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Tickets to De Young Museum

Admission Prices, Parking, Directions, and More

Updated: November 10, 2023
 By Britt

If you're interested in visiting the De Young Museum, this post will cover details about ticket prices, directions, parking, and what you can expect to see and do while you're here.


Internationally acclaimed, the De Young Museum is the third most visited art museum in the United States.

It is one that every art, architecture, and culture lover should make a point of exploring.

Reopened in a newly designed building in 2005, the de Young dates back to 1895 and, in its own words, “has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.”

The main categories of collection at the De Young Museum include American Art, Spanning from 17th century to the 20th century; Africa Art, a collection featuring masks, sculptures, textiles, textile arts and ceremonial objects from Africa.

Art of Oceania, showcasing the artistic traditions of Pacific Island cultures including Mori woodcarvings from New Zealand; Art of the Americas, highlighting indigenous art from the Americas, including North, Central, and South America and Textiles and Costumes, Featuring a wide range of textiles, garments, and fashion.

This is one of the best 44 museums in San Francisco.

De Young Museum Tickets

This section lists the different ticket options and add-ons available for the De Young Museum.

But there's no need to pay full price - take a look at the discounts section to find ways to get cheap tickets.

General Admission prices

Special Exhibits (Add-On Charge)

  • Adult: $30
  • Senior 65+: $27
  • Youth 6 - 17: $15

Audio Tour

  • Audio Guide: $8

De Young Museum Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday – Sunday: 9:30 am – 5:15 pm

Hamon Observation Tower closes at 4:30 pm.


You have several transportation options to get to the De Young Museum:

Driving Directions

If you're approaching from the north, take US-101 South and exit at Fell Street. Turn left onto Fell Street and continue onto John F. Kennedy Drive. The museum will be on your right.

If you're coming from the south, take US-101 North and exit at Octavia Street. Continue straight onto Octavia Street and turn right onto Fell Street. Follow Fell Street, which will merge into John F. Kennedy Drive. The museum will be on your right.

Use the below map to get to the museum from your present location.

Public Transportation

There are several ways to reach the museum using public transportation.

  1. Bus: Several Muni bus lines serve the area near the De Young Museum.
    You can check the official website of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) for specific bus routes and schedules.
  2. Light Rail: The N-Judah Muni Metro line stops near the museum. Exit at the Judah/Lincoln Way stop and walk east to the museum.
  3. Golden Gate Park Shuttle: Visitors to the park can enjoy the complimentary Golden Gate Park shuttle service.
    The shuttle runs every 15 minutes between 9 am and 6 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. On weekdays, the shuttle operates every 20 to 25 minutes between noon and 6 pm.

Parking at De Young Museum

Free parking

There are only a restricted number of free parking spaces on the streets within Golden Gate Park and along Fulton Street.

Paid parking

You can find paid parking options for both cars and bicycles at the Music Concourse Garage.

This garage is owned by the Music Concourse Community Partnership (MCCP) and operated by REEF Parking.

To access the garage, you can enter from Fulton Street and 10th Avenue on the north side or from Concourse Drive near the California Academy of Sciences on the south side.

In addition to this, the museum is also wheelchair accessible by ramp or level ground.


Penelope by Franklin Simmons is just one piece of art you can expect to see among the many exhibits at the De Young museum. Image source: Pixabay user Glenn Franco Simmons.

The De Young Exterior

The exterior of the De Young was designed with the surrounding landscape in mind; warm copper hues, stone, wood, and glass reflect and balance the nature of Golden Gate Park around it.

The perforated copper walls are meant to make one feel as though they were looking through a tree canopy — a work of art in itself!

The De Young Tower

Be sure to visit the De Young’s 144-foot tower for a panorama view of the surrounding Sunset and Richmond Districts, with the sunny day possibility of seeing even more of San Francisco.

The De Young Sculpture Garden

Before or after you visit the museum, take a stroll outside of the museum.

Not only will this give you an opportunity to admire the building’s unique design and get an up-close view of the copper, but it will also provide you with an added art experience.

Through the various small gardens surrounding the museum, you’ll see sculptures both old and new, including some of the museum’s original sphinxes.

Permanent Collection at the De Young Museum

The De Young hosts one of the finest collections of American art, showcasing over 1,000 paintings dating from 1670 to today.

Along with paintings, the museum has over 800 sculptures, 3,000 decorative objects, 13,000 textiles and costumes, and much much more.

Special Exhibits at the De Young

The special exhibits at the De Young Museum are ever-changing and always exquisite.

With past exhibits including Bulgari jewelry, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Danny Lyon photography, Jean-Paul Gaultier’s haute couture fashion, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cézanne, and others.

De Young Museum Events

The De Young Museum conducts a variety of events and programs to engage and educate visitors. Some of the events commonly held at the de Young Museum include:

In addition to this, museum also conducts some date specific events. To know more about them, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

The de Young Museum. Image source: Wikimedia user Gobbler.
The De Young Museum. Image source: Wikimedia user Gobbler.

How long does it take to go through the De Young Museum?

On average, visitors spend around two to three hours exploring the De Young Museum in San Francisco.

However, the duration can vary based on individual interest and the size of current exhibitions. Plan accordingly and allocate more time if you have specific areas of interest.

Is the Hamon Observation Tower free to access?

Yes, it is free to access and doesn't require tickets for entry.

Hamon Observation Tower is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

How many floors does the De Young Museum have?

The main museum building has a total 3 floors, but there is also a tower which is a 9 story structure.

Does the De Young Museum permit backpacks, small bags, or food?

Visitors can bring backpacks of a regular size.

Any bags, purses, or backpacks that are bigger than 8" x 8" x 5" need to be held by hand.

For the protection of the collection, the museum doesn't allow visitors to wear backpacks in the galleries.

Bags larger than the typical carry-on size (over 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches) are prohibited.

Basically, if you have a purse or something of similar size, you should be fine.

Only food and drinks bought at the De Young café are permitted in the café and adjacent terraces, so you cannot bring snacks inside.

Do I need to reserve tickets to the De Young Museum in advance?

Yes, it is recommended to reserve tickets to De Young Museum in advance.

Reserving tickets in advance helps ensure your entry into the museum and allows you to plan your visit accordingly.

It also helps manage crowd capacity and maintain a smooth visitor experience.


About The Author


Britt is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has spent 25 years in this magical city. He has traveled to over 30 countries, and has never found a place he loves as much as this one! If you come to San Francisco, you might join one of Britt's tours of the city. A graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Southern California, he has been leading tours for Free Tours by Foot since 2015.
Updated: November 10th, 2023
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