Cheap Hotels in San Francisco: Clean & Affordable Hotels to Keep You on Budget

It's generally pretty 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 rooms starting at $100 or less, $150 or less, and $200 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 (for example, 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.

San Remo Hotel in San Francisco's North Beach DistrictOutside the San Remo Hotel in San Francisco's North Beach District

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Places to Stay for $100 or Less A Night*

Much harder to find these days, but San Francisco remarkably still offers a few great places for travelers looking to spend less than $100 a night.

1. Pacific Tradewinds Hostel

Address: 680 Sacramento Street

  • The highest rated hostel in SF
  • Convenient downtown location just a few blocks from Union Square
  • This is one of the really cheap hotels in San Francisco because it offers dorm-style sleeping, a community environment, and shared bathrooms
  • Recommended for solo travelers interested in meeting people
  • Beds here start at $55 per night 

2. Casa Loma Hotel

Address: 610 Fillmore Street

  • Two-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 budget travelers who spend most of their time exploring the city
  • Close to many great restaurants and bars
  • Rooms start as low as $59 per night for a queen bed and shared bath, with discounts for multiple-night stays

3. Hayes Valley Inn

Address: 417 Gough Street

  • Great central location in Hayes Valley
  • Bed-and-breakfast-style lodging with 28 rooms
  • Free breakfast and high-speed internet
  • Shared bathrooms
  • Rooms in front can be noisy, so request a back room if you are a light sleeper
  • Pets are allowed
  • Rooms start at $89 per night for a standard double with shared bathroom

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

Top 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. 325 Sutter Hotel

325 Sutter Street

You'll find this hotel in the city center just a few blocks from Union Square and Chinatown. This 2.5-star hotel offers free high-speed internet access and TVs.

Why is it so cheap? Few amenities. This hotel offers just the basics. They do have free high-speed internet access, but that's about it. 

Perfect for: Guests who don't spend much time in their room and aren't too concerned with amenities. 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.

Find a room: Hotel Icon

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: Union Square
  • Transit: Several options
  • Price Range: $130 - $175

2. Ocean Park Motel

2690 46th Avenue

The 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 and free Wifi and allows dogs. It also offers two gardens and a hot tub for guests to enjoy. 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, but a bit out of the way. It's by the ocean, so it will take about 30 to 35 minutes to get to downtown SF via the L-Taraval streetcar. 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. The rooms themselves are on the smaller side.

Perfect for: Anyone looking to get away from the chaos of the city to enjoy time at the ocean, the SF Zoo, or Golden Gate Park. It's also perfect for those who 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 streetcar runs right next to the hotel, which is a great 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 (more per night, but worth it if you want to save a little more) if you plan on making meals. You will also find several places to grab dinner and/or a drink within walking distance. My favorites include Brother's Pizza, Old Mandarin Islamic (spicy Chinese food), and John's Ocean Beach Cafe (a hearty breakfast/brunch option).

Find a room: Ocean Park Motel

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: Yes, free
  • Neighborhood: Outer Sunset
  • Transit: L-Taraval Streetcar
  • Price Range: $135 - $195

3. San Remo Hotel

Address: 2237 Mason Street

The 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.

They also have an amazing Italian restaurant on the first floor. It's one of the oldest Italian restaurants in the US that is still open. Make sure to check it out during your stay.

Why is it so cheap? Shared bathrooms and low tech. 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 do not include phones or TVs, there is free Wifi throughout the hotel.

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 Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, and other busy SF neighborhoods.

Other tips: Even though they don't have parking, there is a reasonably priced 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.

Find a room: San Remo Hotel

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: No
  • Internet: Yes, free Wifi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: North Beach
  • Transit: 30 Bus
  • Price Range: $101 - $172

4. Golden Gate Hotel

Address: 775 Bush Street

Another great find for cheap hotels in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Hotel in the Lower Nob Hill area, just a few blocks away from Union Square.

The 1913 hotel has a charming bed-and-breakfast feel with only 23 guest rooms, each uniquely decorated. Included with the room price is a basic breakfast of pastries, juice, and coffee. They also offer their guests afternoon cookies and tea.

This is a pet-friendly hotel that also offers free Wifi.

Why is it so cheap? Older hotel and some shared baths. While the rooms are clean, the hotel itself is a little older, especially the elevator, which you can hear running from the adjacent rooms. The rooms are small, and many of them have shared bathrooms (the cheaper option), though private bathrooms are available.

