We list the best hotels, hostels, B&Bs and guesthouses in San Francisco as recommended by travel experts from CNN, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, New York Times and more. All hotel recommendations have been referenced with customer reviews and we only listed places with at least a 4 out of 5-star customer review rating.
“The refurbished Palace Hotel, reopened in June 2015, has gone through several iterations since it first opened in 1875. The latest renovation modernized rooms, the gym and the skylit swimming pool, leaving intact the early 20th-century neo-Classical ambience.”
“The Argonaut’s spacious guest rooms have exposed-brick walls, wood-beam ceilings, and best of all, windows that open to the sea air and the sounds of the waterfront; many rooms enjoy Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge views.”
Featured as Fodor’s Choice in San Francisco.
“Stay at the playful, tech-savvy Hotel Zetta, well situated downtown in SoMa and near the Powell Street BART station; it’s Viceroy Hotels’ first San Francisco property and home to the Cavalier, a modern British-style gastro pub by the local restaurateur-chef team Anna Weinberg and Jennifer Puccio.”
Featured in New York Times’ 36 Hours in San Francisco.
“The Axiom Hotel aims to reflect the city that it’s in. Being tech-forward is the focus of this six-story, 152-room hotel, which opened in February 2016. iPad check-ins, fast and free fiber-optic Wi-Fi and breakfast tables featuring places for each diner to plug in a gadget, for example.”
“This stunning tribute to beauty, and attentive, professional service offers a modern twist on that classic Ritz style with a marble lobby, outstanding food, and a lovely wine tasting lounge. The afternoon high tea is a must ticket for the city’s elite.”
Featured as Fodor’s Choice in San Francisco.
“Full-blown high-tech luxury is yours at this über-chic 40-story SoMa tower. Strategically near the Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Gardens, this shrine to urban luxury welcomes guests with a 16-foot-long gas fireplace and streamlined lobby bar that’s frequented by city socialites.”
Featured as Frommer’s Exceptional Choice in San Francisco.
Lonely Planet, Fodors, Forbes, Frommers, Telegraph
New York Times, CNN, Frommers, Telegraph
Fodors, Lonely Planet, Frommers, Telegraph
Fodors, Frommers, Forbes, Telegraph
New York Times, Fodors, Telegraph
New York Times, Fodors, Telegraph
Fodors, Frommers, Telegraph
Frommers, Fodors, Forbes
Lonely Planet, Fodors
New York Times
San Francisco is synonymous with the Golden Gate, the steep hills engulfed in fog and the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Located on the water-front, this popular tourist destination is famous for crab cakes and clam chowder, dishes tantamount with the Wharf. The view is breathtaking of the Golden Gate and Alcatraz prison. Boutiques and cafes are found check and jowl close to the celebrated chocolate factory. Renowned hotels are located here.
A vibrant area with strong Latin influence and happening vibe, there is an eclectic mix of taco shops, live music clubs, with celebrity chef restaurants and chic lounges and gourmet ice cream parlour. Top luxury hotels are found here.
One of the oldest Chinese establishment and its alleyways are filled with dim sum stalls. Gothic cock-tail lounges and karaoke bars are popular here. A bevy of luxury hotels as well as budget options are situated here.
The name stands in conjunction with the gay culture. It has numerous bars and taverns that draw a huge number of revellers. Traditional homely restaurants are famous here and so are adult shops. The culinary revelation is as exotic as the inherent atmosphere of this place.
A pulsating neighbourhood with rich Italian heritage offers you a plethora of options like jazz clubs, inns, family-run eateries, gelato parlours, cafe and retro flavoured bars. If you are looking for some authentic Italian experience while enjoying the wonderful Californian view, then this is the place for you.
Also check out our travel guide about the best areas to stay in San Francisco.
If you're looking for a cheap hotel in San Francisco, then book The Inn at Union Square. It's an excellent budget hotel offering great value for money. It's in a good location, it's been recommended by travel experts and the hotel has excellent customer reviews. Also check out our list of the best cheap hotels in San Francisco.
You like some luxury but don't like the famous chain hotels. If you're looking for the best boutique hotel in San Francisco, you should check out Hotel Zetta. It's a very cool hotel that has been highly recommended by travelers and experts.
Also check out our list of the best boutique hotels in San Francisco, it's a manually curated list of the most unique and romantic hotels in the city.
If money isn't a problem and you're looking for a luxury hotel in San Francisco, then go for Hotel St. Regis. The hotel offers excellent service, it's in a top location, it has been rated very highly by previous guests and renowned travel critics have recommended it. Also check out our list of the best luxury hotels in San Francisco, it's a manually curated list of the most exclusive 5-star hotels in the city.
