During my four day visit to San Francisco I stayed at the Hostelling International (HI, formally known as YHA) Downtown Hostel. Located on Mason Street, a very short walk from Union Square, this hostel has an excellent location. The only problem is it can be a bit noisy around this area at night and with a bed by a window that was open most of the time (I was there in summer), this can be a small drawback.
This hostel gets pretty busy, so it is important to book ahead.
Unique Quality: The room I stayed in slept four and there was plenty of room. There were lockable cupboards and the room had an attached bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. The bathroom was pretty small, but it was great having one that was attached to the room. Just across the corridor was a big communal bathroom.
You can stick your bags in rentable lockers if you arrive before check-in time, or have to check out a long time before your flight.
The hostel will arrange airport transfers for an affordable price.
If you've done more than a little bit of staying at hostels, you'll know the best thing to find is a clean place that is neat, central, and leaves you little to worry about. I will confess when I first got there and saw that there were two toilets and two showers per floor for 20 rooms of people who had to share, I was expecting the worst. Maybe I got up too early to have to worry about fighting for a shower, but it never became a problem. The only serious drawback I can think of is that none of the 5 computers with internet service there would load the Virtual Tourist page! What's up with that!?
Unique Quality: internet service on site, laundry on site, kitchen
Directions: close to Union Square and the Powell Street MUNI and BART stop
A great and inexpensive place to stay, right in downtown of SF, so close to sight seeing areas. The staff is very helpful, reception opens 24 hours and have a locker facility for your luggage.
Unique Quality: The kitcen is big, with utensils and refrigerators, two microwaves
Here are some pictures to show you how disgusting this place actually is, I wish I had taken more as these don't even do justice to how much of a DUMP this hostel actually is!
The hostel is located near the NE corner if Mason and O'Farrell. It is very near the cable car terminal at Powell and Market. It is walking distance to Union Square and the Theatre District. There are many shops and restaurants nearby. In short, it's location is strategic.
The price is reasonable, too. If you are a member of Hostelling International, you pay $23.50 per night for staying in a four-bed dormitory room. Otherwise, you pay $3 more.
At this price, you have to bring your own toiletries. There are lockers available but you have to provide your own padlock.
Staying in a hostel is not for everybody. You'll have to do your own cost-benefit analysis. Personally, I leave the hostel very early and return late; I just need the basics.
My stay at the Union Square hostel was very pleasant, the staff were friendly as were the fellow guests. It was winter when I stayed so it wasnt fully booked but they still operated a variety of tours to the surrounding areas. The security at the hostel was great aswell which was very comforting!
Unique Quality: Superb location for the price...a stone's throw from Union Square!
Directions: The closest BART station is Powell Street
Nice clean no-nonsense hostel. Good for preppies, families and those is need of "safe experinces." For more adventerous, try the Green Tortoise in North Beach. You can smoke weed in the lounge and it's close to bars.
I stayed at this hostel a couple of years back and it was wonderful. It is located right next to the bay, on top of a little hill. The staff were really friendly and helpful. There was a nice old man who mind the counter at the cafe. He makes the best hot chocolate. Every night, after a long day of sight seeing, I would sit at the cafe, sipping the hot chocolate.
Unique Quality: A cute little cafe with an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The hostel also offers free guided tours around San Francisco. I went on one such tours. A volunteer who lived in San Francisco took us on a walking tour around San Fran. We went to the nice neighbourhoods with winding streets, to the city centre and finally had a nice lunch at a vegetarian restaurant. Lovely!
Directions: In the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Good base in central San Francisco, very close to Union Square, and Powell Street and not too close to Tenderloin. Other central IYH hostel was in a much dodgier area a couple of blocks away.
I had a private room, with bunk beds, sink, locker and chair, and two windows looking into air shafts. Shared shower / toilet facilities in hallway. Only about $35 per night with $3 reduction for Hostel Association members. Family, en suite, and dorm rooms also available at different rates.
Unique Quality: Fairly plainly decorated, and large kitchen only equipped with fridge, toaster and microwave, but plenty of restaurant options around.
Offered range of activities, including day trips to Yosemite, or Wine Tasting in Napa, or free walking tours around the city.
Directions: On the corner of Mason and O'Farrell. Look for 'Hotel Virginia' sign
$22 USD for HI members, $25 for non-members
Unique Quality: Decent price, great location, nice atmosphere, good and unique travel tips in lobby
Directions: 312 Mason Street between Geary and O'Farrell Streets, near Union Square
US$22 a night
Unique Quality: There wasn't much in the was of a common room but the staff were excelent, they show a movie ever night for those not venturing out after dark, internet access, and luggage stowage next door.
Quite clean, 3 in my room with shower and toilet.
Youth Hostel Fisherman's Whaft
For 3 nights we payed $17 per person per night, for San Francisco it is the best and cheapest place
Unique Quality: Usually you sleep in rooms with 8 to 10 beds
I stayed in hostels because I'm backpacking and this is a cheep way to travel.
Not the cheepest hostel but certainly cheep.
The price changes through out the year but I payed $24.
Unique Quality: It's near Union Square which is right downtown, has a cable car stop a couple of blocks away and a BART stop again a couple of blocks away.
495 Jefferson Street at Hyde, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
665 Bush Street, San Francisco
433 Powell Street, San Francisco
12 Fourth St, San Francisco
Latest San Francisco hotel reviews
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
Address: 312 Mason Street, San Francisco, California, 94102, United States