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Cheap Hotels in San Francisco

Clean & Affordable Hotels to Keep You on Budget

It's expensive to stay here, but you can still find some great, cheap hotels in San Francisco. Below is a list of recommendations for hotels with some rooms starting at $100 or less. You will also find a second list with recommendations for the best cheap SF hotels with some rooms that start at $150 or less.

Every SF lodging option on my list is highly rated by its guests and offers a clean environment. At the same time, each one has a reason why it's less expensive (i.e., few amenities, location or shared bathrooms).

Make sure you read the details below carefully, so you know what to expect from each of these cheap hotels in San Francisco.

Top Hotels Starting at $100 or Less A Night*

All of the cheap hotels in San Francisco on this list have at least some rooms starting at or under $100 a night.

1. Metro Hotel
319 Divisadero Street

metro hotel sfI think this is one of the best cheap hotels in San Francisco. It's highly rated, in the cute Alamo Square neighborhood and close to several transit options.

While it is light on amenities, it's a great place to stay if you want to see how the locals live.

This hotel was rated as a "Best Value" hotel by CitySearch and was featured in the National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

Why is it so cheap? Very few amenities: This is a small, locally owned hotel, so there are not a lot of frills. The front rooms face a semi-busy street. It's also not in the heart of the tourist areas, but there are several public transportation options.

Perfect for: Anyone that wants a real San Francisco experience the minute they step outside their door. Anyone that doesn't mind taking public transit to get around the city. It's also perfect for those that don't need a lot of fancy, modern amenities.

Other tips: There are several great restaurant and bars within a few blocks of this hotel. Make sure you take some time checking them out - many of them are right on Divisadero Street. If you love seafood, then you also need to check out the Alamo Square Seafood Grill. Little Star Pizza is also a local favorite and one of the best places to find deep dish pizza in the city (their thin crust is also very delicious). The restaurant on the ground floor next to the lobby has yummy Italian food and you can find cheap beers at the Bean Bag Cafe about three blocks north of the hotel.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: Free
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: Alamo Square
  • Transit: 21, 24, 71
  • Price Range: $88 - $150

Find a room: Metro Hotel

2. Park Hotel
325 Sutter Street

park hotel sfYou'll find the Park Hotel in the city center just a few blocks from Union Square and Chinatown. This one star hotel offers free high-speed internet access and TVs.

Why is it so cheap? Shared Bathrooms: This hotel offers both shared and private bathrooms, but the best deal is for rooms with a shared bathroom.

Perfect for: It's perfect if you don't spend much time in your room and/or aren't too concerned with amenities. They do have free high speed internet access, but that's about it. It's also perfect for anyone that wants to be in the heart of the action, but is still looking for one of the best cheap hotels in San Francisco with a clean, friendly environment.

Other tips: Don't stay here if you have a car. There is a parking garage, but it's a couple of blocks away and will cost you anywhere from $35 to $40 a day. Driving in Union Square and/or downtown San Francisco is also difficult if you aren't used to the traffic. If you can, leave the car at home and get familiar with SF's great public transit system.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: Union Square
  • Transit: Several options
  • Price Range: $75 - $114

Find a room: Park Hotel

3. San Remo Hotel
2237 Mason Street

san remo hotelThe San Remo Hotel is a European style pension hotel. This is another one of the cheap hotels in San Francisco that offers clean, budget friendly accommodations with shared baths in a great central location.

Why is it so cheap? Shared Bathrooms: None of the rooms at the San Remo Hotel have private bathrooms. This allows it to offer good rooms at a decent price. Even though they are shared bathrooms, they are cleaned meticulously every day. Rooms also do not include phones or TVs.

Perfect for: Couples or solo travelers looking for a low key hotel experience. It's also great if you are traveling without a car and want easy access to Fishermans Wharf, North Beach and other busy SF neighborhoods.

Other tips: Even though they don't have parking, there is a reasonably price parking lot just a block away. Ask at the front desk for directions when you arrive. Also, ask for a room with a sink, so you can at least brush your teeth in your own room. Only some of the rooms have windows, so you will need to request a room with a window if you love checking out the weather when you first wake up.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: North Beach
  • Transit: 30
  • Price Range: $79 - $146

4. Coventry Motor Inn
1901 Lombard Street

coventry motor innThe Coventry Motor Inn is another affordable option in San Francisco. It's on the northern side of town in the Marina District.

