San Francisco hostel that’s so nice it’s hard to tear yourself away from the comfort and head out into the city. There’s a cinema room and a chilled common room, but with Chinatown, the cable-cars and amazing tours of the national park to enjoy, this recommended hostel in San Francisco is great for backpackers who love to explore cities.
Best Hostel near Fisherman’s Wharf
Why we like HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf…
If you are looking for thebes hostel near Fisherman’s Wharf, look no further. This hostel is situated right on the waterfront close to all of the attractions and next to the national park. The dorm rooms are spacious and well looked after and you can spend some down time watching a movie in the cinema room or soaking up the sun on the terrace.
HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf is perfect for…
This cool San Francisco hostel is more than just a place to sleep, it’s the perfect hostel for travellers who want to be close to the famous landmarks in the city. The staff arrange tours and trips for guests and will go above and beyond to make sure you are enjoying your stay.
Best High-end Hostel in San Francisco
Why we like HI San Francisco City Centre…
Of course the best high-end hostel in San Francisco is super chic. We love the plush interiors that will get you posting to your Instagram in no time. Not only are we totally charmed by the decor, the staff here are pretty cool, too – the location away from the normal tourist area means they will give you amazing local recommendations.
HI San Francisco City Centre is perfect for…
Design lovers! Yes, this place is for travellers who are into chic aesthetics. Think marble floors and loads of boutique character. As one of the coolest hostels in San Francisco, you won’t be disappointed by the high level of comfort and service this hostel provides. Not only that, but the hostel arranges movie nights and social events making it easy for guests to meet and mingle.
Best Cheap Hostel in San Francisco
• Amsterdam Hostel •
Why we like Amsterdam Hostel…
San Francisco isn’t the cheapest of cities to travel in, but this place is the best cheap hostel in San Francisco for its value for money. The hostel puts on events and tours for free, plus there’s a shared kitchen for guests to make meals in meaning you can save on eating out.
Amsterdam Hostel is perfect for…
If you want to stay in a budget hostel in San Francisco then this is the place for you. It might not be shiny and modern inside but it is clean and well maintained. The location is super close to the cable cars and in walking distance to many of the top city attractions, too.
Best Hostel with a Private Room in San Francisco
Why we like Orange Village Hostel…
Not only do we like this hostel for its simple and uncomplicated dorms, but its neat and well looked after rooms offer great value for money. The best hostel with a private room in San Francisco, the rooms are large and come with their own bathrooms as well as televisions.
Orange Village Hostel is perfect for…
As a recommended hostel in San Francisco, this hostel ticks a lot of boxes. Low prices and great facilities such as the modern and clean communal kitchen make it a good choice, but the location is also excellent. If you’re into shopping, the local area is packed with small boutiques and malls.
Budget Hotels in San Francisco
But if the sound of a hostel in San Francisco doesn’t really float your boat, that’s ok! We’ve selected a few budget hotels in San Francisco for you to check out, so you can still stay on track with your money during your trip. Let’s have a look…
• The Urban Hotel •
Why we like The Urban Hotel…
Claiming to be a hotel that welcomes all sorts of travellers, we like this place because it really does suit a lot of different people’s needs. If you’re in the city on business and need somewhere quiet to get some work done, there’s space and room for everyone, which makes it one of the top budget hotels in San Francisco.
The Urban Hotel is perfect for…
We think this place is perfect for a lot different travellers/ It may be simply decorated, but it’s really clean and feels secure. It has to be one of the best budget hotels in San Francisco for its location close to three of the city’s main district. Staying here means you can walk out of the hostel and right into the vibrancy of the city streets.
• Union Hotel •
Why we like Union Hotel…
We like that this top budget hotel in San Francisco is located in the Mission District of the city. If you are interested in partying all night and soaking up real life then we think this is the place to stay. The area is more gritty than more touristy parts of the city, but if you don’t mind seeing past the polished the tourists sights then its a cool choice of hotel to base yourself in.
Union Hotel is perfect for…
We think this is the perfect place for people who don’t want to spend all day in their hotel hanging out. If you want to spend your time in the city hitting the streets, eating the local food and meeting new people, then staying in this top budget hotel in San Francisco is a great choice.
• Ram’s Hotel •
Why we like Ram’s Hotel…
Of course we like staying in hotels with a little luxury and this top budget hotel in San Francisco is just that. Nicely decorated in tones of blue with soft carpets and big windows, the hotel is located in a booming district and even has two restaurants above it, so you can fill up and head out to see the city sights.
Ram’s Hotel is perfect for…
We think this could be the perfect hotel for people who want a private room for the costs of a hostel. The rooms in this cool San Francisco hotel don’t come with mini bars or room service, but this is a place for people who don’t mind the no-frills approach. The hotel is clean and feels very secure, which is all we need for a good night’s sleep.
Conclusion to the best hostels in San Francisco
So after all of that, have you manage to make a decision about where you are going to stay?
Choosing the best hostel to suit your travel plans will set you up for the best time in the city that is always full of fun.
A lot of the top hostels and budget hotels in San Francisco have a sociable atmosphere, but there are some quieter, more laid-back options for those of you who want to spend some time relaxing.
And, if even after reading our top hostels in San Francisco list you are still finding it a tricky decision to make, go ahead and try out our choice of the best overall hostel in San Francisco – USA Hostels San Francisco. Enjoy your trip, and if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair… or maybe some glitter and a cowboy hat.