These hostels are all about comfort, cute details and cool organised events.
Your time in sunny California should be topped with a unique stay that will create memories to last a lifetime.
That is why we’ve put together this useful article just for you!
This guide is perfect for YOU, when …
- tired of bad and crappy hostels
- want to avoid the “young party kids”
- happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience
We condensed it all to the 3 coolest hostels in San Francisco.
What can you expect to find here?
- 3 cool hostels in San Francisco
- Best hostels in San Francisco for Solo Travellers
(+ best party hostel)
- Handy map
- Flights to San Francisco
We’re sad to say that right now there is no 5 Star Hostel in San Francisco. But we’re always on the lookout.
Until then, have a look at all of our 5 Star Hostels dotted all around the world.
Quick Introduction to San Francisco Hostels
Average price for a bed: A bed in a dorm can be as cheap as 20€ up to 38€ per night. This is a rough average to give you an idea. Prices always depend on season and holidays. Please always check exact rates on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
San Francisco Tourism Tax: Unfortunately there is a high tax in San Fran. Daily bed rates of $40 or more are subject to a 15% tourist and hotel tax. Bed rates of less than $40 are taxed only a 1% tourist tax, per city regulations.
Taxes are usually added at check in so bare this in mind.
Parking in San Francisco: Most hostels in the city do not offer any free parking, but HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel does! For sure the hostel staff will do their best to help you find the easiest local parking option. Currently the cheapest parking downtown is around $25 overnight.
New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:
- How to book hostels (and websites to use)
- 23 items for the hostel packing list
- Are hostels safe? 13 safety tips for hostels
3 Best Hostels in San Francisco
There’s no time to waste here and we can sense you’re eager to get going.
The best hostels in San Francisco are…
- USA Hostels San Francisco (great for solo travellers)
- Adelaide Hostel (top pick for female solo travellers)
- HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel (couples paradise)
1. USA Hostels San Francisco (a giant mix of everything awesome)
Our number one hostel is super friendly and welcoming. In fact, it’s the down to earth staff that really makes USA Hostels San Francisco what it is.
It’s a perfect place for relaxing, partying, socialising and acting like a hermit. No really, this hostel is designed for every type of traveller.
Here you can choose between dorms and private rooms.
What’s great is there is a maximum of 4 beds per dorm. This way you’ll surely get to know all your roomies.
Would you like a towel with that shower? It’s free alongside bed linen!
The backpack-sized lockers also have a power point inside so you can securely charge your gadgets. Don’t forget your padlock.
There are so many freebies, it’s easier to make a list:
- FREE dinner every Monday + Friday
- FREE daily breakfast inc. Pancakes
- FREE luggage storage after check out
- FREE laundry powder + hairdryers
Good to know: there is a 14 day stay limit here
As for the social aspect, it’s doubtful that you’ll find yourself getting bored here.
Free city walking tours can be arranged, and you’d be crazy to miss out on the weekly pub crawls.
After a restful night, grab a bike and join the crew to cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge.
If you prefer chilling at the hostel, guess what?
There’s an actual yoga studio on-site! Just make sure you allow time to hang in the large lounge, too.
By the way, this is the only hostel in the city that offers privacy screening on dorm beds.
If you stay here, all the exciting sights of San Francisco will be surrounding you – bonus!
USA Hostels San Francisco is the best hostel in San Francisco for:
- Solo travellers
2. Adelaide Hostel (possibly the best breakfast in San Fran)
A pleasant surprise awaits weary, world travellers in San Francisco. Tucked safely at the end of an alley is the cosy and colourful Adelaide Hostel.
Without a doubt this is a great choice for female solo travellers because of the female dorms and great location.
The free breakfast here is highly rated – what a wonderful way to save even more pennies on your trip.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
For those of you travelling as part of a big group, you’re in luck.
Adelaide Hostel can accommodate groups of up to 60 people, wow!
Group Booking Tip: Just make sure you call in advance first so you don’t give the reception a heart attack.
What else makes this a super cool hostel in San Francisco?
- Free Wi-Fi + computers
- Dorm beds have a privacy curtain, power points + lamp
- Lockers under every bed
- Large fully equipped kitchen
There’s also a large lounge to collapse in after a big day exploring the sights.
The staff really want you to have a good time here. They know their stuff and will happily hand out insider information.
