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Language: English | Currency: Dollars ($) | Local time: UTC | Avg. Flight time: 11.1 hrs
As you might expect, many of the best San Francisco hotels are concentrated in downtown.
The neighbourhood around the Civic Center is hugely popular with visitors, mainly because it’s home to iconic attractions such as the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, the Davies Symphony Hall and the War Memorial Opera House. The area also boasts a wide range of three and four-star San Francisco hotels.
Prices tend to be a tad inflated because of the central location, but there are still plenty of options for travellers on a tight budget.
A short stroll from the Civic Center is kooky SoMa, once an industrial wasteland and now a thriving neighbourhood packed with converted warehouses, contemporary museums, swanky bars and quirky restaurants. If you’re in San Francisco to eat, drink and party, this is the place to base yourself.
SoMa is home to some of the best San Francisco boutique hotels, as well as a few seriously upmarket chains (Four Seasons among others). There are a few options for thriftier visitors, but chic and luxury are the two real bywords here.
If you’re keen for easy access to green spaces but still like to stay in the centre of the action, opt for the Embarcadero. This coastal strip faces the Bay Bridge and boasts some of the best views in the city.
Jog along the palm-lined promenade, picnic in Rincon Park or just admire the panorama from one of the waterfront San Francisco hotels. In contrast to other areas of the city, boutique hotels are in the minority here, with much of the accommodation based in modern skyscrapers.
Nob Hill is the Knightsbridge of San Francisco, with spectacular views, historic buildings and seriously swanky window shopping.
The area boasts some of the glitziest San Francisco hotels, many occupying 19th-century mansions and overlooking Huntington Park. It’s also central and well-connected, which means that prices are correspondingly high, although the mind-blowing views over San Francisco are worth splashing out on.
You don’t have to be plush in the pocket to stay in central areas thanks to the wide range of budget options.
Union Square is a focus for cheap San Francisco hotels, with plenty of accommodation in small, well-priced chains and family-run inns.
Fisherman’s Wharf, a short streetcar journey from downtown, does a good line in cheap and cheerful digs, while the Marina district couples a decent range of cheap San Francisco hotels with good-value parking.
Don’t be tempted to stay too far away from the city centre as transport costs will soon offset any money you save on accommodation.