The Best Cheap Hotels to Book in San Diego, California

San Diego is an ideal year-round destination, with sun-soaked beaches, a mild climate and lively districts like the Gaslamp Quarter
San Diego is an ideal year-round destination, with sun-soaked beaches, a mild climate and lively districts like the Gaslamp Quarter | © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Rachel Eva Lim

With sun-soaked beaches, a rich history and a mild year-round climate, the laid-back county of San Diego is an ideal destination to visit – regardless of the season. Besides exploring miles and miles of coastline, you can check out popular attractions like the San Diego Zoo, the lush and leafy Balboa Park and the SeaWorld San Diego amusement park. Need an affordable place to stay while you’re in town? We’ve got you covered with our top picks of cheap hotels in San Diego, California – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Samesun Ocean Beach, for budget-conscious backpackers


The colorfully painted facade topped with a multicolor peace sign of Samesun Ocean Beach in San Diego, California
Courtesy of Samesun Ocean Beach / Expedia

This colorful and cozy hostel is a perfect choice for backpackers or those on a tight budget. It’s a great base from which to explore San Diego’s sights – including the stunning Ocean Beach that’s just a short stroll away. Rooms range from mixed dorms with bunk beds to individual quarters for those who want a little more privacy. Free breakfast and kitchen facilities are on offer here – while expansive outdoor communal spaces invite you to mingle with other guests.

2. Urban Boutique Hotel, for boutique chic


Cozy bedroom in lavender hues at Urban Boutique Hotel in San Diego, California
Courtesy of Urban Boutique Hotel / Expedia

Situated in the heart of Little Italy, this lovely boutique establishment puts you within easy reach of top-notch restaurants, popular cocktail bars and chic stores. Take your pick from 55 elegant rooms that come simply furnished with all the essentials for a comfortable stay. If you’re here on either a Wednesday or Saturday, be sure to check out the bustling Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market – conveniently located right around the corner from the hotel.

3. Legacy Resort Hotel & Spa, for an economical spa day

Spa Hotel

Pool area with striped-blue lounge chairs and blue umbrellas at Legacy Resort Hotel and Spa in San Diego
© Legacy Resort Hotel and Spa / Alamy Stock Photo

Want to pamper yourself during your trip? A stay at Legacy Resort Hotel & Spa should be in the cards. Each of the spacious, contemporary guest rooms is kitted out with a king bed topped with luxury linens and fluffy pillows, plus a living area, workspace and balcony. Be sure to make time for a relaxing full-body massage or beauty treatment at the resort spa – or sweat it out at the sauna before cooling off with a dip in the outdoor pool.

4. Kings Inn San Diego, for retro surfer vibes


Large outdoor pool area at the retro-style Kings Inn Hotel in San Diego, California
Courtesy of Kings Inn Hotel / Expedia

If you’re a fan of the retro aesthetic, Kings Inn San Diego is the place for you. Lodgings are appointed with comfortable beds and are inspired by local surfing culture. You’ll find black-and-white vintage photographs of surfers decorating the walls and throw pillows sporting maps of the Pacific Ocean. The inn also has a fitness studio and a large outdoor pool, as well as a hot tub that’s perfect for a lazy afternoon soak while sipping on an ice-cold drink.

5. Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina, for peace and tranquility


Outdoor patio with lounge chairs and round dining table at Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel and Marina in San Diego
Courtesy of Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel and Marina / Expedia

With a serene Shelter Island setting and sprawling views of the marina, this pad is ideal for those in need of a tranquil waterfront getaway. Rooms and suites feature plush beds, island-inspired decor and charming plantation shutters – while amenities include tennis courts and two pools. Begin your morning at the hotel’s Blue Wave Bar & Grill – where you can tuck into signature dishes such as the breakfast burrito, French toast or açaí bowl.

6. Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego – La Jolla, for a fun trip with your furry friend


Large upscale living and dining areas in two-room executive suite at Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego – La Jolla
Courtesy of Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego – La Jolla / Expedia

This pet-friendly property is conveniently located near the University of California, San Diego – while the picturesque beaches of Torrey Pines and La Jolla are also a short drive away. Guests can select from various rooms and suites that are done up in a modern style – where some provide separate living sections and workspaces with ergonomic chairs. Stays come with daily made-to-order breakfast and include use of the indoor pool, sauna and fitness center.

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