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San Francisco Art Institute

Address: 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133 (Russian Hill)
Phone Number: 415 749 4545
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Ranked #116 of 317 Attractions in San Francisco
Type: Educational Sites, Art Museums, Cultural
Owner description: This is the oldest art school in the West, and the alma mater of some of the nation's most...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Educational Sites, Art Museums, Cultural
Owner description: 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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16 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
419 reviews 419 reviews
204 attraction reviews
209 helpful votes 209 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 

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Top Contributor
408 reviews 408 reviews
89 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 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.

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Dunwoody, Georgia
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
33 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 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 

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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
52 helpful votes 52 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 

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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 

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Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 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?

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Tel Aviv, Israel
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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.

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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 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!

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Blair, Nebraska
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

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... More 

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?