13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (2024)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (1)

03.17.2024

By Carrie Green Zinn

Wondering which are the safest hotels in San Francisco?

As a local, I’m always encouraging my friends, family, and readers to visit San Francisco! It is, and always has been, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Hence, why I moved here about 40 years ago and have stayed in the Bay Area since.

Safety in San Francisco has changed a lot in these 40 years, so it makes sense that you’ll have questions about where are the safest hotels in San Francisco and the safest areas so you don’t have to worry or feel uncomfortable.

To know me is to know that I’m a big fan of city traveling and therefore take safety very seriously. As a woman, a mom, and a sometimes solo traveler, I want to feel confident that my vacation experience won’t be overshadowed by an unsafe situation.

I know you feel the same, so I spent a lot of time visiting boutique safest hotels in San Francisco. I asked a lot of questions at the front desks, and roamed the neighborhoods. If I don’t feel like I would recommend a place to my family or friends, I certainly won’t recommend it to you!

So, in this post, I focus on the best parts of the city by the bay, the safest places to stay in San Francisco, and I help you identify neighborhoods to avoid.

Use these tips for your 1 day, 2 day or 3 day visits to San Francisco.

I hope this helps you choose the best hotel for your upcoming trip to San Francisco. Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

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        • By Carrie Green Zinn

    • 13 Safest Hotels inSan Francisco

      • Union Square Neighborhood Info

        • Where To Stay In Union Square

      • South of Market (SoMa) Neighborhood Info

        • Where To Stay In SoMa

      • Lower Nob Hill Neighborhood Info

        • Where To Stay In Lower Nob Hill

      • Japantown Neighborhood Info

      • Pacific Heights Neighborhood Info

        • Where To Stay In Pacific Heights

      • The Presidio Neighborhood Info

        • Where To Stay In The Presidio

      • Castro Neighborhood Info

        • Where To Stay In The Castro

      • North Beach Neighborhood Info

        • Where To Stay In North Beach

        • Some Basic San Francisco Safety Tips

    • Areas To Avoid In San Francisco

    • How To Get Around SF Safely

      • SF By Uber, Lyft, Waymo, or Taxi

      • Walking Around San Francisco

      • Taking Public Transportation in San Francisco

    • FAQs: Visiting San Francisco

      • Which parts of San Francisco are the safest?

      • Where is the best place to stay in San Francisco for the first time?

      • Is Fisherman’s Wharf safe in San Francisco?

      • Is downtown San Francisco safe for tourists?

      • What are good day trips from San Francisco?

    • Now you know which are the safest hotels in San Francisco!

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (3)

13 Safest Hotels in
San Francisco

As magnificent as San Francisco is, it has sadly developed a reputation in recent years for being a bit of an unsavory city for tourists. I’m here to tell you otherwise. I’m not pretending that there aren’t real problems regarding petty theft and homelessness in some neighborhoods, but with basic safety precautions you should be fine.

It’s important to note that while a lot of the publicized concerns are based in fact, they mostly reflect specific areas and not others.

San Francisco is an extremely diverse city steeped in an incredible history from the Gold Rush to the Summer of Love to the technological boom. The vibrant energy of San Francisco helped to turn the city into a top international tourist destination, a foodie’s heaven, and a culture lover’s paradise.

As in any big city there have been issues with homelessness, drug abuse, and crime, but the pandemic seemed to exacerbate these things. Fortunately, as the city has emerged and recovered, I find that the safety in tourist areas is improving as well.

Below are some of the safest hotels in San Francisco.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (4)

Important Notes

→ You will NOT find mention of the iconic luxury hotels in San Francisco like the Fairmont, or Mark Hopkins, because I chose to focus on boutique, smaller hotels. While the big, well known, places are among the safest hotels in San Francisco, the boutique hotels tend to have better prices- and they have a lot of San Francisco charm!

→ Most of the safest hotels in San Francisco that I visited have also been recommended elsewhere in other highly regarded publications.

