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    De Young Memorial Museum: how to visit the famous San Francisco museum

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    Martí Micolau

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    In the beautiful Golden Gate Park you will find many attractions, including the suggestive Japanese Tea Garden and Shakespeare Garden, as well as important museums such as the California Academy of Sciences and the De Young Memorial Museum, one of the 2 fine arts museums in San Francisco. So let's find out more about the latter in order to better organize our visit.


    • What is the De Young Museum
    • Where is it and how to get there
    • Timetables and tickets
    • Why visit and what to see
    • Where to sleep in the area

    What is the De Young Museum

    The De Young Memorial Museum (also known as DeYoung Museum) is one of San Francisco's fine arts museums along with the Legion of Honor Museum. It was founded in the 1895 and is named after its founder, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Michael H. de Young. Its headquarters occupies a space of about 27.000 square meters, has a rectangular shape with a beautiful panoramic terrace and a very particular tower that offers a magnificent view of Golden Gate Park and the west of San Francisco.

    The building was renovated in 2005 by the skilled minds of the architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. The micro-perforated copper plates that cover the structure, the stone, the glass and the materials used in general correspond to the architects' idea of ​​making the museum a “permeable, open and inviting” structure.

    Where is it and how to get there

    The De Young Memorial Museum is located at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

    If you are in auto remember that there are not many free parking spaces near Golden Gate Park. You can leave your car at the Music Concourse Garage. Access is from both Fulton Street and 10th Avenue and Concourse Drive. Parking is open daily from 7am to 00pm and costs around $ 19 per hour.

    Another paid parking lot you might use is the UCSF Medical Center Garage on Irvin Street near 3rd Avenue. The cost is $ 3 an hour for a daily maximum of $ 24. It will take you around 20 minutes to walk to the museum, otherwise you can take the Golden Gate Park Shuttle on weekends.

    The museum tries to encourage the use of public transport offering a $ 2 discount on the admission ticket for anyone arriving by bus or subway. The closest bus lines to the De Young Memorial Museum are:

    • la 44 / O’Shaughnessy
    • la 5 & 5R / Fulton
    • la 7 Haight/Noriega
    • la 28 
    • or the Muni metro N / Judah.

    If you use Uber or similar platforms, you can get dropped off in front of De Young using the rest area on Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive or you can ask the driver to drop you off at the Music Concourse Garage which gives you the option of 15 minutes free per pick -up / drop-off.

    To learn more about traveling around the city, here are some articles that may be useful to you:

    • Getting around in San Francisco
    • How to rent a bike in San Francisco
    • Tips for car rental in San Francisco
    • Where to park in San Francisco

    Timetables and tickets

    Buy museum tickets

    The De Young Memorial Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 30pm. The last admission is scheduled one hour before closing. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Also check their website because very often the museum organizes special events with relative extension of opening hours.

    The ticket costs $ 15 for adults, $ 12 for over 65s, $ 6 for students with a valid document and is free for children under 17. Offering free admission to children of this age group is not very common in US museums, so if you have teenage children you can take advantage of it to spend a few different hours than usual without having to pay too much. The collections range from centuries to continents so they are varied and interesting for different age groups.

    The ticket also includes same day admission to the Legion of Honor Museum al 34th Avenue / Clement Street in Lincoln Park.

    - audio tours cost $ 8 and can be downloaded to your smartphone.

    If you reach the museum by public transport (Muni, BART, Caltrain) remember not to throw away your ticket as you are entitled to a $ 2 discount on the entrance ticket to the museum.

    On Saturdays the museum offers entry to residents in the bay while The De Young Memorial Museum is free on the first Tuesday of the month for everyone (only the permanent collections, while the temporary exhibitions have a cost).

    Buy museum tickets

    Why visit and what to see

    The De Young Memorial Museum houses one of the largest collections of American art present in the United States, as well as works of art and unique pieces from all over the world.

    The permanent collections are:

    • American Art: this amazing section, after the acquisition of the Rockefeller Collection, is the most complete collection of American art in the western United States and among the 10 leading American art collections in the entire nation. There are over 1.000 paintings, more than 800 sculptures and 3.000 objects that cover 4 centuries of history from 1600 to today;
    • African Art: African artwork from the 19th and early 20th centuries;
    • Oceanic Art: one of the first collections of the museum with unique pieces including wooden works of art made by the Maori and Indonesian textiles;
    • Arts of the Americas: ceramics, sculptures and architectural artifacts from Mesoamerica and the Andes, from Mayan objects and colorful Mexican murals to Navajo ceramic, terracotta and textile works;
    • Costume and Textile Arts: over 14.000 textile works and costumes from all over the world;
    • Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts: the foundation has collected 90.000 drawings, prints and works on paper and the most prestigious pieces are exhibited in rotation at the museum;
    • Photography: the art of photography from its beginnings to today.

    These interesting collections that will make you travel in time and space, the temporary collections, the works of art scattered in the lush garden, the particular building that houses the museum and the tower with its breathtaking view of San Francisco can only entice you to visit this place.

    Where to sleep in the area

    The Golden Gate Park boasts some of the most interesting places of interest in San Francisco, however there are not many accommodations in the area, moreover it is located a bit far from the nerve center of the city and is unsafe at night (read our article on dangerous neighborhoods in San Francisco), therefore, I recommend that you fall back on one of the neighborhoods that we have suggested in our guise dedicated to finding a hotel in San Francisco.

    Our tips on where to sleep in San Francisco

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