Hostel Review: HI Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California

Sad note: I let someone borrow my camera before this trip and they adjusted the settings without knowing. Therefore, I have a lot of great pictures…that are smaller than I’d prefer. Please ignore the pixelation. 

I stayed at HI Fisherman’s Wharf in September 2009 and it’s still one of my favorite and most memorable experiences. I know a lot can change in five years, but this review satisfies my need to reminisce and give people a peek at what it still may or may not be like.

For starters, the location is awesome! If you walk out the back and head east, you’ll find Fisherman’s Wharf. If you walk out and head west, there’s a bus stop and the Golden Gate Bridge is a very short bus ride away. For $30 a night, you can’t beat it. People spend a ton of money on hotels in this area, so this is a great deal for budget travelers.

Nice walking path around the hostel
Nice walking path around the hostel
Amazing views right out front
Amazing views right out front

The rooms are what you’d expect in most hostels. There are male, female and co-ed rooms, as well as privates. The bunk beds have storage space underneath that can be locked.

HI Fisherman's Wharf Rooms

I got into San Francisco early so I could head to the Power to the Peaceful Festival. The staff was  really helpful in getting my luggage locked away since check-in was later. I went to explore the place a little more and then headed off to the festival using the directions they gave me.

Another thing I look for when I’m booking a hostel is a kitchen. This wasn’t as important to me five years ago, because I hadn’t been diagnosed with celiac disease yet. However, I still appreciate the chance to save some money and cook. The kitchen is also a great place to meet and hang out with new friends. There are stores within walking distance as well, so you can grab any ingredients or staples you may need.

Huuuge kitchen!
Huuuge kitchen!

Besides the location and little extras, I just really loved how friendly the staff was here. I felt like they did a  good job of helping everyone explore the city. I’m bummed I don’t have a picture of it, but the common area was full of maps, brochures and more. I didn’t plan out everything I was going to do before I got there (I feel like that takes some of the fun out of traveling), but all the info they had gave me plenty of ideas. It also made me wish I was staying more than three nights!

HI Fisherman's Wharf Bench

Safety tip for solo travelers: Avoid walking back from Fisherman’s Wharf on the path behind the hostel late at night alone. I didn’t think about this when I left for dinner because I thought I’d be back earlier, but it was really dark and empty during the last bit of the walk and I didn’t feel safe.

There you have it. HI Fisherman’s Wharf is awesome and you should go book your room now! If you’ve ever stayed before, let me know how you liked it.

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