Resort Fees are a real thing – an annoying thing! They’re generally tagged onto the price of your hotel room and cover things like using the fitness center, water bottles in the room, WiFi, and coffee. All these things should just be part of staying in a hotel, right? Well, beware that an additional “resort fee” p/night is what you pay ON TOP of what the room costs. So, be sure to check on this when booking.

→ I try to find 4 star hotels with 5 star reviews to help my readers enjoy a vacation with a lot of comfort, without a huge price tag. I feel confident you’ll find a hotel to match your safety and financial needs!

→ If you want more info re: the overall safety of San Francisco, I recommend this NYTimes article ‘Are You OK?’ San Francisco Residents Say They Most Certainly Are.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (5)

Quick Snapshot
Safest Places to Stay in San Francisco – My Top Picks

  1. The Best Hotel in Union Square – The Hotel Triton 342 Grant
  2. The Best Bargain – The Warwick Hotel 490 Geary St.
  3. The Best Luxury Hotel not in Nob Hill – The St. Regis 125 3rd St.
  4. The Best Cozy Hotel – White Swan 845 Bush St.
  5. The Best Mansion Hotel – Mansion on Sutter 1409 Sutter Ave.
  6. The Best Hotel in a Quiet Neighborhood – Hotel Drisco 2901 Pacific Ave.

Quick & Easy Links

Flights & Hotels: I recommend Expedia
Vacation rentals: I recommend VRBO
Car Rental: I recommend Hertz
Tours: I recommend Viator
Gear: Check out my Travel Stuff
Create Your Travel Memory Books with MILK

Union Square Neighborhood Info

Union Square is the large plaza in the center of San Francisco’s downtown.This area is the heart of San Francisco’s shopping, hotel, art, and theater district. It’s known for its upscale department stores and chic boutiques. The cable car turnaround is down the hill, and the famous hotels are just up the hill. So many photo ops!

Union Square has some of the safest hotels in San Francisco. Here’s why I recommend you stay in this neighborhood as a first time visitor for safety and convenience:

From Market St. to Bush St.,the Union Square neighborhood is bustling with tourists and locals seven days a week. You can experience special events throughout the year, and can easily access other neighborhoods by foot. Chinatown, North Beach, SoMa, and the Financial District are within short walking distance and Fisherman’s Wharf is just 1.5 miles from here. And City Hall and Hayes Valley are about 1.3 miles in the other direction.

Union Square is a safe area during the day and evening when businesses, shops, restaurants, and theaters are open. The area and streets are well lit and the atmosphere feels secure.

Note that Union Square borders the Tenderloin neighborhood which is not a safe part of town – day or night.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (8)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (9)

Where To Stay In Union Square

1. The Hotel Triton 342 Grant Ave.

The Triton, a four star hotel, is in an excellent location in Union Square, literally at the Dragon Gate of Chinatown. The hotel boasts an effort to maintain Hygge (the feeling of comfort, cozy, contentedness, and conviviality) throughout its facility. The rooms have been upgraded and are tastefully decorated with quality linens and carrera marble bathrooms. It has many excellent reviews. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly when I visited.

The amenities include a breakfast, happy hour, pet friendly, and one of the best French restaurants in the city at its base – Cafe De La Presse.

$120 – $300 The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service. I was told that there is a strong police presence in the area and that employees and guests feel and are safe at the hotel.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (10)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (11)

2. The Warwick Hotel 490 Geary St.

The Warwick, a four star hotel, was the pleasant surprise of my research. It’s in a great location within Union Square. I was headed somewhere else and came upon this very charming hotel with a lovely lobby. The Beaux-Arts style hotel was built in 1913 and maintains its turn of the century charm. The rooms have been decorated with antique headboards, mirrored closets, and warm blues and whites on the quality beddings. They refer to their decor as “simple elegance.” It has many excellent reviews. The manager could not have been more gracious, helpful, and friendly.

