What you need to know about where to stay in Oakland, California
Not to be confused with Auckland, New Zealand; The Californian city of Oakland is a great option to stay when visiting the Bay Area.
Many people wonder if it’s OK to stay in Oakland for a visit to San Francisco. Well, not only will the accommodation be cheaper and better value for money, but it will also allow you to explore some amazing things that you’d miss if you stay in central SanFran. Oakland is a destination on its own accord, and it’s also a good base to explore nearby San Francisco, Berkeley or Sacramento.
The city is connected by the BART system, so that means that SF Embarcadero or the University of California are only a 20-minute ride away. Staying in Oakland for a visit to San Francisco may be more convenient than staying in San Francisco itself!
But Oakland is not a sleepy commuter town in SF’s outskirts. Oakland is a vibrant and happening place, with things to see and neighborhoods to explore. It is home to a burgeoning arts scene and an alternative vibe hard to find in other places.
Whether you’re staying in Oakland as a base to exploring San Francisco or you’re eager to explore the wonders that it has to explore, we bring you a list of the best areas to stay in Oakland.
The best areas to stay in Oakland, California
1. Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt
Downtown Oakland is the commercial and financial heart of the city..
Many of the tall buildings in the area were built during the early 20th century. The Oakland City Hall, or town hall, was completed in 1914 and at 230 feet (98 meters), it was the tallest public building on the entire West Coast of the United States.
To the east of the city center lies the Merritt Lake area, surrounded by a peaceful park, residential buildings and many cafes and restaurants.
Here you can find the Oakland Museum of California, a multidisciplinary center for art, history, and natural sciences with California as a common denominator.
- Z Hotel Jack London Square (from US$139/n)
- Civic Center Lodge (from US$74/n)
- The Washington Inn (from US$99/n)
- Waterfront Hotel (from US$159/n)
- Oakland Marriott City Center (from US$199/n)
Why stay here:
- City center
- You can walk everywhere
- BART connections to San Francisco and Berkeley
- Lake Merritt
- Oakland Museum of California
2. Oakland Waterfront
If you wish to stay in Oakland, but your eyes are on San Francisco, the best area to stay is on Oakland’s shore.
Waterside hotels tend to be a bit pricier than those in the center of town, but the views of the sun setting over the San Francisco skyline are definitely worth every extra penny.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton (from US$207/n)
- Continental Lodge (from US$85/n)
- Best Western Plus Bayside (from US$209/n)
- Executive Inn & Suites (from US$229/n)
Why stay here:
- Upmarket Hotels
- Incredible views
- Relatively central
Temescal is located north of the city center.
Forget Williamsburg or East London. Temescal is where hipsters reach their hispstest.
Temescal has got it all for the alternative traveler. Second-hand shops, vintage boutiques, organic cafes, kombucha teas, hairdressers, antiquarians and hipsters galore.
The neighborhood is easy to explore on foot or by bike and is located in close proximity to BART (MacArthur and Rockridge) public transport stations.
This area also has an important Korean and Ethiopian community, making it the best neighborhood to enjoy a good kimchi or a doro wot.
- Baybridge Inn Oakland (from US$74/n)
- Imperial Inn Oakland (from US$89/n)
- Westwind Lodge (from US$109/n)
Why stay here:
- Alternative neighborhood
- Great for nightlife
- Cafés and eateries
- Ethnic restaurants
- Cheap accommodation
4. Around Oakland Airport
Last but not least you can choose to stay around Oakland Airport.
Oakland International Airport is the second most important airport in the Bay Area, with both domestic and international operations.
The airport is connected to the city of Oakland by the BART system through the Coliseum BART Station.
- Red Lion Airport (from US$129/n)
- Radisson Oakland Airport (from US$129/n)
- Hilton Oakland Airport (from US$134/n)
- Days Inn Airport – Coliseum (from US$159/n)
- Holiday Inn Oakland Airport (from US$229/n)
Why stay here:
- Close to the airport
- BART connection
- Coliseum Stadium