The 8 best cheap hotels in San Francisco that cost less than $200 a night

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The best cheap hotels in San Francisco
  • San Francisco is an expensive city – but it has a surprisingly wide range of affordable hotels.
  • The city’s budget-friendly hotels have central locations, desirable amenities, and rates under $200.
  • We found the best places you can stay when budget is your most important factor.

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San Francisco is home to a world-famous skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, stunning parks, an exciting food and arts scene, and is a major seat of tech. It also happens to be one of the most expensive cities in America.

As such, San Francisco is also, unsurprisingly, home to many expensive hotels. Though don’t let that deter you from visiting. There is an enticing array of cheap properties too. You just need to know where to look.

Some of our top hotel picks in the city effortlessly merge convenience with comfort, clever design details, high-tech touches, and affordable prices.

Browse all the best cheap hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best cheap hotels in San Francisco, sorted by price from low to high.

Yotel San Francisco

Yotel San Francisco:Credit  TripAdvisor.com
Yotel is located in San Francisco’s historic Grant Building.

Book Yotel San Francisco

Yotel has 203 rooms known as “cabins” with a substantial range of options to suit various budgets. Located on Market Street, the location is fantastic to explore the city.

Located within San Francisco’s famous Grant Building (which survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes), the hotel design takes its cues from air travel, with the idea to keep everything close and convenient, such as airline-style self-service check-in kiosks. All cabins (the guest rooms) have smart TVs so you can connect your own devices and stream content, plus there is ample place for charging devices. We like the ability to customize rooms as guests can create their personal vibe through tailored mood lighting and adjustable memory foam beds. The rainfall showers are also a luxe touch.

The hotel is also home to Yotel’s signature Komyuniti Lounge concept, designed with spaces to co-work and socialize.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Cow Hollow Inn and Suites

Cow Hollow Inn and Suites:Credit  TripAdvisor.com
Cow Hollow Inn and Suites is a walkable location.

Book Cow Hollow Inn and Suites

Cow Hollow Inn and Suites is a centrally located hotel near San Francisco’s quaint Cow Hollow district, which is just over a mile to Fisherman’s Wharf and only slightly farther to Pier 39.

Comfortable and clean, rooms have a well-lit seating and work area with free internet, both wired and wireless. Covered parking is also complimentary, which is a rarity for this city and packs significant added value.

Travelers love the well-maintained and noticeably large (even surprisingly so) rooms here, with coffee and tea-making facilities and large TVs. The location is also a prime one. Walk to the Palace of Fine Arts in 15 minutes, and easily reach many bars, restaurants, and other tourist-friendly attractions in a short walk.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Inn at Union Square

The Inn at Union Square

The Inn at Union Square

This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Union Square, situated perfectly for sightseeing and business travel alike, with a highly walkable location. All stays are contactless, with a virtual check-in process and a keyless entry system. 

The Inn at Union Square San Francisco has 30 hotel rooms and suites, all with high-quality bedding, comfortable pillow-top mattresses, and dark wood furnishings. The decor is sophisticated, with framed wall hangings and elegantly striped wallpaper. Here, you’ll also get high-speed wireless internet, flat screen TVs, and spa-like robes. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hotel Zeppelin

The bar at Hotel Zeppelin
Bold art and design features heavily at Hotel Zeppelin.

Book Hotel Zeppelin

Hotel Zeppelin is a Union Square property that serves as a nod to the city’s spirit of rebellion and counterculture and the whole place embraces an avant-garde look and feel. 

Starting at about 200 square feet, standard guest rooms have sleek black headboards, John Boos 36-inch work desks, blackout shades, luxurious bath amenities from ROIL, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. Suites include vinyl on vintage turntables for an atmospheric touch.

Dining and drinking options include Rambler restaurant, offering California fare made with locally sourced ingredients, which is located in the space formerly occupied by Wolfgang Puck’s city institution, Postrio. The Mantel Bar is an intimate lounge near the lobby’s fireplace, just right for gathering with groups or a date. An array of formal meeting spaces are also available, ranging up to 4,000 square feet.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hotel Del Sol

The exterior and pool at Hotel Del Sol in San Francisco.
Hotel Del Sol is a cheerfully decorated hotel in the Marina District.

Book Hotel Del Sol

Hotel Del Sol is a member of Joie de Vivre, the boutique line from World of Hyatt. It’s a charming, well-appointed stay from a trusted brand with the chance to earn loyalty points, too, and an easy walk to the buzzy bars, shops, and restaurants of the tourist-friendly Marina District.

Once a midcentury modern motor lodge, this hotel has been transformed to offer boutique amenities and service. Guest rooms are spacious, bright, and airy with orange-painted walls that feel like a California beach house, plush beds, and cheerful decor.

