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

Jill at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

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.

Clean Inexpensive Hotels

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. ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel

Address: 680 Sacramento Street

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Star Rating: N/A

Features of this Hostel: 

  • 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

Perfect for: Solo travelers interested in meeting new people

Price: Beds here start at $43 per night, but you may be able to reserve a "micro" private double room for $89

Find a room: ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel

2. Casa Loma Hotel

Address: 610 Fillmore Street

Neighborhood: Alamo Square

Star Rating: 2 stars

Features of this Hotel:

  • Free Wifi in the rooms
  • Shared and private bathrooms available
  • Close to many great restaurants and bars

Perfect for: Budget travelers who like to spend most of their time exploring the city

Price: Rooms start as low as $59 per night for a queen bed and shared bath, with discounts for multiple-night stays

Find a room: Casa Loma Hotel

3. Hayes Valley Inn

Address: 417 Gough Street

Neighborhood: Hayes Valley

Star Rating: 2 stars

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Great central location in Hayes Valley
  • Bed-and-breakfast-style lodging with 29 rooms
  • Free breakfast and high-speed internet
  • Shared bathrooms
  • Pets are allowed

Perfect for: Tourists who want to check out one of San Francisco's most hip up-and-coming neighborhoods while on a budget, without having to trade the personal experience for the more commercial hotels around

Tips: Rooms in front can be noisy, so request a back room if you are a light sleeper

Price: Rooms start at $89 per night for a standard double with shared bathroom

Find a room: Hayes Valley Inn

Read recent guest reviews and find the best prices for this and other cheap hotels in San Francisco.

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. Hotel Ikon at 325 Sutter

Address: 325 Sutter Street

Neighborhood: Union Square / Chinatown 

Star Rating: 2.5 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Free high-speed internet access 
  • In-room refrigerator

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.

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.

Price: Starting at $130 per night for a double room with private bath

Find a room: Hotel Ikon

2. Ocean Park Motel

Address: 2690 46th Avenue

Neighborhood: Outer Sunset

Star Rating: 3 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Charming 1930s art deco beauty
  • Just steps from the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Zoo
  • Classic motel with free parking
  • Free wifi
  • Dog-friendly
  • Two gardens with a hot tub for guests to relax and enjoy
  • Rooms with kitchens available

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: People who prefer the quiet cheap hotels in San Francisco. Anyone looking to get away from the chaos of the city to enjoy time at the ocean, the SF Zoo, or Golden Gate Park. Those traveling with cars.

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).

Price: Rooms with one queen bed start at $111 per night

Find a room: Ocean Park Motel

3. San Remo Hotel

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

Address: 2237 Mason Street

Neighborhood: North Beach

Star Rating: 2 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • European-style pension hotel
  • Great, central location between North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf
  • Historic and delicious Italian restaurant on the first floor
  • Free wifi

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 TV.

Perfect for: Couples or solo travelers looking for one of the cheap hotels in San Francisco that offers clean, low-key, and convenient accommodations.

Other tips: Even though they don't have parking, there is a reasonably priced parking lot just a block away. If you're relying on public transit, use the Muni Bus #30. 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.

Price: Starting at $104 per night for one double bed or two twin beds with shared bath

Find a room: San Remo Hotel

4. Golden Gate Hotel

Golden Gate Hotel SF

Address: 775 Bush Street

Neighborhood: Lower Nob Hill 

Star Rating: 3 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Just a few blocks away from Union Square
  • A 1913 hotel with a charming bed-and-breakfast feel
  • Only 23 guest rooms, each uniquely decorated 
  • Breakfast of pastries, juice, and coffee is included
  • Afternoon cookies and tea
  • Pet-friendly
  • 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.

Price: Starting at $113 per night for a double room with shared bathroom

Find a room: Golden Gate Hotel

5. Cow Hollow Inn & Suites

Cow Hollow Inns and Suites

Address: 2190 Lombard Street

Neighborhood: Marina

Star Rating: 2 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Free high-speed internet
  • Free parking
  • Clean and spacious rooms with comfortable beds and private bath

Why is it so cheap? Older style and few amenities. The room decor is outdated, but you get all the basics, including TV and air conditioning. It's also a little out of the way, but you can easily get to Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf on several public transit options.

Perfect for: Travelers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco, but still want to be within walking distance to great restaurants and bars. If you have a car, the free parking is hard to beat. You can also rent bikes nearby, which you can take over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Other tips: If you're a light sleeper, ask for a room in the back away from the street. This is one of the cheap hotels in San Francisco that will give you great value for your money, as it is a good compromise between hotel and motel. 

