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HI - San Francisco - City Center

685 Ellis St, San Francisco, California, 94109, United States

See us on a map

Overall Rating 86%

From 93 Reviews

Hostel rating (93)

Rating category Satisfaction percentage
Staff 89%
Cleanliness 92%
Location 69%
Security 88%
Service 90%
Comfort 87%
Green rating 82%

A stylish hostel with boutique amenities, top-rated service, and a location that’s central but off the beaten tourist track.

  • Dorm
    From €44.67
  • Private
    From €120.62
10 or more people?

San Francisco Hostel

Hostel San Francisco

Hostelling International

Welcome to our hostel

Set in a 1920’s boutique hotel, San Francisco City Center Hostel has a vintage feel with bags of charm and character. Off the beaten tourist path but still close to it all, the hostel is between the edgy Tenderloin district and the clean marble columns of the Civic Center; a neighbourhood with some of the best cheap cuisine, great nightclubs and music venues.

This stylish hostel offers shared dorms and private rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. The on-site cafe, Ivy's Place, serves free breakfast as well as $1 all-you-can-eat pancakes or eggs; in the evenings there’s beer, wine and snacks. Connect to the free Wi-Fi in the marble-tiled lobby, or relax in a common room on the mahogany-railed mezzanine.

San Francisco City Center Hostel organises free and cheap activities for guests including pub crawls, walking tours, museum visits and day trips to places like Muir Woods, wine country, or Yosemite.


Prices are members' prices

Dorms - Per guest per night


Private - Per room per night


Important info

  • Government-issued photo ID is required to check in.
  • A maximum stay of 14 nights applies at this hostel.
  • Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Membership can be purchased on arrival at hostel.
  • Rates quoted assume guests are members of Hostelling International or a National Youth Hostel Association.
  • Pets are not permitted in the hostel.
  • Additional tax is payable at check-in.
  • Prices and product availability is as accurate as possible but may be subject to change during checkout



Leisure & Fitness

  • Common room


  • Elevator / Lift
  • Suitable for wheelchair users

Food & Drink

  • Licenced Bar/Pub
  • Self-catering kitchen
  • Vending machine

Facilities - Internet Access

  • Computers - Charges Apply
  • Wifi - Free
  • Internet Cafe Nearby - 500m to 1km

Facilities - In-Hostel Services

  • Basic Shop
  • Car parking nearby - At or next to the hostel
  • Cycle Storage
  • Library / Book Swap
  • Lockers Available - In Room
  • Luggage Room - Available during hostel reception times
  • Travel / Tour Desk
Opening times

Opening times

Open all year

Open 24 hours
From 15:00 to 04:00

Get in touch

Get in touch

Tel. 1-415-474 5721

Fax. 1-415-776 0775

Main attractions

Main attractions

  • Asian Art Museum (Less than 500 m)
  • Union Square (500m to 1km)
  • Chinatown (1 to 2km)

See the full list of attractions



There should be a better control in the rooms. I couldn´t use the locker because another guy staying in the room was using 2 of them. One of the guys in the front desk encourage me to talk to him but I never meet the other guy only when we were sleeping and it is not the best way to solve this issues.


Avatar for Pedro


Thu 25 Aug 2016

Thanks for staying and leaving a review! I'm so sorry to hear our staff didn't offer more assistance. If a guest is using the wrong locker, or in this case, more than their assigned locker, we generally go up to check on the situation and will cut locks, move guests, etc, t o get the situation resolved. Again, I'm sorry to hear this happened, I hope if you decide to stay again we can do a better job of helping you to have a relaxing stay. in the mean time, I'll remind our team about going the extra step to help our guests. Happy Travels! ~Molly

Manager avatar

San Francisco - City Center,

Sat 27 Aug 2016

This hostel is not in the center of the city, it's in the tenderloin district - a filthy, seedy, smelly area. The other two SF HIs would be a better choice. However, the rooms are the best serviced of most HIs. Clean and towels replaced daily. The weekly hostel activities are not well communicated. A simple table with day, time and activity would be more useful rather than the random postings over several walls. Breakfast is offered daily and can include eggs and pancakes for just $1.


Avatar for Rebecca


Sun 21 Aug 2016

Thanks for staying and taking the time to leave a review, While the Tenderloin is a pretty gritty and intense area, with lots of great nonprofits providing vital services to those in need, it is in the heart of SF. It's hard to see at first but there are parts of our neighborhood that have a lot to offer. Besides having convenient access to the rest of SF, we have some of the best bars, restaurants, art galleries, and venues for live music, anywhere in the Bay Area. You review actually touches on some of the things we try to do to keep the hostel feeling super safe and comfortable, including a robust breakfast, lots of activities, and a very clean establishment. For guests that are a little less interested in exploring the area, this gives them more to do in the hostel. Ideally we're creating ways for people to meet one another so they have a buddy to venture out into the city with. Happy Travels! ~Molly

Manager avatar

San Francisco - City Center,

Tue 23 Aug 2016


Around the hostel

Around the hostel

Nearby attractions

  • Beach (5 to 10km)
  • Cinema (Less than 500m)
  • City Centre (At or next to the hostel)
  • Cycle trails (2 to 3km)
  • Golf course (5 to 10km)
  • Gym (500m - 1km)
  • Hiking / Walking trails (2 to 3km)
  • Local market (Less than 500m)
  • Mountainous Area (5 to 10km)
  • Museums / Art Galleries (Less than 500m)
  • National / State Park (1 to 2km)
  • Nightlife (At or next to the hostel)
  • Parks / Green Area (1 to 2km)
  • Restaurants (At or next to the hostel)
  • River / Harbour / Lake (2 to 3km)
  • Shopping area / Mall (500m - 1km)
  • Swimming pool (500m - 1km)
  • Supermarket / Food store (500m - 1km)
  • Theatre (500m - 1km)
  • Wooded Area (5 to 10km)
Getting to us

Getting to us

BART train from the airport to the Civic Center station. SHUTTLE: Lorrie's Airport Service offers discount for HI-San Fran hostels.
Greyhound station: Take MUNI bus #38 to Geary and Larkin Streets.
There are usually plenty of private taxis available at the airport. Look for an official taxi stop outside the baggage claim.
BART or MUNI: Get off at the Civic Center Station and exit the station using the UN Plaza exit.
Park in the loading zone in front of the hostel; front desk staff will direct you to permanent parking nearby. Expect to pay $12-$15 per 12 hours.
The nearest Amtrak train station is in Emeryville but Amtrak offers connecting bus service to San Francisco.

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HI - San Francisco - City Center