Best hotels to stay in San Francisco | Best places & areas

Among the best areas to stay in San Francisco (California, United States), there are: Union Square, Nob Hill, Haight Ashbury, Hayes Valley, or even Fisherman’s Wharf. Each of these areas has its own atmosphere. Discover our selection of the best accommodations and hotels in San Francisco for a first trip, a romantic or family getaway, or a trip with friends.

  1. First trip ๐Ÿคฉ
  2. For a romantic stay ๐Ÿ’š
  3. Hotels in San Francisco with family ๐ŸŒŸ
  4. For the nightlife ๐Ÿ‘ฏ
  5. Budget accommodation ๐Ÿ‘
  6. Best areas in San Francisco ๐Ÿ“
  7. Neighborhoods to avoid โ—๏ธ

Where to stay in San Francisco first time?

Union Square and Nob Hill. These two neighborhoods are the most interesting for a first trip to San Francisco. They are located not far from each other. Union Square is a central, bustling, shopping district, while Nob Hill is quieter.

Fisherman’s Wharf. This neighborhood is often cited as one of the best neighborhoods to stay in San Francisco. It is from here that you can visit the famous island of Alcatraz. On the other hand, Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most touristy areas of the city. Here are some good accommodations in this area.

citizenM San Francisco Union Square: located in downtown San Francisco, this hotel offers modern rooms for 2 people, as well as private parking (a real bonus if you go to San Francisco by car).

White Swan Inn: a very nice hotel with an ideal location for visiting San Francisco!

Marriott Vacation Club Pulse: located just a 6-minute walk from the beach, this hotel is a fun place to stay in San Francisco as a couple or with family.

Beresford Arms: a budget hotel to stay in San Francisco first time.

Best hotels to stay in San Francisco for couples

What is the best area to stay in San Francisco for a romantic trip? If you are going to visit San Francisco, you are bound to take a trip to the hippy Haight Ashbury district, the birthplace of the counterculture movement of the 1960s. In addition to this famous district of San Francisco, you can book accommodation in the trendy district Hayes Valley. In addition to Nob Hill and Union Square, these two neighborhoods are places to stay in San Francisco fro couples.

Petite Auberge: located in the Union Square district, this B&B is a charming place for a romantic stay in San Francisco.

Palihotel San Francisco: the rooms are modern and tastefully decorated. The location is excellent for a romantic trip to San Francisco.

The Grove Inn: This lovely inn is located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. It is a good place to stay in San Francisco with a good value for money.

Stanyan Park Hotel: This hotel is housed in a historic building in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco.

hotels san francisco for couples

Best places to stay in San Francisco with family

What is the best area to stay in San Francisco for a family trip? For a family stay in San Francisco, you can choose this three neighborhoods: Union Square, North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Chancellor Hotel on Union Square: located in Union Square, this hotel is a nice hotel for a family stay in San Francisco.

Hotel Zoe Fishermanโ€™s Wharf: located just 9 minutes walk from the beach, this hotel is a nice place to stay in San Francisco with family.

lombard street
Lombard Street

Where to stay in San Francisco for nightlife?

The Castro. It is one of the best places to stay in San Francisco to enjoy the nightlife. This is where you will find many places to go out and party. The Castro is a picturesque neighborhood to stay in San Francisco.

Beck’s Motor Lodge: This hotel is on a tree-lined street. A cool place to stay in San Francisco!

castro where to stay in san francisco for nightlife

Budget accommodation in San Francisco

Here is our selection of the best places to stay in San Francisco on a budget.

San Remo Hotel: located a 10-minute walk from the beach in the North Beach area, this hotel is a good place to stay in San Francisco on a budget. The decoration is old-fashioned, and the bathroom is shared.

Green Tortoise Hostel: This hostel offers shared dormitories. It is located in the North Beach district of San Francisco.

ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel: a cheap hostel where you can stay in San Francisco with very accessible rates, whether you are going to visit the city alone or alone, or with friends.

Andrews Hotel: Located in the central Union Square area, this hotel offers good value for a stay in San Francisco.

Best areas to stay in San Francisco

Discover more information on the best areas to stay in Miami: Nob Hill, Union Square, Haight Ashbury, Hayes Valley, Fisherman’s Wharf, Financial district, North Beach or La Marina.

Union Square

Union Square is in downtown San Francisco. It is in this area that you will find the widest choice of hotels in San Francisco. Union Square is a bustling shopping district. It is one of the best places to stay in San Francisco for a first trip.

The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel: a 4-star hotel with an elegant, refined and minimalist decoration.

union square neighborhood san francisco

Fisherman’s wharf

Fisherman’s wharf is one of the liveliest and most touristy areas of San Francisco. From this area, you can enjoy seafood, admire beautiful views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate, but also go to Alcatraz Island (read our blog post: Tips for visiting Alcatraz). Do not miss Ghirardelli Square, the most central place in this district.

Kimpton Alton Hotel: this hotel has a very good location in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco just 4 minutes walk from the beach.

Haight Ashbury

Haight Ashbury is the symbol of the counterculture of the 1960s. Here you will find vintage clothing shops, bars and restaurants. You will love the laid-back atmosphere of this neighborhood, which is one of the most visited places in San Francisco.

The Metro Hotel: a nice hotel that offers double rooms and family rooms. It is a good place to stay in San Francisco with family or as a couple.

san francisco area painted ladies
“Painted ladies”

Nob Hill & Hayes Valley

These two neighborhoods are good places to stay in San Francisco to discover local life, a little further away from the tourist areas of the city. Nob Hill and Hayes Valley are close to downtown San Francisco, but have a quieter, more authentic side. There are not many hotels in these areas.

Chateau Tivoli Bed and Breakfast: This B&B is located near City Hall and the University of San Francisco. If you appreciate the charm of the old, the rooms of this B&B will certainly please you a lot.

areas hayes valley san francisco
Hayes Valley

North Beach

Another vibrant area of โ€‹โ€‹San Francisco! North Beach is one of the neighborhoods to visit in San Francisco. Highlights include: the Filbert Steps at Telegraph Hill, the City Lights library and the Vesuvio Cafe bar.

Hotel Boheme: fairly spacious double rooms with 1950s-1960s decoration.

The Castro

The Castro is one of the best neighborhoods to go out and stay in San Francisco for nightlife. It is a neighborhood of the gay and lesbian community of San Francisco. Among the places not to miss are: the Castro Theater and the GLBT History Museum.

The Hotel Castro San Francisco: a hotel with a self check-in system. If you want anytime, and like those kind of systems, this hotel is fine.

Financial District

You will find very nice hotels in the business center of San Francisco. Here is an example.

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero: this is an exceptional place for an exceptional stay!

financial district san francisco hotels

The Marina

La Marina is a pretty neighborhood that runs along the San Francisco Bay. However, it is not a central district.

Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco: 10 minutes walk from the beach, this motel offers rooms for 2, 3 or 4 people. Rates are pretty decent for San Francisco.

marina district san francisco stay on a budget

Areas to avoid in San Francisco

Tenderloin is one of the neighborhoods to avoid in San Francisco. Even if certain streets of the SoMa (South of Market) and The Mission districts are interesting to visit for their murals or places to go out, overall these districts are to be avoided.


If you are going to visit California, you will necessarily go through San Francisco. For a short stay in San Francisco, choose neighborhoods such as Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill, Haight Ashbury, or Hayes Valley. Union Square is where you’ll find the widest selection of hotels in San Francisco.

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