The amenities include an on site restaurant The Bota, and a bar The European. Pets are NOT allowed, fee for in room WiFi.

$120 – $300 The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service. I was told that guests and employees feel and are safe at the hotel.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (12)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (13)

3. The Beacon Grand Hotel (Formerly the Sir Francis Drake Hotel) 450 Powell St.

The Beacon Grand The Beacon Grand Hotel, a four star hotel, is an historic San Francisco gem with a modern upgrade. It’s got all the feel of luxury and is in a great location – right in Union Square with a cable car stop right in front of the hotel. The hotel boasts its high ceilings and oak floors. It has many excellent and very good reviews. The front desk staff were very pleasant and helpful.

The amenities include a Fitness center, Pet Friendly, a quiet library co*cktail room, Free WiFi.

$130 – $300 The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

24/7 security and a doorman

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (14)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (15)

4. The Hotel Zeppelin 545 Post St.

The Hotel Zeppelin, a four star hotel, is in a great location and has an excellent reputation. The hotel boasts a rebellious flare mixed with luxury. It’s called hip, cool, trendy, edgy, and unique.The rooms are tastefully decorated, and the whole hotel has a lot of character. It has many excellent and very good reviews. The front desk staff were friendly enough.

The amenities include a restaurant, bar, game room, fitness center, Pet Friendly, fee for in room WiFi.


$130 – $400 The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (16)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (17)

5. Clift Royal Sonesta 495 Geary St.

The Clift Royal Sonesta, a four star hotel, originally opened in 1915, is a newly renovated and beautiful hotel a block from Union Square. It has a real sophisticated and luxurious feel and there is a bee sanctuary on the roof! The hotel uses the honey in its craft co*cktails. It has many wonderful and excellent reviews. The lobby is beautiful and the area is lively and safe. The front desk staff was lacking a little in the friendly category. I was told, however, that the hotel is safe.

The amenities include a restaurant, bar, fitness center, pet friendly, free WiFi.

$150 -$600 The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (18)

South of Market (SoMa) Neighborhood Info

The district south of Union Square, across Market St. is known as SoMa and is a lively part of downtown. There’s a lot going on here, such as loft spaces, tech companies, and some great museums – the SFMoMa, the Children’s Creativity Museum, and the California Historical Society.

Of special interest are the Moscone Center convention and exhibition spaces, the Yerba Buena Gardens, a bowling alley, skating rink, and carousel. These public spaces are a beautiful addition to the area and are not far from the Bay Bridge and East Bay.

There are plenty of great restaurants and hotels in the area but it won’t be as convenient for a first time visitor to all the tourist spots. It will require a little more walking, as its’ further from the more central Union Square.

This area is not going to feel safe at night.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (19)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (20)

Where To Stay In SoMa

6. The Hotel Zetta 55 5th St.

The Hotel Zetta, a four star hotel, is an avant-garde style hotel infused with lots of personality, color, and a futuristic feel. The hotel boasts being a retreat for creatives who want to stay in the edgy neighborhood of SoMa. The hotel is very popular and has a lot of excellent reviews. The front desk staff was lacking a little in the friendly category. I was told, however, that the hotel is safe.

The amenities include restaurant, bar, fitness center, free WiFi, pet friendly.

$150 – $600 – The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (21)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (22)

7. St. Regis Hotel 125 3rd St.

The St. Regis is a five star, luxury hotel in the SoMa district that is tucked into a spot which provides a very exclusive feel. If you want a luxury hotel that is off the beaten path, then check out the St. Regis. It isn’t technically a small boutique hotel since it is owned by Marriott and has 260 rooms, but I’m including it because it is so highly rated and is one of the safest hotels in San Francisco. The reviews are excellent and speak of the high end, well appointed decor and service. The concierge spoke of the safe and secure property, their discretion with their famous clientele. And he was incredibly friendly and welcoming!