This two and a half star motel offers free parking and free high speed internet access. You can choose from a room with one king, two queens or two double beds. Each room also has a small area where you can work.

Guests rave about the size of the rooms and the cleanliness of this motel.

Why is it so cheap? Few amenities/location: It's only a 2.5 star hotel so there is no restaurant or bar on-site. There is no fitness center. The hotel is also located on a busy street. It's not right in the heart of the tourist attractions, but most are a quick bus ride away.

Perfect for: Anyone that has a car and is on a budget. You can not beat the free parking at this hotel and for the price of the rooms, it's a steal.

Other tips: Even though there is not a restaurant or bar on site, this hotel is right next to a number of restaurants and bars. Head two blocks north to Union Street or one block south to Chestnut Street and you will find your pick of places to eat or grab a drink. If you are a light sleeper, request a room that is away from Lombard Street.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: Yes, free
  • Neighborhood: Marina
  • Transit: 30, 45
  • Price Range: $96 - $249

Find a room: Coventry Motor Inn

5. Pacific Tradewinds
680 Sacramento Street

  • If you are looking for a really low cost option, then the Pacific Tradewinds Hostel is a great find. It's the highest rated hostel in SF and in a great location.
  • This is one of the really cheap hotels in San Francisco, but offers dorm room sleeping, community environment, shared bathrooms
  • Beds range from $17 to $23 a night
  • Downtown location just a few blocks from Union Square

6. Columbus Motor Inn
1075 Columbus Avenue

  • In the North Beach area and only a short distance to Fishermans Wharf
  • Easy access on public transit to downtown SF and Union Square
  • Clean and comfortable
  • This is one of the cheap hotels in San Francisco because it's a little bit of an older motel with only a handful of amenities; it's also an independent hotel which allows them to offer their rooms at a decent price
  • Rooms range from around $90 to $365 a night
  • Free high-speed internet, free parking, 45 rooms

7. Hotel Mayflower
975 Bush Street

  • Older hotel that is partially renovated, clean with old world charm
  • Free breakfast and parking
  • No air-conditioning in most rooms, but you usually don't need it in SF's cool weather
  • In the lower Nob Hill area close to Union Square and plenty of restaurants and bars
  • Rooms range from around $100 - $135 a night

8. Cow Hollow Motor Inn & Suites
2190 Lombard Street

  • In the heart of the Marina District on the northern side of SF
  • Easy to get to and from Union Square & Fishermans Wharf on public transit
  • Great value for the money with clean and decent sized rooms
  • It's also an older style motel with only a few amenities
  • Free high-speed internet and parking
  • Rooms range from $88 to $135 a night

9. Hayes Valley Inn
417 Gough Street

  • Great, central location in Hayes Valley
  • Bed and breakfast style lodging with 28 rooms
  • Shared bathrooms, rooms in front can be noisy, so request a back room if you are a light sleeper
  • Free breakfast, high-speed internet and pets are allowed
  • Rooms range from $93 to $180 a night

10. Casa Loma Hotel
610 Fillmore Street

  • One star hotel in the heart of the city near Alamo Square
  • Free WiFi in the rooms
  • Shared and private bathrooms available
  • Very few amenities, but perfect for the budget traveler that spends most of their time exploring the city
  • Close to many great restaurants and bars
  • Rooms range from around $76 to $119 a night

Read recent guest reviews and find the best prices for these cheap hotels in San Francisco on TripAdvisor.

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Top 10 Hotels Starting at $150 or Less A Night*

If you are able to add just a little to your budget, then you will want to check out the cheap hotels in San Francisco on this list.

1. Ocean Park Motel
2690 46th Avenue

ocean park motelThe Ocean Park Motel is a charming art deco beauty. It's a hidden gem just steps from the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Zoo.

This historic 1930s motel has free parking, free internet and allows dogs. It's a great find if you are looking for one of the quiet, cheap hotels in San Francisco that is away from the action.

Why is it so cheap? Location: This motel is clean and affordable. However, it's out by the ocean, so it will take about 30 to 35 minutes to get to downtown SF. The L-Taraval train is right next to the motel, so it's an easy ride, but this hotel is not in the heart of the action. It's also in the fog belt, so it gets very little sunshine during the summer months. Internet is free, but the signal is sometimes hard to reach in some of the rooms.

