Sign up for email & receive your FREE copy of our 

2016 Planning Guide!

We respect your email privacy

Fine Arts Museum San Francisco

Everything You Need to Know
About Visiting the de Young Museum

The de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park is a very popular museum in San Francisco. This fine arts museum has more than 25,000 works of art on display from around the world.

Exhibits include pieces from pre-Columbian America to 20th century America, as well as artwork from sub-Saharan Africa, New Guinea, and Indonesia.

deyoung fine arts san francisco

In addition to the pieces mentioned above, this fine arts museum in San Francisco features a large textiles display, a changing photography exhibit, and interesting special exhibits.

Galleries in the de Young

Here is a quick overview of all the de Young's major galleries including a few pictures and specific pieces to look for during your visit.

Art in America to the 20th Century

This gallery, located on the second floor, is one of the largest displays at the de Young, offering an overview of American art from the colonial period to the early 20th century.

Here you'll find pieces of work from the Rockefeller Collection. You will also find works of art by Paul Revere, John Singer Sargent, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

This is a photo from my last visit to this gallery.

deyoung fine arts museum

20th Century and Contemporary Art

This gallery is located on the first floor of the de Young Museum and contains American art from early 20th-century modernism through the post-World War II decades.

You will find selected works from artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Diego Rivera, Grant Wood, and Zhan Wang.

My favorite item in this collection is shown in the picture below.

gun church deyoung

I was told this is one of the most photographed pieces in the museum. It's a European style church made out of old guns, shell casings, and shots. The detail on the church is amazing, and it's such a creative piece. Make sure you check it out closely during your visit.

Here is another room in this gallery.

modern art deyoung museum

Art of the Americas

This gallery is also located on the first floor of the museum. Here you will find pieces of work from Mesoamerican and Andean cultures.

art of the americas deyoung

One of the most interesting pieces of work in this gallery is a group of murals from Teotihuacan (the largest city of the pre-Columbian Americas). The display of murals from this site is one of the largest and most important outside of Mexico.

In addition, you will also see a late classic Maya stela and West Mexican ceramics from the Lewis K. Land collection.

Native American Art

This colorful, new display features several Native American works of art. It includes both traditional and contemporary pieces.

This gallery is located on the first floor, just behind the Art of the Americas gallery. Below you can see some of the beautiful pieces on display in this room.

native art gallery deyoung

Art of Africa

This is another one of my favorite sections of this fine arts museum. It includes a wide variety of interesting art from sub-Saharan Africa.

As with the Native American Art display, this gallery also includes both traditional and modern pieces.

Here are just a few of the masks on display in this gallery. The one in the front is one of the best examples of traditional art from this region.

african art deyoug museum

Art of Oceania

This collection is on display on the second floor of the museum next to the Art of Africa gallery. Here you'll find a few hundred examples of art from New Guinea. This display also includes some woodcarvings from Polynesia and Indonesia's outer islands.

Here is just one example of what you'll see in this gallery.

oceania gallery deyoung

Textiles

This area is a changing exhibition that features more than 12,000 textiles and costumes from around the world. Here you will find a large collection of Anatolian kilims (carpets) from Turkey, European tapestries, and Central Asian and North Indian silks.

This display is also on the second floor next to the Art of Africa and the Art in America to the 20th Century galleries.

Special Exhibits

The de Young also has a dedicated area for special exhibits. These can be found on the lower level and are usually an additional charge to your regular admission.

Find a list of the de Young's exhibits by month.

de Young Tower Observation Deck

Do not miss the de Young Tower Observation Deck! It's free to enter and worth a visit even if you don't want to go to the museum.

It's on the ninth floor of the tower and has 360° views. From the viewing area, you can see most of Golden Gate Park, the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, and part of downtown. Here are just a few photos from my last visit.

academy of sciences from deyoung
This is the view of the living roof of the California Academy of Sciences which is just across the street from the de Young.

views from deyoung observation deck
This is a view of the Pacific Ocean and the very top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

downtown view from deyoung
This is a view of downtown San Francisco.