San Francisco is a great city for cycling, so definitely rent a bike and explore ‘til your heart’s content.
In the lounge area, there’s a notice board highlighting all of the upcoming events. It’s not compulsory to join, but we really recommend it if you’re keen to meet new people.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a mere 8km away. Fisherman’s Wharf can be reached in 10-minutes by car.
Adelaide Hostel is the best hostel in San Francisco for:
- Female solo travellers
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
3. HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel (sleep by the bay)
Since you’re visiting the ‘city by the bay’, we thought you’d appreciate an option located right on the waterfront.
HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel is surrounded by National Park on one side, and the bay on the other.
The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz can be seen just outside the hostel, too!
Rooms are split into small, medium and large. Basically the bigger the dorm, the more rooms there are.
Calling all travelling couples: the private rooms have absolutely stunning views!
This hostel is all about getting social. To support this, there are many cool (and free) activities on offer including
- Pub Crawls
- Museum visits
- Walking tour
Back at the hostel, there is plenty to keep you occupied.
The on-site Cafe Franco serves delicious coffee and home-made, organic food. This is where you’ll find the free breakfast, by the way.
Psst! You can even grab yourself a local beer and wine by the glass if you fancy.
Alternatively, take advantage of the fully-equipped kitchen.
Relax on the sun deck, curl up in front of the gas stove or watch a movie in the cinema room – which will you choose?
Guess what? There’s free parking here! Not many hostels offer this is San Francisco.
HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel is the best hostel in San Francisco for:
Best Hostels in San Francisco for Solo Travellers
Right then, let’s get stuck into those very special hostels perfect for solo travellers.
Of course, every solo traveller is different, but we’re going to be presumptuous and say that our readers want to discover
- The best party hostels in San Francisco
- The best hostels in San Francisco for female solo travellers
We’ve got you covered in that case!
Our chosen best party hostel in San Francisco is Green Tortoise; the most authentic and all-inclusive hostel in North America.
Solo travellers looking to mingle and have a good time will not be disappointed.
There are free dinners, free breakfast, pub crawls, a sauna, regular activities and the staff is super free-spirited.
Top it off with a good night’s sleep in a privacy built solid bed, and you’re all set.
As for the female solo travellers, we just have to mention Adelaide Hostel again (in case you missed it).
It might not be as luxurious as the other choices, but your safety and comfort are guaranteed.
The hostel is in a great location near all of the top sights of San Fran.
The beds have privacy written all over them, and the common areas are a great place to meet people, minus the party atmosphere.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in San Francisco. Instead, you can subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts always to your inbox.
You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here.
We also do have a 35€ discount for Airbnb here.
Map of all hostel locations + TOP sights
It’s time to pinpoint your chosen coolest hostel in San Francisco on a map!
We’ve gone one step further and included the top sights worth seeing in the city. They are:
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- Alcatraz Island
- Pier 39
- Golden Gate Park
- Union Square
- Twin Peaks
- Painted Ladies
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area
- Baker Beach
There’s a bunch of awesome things you can so whilst you’re there. Here’s a handy list of a few ideas we hope you’ll like:
- Escape from The Rock Cruise of San Francisco Bay
- Explore with the San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off bus – classic, premium or deluxe
- Take a day tour to the beautiful Muir Woods of California
- Join an LGBTQ Castro tour
- Hop on a luxury Catamaran Sunset Tour of the bay
Flights to San Francisco?
We enjoy Kiwi.com to find cheap flights all over the world including, San Francisco, New York City, and actually over the world. We love to use them to identify great combination of flights.
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over the USA and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Here is our review of Kiwi.
Over to you
So here you go, we just gave you the 3 best hostels in San Francisco.
Do you have any questions, doubts or worries?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome San Francisco hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.
Your question(s) will help me to understand what I have missed to mention. You will have your questions answered and help in improving this article.
Therefore, do not be shy, drop us a comment, we are keen to help you!
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter and find the best place on a budget! We ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what.
We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We only share with you places we also recommend to our best friends and family!
Enjoy this fine hostel selection and all 5 Star Hostels.
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How to book the Best Hostels in San Francisco?
We fully recommend every single hostel in this list as a top hostel choice for San Francisco, USA!
For every hostel introduced, we gave you the best ways to book them online. Please scroll back up to the hostel you are interested in to find the direct links.
Here you can find
Hostel Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries