The Best Cheap Hotels in San Diego

by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 25, 2019

Affiliate Disclosure: Booking.com is my favorite website for booking hotels (and yes, it’s the site I always use when reserving a room). It’s safe, easy to use, and consistently has great rates. All links to Booking on my site are affiliate links meaning I earn a small fee when you book a hotel. (There is never any extra cost to you for using these links). I use some of these earnings for my monthly donation to the wonderful non-profit GiveDirectly. Read more about my charitable giving here.

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The 10 Best Budget Hotels in San Diego

1. USA Hostels San Diego – Downtown – Budget

Set in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, this eclectic budget hostel is a 3-minute walk (0.2 mile) to Balboa Theatre and a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) to Petco Park. In addition to a few private rooms, the hostel has cozy “pods” with a bed, shelf, outlet, and privacy screen; amenities include free breakfast, a shared kitchen, self-service laundry facilities, frequent social events, and a 24-hour front desk.

2. HI San Diego Point Loma Hostel – Budget

Offering dorms and private rooms, this affordable, laid-back hostel features a shared kitchen, lounge with TV, courtyard with BBQ and ping pong table, self-service laundry facilities, and beach and water sports equipment for guest use. The hostel is situated on a quiet street just 1.4 miles (30-minute walk or 5-minute drive) from Ocean Beach and 3 miles (11-minute drive) from San Diego International Airport.

3. Crown City Inn Coronado – Budget

Charming, pet-friendly hotel located a 16-minute walk (0.8 mile) to Coronado Beach and a 14-minute walk (0.7 mile) to the ferry terminal, with beach cruiser bicycles for guest use, a restaurant, outdoor pool, business center, free parking, and free access to a nearby gym. All guest rooms have coffee makers, microwaves, and refrigerators; some rooms have kitchenettes. Second-floor rooms are accessible via stairs only.

4. Cosmopolitan Hotel – Moderate

Landmark hotel built in the early 1800s, offering free continental breakfast, free parking, a bar, restaurant, and walkable location in the center of Old Town San Diego. While guest rooms have no TVs or telephones, every room has a balcony or patio, air conditioning, and historic furnishings. The hotel is located an 8-minute drive (4 miles) from Balboa Park and a 14-minute drive (5 miles) from the airport.

5. La Pensione Hotel – Moderate

Nestled in Little Italy, surrounded by restaurants, and just a 5-minute walk (0.2 mile) from Waterfront Park, this fashionable boutique hotel features a restaurant and coffee shop, fitness center, spa, courtyard, and parking for a fee. Guest rooms have desks, mini-refrigerators, Italian decor, and modern bathrooms. Complimentary coffee and pastries are available every morning.

6. Best Western Plus Bayside Inn – Moderate

Classic mid-range hotel with free breakfast, free airport and cruise shuttle service, a heated outdoor pool, fitness center, business center, and on-site parking for a fee. All guest rooms have balconies, refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers, and the hotel is located a 9-minute walk (0.4 mile) to Waterfront Park and a 15-minute walk (0.7 mile) to the USS Midway Museum and the San Diego Cruise Port.

7. Gaslamp Plaza Suites – Moderate

Historic boutique hotel centrally located in the Gaslamp Quarter, and only a 7-minute walk (0.3 mile) to the San Diego Civic Theatre, 13-minute walk (0.6 mile) to Petco Park, and steps to a variety of restaurants and nightlife. The hotel features free continental breakfast, restaurant, wine bar, rooftop terrace, and valet parking (fee applies). In addition to elegant wood furnishings in all rooms, some rooms also have refrigerators and microwaves.

8. Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites San Diego Airport – Old Town – Moderate

Within a mile (20-minute walk) of the attractions of Old Town and 2.7 miles (9-minute drive) from Balboa Park, this modern hotel offers free area shuttle service, free breakfast buffet, free parking, outdoor pool, fitness center, and self-service laundry facilities. All rooms have desks, refrigerators, and microwaves, and some rooms have sofa beds.

9. La Pensione Hotel – Moderate

Nestled in Little Italy, surrounded by restaurants, and a 4-minute walk (0.2 mile) from Waterfront Park, this fashionable boutique hotel has a restaurant and coffee shop, fitness center, spa, courtyard, and parking for a fee. Guest rooms have desks, mini-refrigerators, Italian decor, and modern bathrooms. Complimentary coffee and pastries are available every morning.

10. La Jolla Cove Suites – Moderate

Located across the street (1-minute walk) from La Jolla Cove and within blocks of many restaurants and shops, this scenic hotel offers a complimentary breakfast buffet, rooftop terrace, outdoor pool, hot tub, BBQ grills, self-service laundry facilities, access to a nearby gym, and on-site parking for a fee. A variety of room types are available, including some with ocean views, balconies, full kitchens, and separate bedrooms.

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