Looking for a good and affordable private room or cozy dorm in San Francisco? Check out HI San Francisco Downtown. The hostel has been highly rated by backpackers. Also check out our list of the best hostels in San Francisco.
For a 3-star hotel you have to pay around $200 per night and for a 4-star hotel you would be looking at $290 per night. If you're after a luxury 5-star San Francisco hotel then you can expect to pay around $480 per night.
Try Palace Hotel if you're looking for a delicious breakfast at a hotel in San Francisco. The hotel has excellent customer review ratings for breakfast.
Try Hotel Drisco if you're looking for a romantic getaway in San Francisco, it has some excellent recent customer reviews by couples.
San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge Catamaran Cruise. Take in views of San Francisco's iconic skyline, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge like never before on this 1.5-hour catamaran adventure. Feel the wind in your hair and enjoy the ocean air as you look for sea lions lounging in the bay. Price: $60.
Napa and Sonoma Wine Country - Full Day Tour from San Francisco. Escape to California’s famous wine country on this full-day tour from San Francisco. Taste regional varietals at multiple wineries in Napa and Sonoma, including both big-name and family-run estates. Price: $149.
San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket. Visit more than 2,000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals set over 100 acres of majestic and peaceful gardens located directly on the Pacific Coast. Watch talks and feedings throughout the day as you find adventure around every corner. Price: $23.
More things to do in San Francisco
There’s something so magical about the city by the bay, and it’s not just the views. Known as one of the greenest cities in America, San Francisco is a haven for nature lovers. With lush parks, winding trails, and several gardens at every turn, it feels like you are exploring a different world when you step foot here. Not to mention its proximity to natural wonders like Yosemite National Park—it makes perfect sense why this city is overflowing with such raw beauty. If you love exploring new places and want to learn more about everything the Bay Area has to offer, keep reading!
If you are staying near Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf, you can easily walk to most places in the city. If you are staying a little further out, you can take the bus or metro system, which is super easy and efficient. If you want to explore the city but don’t want to walk everywhere, you can rent a bike from the city. If you are coming to San Francisco during the summer or winter, you need to consider the weather before you head out. In the summer, it is HOT and humid, so make sure to stay hydrated and take advantage of the city’s many indoor attractions. During the winter, it can get cold and rainy, so be sure to layer your clothes and take advantage of the city’s indoor attractions once again.
Hop on a Sightseeing Tour
There are so many incredible tours to choose from in San Francisco, it can be hard to decide which ones to go on. If you love art and history, we recommend taking a tour of the Mission District, which is full of murals, Latin history, and incredible murals. If you want to learn more about the city’s history and current events, we recommend taking a tour of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. If you want to escape from the city for a bit and explore some of the natural wonders surrounding San Francisco, we recommend taking a tour of the Bay Area. Here you can explore the redwood forests of Muir Woods and the Pacific Ocean views of Sausalito.
If you want to venture outside of the city but stay in California, we recommend taking a tour of Yosemite National Park. If you have kids with you and want to keep them entertained and educated during your visit, we recommend taking a kid-friendly tour of the city, a behind-the-scenes tour of a baseball game, or a cooking class!
Dining in San Francisco is an experience you will never forget. If you’re craving a juicy burger, head to In-N-Out Burger. This famous spot is open until 2:00 AM and has an extensive menu full of southern Californian favorites. If you’re craving Asian food, head to Chinatown and try out Dumplings and Things. This spot has an extensive menu of dumplings and Asian specialties, and the atmosphere is lively and fun. If you want to experience a real San Francisco treat, you have to order a slice of sourdough bread from Boudin Bakery. This bakery has been around since 1849, so you know it’s serving up fresh and delicious sourdough!
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Now, this is important. If you’re stressing out while visiting San Francisco, you’re missing out on the beauty of the city and the experience of being there. Be open to trying new things, making new friends, and experiencing new things. If you’re wondering where to start, we recommend visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, taking a walk through Muir Woods, eating a local delicacy, like In-N-Out, visiting the Exploratorium, and sitting in a park. You can’t go wrong with any of these things, and they will help you experience the city in an entirely new way and truly embrace the magic of San Francisco.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our time in San Francisco, it’s that nothing is as it seems. This city isn’t just a destination that appeals to tourists—it’s a place where people come to start new lives and pursue their dreams. You can’t visit San Francisco and not feel something, and we hope you’re able to experience everything this city has to offer.
We recommend that you read our guide about where to stay in San Francisco. It provides an excellent overview of the most popular areas, highlighting the main attractions and hotel recommendations for each area.