The amenities include restaurant, bar, fitness center, pool, free WiFi, pet friendly, door man, concierge.

$400 – $900 – The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

24/7 on-site security service.

Lower Nob Hill Neighborhood Info

The Nob Hill neighborhood is famous for its gorgeous Victorian architecture, views of the bay, and luxury hotels. These streets are lovely and safe and very worthy of you roaming around to explore and enjoy. Lower Nob Hill are the streets on the lower part of the climb, closer to Union Square. The location is central to most of the tourist spots, similar to Union Square. Lower Nob Hill, however, borders on the Tenderloin neighborhood, so caution is recommended.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (24)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (25)

Where To Stay In Lower Nob Hill

8. The White Swan 845 Bush St.

The White Swan, a three and a half star hotel, is a sweet boutique hotel in a great location. The hotel is known for its charm and cozy atmosphere. It’s described as modern meets English country and glam. The rooms are colorful and spacious. It has excellent reviews that rave about the cleanliness of the rooms, and the friendliness of staff. The front desk staff was very welcoming and helpful. I was told that there are no problems regarding safety of the guests or staff- but that just a few blocks away are some unsafe areas.

The amenities include a complimentary continental breakfast and wine and nibbles in the evening, free WiFi, pet friendly.

$143 – $551 – The prices vary quite a bit, depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (26)

Japantown Neighborhood Info

Japantown in San Francisco is also known as Little Osaka. It’s a culturally rich neighborhood filled with Japanese cuisine, and history. Uniquely, it’s one of the very few remaining Japantowns in the US. Japantown is also known for a lovely Peace Pagoda, that was gifted to San Francisco by its sister city, Osaka. Japantown is considered to be a safe neighborhood for visitors with its family-friendly vibe and so many fun things to do even in rainy weather!

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (27)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (28)

Where To Stay In Japantown

9. Mansion on Sutter 1409 Sutter Ave.

The Mansion on Sutter is a five star luxury Victorian mansion built in 1881 and recently renovated. This mansion is steeped in San Franciscan history and is considered to be the only luxury mansion hotel in the city. The hotel has 10 unique rooms, each finely curated with unique decor. The reviews are primarily excellent and rave about the friendly staff, however several mentioned that it is not quite a 5 star hotel as advertised because it is missing some amenities that luxury hotels typically have. The mansion is absolutely stunning and is worth visiting, even if you don’t stay there!

The amenities include a complimentary breakfast, fitness center, free WiFi, pet friendly.

$300 – $450- The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (29)

Pacific Heights Neighborhood Info

Pacific Heights is one of San Francisco’s most prestigious and affluent neighborhoods, with jaw dropping views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the city skyline. This area is one of the reasons San Francisco is worth visiting!

Pac Heights is known for its historic, grand mansions, in the Victorian and Edwardian styles. The streets and gardens are beautifully landscaped and everything feels luxurious and elegant.

There are many upscale boutiques and restaurants along Fillmore St. Safety in Pacific Heights is among the best in the city, due to the residential nature and presence of security in many of its upscale properties. This area has one of the safest hotels in San Francisco.

Walking around in these streets is like heaven – views of the city on one side and of the Bay on the other, with access to walking paths in the Presidio and the famous Lyon Street Stairs.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (30)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (31)

Where To Stay In Pacific Heights

10. Hotel Drisco 2901 Pacific Ave.

The Hotel Drisco, a five star hotel, is the iconic boutique luxury hotel at the top of Pacific Heights overlooking the Bay. The hotel is billed as “quintessentially San Francisco” because it is a turn of the century Edwardian building with gorgeous detail and sophisticated style. It is both elegant and comfortable. The rooms are updated to a modern and plush vibe with very soothing colors and decor. If you want a retreat at the end of a busy touring day, and can afford it, I would stay here! Lovely staff, and great amenities.

