San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco Art Institute
4.5
About
This is the oldest art school in the West, and the alma mater of some of the nation's most acclaimed artists.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

Top ways to experience San Francisco Art Institute and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Russian Hill
Russian Hill has evolved into a chic residential neighborhood with outstanding views from every corner. Combined with several great cafes, restaurants, antique shops and boutiques, it’s easy to see why any visitor would gladly leave their heart in San Francisco. Cars line up day after day to drive down Lombard Street, the “crookedest” street in the world, and make the slow creep downhill past charming period homes. Polk Street is the main drag in this neighborhood, where you will find trendy bars, cafes and shops populated with locals, but for one of the most charming rides in the city, grab a cable car heading up and down Hyde Street.
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles56 reviews
Excellent
30
Very good
25
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0

rgl201
101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Business
A hidden treasure next to the very unhidden Fisherman's Wharf. This is the oldest art school in the western United States, and includes a large Diego Rivera mural. Well worth the detour!
Written 29 November 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan_S_Dunwoody
Dunwoody, GA209 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2014 • Friends
You have to look for the Art Institute. And once you get there, you have to look for the feature that makes it special. Tucked away into a courtyard on Chestnut St., up a big hill, at first it looks like a series of small galleries. But follow the hallway to the back, and up the stairs to the deck, and then up more stairs to a "patio" that overlooks the city. On a clear day, it's spectacular.
Written 5 August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul
Lake Havasu City, AZ49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2012 • Couples
There are not many places where you can see a Diego Rivera mural for free.
Wonderful views of San Francisco and the bay from the roof of this building.
Place was empty when we visited, was a very personal experience, all parts open to the public.
How do more people not know about this place?
Written 19 April 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lv2trvl351
Blair, NE148 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Couples
This was one of the stops on a van tour we took in S F. The guide didn't even make it clear what the place was but mumbled something. But it had beautiful Spanish(or Morrocan) architecture, tower, courtyard with fountain and a fantastic Diego Rivera full wall mural. Then we walked up steps to a rooftop observation area with a fantastic view of Telegraph Hill, downtown and the waterfront. We did a lot of pictures. The strange thing was, the place was completely deserted except for our small group. When I went to label my pictures in the photo album, I said S F something Art something. Upon reflection, I thought what a neat place it was and researched futher and found the name. We recommend it!
Written 29 August 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LAcentric
Los Angeles223 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2011
The San Francisco Art Institute should top any list of free, funky, and fun places to visit in the city, especially with children! We were a group of three adults and two children and felt really welcome. The Diego Rivera mural is outstanding and worth the trip. There was a small exhibit in the same room of surreal assemblages of toys and a phenomenal multimedia exhibit by Shahzia Sikander, both of which we all enjoyed. We were there on a weekday afternoon and it was deserted. *HIGHLY* recommended!
Written 20 June 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pnemiller
Kutztown, PA2,188 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a hidden spot in the city that should not be missed if you are an art lover, especially a Diego Rivera fan. He did a huge mural covering one wall of the art institute in the early 1930s about the development of San Francisco--it is a real treasure. A plus is it is free to see. The school also has a cafe where you can get lunch and a great view of the city from its rooftop.
Written 4 July 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Juan B
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2019 • Solo
If you want to see a Diego Rivera mural, this is his most accessible of his three San Francisco murals. It’s also very beautiful and located in a gallery that houses the occasional exhibition.
Written 30 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tintinfan2013
London, UK658 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Wonderful Diego Rivera mural which we had all to ourselves! Free entry. Really close to Lombard Street steps, but this is much more enjoyable.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

antart888
New York City, NY218 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Family
This beautiful school has the most amazing views of the city. Not only can you walk through the oldest art school in the country but you can see art from the students to the amazing Diego Rivera mural. It’s a hidden gem and an easy walk to the famous Lombard Street. Don’t miss it.
Written 25 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

idibeach
Hometown, Finland72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2019
If you like Diego Rivera's paintings, visit this place and see The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City. There are three Rivera murals in SF and this is the easiest to achieve. The lady in the lower right corner is Geraldine Colby Frickie, architect and designer (and not another Mexican painter Frida Kahlo).

"Art is like ham - it nourishes people."
— Diego Rivera
Written 6 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 40
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

San Francisco Art Institute - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

All San Francisco HotelsSan Francisco Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in San Francisco
All things to do in San Francisco
Day Trips in San Francisco
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars