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San Francisco Art Institute

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Address: 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone Number: 415 749 4545
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Description: This is the oldest art school in the West, and the alma mater of some of...
This is the oldest art school in the West, and the alma mater of some of the nation's most acclaimed artists.
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The Diego Rivera Fresco is incredible

This is a little-known San Francisco treasure with free admission to see one of the most incredible frescos imaginable. Worth a stop by if you're at Fisherman's Wharf or Lombard... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 23, 2015
Michele A
,
San Francisco, California
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18 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
San Francisco, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

This is a little-known San Francisco treasure with free admission to see one of the most incredible frescos imaginable. Worth a stop by if you're at Fisherman's Wharf or Lombard Street and you need to escape the crowds and experience some culture

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Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
429 reviews 429 reviews
205 attraction reviews
217 helpful votes 217 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

The Art Institute is in a mission style building with a modern annex. There is a courtyard with a Moorish fountain, and one of the exhibit halls has Diego Rivera murals. The cafe is located in the newer portion, and the rooftop has a great view of the Fisherman's whart area. A neat, free place to stop and have a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
450 reviews 450 reviews
98 attraction reviews
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014 via mobile

The SFAI is near the water. It is a school, but has several features which make it well worth a visit. As an initial matter, it is free. Second, it houses a magnificent set of Diego Rivera murals. Finally, the view from the roof deck is truly spectacular.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Dunwoody, Georgia
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
43 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

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,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Strasbourg, France
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
75 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

The San Francisco Art Institute is an active academic institution, when I visited it was full of students working on projects and there was a vibe to it. The institution has a beautiful Diego Rivera mural and a small exhibition with modern art. In addition, works of art are exhibited in the main courtyard. The view from the terrace is... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
62 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

My girlfriend and I biked from the Ferry Building around Embarcadero on up to SFAI purely for the views. It's an awesome place to go to enjoy city views without being surrounded by a mob of people, especially tourist! It's very peaceful as it's tucked away. You're in close proximity to Fisherman's Wharf and the famous Lombard street. I did... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

Walking the near vertical streets is crazy but you can see the mission style tower over the house tops, head over it has a lovely open patio with a fountain, and building dates from 1927 with moden addition. Just a propped open door... so walk right in ! Really a gem with the Rivera mural as a bonus. A working... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

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?

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Tel Aviv, Israel
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
5 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Good place for free parking close to Fisherman's Wharf attractions with a dose of culture thrown in.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

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!

Was this review helpful? Yes 4

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Staying in Russian Hill

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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.
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