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The Greatest Neighborhoods for Your Go to

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
Posted: 5/16/24 | Could sixteenth, 2024

I like visiting San Francisco. It boasts wonderful meals (particularly in Chinatown, Japantown, and the Mission), plenty of beautiful mountaineering trails, and loads of top-notch sights that make passing the time right here a breeze (don’t miss visiting Alcatraz throughout your go to!).

Whereas it’s not very huge, selecting the best neighborhood to remain in can significantly impression your go to. Every space of town is very totally different and it might take a while to get round city, so that you’ll wish to keep near the actions and sights that attraction to you.

Plus, some areas are safer than others. San Francisco has a big group of unhoused folks (notably within the Tenderloin and elements of the Mission), which some guests could also be unused to encountering.

So, that will help you have enjoyable and keep protected, I wish to break down the most effective neighborhoods in San Francisco and the most effective locations to remain in every, so you possibly can choose the perfect lodging.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Sightseeing and Households

Union Sq.

Buying and Comfort

The Mission

Meals & Nightlife


The place to Keep for Sightseeing and Households: Fisherman’s Wharf

Sea lions sunning themselves on the piers at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, USA
This iconic waterfront neighborhood is legendary for its seafood eating places (although I don’t advocate consuming right here, as all the things is overpriced), memento outlets, and sights like Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Sq.. Right here you possibly can take pleasure in scenic views of the bay, see the ocean lions, take boat excursions to Alcatraz or across the Golden Gate Bridge, and discover close by sights just like the Maritime Nationwide Historic Park.

It’s the most touristy space on the town although, which comes with some downsides: it’s costly and crowded. I wouldn’t keep right here for an prolonged interval, however it’s good for a number of days if you wish to simply hit all of San Francisco’s most iconic sights.

Greatest locations to remain in Fisherman’s Wharf:

  • BUDGET: HI San Francisco – Fisherman’s Wharf – This can be a nice hostel with plenty of widespread areas, an enormous and absolutely geared up visitor kitchen, free breakfast, and even a small movie show. The beds aren’t something particular (the mattresses are skinny and there are not any curtains or particular person shops), however there are female-only dorms, in addition to a café on-site (with cheap costs). The hostel is at all times saved clear and tidy and the employees organizes lots of free occasions too (like bike excursions, museum excursions, and pub crawls). It’s simple to fulfill different vacationers right here.
  • MIDRANGE: Argonaut Lodge – All the things on this award-winning four-star boutique lodge is nautically themed. The spacious rooms characteristic historic brick partitions and timber beams, and I like all of the naval décor (like massive compasses or mirrors formed like ship home windows). Every room has a minifridge and minibar with native goodies, a 50” HDTV, and a espresso maker with complimentary domestically roasted espresso. The loos are a bit small and dated, however the water stress within the showers is nice. There’s additionally a 24-hour health middle, in-room spa companies, and a seafood restaurant by which you get a $15 USD each day credit score along with your room.
  • LUXURY: The Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Sq. – This five-star lodge is situated within the former Ghirardelli Chocolate manufacturing facility, simply steps from Fisherman’s Wharf. All the loft-style residences retain industrial components from the constructing’s previous, with uncovered brick partitions and big warehouse home windows that herald lots of pure mild. The luxurious one- to three-bedroom residences have a completely geared up gourmand kitchen (there’s no breakfast or restaurant on-site), spacious loos, two flatscreen TVs, a fire, soundproofing, and a washer and dryer. For those who’re touring by automobile, there are two complimentary valet parking spots included in your room too (that is nearly unprecedented in SF and a pleasant perk).

The place to Keep for Buying and Comfort: Union Sq.

A cable car passes in front of Union Square in San Francisco, USA
Often called the guts of downtown San Francisco, Union Sq. (the neighborhood surrounding the bustling plaza of the identical title) is a client’s paradise. Yow will discover all the things from high-end shops to smaller boutiques right here. Even in the event you’re not involved in doing a lot buying, Union Sq. is an efficient alternative for vacationers searching for a handy keep: there’s the largest number of accommodations on this space, and it’s effectively linked through public transportation, making it simple to get round city. Simply know that this isn’t probably the most picturesque space (it’s lots of excessive rises and concrete). However what it lacks in allure, it undoubtedly makes up for in comfort.

Greatest locations to remain in Union Sq.:

