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Apartments in San Francisco, CA

168 apartments and houses for rent in San Francisco, CA

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City Guide for Apartments in San Francisco
First thing’s first: the cost of living in San Francisco.  The price of apartments for rent have skyrocketed in recent years, jumping in some areas as high as 30%.  While the most popular areas such as the Financial District and Jordan Park/Laurel Heights now boast median rents upwards of $6,000, less known areas such Lone Mountain and Van Ness still saw “only” 10% increases in rent. The lesson learned: when your search leads to a good one (and if it’s with utilities included be prepared to kill for it), then plan on sitting on it, get rent control, and stay for the rest of your life. Basically, when moving to SF, it's pay to play. Luckily, living in San Francisco grants you one of the most unique, diverse, and nuanced games in the world.

San Francisco Apartments for rentPhoto: "Golden Gate Bridge, SF (cropped)" by Bernard Gagnon

San Francisco holds something for everyone.  Music lovers no doubt already know about events such as Outside Lands in the Golden Gate Park or Treasure Island that takes place on that weird island right before the bay bridge that seems like an abandoned military housing facility.  There’s Hardly Strictly, the free bluegrass festival which your wallet will appreciate (also takes place in Golden Gate).  Then again, there's some amazing talent just going through the corridors leading down to BART. But with so many music venues, bars and restaurants with live acts, the only way to find the good stuff is by word of mouth, exploration and a lot of time on Yelp.

For those moving here from another state, prepare to pack light.  Even the luxury condos are small, so perhaps start by looking for a studio, keep your load light.  If you were planning on staying home all day then maybe SF might not be the best fit anyways. Living in this city is movement, adventure and exploration. Learning your way around the muni and BART (call it BART, not the BART otherwise plan to stick out like a sore, but cute, thumb), how to efficiently get around on a bike without killing yourself on the city’s hills, when it’s best to use a Lyft, Uber, or cab instead of the other, is going to be fun. You’ll love it.

There are more neighborhoods than you could imagine throughout the city and each have their different quirks and idiosyncrasies. Some local favorites are North Beach which is close to the Financial District and Chinatown. It’s the kind of place where it can still feel relaxed even though everything around is in constant flux and you can stay just within your neighborhood to do just about anything.  There’s Mission Bay which has seen several billion put into developing new high-rise condos and lofts near its many trendy restaurants and bars.  It’s received high ratings and reviews from the city's younger professional and tech crowd. For those seeking a more laid-back area that works better for family-living, try outer Richmond and outer Sunset (both very pet-friendly being right next to Golden Gate Park) where there are houses and homes for rent in plenty and are slightly more inexpensive than other areas.

Everyone knows that even an apartment finder is going to have a hard time finding anything that remotely qualifies as cheap and best of luck if you need an all bills paid unit.  It really comes down to word of mouth and using the right guide.  Good luck with living in San Francisco! While the San Francisco cost of living is one the highest in the country, it's well worth it.