Visiting: Tickets, Tours, and Tips

Hours:

  • Tuesday - Sunday: 9:30am - 5:15pm
  • Friday nights: until 8:45pm (only from April 15 - November 25, 2016)
  • Monday: Closed, except for select dates (see below)

Special Hours and Closures:

  • Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
  • Open on the following Mondays from 9:30am - 5:15pm
    • May 30, 2016
    • September 5, 2016
    • December 19, 2016
    • December 26, 2016
    • February 20, 2017
    • May 29, 2017

Tickets

  • Adults: $15
  • Seniors (65+ with ID): $10
  • College students (with ID): $6
  • Youth 17 and under: Free
  • FAMSF Members: Free
  • Active U.S. military personnel, plus up to 5 family members: Free
  • Audio Tour: $8 ($7 for FAMSF members)

First Tuesday of each month is FREE. Additional fees apply for most special exhibits.

Click here to buy your tickets in advance online on Viator.

SF City Pass Discount Card

Admission to the de Young Museum is included in both the Go San Francisco Card and the San Francisco CityPass, which also offer admission to several of the hottest SF museums and attractions.

If you plan to visit more than one San Francisco museum or attraction, you can save money by using either of these discount passes. Compare these two passes to find the one that's right for you.

Tip to Save: The San Francisco CityPass is the most popular of the two. If you love museums and want to take the SF Public Transit system around most of the time, this is the one for you. Save up to 47% on San Francisco's Muni and 4 other attractions with CityPASS. Shop Now!

More Ticket Details

You will save $2 off your ticket price by taking public transportation to the museum. Show them your ticket or transfer and they will automatically reduce the price for you.

When you visit both the deYoung Museum and the Legion of Honor (another fine arts museum) on the same day, you only need to pay once. Save your ticket stub and show it at the Legion of Honor for entry into the museum. Find details below for tips for traveling between these two museums.

Tours

If you want to learn even more about some of the exhibits and special pieces at the de Young, check out the different museum tours when you arrive. This museum offers both audio tours and docent-led tours.

The audio tours are go-at-your-own-pace. There is an additional charge for these tours. You can rent the audio near the ticket counter at the main entrance.

The docent-led tours are free, although special exhibit tickets are required for tours in certain exhibits. Some of the daily tours include:

  • Three Masterpieces in 30 Minutes
  • Exploring World Cultures: Art from Africa, the Pacific Islands, or the Americas
  • American Art: Colonial through Contemporary

Tours and tour times change frequently, so pick up a Daily Tours guide when you arrive for your visit. Advance registration is not necessary for these tours.

How to Get to the de Young Museum

The de Young Museum is located at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. It's easy to get to this museum by public transportation, driving, or the Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour.

Public Transportation: From Union Square, you can take either the 5-Fulton or the 21-Hayes bus. Both drop off just outside of Golden Gate Park. From there, it's about a 10-minute walk over to the museum.

Driving: This is one of the few times I recommend this option. The great thing about Golden Gate Park is that there is usually plenty of parking and driving is one of the easiest ways to get around the park. Before you book your car though, check out the San Francisco rental car page for tips on renting a car in the city.

Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour: All of the Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tours offer a stop right in front of the de Young Museum. This is one of the best options since these bus tours take you to almost all of the top attractions throughout the city. You will learn more about each attraction as you ride along in your open air bus. Learn more and get your Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour ticket today.

Getting Between the de Young and the Legion of Honor

Public Transportation: There are a few options to get between these two San Francisco fine arts museums on public transportation. The route outlined below is the best because it involves the least amount of walking.

  • 5-Fulton & 18-Legion of Honor: You'll first need to walk out of the park and pick up the 5-Fulton on 8th Avenue and Fulton Street.
    • Take this to the end of the line at La Playa Street and Cabrillo.
    • Transfer to the 18-Legion of Honor. The stop for the 18 is about a half block down Cabrillo from La Playa Street right near the Safeway.
    • The 18 drops you off right at the front door of the Legion of Honor.
    • On the map below, the de Young is the blue star and the Legion of Honor is the red star.

map deyoung legion of honor sf

Driving: This is the easiest and fastest way to get between the two. It's only about a 10 minute drive between the two museums - and you'll find plenty of parking at both locations.

Other Top Attractions in Golden Gate Park

california academy of sciences
conservatory of flowers
japanese tea garden
California Academy
of Sciences
Conservatory of
Flowers
Japanese
Tea Garden

> > de Young Museum

New! Comments

Thanks for visiting! Do you have a question or comment about what you just read? Leave me a note below!

Back to the Top

Contact | Home