Cheap Hotels in San Francisco

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Enjoy San Francisco on a Budget

San Francisco is known for its easy-going vibe, so leave your inhibitions behind, open your mind to new experiences, and you’ll find a delightful surprise round every corner. This is a city that’s easy on the eye and the pocket. Wander through scenic parks, watch flamboyant street artists, catch some live music or comedy, and make friends with the local wildlife—all for free. A San Francisco vacation on a budget will make you rich in so many different ways.

Things to see in San Francisco

San Francisco’s spectacular City Hall is a masterpiece of Beaux Arts architecture. Take a free guided tour to admire the huge dome—the fifth-largest in the world—and learn about the building’s rich history. Pick up a map from the Presidio visitor center to guide you past ancient adobe ruins and through the atmospheric parade grounds of this former Spanish fort. Many San Francisco museums have regular free admission nights, including the prestigious de Young in Golden Gate Park, which houses one of the largest collections of American art in the world. The park itself is well worth exploring—wander through the dainty Japanese tea garden, inspect the historic dome of the Conservatory of Flowers, and admire the views from Strawberry Hill. For an unforgettable experience that won’t cost a cent, take the 1.7-mile walk across Golden Gate Bridge—although you might want to splash out on a bus ride back!

Cheap hotels in San Francisco

With so much cheap accommodation in San Francisco, you won’t have to look long to find the perfect pad. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can get for your buck in this visitor-friendly city. Look for added value such as free WiFi, free breakfast, king-size beds, or 24-hour gyms. Some economy hotels in San Francisco even have pools and saunas. Hostels with shared facilities are a good way to save money and make friends without paying for unnecessary frills. Alternatively, the city’s many B&Bs offer en-suite bathrooms and a homey atmosphere at affordable rates that compare favorably with budget hotels in San Francisco.

Where to stay in San Francisco

The popular Fisherman’s Wharf area caters for tourists from all corners of the world, so you’ll find many of San Francisco’s best cheap hotels bordering this quarter—with its famous sealion colony as your neighbors! For a slice of bohemia, head to Haight-Ashbury—the headquarters of the ’60s hippie boom contains some of the quirkiest budget accommodation in San Francisco, within walking distance of Golden Gate Park. The Mission is an arty neighborhood with a fascinating history—stay in a hostel in one of its restored residences and be near some of the best nightlife in San Francisco.

How to get to San Francisco

Most international and domestic travelers to San Francisco arrive into the city’s main international airport, SFO, although some budget flights to San Francisco use nearby Oakland. The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) network runs from the airport to downtown and beyond. Within the city limits, public transportation is cheap, convenient, and reliable. Walking or cycling are also popular ways to navigate this compact city. To explore further afield, head out on the highway looking for adventure in a bus—the authentic American road trip on a budget—or hop on a ferry to reach other parts of the bay area.

San Francisco travel guides

San Francisco travel guides

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