Hostels in San Francisco

About San Francisco

trolley riding up San Francisco city street

Hostelling International USA operates three hostels in San Francisco, each with its own personality.

HI San Francisco City Center hostel is near San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, a tree-lined area that features some of the city’s largest government and cultural institutions, including City Hall, as well as the Herbst Theatre and Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, the permanent home of the San Francisco Symphony. Also nearby is the Asian Art Museum; with its collection of more than 17,000 artworks spanning 6,000 years of history, the museum is one of the largest in the western world devoted exclusively to Asian art.

HI San Francisco Downtown hostel is just a block from Union Square, the city’s central shopping, theatre, and hotel district. Located in Union Square is the Metreon, a four-story entertainment shopping center, as well as the Yerba Buena Gardens, which are two blocks of public parks with public art installations, museums, and entertainment. One highlight of the Yerba Buena Gardens is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, with one of the largest fountains on the west coast. To the north of Union Square is San Francisco’s Chinatown; established in 1850, it is the oldest of North American Chinatowns. One don’t-miss Chinatown event is its annual Chinese New Year Celebration, the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia. Event highlights include the Chinese New Year parade, one of the last surviving lighted night parades in the U.S., as well as a community street fair, flower fair, and the Chinese New Year Spectacular, a live performance of ancient Chinese traditions. Because the Chinese New Year is dictated by the moon’s phases, the dates for the week-long festival change every year, but it usually takes place between late January and early February.

HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hostel is located near the historic waterfront and popular tourist destination of Fisherman’s Wharf, known for its excellent fresh seafood, most notably its Dungeness crab and chowder served in sourdough bread bowls. Street performers line the area, and nighttime brings live music, dancing, and more. Fisherman’s Wharf is located near Alcatraz Island, the site of the infamous federal penitentiary known for its inescapability. Visitors are welcome to tour the abandoned prison and learn its history first-hand. Points of interest The Golden Gate Bridge The Golden Gate Bridge was an engineering masterpiece when it was built in 1937, and continues to be impressive to this day. Bikers and hikers can cross the bridge’s 4,200 foot span from the east entrance. And check out the spectacular photo lookout points on the bridge’s northeast and southeast ends.

Japanese Tea Garden Escape the excitement of the city for a little while in this traditional Japanese style garden. Check out an authentic pagoda, a monumental Buddha and a miniature waterfall.

Fisherman’s Wharf Providing a mix of fresh seafood, souvenir shops, and street vendors, Fisherman’s Wharf has long been a top destination for tourists visiting San Francisco. Locals may dismiss it as a tourist haven, but if you’re going to San Francisco, check it out and decide for yourself!

Ghirardelli Square Along with Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square is among the top San Francisco destinations. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat, pick up some souvenirs from the gift shop, and of course sample some of the famous Ghirardelli chocolate.

Alcatraz Tours Alcatraz had a long history as a military outpost and fort, but its best known for the years it served as a legendary prison in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

Lombard Street The Lombard Street hill was designed with a series of eight switchbacks to help cars navigate the sixteen percent grade down to the bottom. The best way to see it now is probably on foot, though, as it takes quite a while to descend in a car.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a collection of over 15,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs from artists like Henri Matisse, Dorothea Lange, Paul Klee, Cindy Sherman, and many contemporary artists.

Cable Cars No visit to San Francisco is complete without a ride on the world-famous cable cars. If you’re headed to Fisherman’s Wharf, take the Powell-Mason line. The Powell-Mason line has the best views. It ends on the east side of Fisherman’s Wharf.

open lawn with bike path overlooking the golden gate bridge

HI San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel

Overlooking Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and beautiful Fort Mason park, HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hostel offers a relaxing retreat within the city limits.

An on-site cafe; serving organic food and local beer and wine, a movie room with theater-style seating, a free pool table and...

fun and colorful private room in HI San Francisco Downtown

HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel

Close to cable cars, museums, shopping, and more, HI San Francisco Downtown hostel is at the center of everything you want to see and do in the city. Our awesome staff will help you meet fellow travelers and get to know SF like a local, with the best tours and tips for exploring the city’s coolest neighborhoods. Nearby bus and subway lines make it easy and cheap to get...

spacious and modern private room in the San Francisco Hostel

HI San Francisco City Center Hostel

At HI San Francisco City Center hostel, we’re off the beaten path – and we like it that way! In a city chock-full of upscale food, drink, and entertainment, we’re holding it down in the Tenderloin: home of SF’s very best cheap eats, dive bars, and legendary music venues. Our beautiful hostel, set in a 1920s boutique hotel complete with on-site bar, is...