Museums in San Francisco

THE 10 BEST Museums in San Francisco

Museums in San Francisco

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240 places sorted by traveller favourites
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What travellers are saying

  • Ldiva001
    San Diego, CA82 contributions
    The very best entertainment for any age. Every time I travel to SF I find time to visit the Exploratorium because there is so much to do with my granddaughters and I could never finish exploring the hands-on science exhibits that enthrall all of us. Good for ALL ages. I cannot say enough about the learning that happens while you spend the day. There is even a cafe. Easily take a day or two or .... Great place! Nice people working there.
    Written 21 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • focusport22
    171 contributions
    This is a great museum on the life of Walt Disney and his family. They also have the train that was in Walt’s backyard.
    They touch upon the different decades and show a lot of things that people may not know about.
    Written 27 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Trina D
    Orange County, CA792 contributions
    My husband and I took the bus from out hotel to Golden Gate Park on a rainy day to check out the California Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum. We didn't have tickets so we waited in line to get to the ticket window. While there, I was searching online for some possible discounts. Score! I found one and we were able to use it.

    They are still doing timed entry so we chose the next hour time slot to enter. We walked across to the de Young and got admission there as well. We wandered around looking at art before checking out the cafe. Once our time slot opened, we walked back over the the Academy to enter. It's huge! It was our first time and it was hard to decide on what to check out first. You definitely feel like a kid again with all that was going on. They have dinosaurs (natural history museum), a planetarium, an aquarium, and a rainforest. Oh my! We just picked a direction and headed to the aquarium. I saw a line for the planetarium and decided to put us in for a timeslot later that day. The aquarium is quite large. They have penguins, jellyfish, and loads of fish. We saw the albino alligator in the center enclosure. We weren't sure if it was real but he did move his arms. The dinosaur skeletons were the best. We saw a geode exhibit too. We didn't quite make it into the heart of the rainforest but we felt like we made a dent in what we saw. The California Academy of Sciences is ideal for your inner curious child or if you have kids they should go too. We had a great time. We also popped across back to de Young for more art while waiting on our planetarium timeslot and had no issues with reentry with our stamped hands.

    If you have a few hours to kill in SF, this is a great spot to check out. Definitely look for discounted admission because it'll save you some money too!
    Written 31 January 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jane C
    Beauly, UK259 contributions
    I love finding out more about how things work, particularly when they are as historic as the cable cars in San Francisco. It's not a fancy museum, but it has all sorts of interesting things to see in there, including watching the cables in action. Definitely worth stopping to see it.
    Written 17 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jane C
    Beauly, UK259 contributions
    Magical - loved it so much we're going back for another look. Like a trip into my childhood with all these mechanical toys, but also a fascinating insight into life before mobile phones! A real treasure of a place.
    Written 17 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • bcheong
    Shanghai, China26,654 contributions
    A very good modern museum, and extra point for staging the yayoi show

    The permanent exhibitions have lots of reknowned and not so reknowned names. Famous ones - warhol, rothko, picasso, kahlo, matisse, mondrien, indiana, calder etc. just to name a few

    The yayoi exhibition has 2 rooms (2 min each), and a newly done (2023) giant pumpkin(s). Tickets sell out months in advance

    Multiple cafes to rest your feet at

    9/10
    Written 26 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Princess
    Washington DC, DC206 contributions
    Beautiful both inside AND outside... with the latter being quite scenic! Great little collections of art here, would revisit.
    Written 13 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Trina D
    Orange County, CA792 contributions
    As far as fine art museums go, de Young is pretty nice. It's quite large and the cafe serves up some delicious food. My husband and I were here on a rainy Friday. We were going back and forth between de Young and the Academy of Sciences across the way. I had it in my mind to also visit the Legion of Honor too with our admission ticket/sticker but alas, the Legion is a further ways away and we came via bus. What I did notice that there was less seating than I was used to in the galleries, perhaps they don't want people just sitting there to look at the art for long periods of time? They did have seating in the hallways overlooking the garden below. I guess I was okay with that. I enjoyed the turn of the century paintings and portraiture on display along with a marble statue or two. If you're looking to level up on some art and culture, go check out the de Young while visiting San Francisco.
    Written 31 January 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • bcheong
    Shanghai, China26,654 contributions
    Arrived SF last night and lucky to still get timed tickets for the Murakami exhibition today. I think the Yayoi exhibition at SFMOMA is booked solid weeks ahead

    Very good exhibition as i’m a fan. Monsterisation theme with Ego, NFT etc. pieces

    9/10 for murakami alone, didn’t visit the other galleries
    Written 24 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Marshall S
    1 contribution
    An excellent Ssn Francisco experience, especially for a liffelong Lewis Carroll fan. Great art and great presentation.

    Written 10 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Noellemarie T
    1 contribution
    absolutely wonderful place to think about how our world is changing. calm yet exciting. it felt nice to come in and see art in a way i have not in a while.
    Written 18 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Joanne
    Lake Mary, FL1,768 contributions
    Very interesting to see a decommissioned sub in the middle of a tourist area. There were not many people visiting, and it was rather pricey. However, there is an associated WWII museum just across from the ship that you can visit free with some interesting exhibits (very small).
    Written 22 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TheTunaFiles
    Perth, Australia42 contributions
    The ship is a WWII Liberty ship, cargo carrier for the merchant navy. We could walk through every level of the ship, even down to the steam engine. There are lots of retired blokes around that will talk to you and answer any questions you have. A great find just beside Pier 39. Excellent views from the deck. Well worth a visit.
    Written 20 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Revathi
    San Ramon, CA42 contributions

    If you're into history or old sailing ships, this place is super fun!
    You get to see cool views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the Bay! Check out the Balclutha, an old ship from the late 1800s. Walk on the deck, discover various parts of the ship, and find out how they sailed and lived on it.
    Written 21 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jeff H
    San Francisco, CA8 contributions
    A hidden jewel in downtown San Francisco! We discovered it on a rainy afternoon. Wonderful historical artifacts which really tell the story of SF from its origins to recent times. Displays about Stagecoaches and the 1906 Earthquake were especially interesting. Docent/curator Joycee added lots of insight and really made it a wonderful visit!
    Written 5 January 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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