Where to Stay in San Francisco

How to Determine Where to Stay in San Francisco

things_to_do_48San Francisco is blessed with excellent public transportation, so choosing where to stay in San Francisco can often start by asking what areas have both access to the BART and a hotel. The BART is San Francisco’s subway it connects to Oakland, Berkeley, South SF, 2 airports and reaches deep into the southern and eastern suburbs. It can move travelers in and out of downtown quickly, and considering is often a solution to find affordable places to stay outside San Francisco. Below are brief descriptions about several neighborhoods that have both hotels and access to public transit.


Best Places to Stay in San Francisco

A list of the best places to stay in neighborhoods with a BART.

WhereStationCommuteHotelWhyAvg. WKAvg. WKDParking
BerkeleyNorth Berkeley30 minsRodeway InnBest Value$161$182Free
BerkeleyDowntown Berkeley30 minsBerkeley City ClubHistoric$172$195Paid
Downtown SFPowell0 minsMoserRates, SFO Shuttle$131$125Paid
Downtown SFCivic Center5 minsHoliday InnRates, Pool$139$186Paid
Downtown SFMontgomery0 minsPalaceLuxury$320$263Paid
Downtown SFEmbarcadero5 minsHarborBest for Tourist$343$206Paid
East Bay AreaDubline / Pleasanton45 minsBest WesternBest Value$143$129Free
East Bay AreaWest Dublin45 minsHoliday InnFor Families$169$110Free
East Bay AreaHayward35 minsHamptonGood Reviews$227$170Free
Hip Urban SF16th Street10 mins1906 MissionBoutique$170$116Paid
OAK AirportOakland Airport30 minsCourtyardRates$99$122Paid
OaklandDowntown Oakland10 minsWashingtonBest Value$123$123Paid
SFO AriportMillbrae / SFO30 minsDylanRates & Reviews$172$137Free
SFO AriportSan Bruno30 minsStay Bridge SuitesGood Reviews$278$171Free
South SFSouth SF30 minsTraverls InnBest Value$149$169Free
South SFColma30 minsHampton InnFree Parking$241$206Free
Suburbs NE Bay Area Pleasant Hill / Contra40 minsExtended StayFor Families$130$112Free
BerkeleyRodeway InnBest Value
BerkeleyBerkeley City ClubHistoric
Downtown SFMoserRates, SFO Shuttle
Downtown SFHoliday InnRates, Pool
Downtown SFPalaceLuxury
Downtown SFHarborBest for Tourist
East Bay AreaBest WesternBest Value
East Bay AreaHoliday InnFor Families
East Bay AreaHamptonGood Reviews
Hip Urban SF1906 MissionBoutique
OAK AirportCourtyardRates
OaklandWashingtonBest Value
SFO AriportDylanRates & Reviews
SFO AriportStay Bridge SuitesGood Reviews
South SFTraverls InnBest Value
South SFHampton InnFree Parking
Suburbs NE Bay AreaExtended StayFor Families

Where to Stay in Downtown San Francisco

Quick access to all major tourist destinations.

Stay in Mission District

The 16th Street BART station is in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. It’s a vibrant city neighborhood that changes dramatically block by block. Some areas are full of hipsters, others are marked by corner bodegas and taquerias, and others should be avoided at night. It’s a great place to stay if you want to stray off the beaten path, but not too far. Learn more.

Stay in Union Square

Powell Street is a North-South thoroughfare taking you from Market Street through to Fisherman’s Wharf in the heart of San Francisco. This area is filled with young professionals and singles with dogs. It’s very expensive to live in this area and nearby areas in downtown San Francisco, so many people live in small apartments with roommates. Families tend to move into the suburbs. However, tourists with families love this part of San Francisco. Learn more.

Stay Along the Bay in Downtown San Francisco

The BART Embarcadero Station is located where vibrant Market Street meets the picturesque eastern waterfront of the San Francisco Bay. High-rise residential and commercial buildings tower over the neighborhood. By day, this area is bustling with an eclectic mixture of business people, shoppers, tourists, and street performers. Local eateries and bars cater to the business crowd and tourists alike. Although vibrant during business hours, the district becomes abruptly quiet during evening hours. Learn more.

Stay Across the Bay in Oakland & Berkeley

Staying across the Bay can bring about saving, and offer up more sites.

Stay In Berkeley

Downtown Berkeley sits just north of Oakland near both the city and preserved natural areas. The name Berkeley historically conjures up images of hippies, tie-dye, college students, progressive politics, and protests. While that culture and social change remain a constant part of the area’s heritage, the area is home to all types of people and activities. Learn More.

Stay in Downtown Oakland

Known as the grittier “other city on the bay,” Oakland is home to a vibrant arts culture, incredible food scene, and has a strong sense of community and history. It’s a bit warmer, less foggy, and less expensive than San Francisco and has garnered loyal residents from these qualities. Learn More.

South SF, Near SFO Airport

Quick commute into the city while close to SFO, save on hotels.

Stay in South SF

South San Francisco is a suburban, partially industrial neighborhood not far from San Francisco Airport. There’s not much to do close to the station, but it is a safe neighborhood where many families live. If you venture further from the station in South San Francisco you can find some fun things to do. Learn More.

Stay Next to SFO Airport

Millbrae is close to the San Francisco airport, it’s just 15 minutes away on the BART. Many families live in this area that’s known mostly as a transit hub, even historically. A streetcar linking San Francisco and San Mateo went through Millbrae around the turn of the Twentieth century and the area has continued to flourish as a great place to pass through or base yourself to visit many nearby areas. Learn More.

Where to Stay for Families

Staying in the comfortable east bay suburbs offers up savings.

Stay in Dublin / Pleasanton

Dublin/Pleasanton is a small town meets suburban neighborhood outside of San Francisco that is home to several large corporations. Oracle headquarters is right next to the BART. Families and young professionals who work at Oracle or other nearby corporations call Dublin/Pleasanton home. Learn More.

Stay in Pleasant Hill

Families might consider this a good option because California Water World is only a 10-minute drive from the station. The larger surrounding area is known as Walnut Creek and also is home to a Butterfly Garden. Learn More.