  • BUDGET: HI San Francisco – Downtown – Positioned in a renovated early Twentieth-century lodge, this enjoyable hostel is much like the HI facility in Fisherman’s Wharf, providing free breakfast, plenty of organized social actions (like pub crawls and strolling excursions), first rate beds with huge lockers and shops (however no privateness curtains), quick Wi-Fi, and a completely geared up kitchen. There are massive personal rooms and female-only dorms, and the property is wheelchair accessible too.
  • MIDRANGE: Lodge Emblem – As a fan of the Beat Technology (On the Highway is one in all my favourite journey books), I feel this beatnik-themed four-star lodge is tremendous enjoyable. There’s a e-book nook within the foyer, big quotes printed on the partitions, and a writing desk in each room. The eclectic rooms all characteristic velvet chairs, pillowtop mattresses, a wise TV, a Nespresso espresso machine, a protected, and bedside USB shops. There are good complimentary tub merchandise and plush bathrobes within the massive loos too. I particularly love the lodge’s speakeasy bar and adjoining café, which serves wholesome breakfast choices.
  • LUXURY: Lodge Nikko – This five-star lodge is a part of a Japanese model (the SF location is its just one within the US). I’m a little bit of a Japanophile, so I like that the complete place has a classy Japanese design and a fine-dining fusion restaurant melding Japanese and Californian cuisines (even within the breakfast buffet). The spacious rooms and suites characteristic seating areas, desks, minibars with complimentary bottled water, and occasional makers. The massive, smooth marble loos have outsized showers, a bidet, complimentary tub merchandise, bathrobes, and slippers. The lodge additionally boasts two fine-dining eating places, a ten,000-square-foot health middle, a spa, and a pool with a jacuzzi. Be sure you go as much as the rooftop terrace for panoramic views over town!


The place to Keep for Foodies: North Seaside

Old store fronts and bars in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, USA
Also known as San Francisco’s “Little Italy,” North Seaside is a compact space recognized for its Italian cafés and trattorias (there’s no precise seashore right here). There’s no scarcity of mouthwatering Italian meals close by, and simply to the south is the oldest and the largest Chinatown in the complete nation. (On this meals tour, you’ll go to the most effective spots in each neighborhoods.)

I additionally love all of the literary historical past right here. It was the epicenter of the Beat Technology within the Nineteen Fifties, and at present you possibly can go to the still-operating unbiased Metropolis Lights Bookstore from that point, in addition to the Beat Museum (one in all my favourite museums on the town). Plus, it’s a handy place to base your self. The neighborhood stretches between Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Sq. and also you’re near the Embarcadero in addition to vital landmarks like Coit Tower.

That is the most effective space general by which to remain, in my view. All the neighborhood is a pleasant mix of Previous World allure and trendy city life that defines San Francisco.

Greatest locations to remain in North Seaside:

  • BUDGET: Inexperienced Tortoise – This hostel is an establishment in San Francisco. It’s my favourite in SF (and one in all my favorites in the complete nation). It affords free breakfast, free dinners a number of instances per week, and even a free sauna! It has an enormous widespread room, so it’s simple to fulfill folks, and has a really enjoyable, social ambiance. The picket bunks are primary (thick mattresses, no curtains) however cozy. I’ve stayed right here a bunch, and it by no means disappoints.
  • MIDRANGE: Lodge Boheme – This three-star historic lodge affords a singular and cozy keep proper on Columbus Avenue, one of many fundamental thoroughfares of the neighborhood. The rooms are homey, with a classic Nineteen Fifties allure because of the colourful partitions, paintings, and comfortable lamp lighting. Room facilities are primary, with a small flatscreen TV, a picket wardrobe, and a small seating space. The tiled loos are a bit small, however the showers have incredible stress. I like the complimentary glass of sherry served within the foyer each afternoon. It’s a pleasant, distinctive contact.
  • LUXURY: As that is extra of a residential neighborhood, there aren’t any higher-end accommodations right here. For those who’re searching for luxurious, head to close by Union Sq. for a plethora of choices, together with The Ritz-Carlton, a five-star lodge on the northern aspect.


The place to Keep for Luxurious: Nob Hill

The stately Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill, San Francisco, with dozens of country flags flying and luxury cars parked out front
Nob Hill is an upscale residential space perched atop one of many metropolis’s distinguished hills. Traditionally generally known as a prestigious enclave for the elite, Nob Hill boasts grand mansions, luxurious accommodations, and unique golf equipment. Its tree-lined streets are crammed with elegant structure, together with the well-known Grace Cathedral and the historic Fairmont Lodge. The neighborhood exudes sophistication and allure, attracting residents and guests looking for a style of San Francisco’s excessive life.

This space is clear and protected, and whereas it’s a steep climb irrespective of which means you slice it, you possibly can take the historic cable vehicles to get round (one of many finest issues to do in San Francisco anyway). Plus, you get gorgeous views over the encircling cityscape from practically in all places you look.

