San Antonio is one of those surprise cities. You go in not expecting much and you end up completely blown away by its history, culture, food and architecture.

But, San Antonio is a massive city and choosing the best neighbourhood can be overwhelming. That’s why we put together this guide for where to stay in San Antonio.

This article was written for travellers, by travellers. It breaks down the five best neighbourhoods in the city and organizes them based on your travel needs. So no matter what you’re looking to do, you’ll be able to find the perfect place to stay in San Antonio.

Let’s jump right to it – here is our in-depth guide for where to stay in San Antonio, Texas.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in San Antonio

  • Where to stay in San Antonio first time – Riverwalk
  • Where to stay in San Antonio on a budget – Downtown
  • Best area to stay in San Antonio for nightlife – Southtown
  • Coolest place to stay in San Antonio – Pearl
  • Best neighbourhood in San Antonio for families – Northwest

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN SAN ANTONIO

Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is a neighbourhood nestled at the centre of downtown San Antonio. It is one of the best places to stay in the city because it’s close to great bars and delicious restaurants.

Places to visit:
  • Admire the decoration and the architecture of the ornate Majestic Theatre.
  • Dine on delicious local cuisine at The Esquire Tavern.
  • Enjoy great works of art at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

Where to Stay in San Antonio

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in San Antonio.

Best Airbnb in San Antonio: Charming Compact Room in Downtown

Located only 5 minutes walk away from Downtown, this cosy bedroom is ideal for first-time visitors in San Antonio. Well-appointed, it comes with a comfortable queen size bed and with all the basic amenities and essentials you’ll need to enjoy a very pleasant stay. A lovely San Antonio Airbnb that you will love.

Best Budget Hotel in San Antonio: Super 8 by Wyndham San Antonio Fiesta

This charming two-star hotel is our pick for the best budget hotel because of its clean rooms and comfortable beds. It is ideally located in San Antonio and is a short drive from the Six Flags theme park. Guests can access laundry facilities and an outdoor swimming pool.

Best Hotel in San Antonio: La Quinta Inn & Suites San Antonio Downtown

This is our pick for where the best hotel because it is ideally located for sightseeing and exploring San Antonio. The Riverwalk, the Alamo and other famous tourist attractions are all within walking distance. This three-star hotel has comfortable beds, free wifi and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool.

San Antonio Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN SAN ANTONIO
Riverwalk, San Antonio
FIRST TIME IN SAN ANTONIO

Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is a neighbourhood nestled at the centre of downtown San Antonio. It is one of the best places to stay in the city because it’s close to great bars and delicious restaurants.

ON A BUDGET
Downtown, San Antonio
ON A BUDGET

Downtown

Downtown is a large neighbourhood set at the centre of the city. The area is brimming with businesses and leisure activities and is where you’ll find a great and varied selection of bars, clubs and restaurants.

NIGHTLIFE
Southtown, San Antonio
NIGHTLIFE

Southtown

Southtown is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood located adjacent to downtown and the San Antonio Riverwalk. It is home to modern art galleries and exciting diners and bars and is bursting with ambience and life.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Pearl, San Antonio
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Pearl

Pearl is a small neighbourhood tucked north of the city centre. It is an old industrial area that has undergone a revamp in recent years and is now a hub for creativity, food and leisure.

FOR FAMILIES
Northwest, San Antonio
FOR FAMILIES

Northwest

The Northwest neighbourhood is one of the most exciting and fun areas of San Antonio. Set west of the downtown core, this bustling suburb is characterized by its oak tree-line streets and its towering glass skyscrapers.

San Antonio is a sprawling city located in the great state of Texas.

Considered to be the cradle of Texan liberty, San Antonio is a diverse city that is home to historical landmarks, like the Alamo, a vibrant food scene, interesting culture, and plenty of great nightlife spots.

The city is divided into 10 districts, which are home to 375 distinct neighbourhoods. With so much to see and do, we highly recommend that you visit at least three or four different areas depending on the nature of your trip.

To help you plan the perfect vacation in San Antonio, this guide will highlight the top activities and attractions in San Antonio’s best neighbourhoods.

Starting with the Riverwalk. Set at the centre of downtown San Antonio, the Riverwalk is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood home to bars, restaurants, shops and more. It’s one of the best places to stay in the city because it’s close to top attractions, like the Alamo, and allows for easy access to Southtown, Pearl and all throughout the city.

Head north from here and you’ll arrive in Pearl. Bursting with flavours and flair, the Pearl neighbourhood is the bohemian and alternative heart of the city. Here you’ll find great bars, cosy cafes, and an excellent selection of innovative and inviting restaurants and eateries.

Travel south through the city to Southtown. A hub of activity, Southtown is where you’ll find the best nightlife in San Antonio, as well as good food and unforgettable sights.

And finally, the Northwest neighbourhood is a massive district located west of the city centre. Home to top attractions like SeaWorld and Six Flags, Northwest San Antonio is a neighbourhood brimming with fun, games, animals, and excitement.

Still not sure where to stay in San Antonio? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

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San Antonio’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

In this next section, we’ll take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighborhoods to stay in San Antonio. Each offers something a little different to visitors, so be sure to read each section carefully and pick the neighborhood that’s right for you.

#1 Riverwalk – Where to Stay in San Antonio First Time

The Riverwalk is a neighborhood nestled at the center of downtown San Antonio. It is one of the best places to stay in the city because it’s close to great bars and delicious restaurants. A lot of the best Airbnbs in San Antonio are based here and there is a reason for that.

It is within walking distance to top tourist attractions and historical landmarks which is why it’s our pick for where to stay in San Antonio if you’re visiting for the first time.

Bursting with life and color, the Riverwalk is a lively neighborhood day and night. Whether you head for a stroll along the waterways, pop over to the famous Alamo, or opt for a rowdy night on the town, you won’t have to look very far for something to do in San Antonio’s Riverwalk neighborhood.

Riverwalk, San Antonio

Things to See and Do in Riverwalk

– Admire the decoration and the architecture of the ornate Majestic Theatre.

– Dine on delicious local cuisine at The Esquire Tavern.

– Enjoy great works of art at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

– Explore the hallowed grounds of the Alamo.

– Have your mind blown at the Guinness World Records Museum.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Mi Tierra Café & Bakery.

– Sink your teeth into a tasty burger at Zinc Bistro & Wine Bar.

– Take in the panoramic views from the Tower of the Americas.

– Visit The Buckhorn Saloon & Texas Ranger Museum.

– Wander throughout the La Villita Historic Arts Village.

Best Airbnb in Riverwalk: Charming Compact Room in Downtown

Located only 5 minutes walk away from Downtown, this cosy bedroom is ideal for first time visitors in San Antonio. Well appointed, it comes with a comfortable queen size bed and with all the basic ammenities and essentials you’ll need to enjoy a very pleasant stay.

Best Hotel in Riverwalk: El Tropicano Riverwalk

The El Tropicano Riverwalk is a charming and good value hotel set at the centre of the city. It is located in the Riverwalk neighbourhood and is within walking distance of eateries, bars and pubs, as well as the famous Alamo. It also features a rooftop terrace, swimming pool, and a modern gym.

Best Hotel in Riverwalk: Hotel Havana San Antonio

This hotel gets our vote for where to stay in Riverwalk because of its great location and charming amenities. It is conveniently situated and is in close proximity to shops, restaurants and landmarks. The Hotel Havana offers modern rooms and massage services.

Best Hotel in Riverwalk: Riverwalk Plaza Hotel San Antonio

Thanks to its great bar, excellent location and delicious on-site restaurant this is one of our favourite hotels in the city. It is strategically located at the heart of San Antonio and is close to great shopping, restaurants and bars. This art deco hotel has a gym, a swimming pool and free wifi throughout.

#2 Downtown – Where to Stay in San Antonio on a Budget

Downtown is a large neighbourhood set at the centre of the city. The area is brimming with businesses and leisure activities and is where you’ll find a great and varied selection of bars, clubs and restaurants.

Split by the San Antonio River, downtown San Antonio is the perfect place to explore if you’re keen to get sit back, relax, see the sights, or enjoy a few pints.

This neighbourhood is also home to a high concentration of budget accommodation options. Although there aren’t any hostels in the city, San Antonio does boast a vast array of good-value hotels and vacation rentals, so travellers of all styles can enjoy the perks of the city.

Downtown, San Antonio

Things to See and Do in Downtown

– Catch a performance at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

– Dive deep into history at the San Antonio Fire Museum.

– Eat delicious tacos and Mexican fare at Pete’s Tako House.

– Enjoy a night of cocktails and jazz at SoHo Wine and Martini Bar.

– Excite your senses at Oasis Mexican Café.

– Go for a stroll through Travis Park.

– Grab a pint at Drink Texas Bar.

– Sip sophisticated cocktails at The Brooklynite.

– Take a walk along the colourful Riverwalk.

Best Airbnb in Downtown: Affordable Tiny House in Downtown

This entire tiny and cosy cottage is perfect for those visiting San Antonio on a budget. It consists of everything you need to make it home: a double bed, a shower with all basic essentials, a fully furnished kitchen, a small living room and a small front brick patio. Located less than a mile away from Downtown, you’ll be a stone’s throw away from the center, but far enough to enjoy a peaceful stay.

