The best hotels and places to stay in San Francisco and where to avoid

San Francisco has many neighbourhoods all offering different amenities, so it can be hard to chose where to stay.

Some may prefer to be outside of the city, away from the hustle and bustle and closer to nature.

Others will prefer to be right in the thick of it.

Where should I stay in San Francisco?

Tourists bound to a tight schedule should aim to stay in the core city centre.

For this, I would recommend staying near Union Square. It’s the main hub of San Francisco.

It’s packed with some of the best shops and department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s.

More importantly, it’s close to Bart stations and tram stops. It also houses some of San Francisco’s finest hotels.

But, if you’d prefer to stay somewhere with a little more charm, North Beach is a great alternative.

The neighbourhood is close to Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf and Telegraph Hill and represents many different nationalities – namely Chinese and Italian.

Certain areas are also fairly suburban, so you can understand what life would be like to live in San Francisco.

Where to avoid

San Francisco is a fairly small city, so you can’t go too wrong as long as you stick to central neighbourhoods.

Saying that, one neighbourhood tourists should avoid staying in is Tenderloin.

By all means, it’s worth a visit (still remain vigilant), but Tenderloin has a high number of homeless people and the neighbourhood has developed a reputation for its street drug trade.

When I visited Tenderloin, I didn’t feel threatened, but I can’t guarantee your safety, therefore I wouldn’t recommend you base yourself there.

It’s also worth noting that whilst the Golden Gate Bridge may be San Francisco’s most iconic sight, it’s not near the city. So, unless you want to make multiple public transport journeys, I’d recommend you look elsewhere.

Where should you stay?

Without a doubt, the best place to stay in my opinion is Union Square. Its convenient location is unparalleled and I felt extremely safe walking around the neighbourhood at night.

Where to stay in Union Square based on TripAdvisor

Hotel Emblem – ★★★★

Inn At Union Square – ★★★½

The Orchard Hotel – ★★★★

Cornell Hotel de France- ★★★½

Chancellor Hotel on Union Square- ★★★½

Marines Memorial Club Hotel (where I stayed) – ★★★

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