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San Francisco Art Institute

Russian Hill
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Address: 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone Number:
+1 415-749-4545

This is the oldest art school in the West, and the alma mater of some of...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 35 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 13
  • 14
    Very good
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Right by my house

Great school to visit and check out the art on the walls from all the students Big mural by Diego Rivera inside the court yard Great views of the bay and Alcatraz Make sure you... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Elias B
via mobile
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35 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 28: English reviews
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great school to visit and check out the art on the walls from all the students Big mural by Diego Rivera inside the court yard Great views of the bay and Alcatraz Make sure you visit

Thank Elias B
Banbury, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2016

Located in the quiet residential area of Russian Hill, the institute is an arts college with exhibition spaces open to the public and free. The building is interesting architecturally because you enter an Italianate (?) courtyard with decorative fish pond, arched walkways and tiled roofs but exploring further there are open air mezzanines at higher levels, with views over the... More 

Thank WineLoverBanbury
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,282 reviews
678 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 352 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2016

We went there specifically to see the large Diego Rivera mural. In a room off to the left as you enter. Free but almost no information given. Just a couple minutes from the crookedest street. If you walk back towards the new addition area, you are treated to great views of the wharf area, Alcatraz, and the city.

Thank chitownsam
San Francisco, USA
Level Contributor
253 reviews
137 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2016

A beautiful school in a beautiful neighborhood with beautiful students creating beautiful works of art. Not to mention the beautiful Diego Rivera mural inside. Be sure to go to the roof, so you can get beautiful views and enjoy the cafe as well.

Thank JDZatSF
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
64 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2015

A very special building and wonderful art show. Diego Rivera mural and wonderful Spanish style building from the 1930's.

Thank Vivi486
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
182 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2015

The San Francisco Art Institute is amazing accepting. While we casually walked through its "campus", we enjoyed the artworks on display. The gem of the place is the roof top where you can have a stunning panorama view of the city.

1 Thank Phil Y
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2015 via mobile

Art that surprises! Art about doing art... Such a unique installation. Worth the walk up the hill (and you're less than two minutes from the crookedest street: Lombard)

1 Thank Keri V
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2015

what a good adventure to seek out diago riveras works all over san fran check out the hours of operations so you do not miss anything due to hours in public places. good for all people all ages

1 Thank shmoo224
Central Illinois
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2015

We were walking back from Lombard Street and passed this. I saw the observatory tower so we wandered in hoping to go to the top. Unfortunately, the tower is closed, but the security guard provided directions to the stairs to the rooftop. What a treat! Great city views.

1 Thank Illinifan69
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
964 reviews
781 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,739 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2015

When I visited in late July, there were no classes, and most of the students’ art had been removed for building preservation. SF Art Institute is an art collect established in 1871, but the current building was constructed in 1926—the year in which Queen Elizabeth, Fidel Castro, and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) were born. There is no admission... More 

1 Thank DeanMurphy2020

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Staying in Russian Hill

Neighbourhood Profile
Russian Hill
Russian Hill has evolved into a chic residential neighborhood with outstanding views from every corner. Combined with several great cafes, restaurants, antique shops and boutiques, it’s easy to see why any visitor would gladly leave their heart in San Francisco. Cars line up day after day to drive down Lombard Street, the “crookedest” street in the world, and make the slow creep downhill past charming period homes. Polk Street is the main drag in this neighborhood, where you will find trendy bars, cafes and shops populated with locals, but for one of the most charming rides in the city, grab a cable car heading up and down Hyde Street.
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