Best Hotel in Downtown: BEST WESTERN Plus Sunset Suites – Riverwalk

This charming three-star hotel offers good-value accommodation in the heart of the city. It is located in the main shopping and sightseeing area and is close proximity to restaurants and lively bars. This hotel offers a range of amenities and features, and guests can enjoy a great breakfast each morning.

Best Hotel in Downtown: La Quinta Inn & Suites San Antonio Downtown

This is our pick for where to stay in downtown because it is ideally located for sightseeing and exploring the city. The Riverwalk, the Alamo and other famous tourist attractions are all within walking distance. This three-star hotel has comfortable beds, free wifi and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool.

Best Hotel in Downtown: Hampton Inn & Suites San Antonio-Downtown Market Square

The Hampton Inn & Suites is one of our favourite San Antonio hotels because of its fantastic central location and a delicious in-house restaurant. This hotel offers guests a comfortable place to relax after a long day in the city. You’ll enjoy spacious rooms, modern amenities, and free wifi throughout.

#3 Southtown – Best Area to Stay in San Antonio for Nightlife

Southtown is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood located adjacent to downtown and the San Antonio Riverwalk. It is home to many San Antonio Places to visit like modern art galleries and exciting diners and bars and is bursting with ambiance and life.

Southtown is our recommendation for where to stay if you’re a party animal or night owl looking to enjoy the best of the city after dark.

Dotted throughout this hip neighbourhood are a vast array of speakeasies and watering holes, restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a few drinks, indulge in a good meal, and have a great time in San Antonio.

So whether you want a chill night out or to dance until dawn, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Southtown.

Southtown, San Antonio

Things to See and Do in Southtown

– Dine on fresh and delicious local fare at Feast.

– Don’t miss happy hour at Bar America.

– Eat tasty quintessential American dishes at La Tuna.

– Enjoy seriously mouthwatering food at Liberty Bar.

– Excite your taste buds at Rosario’s Mexican Café Y Cantina.

– Grab a bite to eat at the Filling Station.

– See a wonderful collection of art at the San Antonio Art League and Museum.

– Sink your teeth into delicious contemporary American cuisine at Bliss.

– Sip cocktails at ultra-cool Bar 1919.

– Spend an afternoon eating, drinking and chatting at the Friendly Spot Ice House.

Best Airbnb in Southtown: Stylish Cosy Suite in the Historic District

This modern with contemporary design apartment is ideal for those who want to be in the middle of the action in San Antonio. Located in the heart of the historic district and only a short walk away from Riverwalk and many great places to eat, it’s ideal to explore San Antonio’s sights during the day. This well-appointed apartment comes with a furnished kitchenette, and a full bathroom.

Best Hotel in Southtown: Cityview Inn & Suites Downtown RiverCenter Area

Located at the heart of the city, this three-star hotel is an excellent base for your time in San Antonio. It provides comfortable and spacious rooms with modern amenities and a variety of features. There’s also an on-site restaurant, which offers a tasty selection of local and international dishes.

Best Bed and Breakfast in Southtown: Inn on the Riverwalk

The Inn on the Riverwalk is our top recommendation for where to stay in Southtown. It is conveniently located in the city centre and is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, bars and landmarks. Each room is individually decorated and comes complete with a fridge, private bathroom, and wifi.

Best Hotel in Southtown: Staybridge Suites San Antonio

The Staybridge Suites is in a fantastic location for walking to the best bars, restaurants and attractions in San Antonio. Rooms are large and comfortable and each is equipped with a dishwasher, fridge and flat-screen TV. Guests can also enjoy a fitness centre and an outdoor swimming pool.

#4 Pearl – Coolest Place to Stay in San Antonio

Pearl is a small neighbourhood tucked north of the city centre. It is an old industrial area that has undergone a revamp in recent years and is now a hub for creativity, food and leisure. The bohemian and cultural hub of San Antonio, Pearl is a neighbourhood brimming with excitement and energy.

If you love to eat you’re going to want to stay in Pearl. Although the district is small, it is literally bursting with delicious restaurants, cosy café and electrifying eateries where you can nosh on local cuisine and delicious dishes from around the world.

You’ll also find a good selection of breweries in Pearl, making it the perfect destination for a laid-back and cool afternoon.

Pearl, San Antonio

Things to See and Do in Pearl

– Dine on seafood at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery.

– Eat burgers at Tycoon Flats.

– Enjoy drinks at Sparky’s.

– Excite your taste buds at Bottling Dept Food Hall.

– Feast on mouthwatering barbecue at The Granary.

