Green Tortoise Hostel – San Francisco

Stayed: August 2015 (Summer) 4 Nights
5 Person Female Dorm
Overall Rating:
 8/10 [Was clean, had lots to do, great location, friendly and social travelers]

mainbg1I stayed at Green Tortoise Hostel for my 5 wonderful days in San Francisco.
This was my very first time staying at a hostel so I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was pretty good 🙂
If you have a look on their website they sometimes have good rates for rooms depending on the time of year. I paid USD$204 for my 4 nights (including taxes)

Check in is at 2pm which was fine for me as I didn’t arrive until about 7pm. I’d just had a long 16 hour flight from New Zealand with a short stop in LA so I was knackered!
I paid for my room once I got to the hostel but you can cancel your reservation free of charge up to 48 hours in advance if you change your mind.

green-tortoise-hostel (1)
There are private rooms available

The reception is open 24 hours a day which is really helpful for people arriving at different hours and it’s easy to find!
I took a shuttle from the airport for about $19-$20 otherwise you can take the BART for $9 and get off at Montgomery Street Station and walk for about 15 minutes.
If you have a car, note that they don’t provide parking and recommend you pay to park it in a garage. If you e-mail them, they’ll tell you where to go as sometimes they do deals with garages for like half the price.

I stayed in this identical dorm 🙂

This is a Party Hostel so don’t book here if all you want to do is sleep and keep to yourself! Most of the people who stay here are between 20 and 30 years of age. They have nightly events so it’s good to check at reception to see what’s happening that night.



  • Option of Private Rooms
  • Massive Ballroom to eat in
  • Free Breakfast every day
  • 3 Free Dinners a week (Think it’s usually vegetarian though)
  • Free Wi-Fi everywhere
  • Computer’s available
  • Guest Laundry Room (Does close off at 10pm though)
  • Pool Table
  • Fully Equipped kitchen to make your own meals
  • Allowed to drink alcohol in the Ballroom
  • Large storage space under your bed
  • Private Bathrooms in the hallway (Not stalls)
  • Reception very informative with booking activities
  • Bike Rentals
  • Intercom Access after-hours (So no randoms coming in)


  • Stairs! Maybe I’m just lazy but I hated walking up all the stairs whenever I forgot something
  • Can be noisy on the weekends and in peak season
  • Quite a few adult entertainment clubs on the next block (Personally I didn’t find it a problem apart from the odd catcall when you walked by)
  • No air con/fans
  • Showers can run out of hot water if you’re late having a shower in the morning


Unfortunately I didn’t attend any of the activities they hosted (Bar crawls etc.). Looking back I really should have but I was new at this whole travelling solo thing. Also, I’d met some people when I was out on one of my day trips so I went out for dinner with them throughout the week instead.

Note: The only problem I had with this hostel was one of the staff member’s. When I arrived, obviously hot and tired and sore from carrying my stuff and my 16 hour flight he proceeded to tell me every single rule and info about the hostel while I just stood there and listened for 10 minutes. I asked if I could just go to my room and come back down later but he got snippy and explained how every single little thing worked from the washing machine to what cereals they provided. 
I know I sound bitchy writing this, but if you were in the mood that I was in, I just really could not be bothered. 
A couple of nights later when I was in bed, the same guy just barged into my room and switched the lights on. First of all, he didn’t knock which I thought was rude as it was a female only dorm room and I could have been getting changed. Second I was wearing a nightgown I had to quickly adjust and thirdly he didn’t even explain why he was in there! Just went to one of the beds and lifted the mattress looking for something. He left a few minutes later (Without turning off the light I might add) and 2 other girls came back with him a little while later who then explained to me that one of them found ants in her bed so he was checking to see what could be done I guess.
I don’t think anything was ever solved as her bed was right next to the window (And the window was open all the time) so I’m pretty sure that’s how she had them. I dunno, that just made me so annoyed how disrespectful he was!

494 Broadway

San Francisco, CA 94133

+1 (415) 834-1000

Toll-Free (USA and Canada)

1 (800) 867-8647

2 thoughts on “Green Tortoise Hostel – San Francisco

  1. onetravelsfar April 13, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    Ohhh I stayed here! I remember they had overbooked so we were lucky and were given a private room. It’s definitely a party hostel, that’s for sure, I have vivid memories of being drunk and having a water fight in the basement. The floors were constantly sticky with alcohol hahaha. Good times.


  2. dianakistler April 23, 2016 / 9:27 am

    ” If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair” :-p


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