The 5 Best Hostels in Downtown San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco is packed with great things to do and economical accommodation options
Downtown San Francisco is packed with great things to do and economical accommodation options | © Andy Selinger / Alamy Stock Photo
San Francisco is not known for its affordability, but there are great deals to be found, even right in the center of the city. Downtown – also known as the Financial District – is right by bustling locations such as Pier 39, Coit Tower and the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market and is packed with economical accommodation options. Save your money and stay at one of these hostels in Downtown San Francisco.

HI San Francisco Downtown

Hostel, Hotel
HI San Francisco - Downtown
Courtesy of HI San Francisco - Downtown / Hostelworld.com
Recently renovated, the HI San Francisco Downtown includes four-bed dorm rooms as well as private rooms with an option for a private bathroom. A great choice for travelers on a tight budget, the hostel is centrally located in the Union Square area and features free continental breakfast every morning. Don’t be fooled by the low price tag, however, as the rooms here are nicer than most other hostels in the city, and there’s a large modern kitchen. The staff also hosts daily walking and biking tours.
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Green Tortoise Hostel

Hostel
Courtesy of Green Tortoise Hostel / Booking.com
Located in Little Italy, the Green Tortoise Hostel is a lively space with plenty of character. There are practical communal areas including a large kitchen and dining room, but there’s also a dry sauna and a huge ballroom filled with games and musical instruments. Shared dorms or private rooms are available, and the hostel offers a free daily breakfast. Also, dinner is free up to three times a week.
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Adelaide Hostel

Hostel, Hotel
Adelaide Hostel, San Francisco
Courtesy of Adelaide Hostel / Hotels.com
Adelaide Hostel knows what travelers on a budget are looking for, so while it may not be the most stylish of options, it does have bunk beds with individual power points, reading lamps and privacy curtains. There is also a 24-hour laundry room. The staff are always happy to offer advice about what to do in the city, plus the hostel has discounted rates for popular activities such as bike rentals for self-guided routes over the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also take advantage of social events such as wine and cheese nights, and a generous free breakfast spread that includes oatmeal, toast, bagels, fresh fruit, jam and Nutella.
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Orange Village Hostel

Hostel
Courtesy of Orange Village Hostel / Hostelworld.com
The recently renovated Orange Village Hostel is located only a few blocks from lively Union Square, making it one of the most centrally located hostels in the city. Great for those who want to explore the city at all hours, there’s a 24-hour reception with no curfew, and the excellent free breakfast of waffles, fruit and coffee will set you up for a day exploring the hilly city. Most rooms are dorms with shared bathrooms – get to know your roommates at the weekly events, including pizza nights and wine parties – but there are private rooms with flat-screen TVs, fridges and microwaves, too.
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Pacific Tradewinds Hostel

Hostel
Courtesy of Pacific Tradewinds Hostel / Hotels.com
The Pacific Tradewinds Hostel sits a stone’s throw from Chinatown and Pier 39, giving you plenty of bars and restaurants to get acquainted with during your stay. Sturdy royal-blue bunk beds and padlocked luggage storage sit in the nautically themed dorms – all suitably decorated with anchors and sea-green curtains. There’s free coffee, tea and even ramen noodles on offer – and the kitchen has everything needed for whipping up a cooked breakfast with fellow nomads. On rainy days, there are stacks of board games and books in the communal areas to keep you occupied too. It may be the smallest hostel in the city, but the famously friendly atmosphere more than makes up for it.
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Chloe Byrne contributed additional reporting to this article.

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These recommendations were updated on July 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.