Perfect for: It's quiet and serene here, so perfect if you want to get away from the chaos of the city. It's great for anyone spending a lot of time at the ocean, the SF Zoo or Golden Gate Park. It's also perfect for those that plan on driving, since parking here is free!

Other tips: If you are a light sleeper, ask for a room in the back. The L-Taraval train runs right next to the hotel. This train is the perfect way to get downtown quickly, but not great if you are a light sleeper. This is one of the few cheap hotels in San Francisco with a full kitchen. Ask for a room with a kitchen if you plan on making meals ($10 to $25 extra a night for a fully equipped kitchen). You will also find several places to grab dinner and/or a drink within walking distance from the motel. My favorites include Brother's Pizza, Old Mandarin Islamic (mostly spicy Chinese food) and John's Ocean Beach Cafe (a hearty breakfast/brunch option).

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking:Yes, free
  • Neighborhood: Outer Sunset
  • Transit: L-Taraval
  • Price Range: $115 - $165

Find a room: Ocean Park Motel

2. Suites at Fishermans Wharf
2655 Hyde Street

suites at fishermans wharfThis all suite hotel is just steps from all of the Fishermans Wharf attractions. Rooms include a large living room area and either one or two bedrooms. Each one also offers a full kitchen and a full, private bathroom.

Some of the rooms offer beautiful views of the bay and a few have balconies. There is also a gorgeous rooftop deck, so even without a balcony, you can head upstairs to soak in the views.

Why is it so cheap? Few amenities: There are very few amenities here and the feel is more like apartment living than a hotel. There is no air conditioning in the rooms, which is quite common for cheap hotels in San Francisco. The city is cool and windy, so it's very comfortable with the windows open in most rooms. There is no breakfast and no free parking (there are a few parking spots here, but they are an additional fee).

Perfect for: People traveling together that need separate bedrooms and enjoy a shared living room. Families with children. Anyone wanting to defer meal costs by making a few simple items in the kitchen. Anyone that is spending most of their time in Fishermans Wharf.

Other tips: If you don't mind a little street noise, then ask for a room with a view. If you are a light sleeper, ask for a quieter room in the back. The third floor rooms are right below the roof top deck, so at times you might be able to hear the people and chairs up there in your room.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: Limited, extra $$
  • Neighborhood: Fish. Wharf
  • Transit: Cable Car, 30, 47
  • Price Range: $144 - $230

Find a room: Suites at Fishermans Wharf

3. Baldwin Hotel
321 Grant Avenue

baldwin hotelThis two-star hotel sits within walking distance to both Chinatown (gates are right across the street) and Union Square. The furnishings are cute, it's clean and the location is perfect for those on vacation.

Guests rave about the friendliness of the staff.

Why is it so cheap? Few Amenities: The biggest reason the rates here are affordable is that this hotel offers very basic amenities both in the rooms and for the overall hotel. The rooms are clean and offer the basics such as comfortable mattresses, small ensuite bathrooms and free wifi. That's about it. The loud street noise can also be heard inside the rooms from the lower level, front rooms.

Perfect for: Anyone wanting to be close to the action and isn't spending much time in their room.

Other tips: If you are a light sleeper, request a room in the back or on a higher floor. You will still hear some of the noises of the city, but it is a little quieter here. The rooms don't have air conditioners. Instead you will find a ceiling fan in each room. This usually isn't a problem as San Francisco is cool all year around, but might be an issue for some people.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: Not included
  • Internet: Free
  • Parking: No, but they offer discounted parking nearby
  • Neighborhood: Union Square
  • Transit: Several options
  • Price Range: $129 - $189

Find a room: Baldwin Hotel near Union Square

4. Golden Gate Hotel
775 Bush Street

golden gate hotelAnother great find for cheap hotels in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Hotel. This hotel is in the Lower Nob Hill area - which is just a few blocks away from Union Square.

Included with the room price is a basic breakfast of pastries, juice and coffee. They also offer their guests afternoon cookies and tea.

Why is it so cheap? Older hotel/Some shared baths: While the rooms are clean, the hotel itself is a little older. The elevator is old and you can hear it running from the adjacent rooms. The rooms are small. There are both shared and private baths. Those without a private bathroom are less expensive.

