Top 20 San Francisco attractions


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is in downtown.

The SFMOMA is one of the best museums in the nation for contemporary art.

It has seven floors of galleries spread over 170,000 square feet, with a breathtaking new renovation that has more than doubled the gallery space, and seamlessly integrated six spectacular outdoor spaces.

10 best things about SFMOMA

1. It's free for anyone under 18.

2. There are two free public spaces. 

The Third Street and Howard Street entrances on the main floor lead to two free public spaces. The main entrance on Third Street opens to an atrium with a spectacular, architectural staircase flanked by two massive murals.  Purchase a coffee at the stand, browse the museum shop, and gaze up at the magnificent murals, or walk around to the Howard Street entrance and take a seat at the indoor amphitheater with 25-foot windows, and see the latest artwork on display.

3. The $305 million renovation is architecturally stunning!

The SFMOMA re-opened in 2016 after three years of extensive renovations at a cost of $305 million.  The result is a more light filled, open experience, with double the gallery space, and more connection to six outdoor spaces. The original 5-story Mario Botta building was expanded to include a 10-story building by Norwegian firm Snohetta.  The new building has a white, undulating facade with a ripple effect that mimics the waters of San Francisco Bay.

4. It boasts the biggest 'Living Wall' in America.

The most striking outdoor space at SFMOMA is the sculpture garden on the 3rd floor terrace with a 30-foot high living wall supporting 19,000 plants.

5.  It has a restaurant named after the museum's founder.

The first floor is home to Grace Restaurant, named after SFMOMA's founder, Grace Morley.

6. The sleek, modern cafe on the 5th floor overlooks a sculpture garden.  

The cafe on SFMOMA's 5th floor has a spacious, minimalist feel, and a wall of glass doors overlooking an expansive patio area decorated with striking sculptures.  Sit indoors or outdoors and soak in the serene atmosphere.

7. The sculpture terrace on the 7th floor has awesome city views.

8.  It has the largest photography collection in America. 

The Pritzker Center for Photography on the 3rd floor of SFMOMA has nearly 18,000 art works spread over 15,000 feet. Amongst the most famous pieces is the Depression-era Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, and a stunning collection of Diane Arbus photographs.  The chic Sightglass Coffee is just past the photography collection on the 3rd floor, embodying the same sleek style as the rest of SFMOMA.

9.  The impressive art collection includes Warhol, Pollock, Matisse and Picasso. 

The permanent collection at SFMOMA includes 1960’s Pop Art from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Jason Pollock.  Some other notable works at SFMOMA include Frieda and Diego Rivera by Frida Kahlo, Woman with a Hat by Henri Matisse, and Women of Algiers by Picasso.

10. The Museum Shop has unique gifts. 

Find something special at the SFMOMA Museum Shop, with beautifully curated gifts including prints, frames, vases, jewelry and books.

Lobby at SFMOMA

SFMOMA in San Francisco

Know before you go

  • Address: 151 3rd St, San Francisco.
  • Hours & admission:  Check here (FREE under 18).
  • Parking:  Parking garage on 147 Minna Street.

More Art Museums in San Francisco

Review this attraction