Average Apartment Rental Prices Nearby

Studio $2,542
1 Bedroom $3,576
2 Bedroom $4,701
3 Bedroom $5,535

Average rent on Backpage and Craigslist San Francisco, California: $3,910

User reviews for apartments in San Francisco, California
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars, 33 reviews
unknown user
Lived here for a few years
pretty good
unknown user
Colorado, Stanford
Excellent vibe near ball park
4th and King. Great location next to caltrain, the ball park, and safeway. Two minutes from 280, perfect for peninsula commuters.
unknown user
Tufts
Beautiful, quiet neighborhood
I love living in this neighborhood. It's clean, quiet and has beautiful views from the top of the hill. Walking home feels like an accomplishment. Downside is there are few restaurants and grocery stores nearby.
unknown user
Harvard
Fantastic Intersection!
Loved living a short distance from the water. Perfect location for Fort Mason's sunday farmer's market, the bar scene on both Polk and in the Marina, and best of all, Loving Cup, the best frozen yogurt in SF.
unknown user
UGA, Stanford
Quiet Neighborhood
Great, chill neighborhood with good restaurants. Easy walk down the hills to both North Beach and the Financial District. Definitely recommend!
unknown user
Princeton
Ashbury Heights
Ashbury Heights is a nice, quiet neighborhood in a convenient location. It's close enough to walk to Cole Valley, the Castro, and the Haight, but it's far enough removed to feel like you're not in the middle of everything. It is on top of a big hill though, so be ready to get some exercise if you're walking a lot in the neighborhood.
unknown user
Berkeley
Everything you ever need within 2 blocks
I miss living here. Amazing food, coffee, and bars within walking distance. Also close to a Walgreens.
unknown user
Harvard, Bain & Company, Acumen Fund, HSBC, Stanford
Convenient
+ near golden gate park + close to lots of food, especially Asian
unknown user
Princeton
Great area
I loved living here! The JCC is a great place to work out and Ella's is right around the corner. It's also definitely walkable to Fillmore and all of the restaurants there. The downside is that it is close to Lower Pac Heights where things can get a little bit dicey.
review user
UPenn, Zimride
Great place to live
I love the Tenderloin Heights area, or so I've called it. You're just out of the Tenderloin craziness, but it's so close if you want to hit a dive bar or some great ethnic food. It's a short walk to BART, but you're out of the tourist zone of Union Square. And you don't have to walk all the way up to Nob Hill.
review user
Kent State
North Beach
My buddy lives in North Beach and I have stayed with him many times. It is a great diverse town that has a great China Town as well as my favorite Little Italy I have ever been too. Great food, great shops, and no need for a car because the transportation is cheap and fun. My buddy loves it here and it is a great place to land.
unknown user
Stanford, Michigan, Bain & Company
Telegraph Hill
Pros: - Nice to be close to the water & the Embarcadero - Streets are quiet at night - Close to a nice selection of bars & several restaurants in North Beach - Accessible (walkable) to North Beach, Nob Hill, FiDi, etc (even SOMA) Cons: - Need to avoid the tourist traps of North Beach - A bit of a trek up the hill to get up to livelier areas - Not super close to the BART - Can be pretty quiet/dead in the immediate surroundings (may also be a pro) Overall a great place to sublet for a few months over the summer!
unknown user
Great spot for those just out of college
On Polk Street, you are steps from a ton of bars and restaurants, but the street is definitely younger (and dirtier) than Union, Fillmore or Chestnut. Parking is awful so a spot is a must have in this area. Super convenient for those working in the Financial District (15 minute bus ride) and only 10-15 minute walk (downhill) to Cow Hollow/Marina
review user
Amazing area!
My wife, 10 lb dog, and I loved this area! Being in Cow Hollow but past Fillmore (towards the Presidio), you are within seconds of the restaurants, stores and bars of Union Street (and a 10 minute walk from Chestnut) but you don't get the street noise which can be loud, especially. Great spot to have a dog too--fantastic walks near the apartment.
review user
Yale
Upper/Lower Haight Boarder
If you love small bars, unpretentious people, and the buzz of a rapidly evolving neighborhood...go no further. The Haight, particularly the lower Haight, has great food, fun pubs and muni lines to take you to all areas of the city. Try the Little Chihuahua, Ragazza, Uva or Magnolia Pub to get a good feel for the area. While the upper Haight has more historical color, the density of aggressive homeless people as you get closer to Golden Gate Park often keeps me on the East side of Divisadero.
unknown user
Stanford, Cambridge, L.E.K. Consulting
Best Japanese place in the area
This place is pricey, but worth it for a special occasion. Make sure you check out the sizzling beef!
