Where to Stay in San Francisco
Picking the Best San Francisco Hotel Location
You learn pros & cons of each neighborhood, with an emphasis on safety and convenience.Choosing the right area to stay in the San Francisco Bay Area makes the difference between a safe and enjoyable visit and one that is not. Whether you want a cheap hotel or a luxury hotel in San Francisco Bay Area, the where to stay in San Francisco information found here helps you make the right choice.
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Your hotel neighborhoods near San Francisco:
1. Union Square East
Union Square East ranks as the most popular San Francisco hotel neighborhood, with many of its best hotels.
Central to nearly everything, Union Square East offers an extremely convenient neighborhood for your stay. Public transportation is excellent, and fast BART trains take you to San Francisco International Airport from the Powell and Montgomery stations along Market Street. Note that service becomes significantly more limited on Sundays and holidays. See schedule.
2. Union Square West - Nob Hill
Many of San Francisco's most famous hotels are in Union Square West.
In Union Square West (except for Nob Hill), you remain within easy walking distance of the city's most famous stores and the Moscone Convention Center.
In general, the Union Square area is fine for walking, but be careful walking too far southwest of Union Square especially at night. Otherwise, you enter enter San Francisco's notorious skid road.
In addition, you will probably be far happier walking down steep Nob Hill than up it. Nevertheless, the views from Nob Hill can be fantastic. Other than Nob Hill, the Union Square area is nearly flat.
3. Financial District - Embarcadero
The Financial District, which adjoins San Francisco Bay and Chinatown, provides a great place to stay for both business and pleasure travelers.
You remain within walking distance of the Moscone Convention Center and Union Square. The historic "F" streetcar line takes you to Fishermen's wharf. BART trains bring you to San Francisco International.
From the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, be sure to take a Golden Gate Ferry to Sausalito, in order to enjoy beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline and Golden Gate Bridge. These commuter ferries provide a nice alternative to more expensive harbor cruises.Express Deals, Hotels up to 45% off with NO bidding!
4. SOMA (South of Market) - Convention CenterAlthough super convenient to many tourist sights and of course to the Moscone Convention Center, SOMA does not compare to the more interesting and uplifting environments of nearby Union Square East and the Financial District.
However, you can choose from many excellent hotels here like the Intercontinental San Francisco and Marriott Marquis. You also easily access BART trains to San Francisco International Airport.
5. Fisherman's WharfThrongs of visitors jam the Fisherman's Wharf area throughout the day and into the evening, which makes it one of the safer areas of San Francisco.
Fisherman's Wharf offers:
From Fisherman’s Wharf, two cable car lines (the Hyde Street one is most scenic) converge on Union Square in the center city. However, you may find the parallel MUNI number 15 electric trolley considerably less crowded.
The MUNI "F" streetcar line along the Embarcadero (waterfront) to the Ferry Building, Financial District, and Market Street offers an alternative. This line uses restored historic cars, including some from Italy.
6. Civic Center South
With its less expensive accommodation, the Civic Center area beckons budget travelers.
7. Civic Center North - Cathedral Hill
If wondering where to stay in San Francisco and you have a car, less expensive Civic Center North may be for you. Most hotels are along or within a block of very busy U.S. Highway 101.
8. Marina - Lombard Street
After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway 101 turns into Lombard Street before it again travels south. This is San Francisco's motel row.
1. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
The main San Francisco International hotel area, which is to the south of the airport terminals, has the largest selection of 3- and 4- star rooms. The usual big names are here, such as Hyatt Regency, Westin, Marriott, Doubletree, and Hilton.
Staying near the airport is nearly always nets you a much cheaper rate than in for similar quality hotels in downtown San Francisco. Moreover,
These large hotels tend to be more frequent airport transfers. On the downside, hotels here are more likely to charge for parking.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains provide service from San Francisco International Airport to downtown San Francisco. Just take the people mover from any terminal to the BART stop. See www.bart.gov for schedules.
2. San Francisco International Airport North
The north side of SFO has a larger selection of less expensive accommodation. Moreover, you may not have to pay for parking.
These smaller hotels may offer less frequent airport transfers. In some cases, these may not be available for very early morning or late evening transfers. In addition, because some hotels share airport vans, your transfers may take longer.
3. South San FranciscoExpress Deals, Hotels up to 45% off with NO bidding!
Oakland International Airport (OAK)
With JetBlue and major Southwest service, Oakland International has become a popular gateway to San Francisco.
An "AirBART" shuttle operates between Oakland International and the nearest BART station every 10 or so minutes from 5:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. Sundays and holidays) to until midnight. From there, BART trains take you into San Francisco.