The amenities include complimentary breakfast, complimentary evening wine, fitness center, free WiFi, complimentary morning chauffeur service, complimentary passes to the Jewish Community Center Pool, not pet friendly.

$450 – $650 – The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service.

The Presidio Neighborhood Info

The Presidio of San Francisco is a federally owned park and former military fort on the northern tip of the city, and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s rich history dates back over 200 years. It is a public space with the perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and recreational opportunities. It includes forests, beaches, and hiking trails, as well as iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. Safety is absolutely not a concern here due to park rangers and a dedicated police force, well lit paths and meticulous maintenance and management.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (32)

Where To Stay In The Presidio

11.The Presidio Inn & Lodge & Funston House 42 Moraga Ave.

The Inn, Lodge and Funston House are three Bed and Breakfast properties in the Presidio that provide beautiful accommodations. They are very close to each other and all are known for being historic Georgian Revival buildings with gorgeous views. These hotels sit in some of the most stunning property in the world – 150 acres of forest overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. The Inn and Funston House have 26 rooms, many with fireplaces. The Lodge has 42 rooms.These boutique hotels boast modern elegance with historic charm.

The amenities include complimentary breakfast, complimentary evening wine, free WiFi.

Packages start at $499

All land in the Presidio is patrolled by federal police

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (33)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (34)

Castro Neighborhood Info

The Castro District is renowned as one of the most prominent symbols of LGBTQ+ activism and community in the world. This neighborhood is always vibrant, colorful, and bustling with activity. It’s not far from the Haight Ashbury district and the Mission District.

You’ll find a wide array of bars, restaurants, and shops catering to a diverse clientele, but with a strong focus on LGBTQ+ culture and history.

The neighborhood is also home to the Castro Theatre, a historic movie palace that hosts a variety of films, sing-alongs, and festivals.

The crosswalks are rainbow, the flags are rainbow, and the whole vibe is super warm and inviting. The Castro is a neighborhood which is extremely proud of its heritage and activism.

Generally considered safe and welcoming for visitors, the Castro has a strong community spirit and an open-minded atmosphere.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (35)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (36)

Where To Stay In The Castro

12. Hotel Castro 4230 18th St.

The Hotel Castro is a four star hotel in the heart of the Castro District with unusual decor featuring collaged walls, Italian sheets, and beautiful bathrooms. The hotel features a rooftop lounge area and an outdoor terrace. Safety is not a concern here and in fact, to enter the building, you need a code, given to you once you register. The reviews are primarily in the excellent category, raving about the staff, the safety, and the great location.

The amenities include free WiFi.

$250 – $450 The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

Very secure. Requires a code to even enter the building.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (37)

North Beach Neighborhood Info

North Beach, San Francisco’s Little Italy, is one of the best neighborhoods in San Francisco to visit. It’s known for its Italian restaurants, espresso bars, and rich history. North Beach is home to the Beat Generation of the 1950s and has landmarks like City Lights Bookstore, Cafe Vesuvio, Washington Square Park, and the stunning Saints Peter and Paul Church.

Coit Tower, perched above North Beach provides panoramic views of the city and bay. North Beach is generally considered a safe area of San Francisco, because it is usually bustling into the night.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (38)

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (39)

Where To Stay In North Beach

13. Hotel Boheme 444 Columbus Ave.

Hotel Boheme is a four star hotel in the heart of North Beach built in the 1880’s at the foot of the famous Telegraph Hill. The Boheme has been restored to its original beauty and has 15 well appointed rooms decorated to capture the 1950’s Beat Generation culture. The rooms are described as cozy, quaint, and chic. The motifs reflect the literary history of San Francisco and the staff are highly knowledgeable about the city and the North beach neighborhood. Safety is not a concern at the hotel and the reviews are excellent, boasting the beautiful rooms, great location, and helpful staff.

The amenities include free WiFi.

$225 – $350 The prices vary depending on the time of year, occupancy, and how far in advance you book.

