Welcome to another of California’s cool cities, Oakland! This city combines modernity with history and offers many fun attractions, a great number of museums, art galleries, and nice restaurants. You’re sure to find a bit of everything here!
Thanks to the BART System (subway public transportation system in the Bay Area), Oakland has a great connection to cities in the San Francisco Bay area. Sometimes it is preferred by travelers simply due to its relatively cheaper accommodation options when compared to San Francisco city, but Oakland itself is totally worth a visit!
In this blog post on where to stay in Oakland, I will talk about the 3 best areas to stay in the city and give you the best of the best hotels for all budgets. Before we start, I just want to remind you that in order to get better deals on hotels and secure your place, do not forget to make a reservation in advance. Many of the hotels have a free cancelation, so don’t worry if you change your mind!
Let’s start our tour of Oakland, California!
If you are in a hurry
Here are the best places where to stay in Oakland with hotels from luxury to budget. They are all conveniently located in the San Francisco Bay area and have great reviews!
Marriott City Center
Best luxury hotel
Oakland Private Villa
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Hyatt Place Emeryville
Best value for money
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here is a map showing the 3 best areas where to stay in Oakland that I will be talking about in this blog post so you can easily visualize them:
1. Downtown – where to stay in Oakland for the first time
Downtown Oakland is the commercial heart of the city but please don’t picture a boring financial district! It is a very lovely area with historic buildings, beautiful parks, trendy restaurants, and great museums. If you are a person like me who likes cities that blend history and modern elements you will enjoy your time here!
Start your day by grabbing a good coffee from one of many nice cafes and go for a morning stroll to the charming Preservation Park. After checking out the beautiful historic buildings there, explore the culture and history of the city in the Oakland Museum of California and the Parade Home Museum. Later, don’t forget to discover the famous Jack London Square, Oakland Waterfront, and Lake Merritt for stunning views!
Thanks to the BART Station nearby, by staying here you will have easy access to other areas around Oakland like San Francisco. Speaking of that, you should also check out the best places to stay in San Francisco to add a stop to your Oakland, California trip!
Before checking out the best places to stay in Oakland Downtown, I would like to remind you that the hotels here can be filled up faster than you think, so do not forget to make your reservation in advance.
Now it’s time to have a look at the best of the best hotels!
The Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel is located at the heart of the city and within walking distance to the popular Jack London Square and Lake Merritt. This 4-star hotel features spacious rooms, a great breakfast, free wifi, a fully-equipped fitness center, and onsite parking. Guests can enjoy nice drinks and food at the hotel’s chic restaurant, the Oakland Airport is 10 miles (15 km) away and Bart Station is just on the corner.
Other accommodation options in Downtown
Waterfront Hotel features spacious rooms, a swimming pool, free wifi, onsite parking and easy access to Oakland Airport
This centrally located Airbnb offers a comfortable room with free wifi, a shared kitchen, free parking and is within walking distance to Bart Station
This Airbnb has a very large room, a fully equipped kitchen, free parking and is a short walk to Bart station and Lake Meritt
Things to do in Downtown
- Visit the famous Oakland Museum of California and Pardee Home Museum
- See The Cathedral of Christ the Light and Camron-Stanford House
- Explore Jack London Square and the Waterfront Oakland
- Have a wine at Rosenblum Cellars
- See an exhibition at Joyce Gordon Gallery
- Go for a stroll at Preservation Park and the scenic Lake Merritt
- Visit the Museum of Children’s Arts
2. Temescal – the coolest area to stay in Oakland
Temescal is located 3 miles (5 km) north of Oakland downtown and is a very cool neighborhood with many hipster cafes, art galleries, and beautiful vintage boutiques. If you like funky places, Temescal is definitely your place to stay in Oakland!
Temescal offers an amazing food scene with tons of cool cafes and restaurants. Do your best to try as many Instagrammable cafes as possible and then get lost in the streets of Temescal.
You will see many unique boutiques here so make sure to allow some time for window shopping too! For those into local products, you should not miss visiting Temescal Farmers Market where you will be able to find organic products great for whipping up a storm.
For those who do not want to stay downtown and prefer a quieter area, Temescal offers a great selection of hotels. In order not to miss the best of the best hotels that I picked for you, do not forget to make a reservation in advance. While you’re at it, if you are looking for new places to explore in California and need some inspiration, I highly recommend you add Yosemite to your itinerary.
This beautiful hotel is located between Temescal and Berkeley and is one of the best places to stay in Oakland. The Claremont Club Hotel offers modern rooms with free wifi, a fabulous breakfast, and onsite parking. Guests can enjoy the large swimming pool and have cocktails by the pool bar. Oakland International Airport is just 10 miles (15 km) away.
