The calm, suburban atmosphere of San Mateo is perfect for those who want to get away from the typical city life. With a quiet, safe, and yet still metropolitan feel, finding a room for rent in San Mateo would be ideal for single young professionals.

Getting to know San Mateo

Great weather, quiet neighborhoods, proximity to Silicon Valley, and some of the nation’s best schools … it’s no wonder so many people flock to San Mateo every year. Are you one of them?

Use this city guide for San Mateo to learn all about the best places to find rooms for rent, how to get around, and decide which places you want to explore first. Let’s take a little tour of San Mateo!

Related: Roomi’s Guide For The First Time Renter

Finding rooms for rent in San Mateo

The cost of living in San Mateo is approximately 86% higher than the national average. When moving to the city, be prepared for increased expenses. From housing costs to utilities, living here isn’t exactly cheap.

The average rent in San Mateo can differ depending on the neighborhood and the amenities nearby. Ahead, you’ll find the best neighborhoods to find rooms for rent in San Mateo.

Related: How To Stick To The Personal Budget You Make

Top neighborhoods in San Mateo

  • Hillsborough: home to the best public and private schools in the city, this neighborhood is ideal for young families. You get easy access to some of the major highways in the city, and with no commercial development nearby, the neighborhood has a peaceful atmosphere. Hillsborough is quite popular, so finding rooms for rent in this San Mateo neighborhood may be difficult.
  • Belmont: ideal for young professionals who need to travel to Silicon Valley for work. It is close to parks and some highly regarded schools as well – hence, many families also live in this neighborhood. If you’re looking for rooms for rent in San Mateo instead of buying a property, then Belmont is ideal, because here, rent prices are below the average rent in San Mateo.
  • Burlingame: the average rent in this San Mateo neighborhood is quite high as this location offers easy access to entertainment, dining, and shopping options. It is also close to San Francisco International Airport, and you may hear the occasional plane fly by. For those who want to experience the true city life without actually living in the city, this neighborhood is the best option.

Average rent in San Mateo

Room For Rent In San MateoAverage Rent
1 Bedroom Apartment For Rent In San Mateo$1,213
4 Bedroom Apartment For Rent In San Mateo $4,852
7 Bedroom Apartment For Rent In San Mateo $7,070

University life in San Mateo

With most colleges located outside of the city, there isn’t much of a university life to speak of in San Mateo. Most students opt to live on campus, as travelling from San Mateo can be expensive. Typically, this would be your first living with a roommate experience, so be prepared to make some adjustments. Overall, you’re set to have a standard university experience, where you get to explore a new city and meet new people.

If you’re planning on exploring colleges near San Mateo, here are some options to check out:

Related: Roommate Bonding Activities To Do While Living With A Roommate

How transit-friendly is San Mateo?

If you want to live in San Mateo, you’ll probably need a car of your own. Some commuters use public transit to get to and from work, while others walk or cycle, but driving is definitely the easiest way to get around the city.

1. Walkability

With a walk score of 65, San Mateo has average walkability, but you will probably need a car or public transport when running errands. The most walkable neighborhoods in the city are Downtown, North Central and Hayward Park.

2. Roads/traffic

The average commute time in San Mateo is about 27.8 minutes, which is slightly longer than the national average. Most people prefer to drive round the city, and if you don’t have a car, you may still be able to carpool with a driver in your community. Public transport is used by approximately 10% of commuters on the road, with fewer people opting for biking or walking.

The city of San Mateo has also undertaken projects to curb traffic in the city and implement Neighborhood Traffic Actions Plans to make roads safer for the community.

3. Taxis

Apart from Uber and Lyft, there are several taxi services you can call when you’re in San Mateo. Typically, fares for taxis start at $9.30 and go up every three miles. Dedicated airport taxi services are also available.

4. Public transportation

The San Mateo County Transit District provides public transit services to the city. Commuters can avail themselves of the CalTrain, shuttles and SanTrans bus services for their daily commute. The city has also introduced a Try Transit for Free program where commuters can take public transit for free to get to work.

5. Airports

If you’re planning to fly in or out of San Mateo, then the San Francisco International Airport would be your most convenient option. Other airports nearby include San Jose International Airport and Oakland International Airport, though they are further out.

6. Cycling

San Mateo is designated as a “Bicycle-friendly Community”, where the roads have been made safer for cyclists. The city adopted a bicycle master plan back in 2011, and as a part of the initiative, introduced better infrastructure on roads, more parking spaces for bicycles, and started a bike share program called Bay Bikes. Most bicyclists agree that spring in San Mateo is the best time to enjoy a scenic view and safer travel in the city.

Related: Creative Ways To Store A Bike In An Apartment

Restaurants in San Mateo

Delicious food awaits you when you’re in San Mateo. Explore the different cuisines that the city has to offer – and don’t forget to stop by some of the city’s best loved, local joints. Here are some great places for you to check out:

Cultural Activities in San Mateo

Explore the great outdoors in San Mateo! Plus, the city has plenty of parks, bookstores, malls, and more! You won’t run out of things to do while you’re in the city.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers find rooms for rent in San Mateo? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we’ll help you find your perfect match!