– Grab a pint at the Pearl Brewery.

– Listen to live music at Jazz, TX.

– Sample a range of flavourful tacos at Viva Tacoland.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Lick Honest Ice Creams.

– Savour local delicacies at Cured.

– Shop, snack and sample your way through the Pearl Farmers Market.

– Sip cocktails at Blue Box Bar.

– Try the catfish at Armadillos Burgers.

Best Airbnb in Pearl: Urban Sophisticated Loft near Pearl Brewery

Located in Pearl District, the hip neighborhood, and minutes walk away from anything in Pearl, this modern industrial design loft comes with everything you need to have a fantastic stay in San Antonio, from a fully-stocked kitchen to a big smart TV with Netflix.

Best Vacation Home in Pearl: La Villa By The Riverwalk

La Villa By The Riverwalk is a charming vacation home in central San Antonio. It is a short drive from the Riverwalk and is within walking distance of the San Antonio Museum of Art. This delightful property offers a comfortable room with modern amenities.

Best Hotel in Pearl: Downtown Apartment Near Riverwalk

This excellent apartment is located in downtown San Antonio. It is close to the Riverwalk, the Alamo and is surrounded by great bars and restaurants. This apartment has great features and amenities, spacious rooms, and a cosy bed.

Best Hotel in Pearl: Hotel Emma at Pearl on the Riverwalk

This luxurious hotel is one of our favourite places to stay in Pearl. It offers four-star accommodations and comfortable rooms. It is ideally located for shopping and exploring, and is close to restaurants, shops, bars and museums. There’s also free wifi, an outdoor pool, a terrace and BBQ.

#5 Northwest – Best Neighbourhood in San Antonio for Families

The Northwest neighbourhood is one of the most exciting and fun areas of San Antonio. Set west of the downtown core, this bustling suburb is characterized by its oak tree-line streets and its towering glass skyscrapers. It’s where you can enjoy a taste of old Texas and immerse yourself in the state’s unique culture and vibe.

This area of the city is best known as the home to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and the massive SeaWorld Complex. These two sprawling theme parks are packed with games, rides and animal attractions that will entertain your little ones all day long – that’s why the Northwest is our recommendation for where to stay in San Antonio for families.

Northwest, San Antonio

Things to See and Do in Northwest

– Feast on a variety of delicious local dishes at Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-BQ.

– Fly through the air and tumble round at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

– Get back to nature at Government Canyon State Natural Area.

– See your favourite aquatic animals and sea creatures up close at the fun and exciting SeaWorld San Antonio.

– Shop until you drop at The Shops at La Cantera.

– Slip, slide, splash and play at Aquatica San Antonio.

– Indulge in tasty, savoury, spicy and satisfying dishes at Alamo BBQ Co.

Best Airbnb in Northwest: Spacious and Open House for Families

Stay in this entire house with your family during your time in San Antonio, perfectly located in Northwest. Spacious, open and with everything you need, it will make you feel home away from home. This house can accommodate up to 12 guests, comes with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Best Good-Value Hotel in Northwest: Super 8 by Wyndham San Antonio Fiesta

This charming two-star hotel is our pick for where to stay in the Northwest because of its clean rooms and comfortable beds. It is ideally located in San Antonio and is a short drive to the Six Flags theme park. Guests can access laundry facilities and an outdoor swimming pool.

Best Hotel in Northwest: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Northwest San Antonio

This modern three-star hotel provides a convenient base for travellers looking to enjoy Six Flags and SeaWorld San Antonio. Located in the Northwest neighbourhood, this hotel is a short drive from the theme parks as well as shops, eateries and bars. It has modern rooms, a swimming pool, and a delicious restaurant.

Best Hotel in Northwest: Holiday Inn San Antonio Northwest- SeaWorld Area

The Holiday Inn San Antonio is a themed hotel set in one of the most fun areas of the city. It is in close proximity to SeaWorld and is a short drive to Six Flags. This hotel has modern rooms with kitchenettes. There’s also a Jacuzzi and a swimming pool.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in San Antonio

San Antonio is one of the most underrated cities in America. It offers delicious food and lively bars and boasts a rich history and diverse culture. Top all of that off with thrilling theme parks and stunning natural surroundings and San Antonio is most certainly a destination worth your travel time and dollars.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in San Antonio. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here is a quick recap of our favourites.

Super 8 by Wyndham San Antonio Fiesta is our pick for the best budget hotel because of its great location, comfortable rooms and unbeatable price.

Another good option is the La Quinta Inn & Suites San Antonio Downtown. It is set at the heart of downtown and is conveniently located for sightseeing, shopping, dining and drinking.

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