While the beautiful city of San Diego may be famous for its breathtaking beaches, don’t forget about the downtown! The appealing downtown San Diego lets you experience some of the best things the city has to offer as well as the coastline. A thriving urban center, there are plenty of attractions found in downtown, including the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the famous Petco Park, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Since there’s plenty to see and do in this area, this also means there’s no shortage of accommodation options for you to choose from. On a budget? Fret not! With our help, you’ll be able to know which cheap hotel in downtown San Diego should be your base. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of our favorite cheap hotels!
Table of contents
- Days Inn by Wyndham San Diego Downtown
- Harborview Inn & Suites
- Holiday Inn Express – Downtown San Diego
- San Diego Downtown Lodge
- The Pacific
- Motel 6-San Diego, CA – Downtown
- Hotel Indigo San Diego
- The Sofia Hotel
- Porto Vista Hotel In Little Italy
- Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside
- Baymont by Wyndham San Diego Downtown
- Top Affordable Bars in Downtown San Diego
- Top Affordable Restaurants in Downtown San Diego
- Free Things To Do in Downtown San Diego
Days Inn by Wyndham San Diego Downtown
Let’s start this list with the Days Inn by Wyndham San Diego Downtown, a nice hotel that’s set in a four-story building. This cheap hotel in downtown San Diego is only a short drive away from some of downtown’s most iconic attractions, including the San Diego Convention Center, Balboa Park, and San Diego Zoo. What’s more, guests who spend the nights here can enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast every morning. Apart from that, there’s also free Wi-Fi to keep you connected 24/7.
Similar to other options on this list, the contemporary rooms at this cheap San Diego hotel are airy and comfortable. They feature a spotless en-suite bathroom, flat-screen TV, microwave, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and work desk. Are you here with your precious one? Perfect! That’s because there are family rooms, and kids aged 17 and under can stay for free with a paying adult!
Harborview Inn & Suites
Located in the heart of Little Italy, the Harborview Inn & Suites is a relaxed hotel that allows you to enjoy San Diego to the fullest without breaking your wallet. One of the main reasons we fancy this hotel is its location. Those who can’t spend a minute without munching anything will be thrilled to know that countless cafes and eateries surround the hotel. Aside from that, there are also plenty of fun attractions nearby, including the San Diego Zoo, American Plaza, Spreckels Theater, and more.
Meanwhile, the spacious and modern rooms on the property feature classic decor, a workstation, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and other standard in-room amenities. Thanks to the free Wi-Fi, you can update your socials anytime. Plus, the flat-screen TV comes with premium cable channels! Other notable amenities include free public parking, a 24-hour front desk, daily housekeeping, and express check-in/out.
Holiday Inn Express – Downtown San Diego
Offering you everything you possibly need, the Holiday Inn Express – Downtown San Diego is one of our favorites. Only a mile from the Gaslamp Quarter, this hotel is within easy reach of the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park. This hotel offers many complimentary amenities as the best cheap hotel in San Diego Downtown. They include a breakfast buffet, a happy hour with food and drinks, a shuttle to the airport, San Diego Zoo, and Cruise Port.
When it’s time to feast, head down to the on-site Italian restaurant, everything there is so good that you’ll want more! Meanwhile, those who want to keep their bodies fit can swim in the outdoor pool or lift weights in the fitness center. Furthermore, the furnished rooms and suites at this San Diego hotel all come with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a work desk, a coffee maker, and a mini-fridge. Even better, some rooms feature a private balcony!
San Diego Downtown Lodge
Next is the San Diego Downtown Lodge, a cheap hotel in downtown San Diego that will make every day of your trip a good one. This simple but comfy hotel is a short distance from some of downtown’s famous hotspots. For instance, it’s only a 10-minute walk from the Gaslamp Quarter, known for its vibrant nightlife. Aside from that, it’s also only two miles away from Balboa Park, home to 17 museums and San Diego Zoo.
Apart from its favorable location, this cheap hotel in San Diego Downtown is also loved because of its complimentary amenities. Here, guests can park their vehicles in the designated parking area for free. You can also call your friends thanks to the free high-speed Wi-Fi. Featuring exterior entrances, each guestroom on the property has a flat-screen TV, microwave, mini-fridge, and other standard in-room amenities. Meanwhile, upgraded rooms offer an additional whirlpool tub!