Price: Starting at $150 per night for a king standard room

Find a room: Cow Hollow Inn and Suites

6. Mayflower Hotel

Address: 975 Bush Street

Neighborhood: Lower Nob Hill

Star Rating: 2 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Free breakfast
  • Free parking
  • Free wifi
  • Flat-screen TVs with satellite channels
  • In-room kitchenettes with mini-fridges and microwaves
  • Private baths with actual bathtubs
  • Old-world charm

Why is it so cheap? Older building. There's no air-conditioning in most rooms, but you usually don't need it in SF's cool weather.

Perfect for: Those who want to be close to the heart of San Francisco, as it's a few block's from Union Square with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby.

Price: Starting at $150 per night

Find a room: Mayflower Hotel

Top Hotels Starting at $200 or Less A Night*

1. Coventry Motor Inn

Coventry Motor Inn SF

Address: 1901 Lombard Street

Neighborhood: Marina

Star Rating: 3 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet access
  • Large rooms with desk space to work
  • 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.

Price: Starting at $170 per night

Find a room: Coventry Inn

2. Hotel 32One

Hotel 32One in Union Square

Address: 321 Grant Avenue

Neighborhood: Union Square

Star Rating: 3 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Clean and modern rooms
  • Free Wifi
  • Flat-screen TVs with satellite
  • Free coffee and tea in the lobby
  • Excellent location, right next to Chinatown's Dragon Gate and close walking distance to both Union Square and the Financial District

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.

Price: Starting at $170 per night for a queen with private bath

Find a room: Hotel 32One near Union Square

3. Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco

Travelodge by Windam

Address: 2755 Lombard Street

Neighborhood: Marina

Star Rating: 2 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Breakfast included
  • Free parking
  • Air conditioning
  • Business center
  • Wheelchair-accessible rooms
  • Pets allowed with a $20 cleaning/pet fee

Why is it so cheap? Location. 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.

Perfect for: People traveling with by car. Those bringing their pets with them.

Other tips: It's on a busy street, but the hotel itself is set off about a half a block back from the road. Still, you can ask for a room in the back if you are a light sleeper.

Price: Starting at $154 per night for a double with private bath

Find a room: Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco

4. Columbus Inn

Columbus Inn North Beach

Address: 1075 Columbus Avenue

Neighborhood: North Beach

Star Rating: 3 stars 

Features of this Hotel: 

  • Free high-speed internet
  • Free parking
  • Rooms with balconies
  • Private bathrooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Flat-screen TVs
  • Coffee maker in room

Why is it so cheap? An older motel. While on the older side, it's still very clean and comfortable. This is one of the independently run cheap hotels in San Francisco. It only has 40 rooms, allowing prices to stay low.

Perfect for: Folks who are traveling with a car or need wheelchair access. Also those who like to walk. From the hotel, it's only a 7-minute walk to Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf.

Other tips: Free parking in San Francisco is a great deal. Take advantage of it by leaving the car at the motel and hopping on public transit to easily get downtown or to Union Square. 

Price: Starting at $188 per night for a king bed

Find a room: Columbus Inn

5. Phoenix Hotel

Address: 601 Eddy Street

Neighborhood: Civic Center

Star Rating: 2.5 stars 

Features of this Hotel:

  • Heated outdoor pool in the courtyard garden
  • Free parking
  • Free Wifi
  • On-site restaurant and bar/lounge

Why is it so cheap? Location. Although this is one of the more centrally located cheap hotels in San Francisco, 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.

Perfect for: Tourists looking for a funky, memorable, uniquely San Francisco experience. This fun environment caters to the artistic type and those who love a throwback 50s vibe. The service is also very friendly.

Price: Starting at $170 per night for a king room

Find a room: Phoenix Hotel

For Just a Little Bit More...

The Metro Hotel

Address: 319 Divisadero Street

Neighborhood: Haight-Ashbury

Star Rating: 3 stars 

I think this is one of the best cheap hotels in San Francisco. It's highly rated, in a cute neighborhood, and close to some San Francisco gems and plenty of transit options.

While it is light on amenities, it's a great place to stay if you want to see how the locals live. You also have the option of choosing a family room that sleeps up to six.

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.

Price: Starting at $225 for a standard double

Find a room: The Metro Hotel

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

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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