Perfect for: Couples that don't plan on spending much time in the room. Anyone wanting to be close to the action, but okay with walking a little or taking public transit.

Other tips: Their WiFi is free, but is spotty on the upper floors. If you need reliable WiFi during your stay, request a lower room or look at other hotel options on this list. There is also a cat that has free reign of the hotel. If you are allergic to cats, then you will want to look at alternative hotels.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: Basic, included
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: Lower Nob Hill
  • Transit: Several options
  • Price Range: $135 - $190

5. San Francisco Travelodge at the Presidio
2755 Lombard Street

  • 2 star hotel near the Presidio in the Marina District
  • Great find for cheap hotels in San Francisco because of its free parking and easy access to public transit
  • Free breakfast, wheelchair accessible rooms and a business center; they also allow pets with a $20 cleaning/pet fee
  • This is a highly rated hotel, but is a little further from Fishermans Wharf and Union Square. It will take you a little longer to get around, but worth it for the price.
  • It's on a busy street, but the hotel itself is set off about a half a block from the road.
  • Price range from around $129 to $192 a night

6. Metro Hotel (see posting above): Even if you add a little money to your budget, this hotel still comes up on the 'best of' list. See the posting above.

7. Columbus Motor Inn (see posting above): As with the Metro Hotel, this motel shows up on both of my lists.

8. Hotel Mayflower (see posting above): Another hotel that makes both lists.

9. Phoenix Hotel
601 Eddy Street

  • 2.5 stars in the Civic Center neighborhood
  • This is such a cute hotel that was recently renovated into a funky, artists retreat.
  • The reason this hotel is affordable is because this neighborhood gets a little sketchy at night. Although you are fine during the day, you will want to be careful at night. The problem is that there are a large number of homeless people that hang out here. It's more pick pockets than other major crimes, but be cautious as you are coming and going. The neighborhood is the only thing that moves this hotel so far down on the list, but something to consider if you plan on using public transit or walking around at night.
  • Free parking and internet
  • Rates around $85 to $269 a night

10. Redwood Inn
1530 Lombard Street

  • Two star hotel on the eastern side of the Marina District
  • Guests love the friendly customer service and the location - although it's in the Marina District, you can still easily get to Fishermans Wharf on foot or by bus; Union Square is a quick bus ride away too
  • On the very busy Lombard Street corridor, but noise is not a huge problem in most of the rooms since most are set off the street
  • Free parking, but the lot is small, so it's tough to get larger vehicles into the lot - they are allowed, but be prepared to spend a little time getting in and out if you have an SUV or another large vehicle
  • Rates from around $125 to $159 a night

Read recent guest reviews and find the best prices for these hotels on TripAdvisor.

These are just a few of my favorite cheap hotels in San Francisco. Here are some other hotel pages that might interest you:

  • Youth Hostels: Are you looking for even more cheap hotels in San Francisco? If so, you will find it here. This page includes a list of my five favorite youth hostels in the city. On this page, you will also find a downloadable comparison chart to help you select the right one for your visit.

  • Union Square Hotels: Want to find other options in Union Square? If you didn't find a hotel that fits your needs above and are staying in Union Square, then check out these hotels. The price ranges vary, but they are some of the best in this popular hotel neighborhood.

  • Downtown Hotels: There are also a number of other hotels near Union Square in downtown San Francisco. Most of these are larger hotels and the prices vary. These are great for both business travelers and those heading to San Francisco on vacation.

  • Fisherman's Wharf Hotels: If you want to stay closer to Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf, then check out these recommendations. There are a number of hotels in this neighborhood and these are some of the best.

  • Visit Alcatraz: Already booked your ticket to Alcatraz? Find some great tips to help you prepare for your trip. What should you wear? How long is the ferry ride? How long does the tour last? Find answers to these questions and more.

  • Attractions By Neighborhood: There are so many things to do in San Francisco. This guide helps you discover the attractions located in each neighborhood. From Chinatown to the Marina, this page is pack full of great information on what each neighborhood has to offer.

*Hotel rates vary based on number of nights, time of year and day of week. Before booking, please confirm current pricing to ensure accuracy. Starting prices do not include taxes or other hotel fees.

> Cheap SF Hotels

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