Another cheap hotel in downtown San Diego worth mentioning is The Pacific. This fantastic hotel is only a block away from the ocean and the floating Maritime Museum of San Diego, making it a favorite among travelers. Love to spend your night drinking with your newfound friends? Perfect, as it’s only a mile away from the nightlife of the Gaslamp Quarter. In addition to that, there’s also a family-friendly attraction nearby in the form of the San Diego Zoo, making it one of the best family hotels in San Diego.
Of course, you can expect plenty of free perks from this cheap hotel in San Diego Downtown. Aside from free parking, this hotel also offers its guests a complimentary hearty breakfast every morning. You’re invited to take a dip in the outdoor pool with a sundeck during your free time. When it comes to the rooms, all of them are equipped with a mini-fridge, work desk, coffee maker, and free Wi-Fi. Need more space? You can book the suite, as it has an additional living area.
Motel 6-San Diego, CA – Downtown
Just off the San Diego Freeway is the Motel 6-San Diego, CA – Downtown, another simple and cheap hotel in downtown San Diego. This affordable lodging is only a seven-minute walk from the light rail station, making getting around a piece of cake. Additionally, the historic Gaslamp Quarter is only a 16-minute walk away! Need to catch an early flight? Fret not, as the San Diego International Airport is only 2.2 miles from the hotel. Speaking of which, make sure also to check out other best hotels near San Diego Airport!
As expected from the best cheap hotel in San Diego Downtown, there are some freebies that you can enjoy. You can fill your body with much-needed caffeine every morning as the hotel offers complimentary morning coffee. Meanwhile, guests who arrive by car can park their vehicles for free in the parking area. Better yet, kids aged 17 and under can stay for free! Finally, each comfortable room comes with a flat-screen TV, wood floors, a granite countertop, free Wi-Fi, and other standard amenities.
Hotel Indigo San Diego
Conveniently situated three blocks from the lively Gaslamp Quarter, the Hotel Indigo San Diego is another cheap hotel in downtown San Diego that you should consider. This hotel has plenty of terrific amenities, including a spacious all-day restaurant, a vast rooftop cocktail bar with weekend DJs, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center. Want to have fun outside? Sure! This hotel is only a short distance from AD Nightclub, Spreckels Theater, Balboa Stadium, Balboa Park, and many more.
Each bright and airy room on the property comes with hardwood floors, a plush bed, a glass-walled shower with teak benches, and free Wi-Fi. Of course, there’s also an iPod docking station and a flat-screen TV that’ll keep you entertained. If you don’t mind spending a little more, consider booking the suite! It comes with an extra dining area and an additional bathtub.
The Sofia Hotel
Set in a gothic-revival building in the buzzing Gaslamp Quarter, The Sofia Hotel is a cheap hotel in downtown San Diego that will put a smile on even the moodiest guest’s face! Location-wise, there’s nothing to complain about. It’s only a six-minute walk from the San Diego Opera, and plenty of bars are sprinkled around the hotel if you’re in the mood for a drink or two. Moreover, this hotel also offers plenty of awesome amenities. You can work up a sweat in the 24-hour fitness center and yoga studio or chill on the outdoor terrace.
Those who are starving can head down to the chic American brasserie. After filling your stomach, head back to your elegant and well-appointed room! Each room on the property is equipped with designer toiletries, a work desk, a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a coffee maker. If you need extra space, opt for the suite instead. Of course, Wi-Fi is already included as part of the daily resort fee. Better yet, there are in-room spa services to spoil your body!
Porto Vista Hotel In Little Italy
As you can see from its name, this budget-friendly hotel is in the Little Italy neighborhood. Though it’s a cheap hotel in downtown San Diego, Porto Vista Hotel in Little Italy still offers top-notch amenities. Acting like it’s a first-class hotel, it provides plenty of excellent facilities, including rooftop yoga classes, a state-of-the-art fitness center, spa treatments, and a tiny outdoor pool that allows you to take a relaxing dip.
