Skip to main content
Arts & Culture

How to Get In Free to the Best Museums in San Francisco

Written by Maryann Jones ThompsonResearch by Shelley D. FargoPublished Jan. 15, 2023 • 1:00pm
John Dascoulias views photos in the Dr. Ernest Bates Gallery at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. | Benjamin Fanjoy/The Standard

English

San Francisco is blessed with dozens of museums—from world-class houses of fine art to quirky, personal one-of-a-kind collections—but admission doesn’t always come cheap.

Want to see the Fridas and Rothkos at SFMOMA? It’s going to cost you a cool $25 this year for general admission. A trip to see the famed white alligator, Claude, or the saber-toothed cat, Kitty, at Cal Academy is now at least $35 per person.

But aim for the right day and time, and you can get into most major SF collections free of charge. 

Many institutions offer free or reduced admission to specific groups all year. The Free for All program means San Franciscans with EBT or Medi-Cal cards can get in free anytime at selected museums—the same goes for SF Public Library cardholders via Discover & Go and active military courtesy of Blue Star Museums. (Check each program for details because some require advance online reservations.)

Patrons view Diego Rivera’s "America" gallery at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. | Benjamin Fanjoy/The Standard

More good news? Many of SF’s boutique collections are always free to enter. Want to see a display of acid blotters, antique vibrators, ophthalmological history or Gold Rush artifacts? Those’ll cost you zero, no matter which day you go.

The Standard gathered all the opening times, admission prices, discounts and membership information for 47 museums in San Francisco. Just click on each location shown on the map below for more details and mark your calendar for the best days to visit this year.

English

Maryann Jones Thompson can be reached at [email protected]


SF’s Lone Church of Scientology Has Stories To Tell 

SF’s Lone Church of Scientology Has Stories To Tell 


Missing Kayaker Found Dead in Tomales Bay

Missing Kayaker Found Dead in Tomales Bay


A Festival for Giants Fans—and 4 Other Things Going On in SF This Weekend

A Festival for Giants Fans—and 4 Other Things Going On in SF This Weekend


A Second Little Original Joe’s Outpost Plans To Open This Summer

A Second Little Original Joe’s Outpost Plans To Open This Summer


Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Face Off in SF-Built AI Rap Battle

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Face Off in SF-Built AI Rap Battle


Stay on top of what’s happening in your city

SF’s most important stories, delivered straight to your inbox



By clicking Subscribe you confirm you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy