Where to Stay in Oakland: Best Areas and Hotels

Where to Stay in Oakland: What You Need to Know

Where to Stay in Oakland: Best Areas and Hotels
Where to Stay in Oakland: Best Areas and Hotels

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 when visiting 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!

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. 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.

Accommodation Options in Oakland, CA

Hotels in Oakland

The best hotels to stay in Oakland, CA

Hostels in Oakland

Hostels and cheap stays in Oakland, CA

Apartments in Oakland

Would you like independence? Book an apartment in Oakland

Bed & Breakfast in Oakland

Inns, B&Bs and guest houses in several aras around Oakland, CA

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.

This area is home to 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.

This is the best area to stay in Oakland for business travelers, tourists or to go shopping in its various malls, boutiques and department stores.

Where to stay in Oakland - Downtown

Where to stay in Oakland – Downtown

What makes this a great area to stay in Oakland

  • City center
  • You can walk everywhere
  • BART connections to San Francisco and Berkeley
  • Lake Merritt
  • Oakland Museum of California

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Americas Best Value Inn – Downtown Oakland/Lake Merritt is close to Interstate 880, and includes cable TV, free WiFi and free continental breakfast. On-site parking is available at no additional cost, and Oakland International Airport is 15 minutes’ drive away.

  • Budget Option

    Civic Center Lodge / Lake Merritt BART is located a 4-minute walk from the Lake Merritt BART station, providing easy travel from Oakland to San Francisco. The motel offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and cable TV, and free parking.

  • Luxury Option

    Oakland Marriott City Center is located across from a BART subway station that provides easy access to downtown San Francisco. Rooms include cable TV with HBO movie channels.


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.

This is also a recommended area to stay in Oakland for a romantic getaway or for photography buffs.

In addition, the Oakland airport is very close to this area, which makes it a good accommodation alternative for those on a layover in the city or those who have to catch an early flight.

Stay in Oakland - Bayfront

Stay in Oakland – Bayfront

What makes this a great area to stay in Oakland

  • Upmarket Hotels
  • Incredible views
  • Relatively central

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Jack London Inn is located next to Jack London Square, just 12 minutes’ walk from the nearest BART station, it offers free Wi-Fi.

  • Luxury Option

    Homewood Suites by Hilton – Oakland Waterfront is located on the Oakland, California marina and estuary, it offers rooms with free Wi-Fi. The property is 12 km from Oakland International Airport.


3. Temescal

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 great kimchi or doro wot.

Best areas to stay in Oakland - Temescal

Best areas to stay in Oakland – Temescal

What makes this a great area to stay in Oakland

  • Alternative neighborhood
  • Great for nightlife
  • Cafés and eateries
  • Ethnic restaurants
  • Cheap accommodation

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Sonder – Broadway Motel is located in Oakland, California near Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, it offers accommodations with free WiFi and free private parking.


4. Around Oakland International Airport (OAK)

Last but not least, you can choose to stay near the Oakland airport.

Oakland International Airport is the second largest air terminal in the California Bay Area, with both national and international operations.

This airport is connected to the rest of the city of Oakland by the BART system, through the Coliseum BART station.

Around the airport there are business hotels, fast food restaurants and some shops.

This is one of the best areas to stay in Oakland for business travelers.

Best areas to stay in Oakland California - OAK Airport

Best areas to stay in Oakland California – OAK Airport

What makes this a great area to stay in Oakland, CA

  • Close to the airport
  • BART connection
  • Coliseum Stadium

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area


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