No on-site security service, but entrance requires being buzzed in by staff.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (40)

Some Basic San Francisco Safety Tips

  • Like many cities, San Francisco’s neighborhoods can vary block by block. Always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Use common sense, especially at night. Stay in well lit areas and be vigilant with your belongings.
  • Rideshares are safe options for getting around, especially during evening hours.

Areas To Avoid In San Francisco

As a visitor, you’re not likely to venture into neighborhoods of San Francisco that don’t have popular tourist sites. And these are also neighborhoods that aren’t going to feel safe for a tourist.

The areas to avoid on your visit are The Tenderloin, and BayView – Hunters Point.

It’s important to note however, that these neighborhoods are often the target of efforts to improve safety and community well-being. An increased investment in local businesses and infrastructure are hoping to enhance the quality of life in these areas.

This is not the forum for politics, but I just want to acknowledge that the issues of the unhoused, the mentally ill, and the addicted in San Francisco are very complicated ones and are extremely difficult to solve with compassion and dignity.

These are areas where crime rates tend to be higher, and visitors might exercise extra caution, especially at night. Here’s why:

The Tenderloin is an area of about 50 square blocks in downtown San Francisco. From Geary St on the north, Market St on the south and from Mason to Van Ness east to west. The Tenderloin has been known for many years to have a higher presence of homelessness and drug-related activities. The area is frought with a high incidence of assaults and thefts. The Tenderloin name comes from a time when police were paid off well by criminals, in the areas so they could afford to eat expensive tenderloin steaks.

The Bayview – Hunters Point neighborhoods are in the southeastern part of the city at Third St. to India Basin and Candlestick Point. These neighborhoods are known for their significant cultural history within the African American community. However, it’s also known for radioactive contamination at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. These neighborhoods face real challenges related to safety and crime, including violent crimes and property crimes.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (41)

How To Get Around SF Safely

Getting around San Francisco safely and conveniently is not at all problematic if you follow these tips –

~ Walk whenever you can.
~ Use ride share apps.
~ Don’t rent a car.
~ If you like navigating the local public transportation systems when you travel, then try the buses.

SF By Uber, Lyft, Waymo, or Taxi

Uber and Lyft are San Francisco companies and are the most convenient options for getting around. If you don’t have the apps on your phone yet, download now!

ARRO, YoTaxi SF, and FlyWheel are also apps to load on your phone for taxi services.

The driverless cars by Waymo are also available in San Francisco. You’ll need to load the app on your phone, and join the waiting list, before you can start using it. The wait time for pick up is longer than Uber and Lyft, so order the car about 20 mins ahead of time.

PRO TIP: Load all the apps onto your phone in advance. Then check the prices of Uber, Lyft, and Taxi before your order, to compare. Prices vary a lot at different times of the day and night.

Walking Around San Francisco

Walking is the best in San Francisco because the hills are great exercise and the views are always good. Be sure to have good walking shoes and a strong GPS system on your phone.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (42)

Taking Public Transportation in San Francisco

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a train system that travels from the East Bay and Peninsula to San Francisco.

The Municipal Transit Agency (MUNI) includes buses, trolleys, light rail trains, and cable cars. Load the MuniMobile App to plan your route and pay for your tickets. A 3 day visitor Pass on Muni Mobile is $31.

The Clipper Card can be downloaded on your phone, or you can purchase a physical card. The beauty of the Clipper Card is that it’s good for ALL Bay Area transit – BART, Muni, and even the Cable Cars.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (43)

FAQs: Visiting San Francisco

Visiting San Francisco for the first time? Here are some basic FAQs to help you orient your way around and feel safe while doing it!

Which parts of San Francisco are the safest?

The safest areas to stay are mentioned above: Union Square, Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, North Beach, The Castro, The Presidio, and Japantown.

