Civic Center
About
There are more than one million books in the Civic Center, along with 400 electronic work stations and a children's discovery center.
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The area

Address
Neighborhood: Civic Center
Civic Center is the seat of power for all things government and performance-related in the city. Although its streets are best walked during daytime, numerous cultural gems are within close proximity to one another. The symphony, opera, ballet, and jazz center offer year round entertainment within the shadow of the city’s Beaux-Arts crown jewel: the gold tipped dome of City Hall.
How to get there
  • Civic Center • 5 min walk
  • Civic Center • 6 min walk
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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 wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles218 reviews
Excellent
65
Very good
92
Average
40
Poor
11
Terrible
10

ElvisAndrus
Arlington, TX
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This is the heart of the city with a great big heart. Between the library, market, and City Hall there seems to always be something going on. In a month-long stay we attended a parade, took a tour of City Hall and attended events at the library. And if I read the situation right, they making concerted effort to keep this area safe.
Written May 23, 2024
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.

Thomas V
Oakland, CA
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
This is a huge multi-block square in front of City Hall but also in front of the Asian Art Museum and the Public Library, plus other grand civic buildings. An important center, but not attractive. The city has tried many time to make this are inviting, but has never succeeded.
Written June 15, 2023
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.

Kimbers W
San Francisco, CA
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Family
Today, we attended a play at the Golden Gate theater (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime) and I purposely chose the 2pm showing so my tweens and I could walk under the protection of daylight. I've parked at the Civic Center Garage before for SHN shows but for the Golden Gate Theater, I wouldn't park here again.

Thankfully, we found parking on the main floor, near the entrance/exit/cashier. But as soon as we took the stairs up one flight, we had to hop over puddles of urine in the stairwell. At the top of the stairwell, two people were shooting up heroin, discarded needles all around them. My kids didn't need to see that.

I did see a police presence on foot and in patrol cars, which was reassuring.

A friend once took a shortcut through the Civic Center with her sister and a kind man came and walked with them, to protect them with his presence, as they were being followed.

I say, park there if you're going to the Orpheum, the War Memorial Opera House, the Asian Art Museum, and go with the crowds (like you do with Broadway shows in NYC) etc but don't park there if going to the Golden Gate Theater, as the route is particularly sketchy.
Written July 6, 2017
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.

1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Solo
I've lived in the Civic Center area for 10 years now and this area seems to never change . The part of San Francisco has some great sites to see including City Hall, SF Ballet,/ Opera House, Davis Symphony Hall, and Herbst Theater, unfortunately there are other not so nice sites in this area too. Right behind City Hall there is the Public Library where homeless people and drug addicts gather and can be aggressive at times. Also it is not uncommon to see drug addicts passed out in corners of closed buildings with needles sticking out of their arms with blood trickling down their arms. Many people are so drugged up it's like watching a bunch of walking zombies. It's a very sad and unfortunate site to see. Definitely do not walk around this area at night. And if you have children be prepared for then to see these things .
Written September 25, 2016
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.

Alejandro C
Las Vegas, NV
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Solo
Can I put a rating of 0? Do not go with families or solo. This place is infested with homeless people who will follow you until you give them money.
Written July 3, 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.

Thomas V
Oakland, CA
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The Civic Center is surrounded by lots of important cultural institutions such as museums, concert halls, and the big library. Also important government buildings. Behind it is a vibrant dining and drinking area. But the park in front has never come into its own and continues to be ugly and trashy.
Written December 30, 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.

Dan W
Portland, OR
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
The entire Civic Center Plaza and complex is significant to any visit to SF. There is something for just about everyone including art exhibits, a playground, grassy areas, open plazas and buildings with museums, city hall and more. It's easy to maneuver, with plenty of areas to walk or to sit. Davies Symphony Hall, the Opera House, and Ballet theater are just a few of the cultural institutions in the immediate area.
Written October 11, 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.

jsaul
San Francisco, CA
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
We regularly take BART to civic center to attend opera and ballet at the War Memorial.

There is a gauntlet of drug addicts, pushers, homeless people, & beggars to endure on the walk from the station.

The streets & sidewalks often have garbage, litter, & feces.

While the many attractions...Asian art museum, city hall, the War Memorial, Davies Hall may be
worth attending/seeing...be prepared for "the gauntlet."
Written May 3, 2017
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.

1.0 of 5 bubbles
Didn't go to the civic Center because as soon as we got off the Bart, a junkie shot up at a bus stop in the middle of the day, while others pissed in alleys and laughed. The whole area stank of weed. I don't usually mind homeless, but this was horrific.
Written January 15, 2015
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.

TheShis
Tel Aviv, Israel
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
This is a lovely area in San Francisco, consisting of several massive and impressive buildings, halls and museums.
It's good for a 2-hour stroll and visit of the museums.
Written June 1, 2023
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.

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Civic Center - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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