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

Other tips: The Wifi is free but is spotty on the upper floors. If you need reliable internet connection 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: Included (basic)
  • Internet: Yes, free WiFi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: Lower Nob Hill
  • Transit: Several options
  • Price Range: $123 - $249

5. Cow Hollow Inn & Suites

Address: 2190 Lombard Street

  • In the heart of the Marina District on the northern side of SF
  • Easy to get to Union Square & Fisherman's Wharf on public transit
  • Great value for the money with clean and decent sized rooms
  • Another older-style motel with only a few amenities
  • Free high-speed internet and parking
  • Rooms range from $150 to $400 a night

6. Mayflower Hotel

Address: 975 Bush Street

  • In the lower Nob Hill area, close to Union Square and plenty of restaurants and bars
  • Older hotel that is partially renovated, clean with old world charm
  • Free breakfast, parking, and Wifi
  • No air-conditioning in most rooms, but you usually don't need it in SF's cool weather
  • Rooms offer small kitchenettes with mini-fridges and microwaves
  • Rooms range from around $150 - $370 a night

Top Hotels Starting at $200 or Less A Night*

1. Coventry Motor Inn

Address: 1901 Lombard Street

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

This 2.5-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. Unlike some of the other cheap hotels in San Francisco, the rooms here all have private bathrooms.

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

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

Other tips: Even though there is no 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 Buses
  • Price Range: $170 - $285

Find a room: Coventry Inn

2. Hotel 32One

Address: 321 Grant Avenue

The location of this three-star hotel is excellent. It's right across the street from Chinatown's Dragon Gate and close walking distance to both Union Square and the Financial District.

The rooms are a bit small, but they are clean and modern, and feature comfy beds and flat-screen TVs. Here, you'll also find free Wifi and 24-hour reception.

Why is it so cheap? Few amenities and street noise. The biggest reason the rates here are affordable is that this hotel offers very basic amenities and small rooms. As it's located in the heart of all the action, the loud street noise can also be heard inside the rooms from the lower level front-facing rooms.

Perfect for: Tourists who want to be close to the action and don't plan to spend too 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 have ceiling fans rather than air conditioning, but this usually isn't a problem as San Francisco is cool all year around.

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: Not included
  • Internet: Yes, free Wifi
  • Parking: No, but parking garage next door
  • Neighborhood: Union Square
  • Transit: Several options
  • Price Range: $161 - $425

Find a room: Hotel 32One near Union Square

3. Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco

Address: 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
  • Business center
  • Wheelchair-accessible rooms
  • Pets allowed with a $20 cleaning/pet fee
  • This is a highly rated hotel but is a little further from Fisherman's 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 back from the road
  • Prices range from around $154 - $262 a night

4. Columbus Inn

Address: 1075 Columbus Avenue

  • In the North Beach area, only a short distance to Fisherman's Wharf
  • Easy access to downtown SF and Union Square on public transit
  • Clean and comfortable
  • A bit of an older motel with only a handful of amenities
  • Independently run with only 40 rooms, allowing prices to stay low
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Free parking
  • Rooms range from around $188 to $296 a night

5. Phoenix Hotel

Address: 601 Eddy Street

  • 2.5-star motel in the Civic Center neighborhood
  • Fun, creative environment that caters to the artistic type
  • Heated outdoor pool, free parking, and free Wifi
  • Continental breakfast included
  • On site restaurant and bar/lounge
  • The neighborhood gets a little sketchy at night with lots of homeless folks around. It's more pick pockets than other major crimes, but be cautious as you are coming and going
  • Rates around $170 - $425 a night

For Just a Little Bit More...

The Metro Hotel

319 Divisadero Street

I 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 and can be a bit noisy. It's also not in the heart of the tourist areas, but there are several public transportation options.

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

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

Find a room: The Metro Hotel

Hotel Overview
  • Breakfast: Included
  • Internet: Yes, free Wifi
  • Parking: No
  • Neighborhood: Alamo Square
  • Transit: 21, 24, 71 Buses
  • Price Range: $225 - $400

Hotels Near SFO

Another way to save on the cost of your hotel is to grab one near SFO. It's a little further away, but some people enjoy staying near the airport to save on their hotel costs. 

You will end up spending money getting in and out of San Francisco, so you'll have to weight the costs of that vs. a more expensive hotel within San Francisco.

>> Find my 10 top hotel recommendations near SFO

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, check out this 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 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 Fisherman's 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 packed full of great information on what each SF district 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 Hotels in San Francisco

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