Here are some other safe neighborhoods as well:

  • The Mission: Famous for its murals, Latin cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, The Mission is generally safe during the day but can vary at night, particularly in areas further from the main thoroughfares.
  • Fisherman’s Wharf: A major tourist attraction with lots of shops, seafood restaurants, sunset cruises, and the famous sea lions at Pier 39. It’s considered safe, especially during the day and early evening.
  • Marina District: Offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, stylish boutiques, and trendy eateries. It is generally considered a safe area.
  • Haight-Ashbury: Famous for its role in the 1960s counterculture movement, it’s now a mix of vintage clothing shops, record stores, and eclectic restaurants. The area is generally safe, but it’s wise to be cautious at night.
  • Chinatown: One of the oldest and most established Chinatowns in the U.S., it’s packed with shops, restaurants, and vibrant street life. Generally safe, but as with any busy urban area, keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Sunset District: The Sunset District is known for its residential homes, and closeness to Ocean Beach. The Inner Sunset is near Golden Gate Park, known for its Mediterranean markets and cafes and the UCSF campus.. The Outer Sunset is closer to the beach and notorious for its foggy weather, especially in the summer. The Sunset District is considered to be a safe residential area of San Francisco.
  • Richmond District is in the northwest corner of the city, and is known for its international restaurants. The district is divided into the Inner Richmond and Outer Richmond, with the former closer to the city center and the latter stretching towards the Pacific Ocean. The Richmond also has a foggy and cool climate most of the time.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (44)

Where is the best place to stay in San Francisco for the first time?

As a first timer to San Francisco, I would suggest Union Square because it’s so close to so many of the key tourist spots. Many of the safest hotels in San Francisco are in Union Square.

Is Fisherman’s Wharf safe in San Francisco?

Yes, Fisherman’s Wharf is safe as long as you employ basic safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, keep valuables close to you when in crowds, and don’t get scammed by vendors trying to sell your stuff.

Is downtown San Francisco safe for tourists?

Yes, downtown San Francisco, or Union Square is a safe tourist area because the high end stores, restaurants, and theaters are open into the evening and there are always people, police, and well lit areas. Market St., just south of Union Square has been cleaned up recently, however, it is not recommended as a very safe area.

What are good day trips from San Francisco?

San Francisco is so close to many other awesome spots! All within just a short drive from the city. Here are some of my top picks:

Carmel By The Sea – a 2 hour drive

Point Lobos – a 2 hour drive

Monterey – a 2 hour drive

Point Reyes – a 1.5 hour drive

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (45)

Now you know which are the safest hotels in San Francisco!

In a nutshell…

As a local, I know that San Francisco has so much to offer, with its iconic landmarks, amazing architecture, breathtaking views, culture, history, and diversity. I truly want people to feel safe and enjoy the city by the Bay as much as we do.

I know first hand that the choice of where to stay can strongly influence your overall experience. So, that’s why I have carefully curated this list of the safest hotels in San Francisco that stand out in a city known for its individuality,

These San Francisco boutique hotels are the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable trip. From the towering Golden Gate Bridge to the intense tales of Alcatraz, San Francisco and its unique neighborhoods offer many special and safe places to stay, explore, eat, and play!

xx,

Carrie

Carrie Green Zinn

Carrie Green Zinn is the owner and author of Carrie Green Zinn – A Travel Blog, which helps travelers become inspired to explore and step out of their comfort zones. Carrie focuses on family vacations, empty nest travel, and girlfriend getaways. Her work is informed by her life as a former dancer, therapist, and school psychologist. She brings her passion for writing, photography, and making the world a smaller place to her ever growing blogging audience.

Hi There! I’m Carrie.

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (47)

I’m a native New Englander, turned New Yorker, turned California girl! Following a dance career, working as a dance therapist, and being a school psychologist, I’m now ready to share my passion for photography and travel with you! I absolutely love seeing the world with my family and friends. I know you feel the same! Let’s go!

13 Safest Hotels in San Francisco - A Local’s Guide & Hotel Picks 2024 - Carrie Green-Zinn (2024)
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