Even better, most of the guestrooms at this cheap hotel in San Diego Downtown offer mesmerizing harbor views, which is a huge plus. To add, there’s free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a work desk, and a safety deposit box as well. Down for a drink? The on-site Glass Door Restaurant & Bar is the place to be, offering specialty drinks and a daily happy hour. This hotel is within walking distance of some of downtown’s major hotspots. If you hate waiting for your Uber, a complimentary airport shuttle can take you to and from the airport.
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside
If you plan to stay in downtown San Diego for a while, we think the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside is the perfect accommodation option. This cheap hotel in downtown San Diego is an all-suite hotel, meaning space should be the least of your concerns. Each contemporary suite has a fully-equipped kitchen, work desk, and an airy living area. If you don’t like cooking and want to be treated like royalty, take advantage of the room service! Also, some of the city’s top restaurants are within easy walking distance from the hotel.
By staying at this cheap hotel in San Diego Downtown, you can rest assured that there’s plenty to see and do. The Maritime Museum of San Diego and USS Midway Museum are a must-visit for museum-goers, as they’re both less than two miles away from the hotel. In addition, the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park are also in the vicinity. After a long day exploring the city, head back to the hotel and take a refreshing dip in the outdoor swimming pool. If you still have so much energy left, why don’t you sweat it in the fitness center?
Baymont by Wyndham San Diego Downtown
Like other hotels on this list, the Baymont by Wyndham San Diego Downtown boasts nothing too fancy. However, this cheap hotel in downtown San Diego does a great job of ensuring every guest can have a pleasant and memorable experience at the hotel. For instance, you can sleep in one of the spacious air-conditioned rooms without worrying about outside noise. Each of them is fitted with a flat-screen TV, seating area, work desk, and other standard amenities. There’s also free Wi-Fi to help you stay connected. Speaking of freebies, the hotel also provides a complimentary daily breakfast. On top of that, free coffee and tea can be found in the lobby.
This cheap hotel in San Diego Downtown is also an excellent option for those who are here for work and looking for business hotels in San Diego. That’s because there’s a spacious business center with a fax and photocopy machine. If you’re here for a long time, there’s a guest laundrette that provides amazing dry cleaning services. Additionally, we love its central location! Set in downtown, this hotel is only a 15-minute walk away from some of the neighborhood’s best bars, eateries, shops, and attractions. Places like the Copley Symphony Hall, House of Blues San Diego, Balboa Stadium, AD Nightclub, San Diego Zoo, and more are only moments away.
Top Affordable Bars in Downtown San Diego
- Star Bar – This is a relaxed spot for cheap drinks! Aside from budget pours, there are also pool tables to keep you busy and entertained!
- El Dorado Cocktail Lounge – One of downtown’s cheapest bars, this bar offers a wide collection of affordable drinks. From its specialties and classics to old favorites, all cocktails cost you only 9 USD.
- Henry’s Pub – Featuring live music and dance nights, this is the perfect place to dance the night away! The drinks are cheap, and there are pizza and light bites too!
Top Affordable Restaurants in Downtown San Diego
- The Kebab Shop – As the name implies, this should be your go-to place when you crave kebabs. The kebabs here are outstanding, and there are other Turkish-Mediterranean dishes as well.
- Hodad’s Downtown – In the mood for a thick, juicy burger? Go to Hodad’s Downtown! This is the place to be for giant burgers. To add, it also offers a wide range of toppings as well as shakes.
- Lucky’s Lunch Counter – Offering classic American breakfast and lunch, this retro diner is a favorite among locals and travelers. The outdoor seating area is big, and the service is impeccable.
Free Things To Do in Downtown San Diego
- Gaslamp Quarter – Though popular for its bars and cocktail lounges, walking around Gaslamp Quarter is free! As the heart and soul of San Diego, we’re sure you’ll have fun walking around for an hour or two.
- Seaport Village – Yep, Seaport Village is free for you to enter! If you’re lucky enough, you might spot some performers busking along the waterfront.
- Little Italy – You can walk around the shops and public art in Little Italy for free. Also, it’s home to patio cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Are you sure you don’t want to spend a bit of your money here?