Green Tortoise Hostel

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494 Broadway Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
(415) 834-1000

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Green Tortoise Hostel San Francisco Reviews

tj1777 tj1777
369 reviews
Great base for exploring the city Mar 13, 2013
I stayed at the Green Tortoise for a few days around New Year a couple of years back. The reason for staying there was sort of the location – smack in the middle of San Francisco on Broad Street. You could reach most of the main sights of central San Francisco easily. A perfect location for ventures out in the city on foot – or even using the public transport which actually works in this city contrary to any other US city west of the Rockies I have been to. There are also many restaurants in the neighborhood for people who don’t want to do cooking.

The hostels are facing Broad Street and the side of the hostel is towards a steep street which leads to down town San Francisco. I stayed in a great but a bit small four bed dorm and the hostel was pretty busy during the New Year so there was a great vibe at the place. They provided a free breakfast – which was basically just a bagel. But an ok way to start the day before heading out and exploring – at least it saved the trouble of having to shop for breakfast.

They had free internet available and some ok common areas.

During New Year Eve they provided a free dinner and drinks during the dinner – including some sort of American version of champagne. The food was decent and with the free beer on tap it tasted better and better as the meal progressed. After dinner there was still free beer available – but unfortunately we were interrupted by a small incident where somebody had thrown a smoke bomb – or something similar which triggered the fire alarm. We were all told to leave the hostel and not bring anything.

Not bringing a jacket was working ok – the temperature in San Francisco isn’t impressive at night time during New Year but we did have some beer to keep us warm. So people went outside – unfortunately the search for the cause of the smoke took a while. And people were getting thirsty quickly. So after a while people started to go in and save the really important things – the cups of beer which had been left behind on the tables. This was a brilliant idea – unfortunately the American laws about drinking outside are a bit different from the much more progressive European laws. And there are a lot of cops patrolling the streets of San Francisco at night time during New Year. So naturally this spelled trouble – when a couple of the officers decide to stop at the hostel to check up on people – fortunately they let everybody off after checking for id to make sure people were over 21. Finally the smoke cleared – there were no fire – and we could go back inside and have a legal drink.

I have heard several mentioning of people doing trips with the hostel across the states as well. I never went on one myself but it seemed they had pretty good reviews for their trips.
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
bigmac993 says:
Good review!
Posted on: Mar 13, 2013
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JonOh2310 JonOh2310
1 reviews
Great place in San Fran. Dec 06, 2012
I went on a long canyon trip with the Green Tortoise on their sleeper bus and had a blast. I had several trips since then but nothing beats your first time doing something new. Spending that much time with that many strangers created lasting friendships and my initial one week vacation turned into a whole month. The hostel was a great place to meet people. Also there is this Chinese place a walking distance from the hostel and is probably one of the best I have ever eaten.
leelee24 leelee24
27 reviews
Feb 14, 2011
Great hostel, fab vibe and you have alot of freedom here. Muck in and help Alan with the cooking hes a great guy and appreciative. with most definately stay here again if i ever am in San Francisco again. Brilliant way to meet people if your a lone travller
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
AlixR AlixR
6 reviews
Interesting little place Sep 29, 2011
Interesting, quirky and friendly place. I was in a four bed dorm with 3 other women. Our room had a sink and a desk and a window (with fan) that looked out on to the street, which was nice because sometimes its just an air shaft. It was small but perfectly laid out.

FREE dinner! It was tasty too. I think they provide a free dinner 3 nights a week so an added bonus in my books. Dinner time is a busy occasion and it looked as thought the entire hostel had turned up for it, good way to get to know people but get down there on time!

The only negative comment I have is; I wasn't given new sheets on arrival and it wasn't until I left that I was told I should of been given them, my bed was already made so I had assumed it was clean! Well I didn't die so it can't of been that bad.

I would happily stay here again (but know to ask for sheets).
awonder01 awonder01
6 reviews
affordable and nice international appeal Oct 02, 2011
Just finished my cross-US country trip the other day. made 21 friends from 8 different countries. Staying with them every day and night for 2 weeks had made it a very special experience, and i have not thought i could make so many friends from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. Loved it and highly recommend it.

anyway, i stayed at the hostel after arriving in San Fran from the 14 day adventure. Today is my 2nd day staying at the hostel. I loved they have big cafeteria, big kitchen. They have 3 free dinners on Monday, Wednessday and Friday, breakfast with bagels, coffee etc. which are nicer than most hostels. there are coffee offered any time.

I highly recommend the Hostel.
emdee13 emdee13
12 reviews
Exactly what was needed! Mar 26, 2011
Pub crawls, free internet, free meals, entertainment, great company, fantastic excursion oppertunities and free breakfast.

We had had a nightmare travelling and staying in a couple of 'hostels' in Seattle, Port Angeles and Ashland. We finally got to San Fran and The Green Tortoise was everything we wanted. It's easy to make friends there.

It is located next to quite a few sex shops and strip clubs, but that adds character, lol! Otherwise, the location is good and quite central.

There was always staff available and eager to help.

Security was good. We never felt unsafe.

I would definately recommend this hostel.
Tim6485 Tim6485
5 reviews
Old school hostel beside china town Mar 04, 2011
This hostel is located beside China town and has a dark and gloomy atmosphere to it. The common room is huge as is an old hallroom or something, plenty of seating and several boothes but doesn't have much lightning. I stayed there over about four nights, evry seconf night they have like a free vegetarian dinner which most people took advantage of. I went on the pub crawl which was very good as mingling with others proved easy and we checked out a variety of pubs indeed. As a solo traveler I didn't really like this place too much due to it's gloomy atmosphere (the staff weren't though) but since the common room was so huge everyone sorta keeps to their own groups which is a bummer.
mattywest2000 mattywes…
1 reviews
FUN! Mar 12, 2011
This hostel rocks! One of the best in the world. Be sure to take a bus tour with them as well. Something you will not soon forget!

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