review user
Georgia Tech, Bain & Company, Harvard
Potrero Hill is a great surprise! Sunny!
If you're looking for a slower pace than the city, Potrero Hill hits the spot. My partner and I landed here because of the easy commute to the peninsula (she's a Stanford student) and the airport (I'm a consultant). Parking is also really easy. And for getting into the city, it's an easy walk to the KT line in Dogpatch. We were then pleasantly surprised by the number of restaurant gems in the area. There's one of everything you need: Corner market, coffee shop, sandwich shop, Mexican, Vietnamese, French, and a handful of rather stellar dive bars. Also, don't underestimate the power of a little vitamin D. It's consistently sunny here when it's foggy in the city.
review user
Harvard, Duke, Bain & Company
Awesome area - great view, close food, safe
Pro: centrally located to many neighborhoods in SF, good bus coverage, Polk street has lots of bars/food Con: traffic can make it a bit louder here, expensive
review user
Duke
Russian Hill - pretty and quiet, tough parking, short on good restaurants
Neighborhood: Hyde is one of the few tree-lined streets in San Francisco, and it definitely made the entire neighborhood more serene and beautiful. Parking: Russian Hill is notoriously bad for parking - I had to pay $250 a month for a spot a 10 minute walk away or risk 30 minutes of circling the neighborhood when I got home from work. Dining: There weren't a ton of restaurants in the neighborhood that we liked.
review user
Stanford
Affordable and quiet yet close enough to great nightlife
An affordable, quieter neighborhood with good restaurants within walking distance. Neighbors are generally quiet with families but friendly and are welcoming to young people. Definitely one of the underrated areas to live in the city. Only issue is freeway access
unknown user
Williams
Great location
Lived here for a year when I first moved to the city. It's a 10 minute walk into the Financial District, so very convenient if you work downtown and don't have a car. Grant and Green is a scene on weekends with plenty of cool bars and restaurants, but Kearny is up the hill enough that it's quiet at night.
unknown user
Williams
Great location
Lived here for 2 years and loved it. Less than 2 blocks to just about everything you need - Crunch Fitness, couple coffee shops, great restaurants, convenient to AMC Van Ness movie theater, and close to a couple nice parks. Highly recommend.
unknown user
Dartmouth
Living on the edge of the Marina
Close to Chrissy Field and the Presidio. Views of the Palace of the Fine Arts and Golden Gate Bridge. Tons of good places to eat and drink on Chestnut.
unknown user
Dartmouth
Great access, fun neighbordhood
Easy access to N & J Muni lines so very easy to downtown, plus on the edge of Lower Haight, Castro, and Mission.
unknown user
Stanford, Duke
Russian Hill
Great central location if working downtown. Can walk to the financial district in under 15 minutes, North Beach in 5-10 mins, Polk Street in 5 mins, and Cow Hollow / Marina in 15 mins. It's a bit of a trek to the Mission, but how many pairs of skinny jeans and plaid shirts can one person own? The neighborhood is quiet and residential, which is great if that's what you're looking for. And it's called Russian Hill for a reason -- tough to walk anywhere without facing a rather steep incline, but makes for great views (and we could all use the workout anyways, right?). If I were to do it again, I would live in the Marina. Not for the night life, but because it is one of the few places in the city that feels like a real city. Shops, restaurants, gyms, and the like -- all at your finger tips. During the day, there are people out and about and it feels alive and dynamic (unlike Russian Hill which is still and quiet all day, every day).
unknown user
Harvard
If you're trying to drive N/S in the city, take Franklin - all the lights are timed and you can hit consecutive greens - usually faster than other routes
unknown user
Stanford, Berkeley, McKinsey & Company, eBay
The Avalon at Mission Bay (4th and 5th at King) is a convenient and luxurious spot. Certainly, it's a bit on the pricey side, but if you can split the rent with a good group, it' can turn into a good deal. Incredible amenities include: BBQ pits, basketball courts, gym, and even a rock climbing wall. Okay, that last one is pretty useless but still good marketing.
unknown user
There are bison in this part of the park
unknown user
Can be sketchy at 1am.
unknown user
Really cool neighborhood. An indian enclave, just starting to gentrify.
unknown user
Harvard
friend lives here. easy access to all the bars in the marina. seems like a good location.
unknown user
Harvard
fun farmer's market on the weekends
unknown user
Google
I lived at 1455 Greenwich for a few years and it was an excellent building. The landlord/building manager was really friendly and helpful, and I loved the apartment and location.
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