Indeed, we’re a fan of the bright and whimsical, modern concept decor such as palm trees, hammocks, and the colorful lounge furnishings that dot the pool area in the courtyard. The affordable price point also includes Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, and fun guest perks such as milk and cookies that are served each afternoon in the lobby.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Stanford Court

A guest room at Stanford Court San Francisco.
Stanford Court is a tech-forward San Francisco hotel.

Book Stanford Court

The 400-room Stanford Court hotel is meant to meet the needs of the digital-age traveler in a city known for tech innovation. A recent multi-million dollar renovation revamped the lobby, cafe, bar, porte-cochere, and fitness center. Look for a new modern color scheme and cool graphics, with design nods to the building’s history.

There’s a high-tech fitness center with Peloton bikes, Hydrow rowing machines, virtual personal training, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the only intersection of San Francisco’s famous cable car lines.

Other amenities include a tech loaner program, digital art installations featuring artwork by local artists, a Nod Hill sleep menu, a lobby lending library stocked with books on California and San Francisco, and a music room with vinyl from local bands and artists. 

Entry-level rooms begin at 220 square feet and have 49-inch HD televisions with HDMI and USB Ports, USB outlets, and a mini-fridge.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Orchard Garden

Orchard Garden:Credit  TripAdvisor.com
Orchard Garden is an affordable, eco-friendly hotel in San Francisco.

Book Orchard Garden

The Orchard Garden Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel with LEED and Green Seal certifications for environmentally conscious — and budget-minded — travelers.

Located near the Financial District, Union Square shops, and many museums and attractions, Orchard Garden is well-loved for its central location and reasonable pricing that includes breakfast with all room rates. Service feels personalized, offering friendly details such as flexible check-in times, pending availability. Standard rooms start around 230 square feet, and junior suites have about 374 square feet with a separate sofa.

Roots Restaurant is open for breakfast daily, and also hosts meetings and events. Or hit the hotel’s rooftop terrace for views of the famed San Francisco skyline.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Phoenix Hotel

Phoenix Hotel pool lit up at night
The Phoenix San Francisco is known for a rock-and-roll crowd and a pool scene.

Book Phoenix Hotel

Located in the Tenderloin District, the Phoenix is known for being a fun, lively destination especially popular among creatives. It’s a 10 minutes walk from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and caters to a musical crowd with a distinctly rock-n-roll atmosphere. 

There are only 44 rooms so there is also a strong boutique feel with rooms exuding vintage details like retro phones, midcentury modern furniture, and vibrant graphic artworks. Updated modern conveniences also include 42-inch flat-screen TVs with DirecTV and film channels.

Mostly, Phoenix Hotel is known for its pool scene (when San Francisco’s notoriously chilly weather permits), which I’ve frequented many times with friends. There’s even a mural from a local artist in the pool.

Guests also receive complimentary passes to the Kabuki Springs & Spa on weekdays, which is a San Francisco institution and offers an additional boon in value on top of the already cheap price. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

FAQ: Cheap San Francisco hotels

Are hotels open in San Francisco?

Yes, the state of California fully reopened on June 15, 2021. 

Where should I stay when visiting San Francisco?

San Francisco is a seven-by-seven-mile region, so you’ll never be too far from any attraction as the crow flies. Sightseers might want to stay around the Embarcadero, Union Square, or along Market Street, highly walkable locations where public transportation is also abundant and frequent.

Areas like Hayes Valley and North Beach are popular for shops and dining. The Castro is especially desirable for LBGTQ travelers, with a historic, trend-setting, and lively gay community and event calendar.

What should I avoid in San Francisco?

San Francisco has a substantial homelessness problem; there are currently about 8,000 unhoused people living in the small geographic area. Some of the associated issues — drug addiction, and yes excrement on the streets — are well known to locals, but may surprise visitors to a city with so much wealth.

Traffic is also a major problem throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and locals take pains to avoid rush-hour traffic patterns and event traffic such as related to ballgames and parades.

How much does it cost to stay at a hotel in San Francisco?

As the seat of much of the country’s tech money, the San Francisco Bay Area and its environs are notoriously expensive across the board, from the cost of living to hotel stays. While there are many pricey hotels in the city — ranging upwards of $1,000 and more — there are plenty of appealing, budget-friendly options on our list in the range of $200 and under.

When’s the best time to visit San Francisco? 

Maybe you’ve heard the quote attributed to Mark Twain: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” That is to say, it’s often cool and breezy in San Francisco at any time of year. Be prepared and always bring layers. It may surprise some visitors that the fall months offer some of the warmest temperatures in the city, and crowds are thinner, too.

Is it safe to stay in a hotel?

The CDC’s current guidance advises that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically. Hotels by their very nature provide opportunities for face-to-face encounters with staff and other guests in common spaces like check-in desks, lobbies, and dining venues. Still, experts say guests who exercise proper precautions can stay safely in hotels. Of course, no travel is completely without risk and we recommend following CDC guidelines as well as all applicable local protocols. 

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Casa del Mar hotel pool with view of the beach
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