Greatest locations to remain in Nob Hill

  • BUDGET: Music Metropolis Lodge – This music-themed lodge/hostel is tremendous enjoyable. All of the décor is daring and music-oriented, with band posters and framed data on the brightly coloured partitions. There are each personal rooms and trendy capsule pods with particular person studying lights, privateness curtains, and lockers (female-only pod rooms can be found too). The personal rooms are themed after totally different legendary musicians, like Janis Joplin or the Grateful Useless, and embrace Bluetooth audio system, an electrical guitar and amp, a flatscreen TV, boxed water, and goodies. All loos are shared (until you keep within the Janis Joplin room), and customized complimentary tub merchandise can be found to all visitors. There’s free espresso, tea, and fruit within the foyer always too.
  • MIDRANGE: Petite Auberge – I like this French-style bed-and-breakfast on the sting of Nob Hill and Union Sq.. The décor makes you’re feeling such as you’re staying in a farmhouse, with uniquely patterned partitions, hardwood flooring, vintage picket furnishings, and a fire in some rooms. All rooms are spacious and embrace a desk and flatscreen TV. Rhe loos are a bit small and the bathe stress sort of weak, however I do admire the complimentary continental breakfasts (with pastries, cereals, yogurt, eggs, juice, and occasional) and completely happy hour with wine and snacks within the evenings.
  • LUXURY: The Fairmont San Francisco – I like the timeless grandeur this five-star lodge exudes, with opulent décor resembling marble flooring, glowing chandeliers, and ornate furnishings. The rooms are spacious, with excessive ceilings and home windows that allow in lots of pure mild. Facilities embrace a flatscreen TV, a desk with built-in USB ports, a tea/espresso maker, and a protected. The loos are massive too, that includes marble bathtubs, plush bathrobes and slippers, and complimentary toiletries. All the place appears like a resort, with a spa, fitness center, and a number of other eating places, together with the kitschy Tonga Room, the legendary tiki bar within the basement (it’s so tacky — and I completely adore it!).


The place to Keep for Nightlife & Meals: The Mission District

A building decorated with a large mural in the Mission District in San Francisco, USA
The Mission District is likely one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Francisco. Actually, it’s residence to the oldest constructing within the metropolis: Mission San Francisco de Asís, a Catholic church inbuilt 1791. The neighborhood is the epicenter of the Mexican group and has lengthy been an artists’ enclave as effectively (many lovely murals line the streets). After a busy day, I wish to loosen up in Dolores Park for nice views of town after which dig into unimaginable Mexican meals (my favorites for burritos are Taqueria Cancún and Papolete). It’s an excellent place to take a meals tour to attempt a bunch of various spots directly.

I feel the Mission additionally affords probably the most numerous nightlife scene on the town. Yow will discover all the things from stylish cocktail lounges (I like Dalva on sixteenth) to dive bars, together with stay music venues and dance golf equipment. Valencia and Mission Streets are notably common for barhopping; they’re additionally the most secure areas of the neighborhood too.

I do wish to point out that the Mission has a excessive presence of unhoused folks, and whereas they’re merely coping with their very own struggles and normally don’t pose any actual hazard, lots of guests aren’t snug of their presence. If that’s the case, I’d not keep within the Mission. One other good neighborhood for nightlife is The Castro (the LGBTQ+ district), however there are only a few locations to remain there (The Lodge Castro is just about the one possibility — fortunately it’s a superb one).

Greatest locations to remain within the Mission:

  • BUDGET: 1906 Mission – This eco-friendly bed-and-breakfast is a no-frills property with personal rooms which have shared loos. I actually admire how the property prioritizes the setting, utilizing vitality environment friendly lighting and repurposed constructing supplies all through (the picket headboards are particularly cool). All the things is clear and comfy, and the rooms have hypoallergenic bedding, flatscreen TVs, and desks (in most). Whereas the loos are shared, they’re at all times saved clear and have rainfall showerheads and free natural toiletries.
  • MIDRANGE: Inn San Francisco – This cute bed-and-breakfast is located in basic SF Victorian mansion from the 1870s. You possibly can actually really feel the historical past right here: the grand double parlors are adorned with woodwork, marble fireplaces, and stained-glass home windows. All the rooms are uniquely adorned with vintage furnishings and décor but characteristic trendy conveniences, like an HDTV, a minifridge, and cozy beds. All of the loos are totally different (some have claw-foot tubs), however all are superbly tiled and supply complimentary toiletries. There’s additionally a tasty complimentary breakfast buffet in addition to a rooftop sundeck and sizzling tub within the tranquil English backyard out again. For those who’re searching for a spot to remain that actually captures the historic essence of town, that is it.
  • LUXURY: The Mission is a little bit of a grittier space, so it’s not the most effective place to remain in the event you’re searching for luxurious. There are not any four- or five-star accommodations right here, so in the event you’re trying to keep in a single, I’d advocate Union Sq. or Nob Hill (see above).


San Francisco affords wonderful meals, energetic nightlife, and proximity to the outside, all of which I like. There’s such an array of neighborhoods right here too, every with a unique vibe. By selecting the most effective one in your wants, you’ll remember to have a incredible keep!

E book Your Journey to San Francisco: Logistical Ideas and Tips

E book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to discover a low cost flight. They’re my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned!

E book Your Lodging
You possibly can e-book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the largest stock and finest offers. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use as they persistently return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low cost accommodations.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances previously. My favourite firms that supply the most effective service and worth are:

On the lookout for the Greatest Corporations to Save Cash With?
Try my useful resource web page for the most effective firms to make use of while you journey. I listing all those I exploit to economize after I’m on the highway. They may prevent cash while you journey too.

Want a Information?
San Francisco has some actually fascinating and detailed excursions on supply. For tons of strolling tour choices, take a look at tour market Get Your Information.

Need Extra Info on San Francisco?
Make sure you go to our strong vacation spot information to San Francisco for much more planning ideas!

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