Other accommodation options in Temescal
This centrally located hotel has spacious rooms, a good breakfast, a nice bar, free wifi and easy access to the Oakland Airport
Broadway Motel offers beautifully decorated rooms, free wifi, free parking and is 10 miles from Oakland Airport
This Airbnb has a spacious room, a kitchen with great amenities, free wifi and easy access to the area’s attractions
Things to do in Temescal
- Go shopping at Temescal Farmers Market
- Have fun at Jaguar Karaoke
- Enjoy a pint at Temescal Brewing
- Have delicious snacks at Arthur Mac’s Tap and Snack
- Take a very good coffee at The Cro Cafe
- Check out the cool boutiques in Temescal
3. Berkeley – where to stay in Oakland for sightseeing
Berkeley is located in the San Francisco Bay area and 5 miles (8 km) to Oakland city center. Thanks to its convenient location and easy access with BART trains it is a great place to stay in Oakland for those who want to explore one more bonus city. Berkley offers many attractions from University of California museums, many beautiful parks, and hiking opportunities in the rock parks. So whether you are a museum enthusiast or outdoor lover there is something to discover for everyone in this city!
The best way to discover Berkeley is simply getting lost in the beautiful streets with street arts, having a coffee in cool cafes, and visiting museums and art galleries of your interest. At night you should check out the great restaurants that this city offers and take a pint in lively bars.
By staying in Berkeley you can easily reach Oakland’s main landmarks with a 15 minute BART train ride as well as other parts of the San Francisco Bay area. If you are ready, it’s time to check out the great selection of hotels to stay in this city.
This hotel is centrally located in Berkeley and features modern rooms, a very good fitness center, free wifi, a bar, and a fabulous breakfast. You can easily access Oakland downtown by taking Bart trains and Oakland Airport is just 10 miles (15 km) away.
Other accommodation options in Berkeley
Holiday Inn Express offers comfortable rooms with a coffee machine, free wifi, and a fitness center
This cute hotel has spacious rooms, free parking, and easy access to Oakland Airport and downtown
This lovely private villa features rooms with great amenities, a kitchen, and a nice garden
Things to do in Berkeley
- Visit the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
- Have fun at Adventure Playground
- Visit the Lawrence Hall of Science
- Go hiking at Indian Rock Park
- Visit the University of California Museum of Paleontology
- Explore the beautiful Berkeley Rose Garden
- Go for a stroll at César E. Chávez Park
- Go to the University of California Botanical Garden
BONUS: The best hotels to stay near Oakland Airport
Oakland International Airport is 10 miles (12 km) away from the city center. You can easily access Oakland downtown by taking BART trains or airport shuttles but for those who have an early flight in the morning or have limited time in the city, it might be a good idea to stay near Oakland International Airport.
With easy public transportation, you can still visit the main landmarks of Oakland during the day and rest easy knowing that you are just a few minutes away from the check-in lounge.
Unfortunately, there are no luxury hotels near Oakland International Airport but as always, I still found out the best options for you in other categories. Here are the best places to stay in Oakland near the airport.
The Marina Inn – This Hotel is just 2 miles to the Oakland International Airport and offers a large swimming pool and spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi. Located on the waterfront you can have a relaxing night enjoying a glass of wine while watching the yachts sail in and out. The Marina Inn even has free bicycle rental if you would like to explore the neighborhood a little before your flight.
Holiday Inn Express – Just a mile away from Oakland International Airport this hotel offers a free 24-hour airport shuttle, comfortable rooms, daily hot breakfast, and free wifi. Your room is equipped with a microwave, fridge, and coffee maker which is ideal if you arrive or depart at an odd time of night and simply want to crash in your room.
Great House – This Airbnb is 8 minutes drive to Oakland Airport and has a beautifully decorated room with great amenities and a shared kitchen. If you’re looking for a homey stay with a big backyard this is it. Note the host only accepts one guest at a time.
|👑 Luxury price:||$260|
|💵 Mid-range hotel:||$170|
|💰 Accommodation prices:||Medium|
|📍 Best Area:||Downtown|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Marriott City Center|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Travelodge Wyndham Berkeley|
Frequently asked questions about Oakland
🗺️ Where should I stay when visiting Oakland, CA?
🤔 Is it safe to stay in Oakland CA?
Oakland, California is a safe city but at night it is better to avoid deserted streets.
🛎️ Which are the best waterfront hotels in Oakland?
✈️ What are the best hotels near Oakland International Airport?
🚖 How long does it take to get from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland City Center?
Half an hour by BART Train and 15 minutes by taxi or car.
It is time for me to say goodbye to you dear readers. I hope you enjoyed this Oakland city tour and already found your ideal hotel. In this blog post, I talked about the best places to stay in Oakland and gave information about the things you can do in each.
As I’ve said earlier I recommend you to stay in Oakland Downtown if you are visiting for the first time but you can pick the area and the hotel depending on your priority and interest and easily visit the main attractions from there thanks to the great BART connections.
I would like to remind you again that in order not to miss your favorite place and get better deals on hotels in Oakland, California, do not forget to make a reservation in advance!
I know I’ve already given you so many options to stay in Oakland, CA, but to sum up, here are the 2 best hotels. Each has great locations and reviews and I can definitely recommend them for an unforgettable stay in Oakland!
- Marriott City Center – The best hotel to stay in Oakland city center with spacious rooms
- Hyatt Place Emeryville – A great place to stay in Oakland Downtown with great facilities
If you have any other suggestions or questions about Oakland California, don’t be shy and leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to leave a reply to them!
Enjoy your time in Oakland, CA