Where is the best area to stay in San Francisco?

Perched on a peninsula in San Francisco Bay, this iconic city is home to the elegant figure of the Golden Gate Bridge. The city is famous for its year-round fog, which envelopes the bridge on cloudy days. It’s also a melting pot between east and west, with bustling Chinatown and plenty of Eastern cuisine. Take a cable car up one of the city’s 43 hills, and you’ll find sweeping views over pretty Victorian rooftops to the bay beyond. Or, hop on a ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf to Alcatraz, an island with a fascinating history. Elsewhere in the city, enjoy farmer’s markets and vintage saloons.


If you want to be in the heart of things, the best area to stay in San Francisco is in the streets surrounding Union Square. This area offers some excellent shopping with the Westfield San Francisco Centre nearby. It’s also known as the theatre district and you’llfind the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco’s largest theatre company, here. You’ll be within walking distance of attractions like the Cable Car Museum at Nob Hill, Chinatown, and the Embarcadero walkway with its boats and cafes. This area is also a major transport hub with the MUNI metro service as well as lots of buses, trains and heritage street cars to get you around town.

Hotel   Avg price
Handlery Union Square Hotel
351 Geary St
156€ - 153$
Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
433 Powell Street
170€ - 167$
Petite Auberge
863 Bush Street
182€ - 178$
Hotel   Avg price
Hotel Zelos
12 Fourth Street
204€ - 200$
The Donatello
501 Post Street, No. 1
242€ - 237$
Orchard Garden Hotel
466 Bush Street
265€ - 260$
The Orchard Hotel
665 Bush Street
280€ - 274$
Hotel   Avg price
The Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street
312€ - 306$


If you are interested in where to stay in San Francisco, you may also be interested in where to stay in Napa Valley, where to stay in Yosemite, where to stay in Los Angeles and where to stay in Seattle.

Other areas to stay in San Francisco

San Francisco has hotels and well known standard issue hotel chains all across the city and the surrounding area. If you can’t stay near Union Street, there are plenty of other options available. Public transport makes San Francisco a well-connected city so all surrounding areas have access to the best sights of San Francisco. Each area of San Francisco has activities and sights to please all sorts of circumstances. Whether on a vacation with friends, family holiday or traveling for business or pleasure, all areas of San Francisco will be able to cater for you. Staying as close to the city and to Union Street is recommended, but these following areas may also appeal.


  • Fisherman’s Wharf

fishermans wharf San FranciscoThis is an excellent tourist area where there are an abundance of souvenirs and gift shops. For this reason there are many hotels available and other styles of accommodation to suit all needs. Hotels are generally reasonably prices because of the high competition. Most rooms will have spectacular views of the waterfront. There are many options for restaurants and places to eat that are generally tourist oriented. Entertainment includes a wax museum, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, as well as close proximity to the cable cars and within walking distance to the North Beach.



Hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf




  • The Embarcadero

Directly on the waterfront, here is perfect access to the cable cars and public transport to get into the city centre. Very close to the bay and the Ferry building, it is recommended to take a ferry ride around the harbour while staying in this area. Hotels are within walking distance to the main sights of the Embarcadero and within walking access to public transport. Paved pathways along the waterfront make for perfect walking, jogging or cycling tracks. This is a very family friendly area and there is plenty to see and do.



Hotels in The Embarcadero




  • Marina

marina San FranciscoThis area offers cheaper and simpler hotels but is still close to the city centre and Union Street via public transport. A good benefit of accommodation in this area is that there is free car parking at most motels. There is a fantastic café culture and outdoor eating scene along the main street. It is about a half an hour walk to the Wharf and the cable car can be easily accessed.



Hotels in Marina District




  • North Beach

This area is filled with multiculturalism and a vibrant atmosphere as it where Little Italy meets Chinatown. There are many boutique hotels and family-run restaurants which creates a neighbourhood and local vibe. There is also a lively nightlife scene at the many bars and clubs. Hotels in this area offer scenic water front views and unbeatable scenes of the harbour.



Hotels in North Beach




  • Japantown

Japantown San FranciscoA bit further out of the main tourist sights of San Francisco, this is a historic neighbourhood with well-connected public transport. Accommodation and hotels tend to be a bit cheap in this area. There are many undiscovered delights along the streets of Japantown and can be a great place to stay for quite a unique experience.



Hotels in Japantown




  • Castro

This lively neighbourhood is located away from the main tourist sights but has plenty to see and do in the area. There is also excellent public transport meaning you can get the best of both worlds. The Mission and Hayes Valley are local favourite hot spots for Castro. Accommodation is reasonably priced and there are many hotels available.



Hotels in Castro




  • Civic Centre

civic centre San FranciscoThat area offers hotels which are excellent value for money. It is also a thriving cultural scene with multiculturalism adding lots of character to it. The Museum, Asian Art Gallery, the opera and ballet, symphony performances and multiple jazz venues make it a very interesting and exciting place to stay.



Hotels near Civic Centre




  • Pacific Heights

Another spectacular spot to stay for scenic water front harbour views, Pacific Heights is located near the Marina. There are many old-money mansions that have been converted into luxury hotels and comfortable accommodation options. It is a little more expensive for this reason, but would make for a fantastic experience of San Francisco.



Hotels in Pacific Heights




  • SoMa

Rather close and central to Union Square, this area has an eclectic mix of vibrant hotels and accommodation options to choose from. There is something to cater for all budgets, from upmarket hotels to budget style hostels. There are many things to see and do here, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Yerba Bueno Centre for the Arts and the AT&T Park.



Hotels in SoMa