Free Admission to Museums, Art Galleries & More!

On a budget but still want a healthy dose of culture? The San Francisco Bay Area has a big and broad collection of top-notch museums, and nearly all of them can be visited for free! Below is a current list of all San Francisco Bay Area museums, art galleries and public gardens along with their free-admission days.

Before you go on a free day: Be prepared for crowds. Because of capacity limitations, admission is not guaranteed, so it’s best to arrive early. If you’re planning a group visit, check with the museum first; some museums limit or prohibit group visits on their free days. We HIGHLY recommend calling ahead to make sure the facility is still open for free admission day listed below since some policies do change without notice.

Asian Art Museum
Free – first Sunday of every month.
Autodesk Gallery
Free – always.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Free – first Wednesday of every month.
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Free – first Thursday of every month.
Berkeley Botanical Garden
Free – first Wednesday of every month.
Cable Car Museum
Free – always.
California Academy of Sciences
Free – check calendar, SF resident days vary check calendar.
Cantor Arts Center
Free – always.
Cartoon Art Museum
Pay What You Wish – closed for relocation.

chabot

Chabot Space & Science Center
Free – first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Card Holders
$5 – after 6pm first Friday of every month.
Children’s Creativity Museum
Free – check calendar.
Chinese Historical Society of America
Free – first Sunday of every month, ages 12 & under always.

Conservatory of Flowers
Free – first Tuesday of every month.
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Free – first Tuesday of every month, check calendar, first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Card Holders.
$5 – after 5pm every Thursday.
de Young
Free – first Tuesday of every month, first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Card Holders.
Discover & Go
Free – always, Public Library card holders reserve free and discounted passes to local museums and cultural institutions.
Exploratorium
Free – check calendar.
International Art Museum of America
Free – always.
Japanese Tea Garden San Francsico
Free – every Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9-10am.
LACIS Museum of Lace and Textiles
Free – always.

legion

Legion of Honor
Free – first Tuesday of every month, first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Card Holders.
Lindsey Wildlife Museum
Free and open to the public every third Friday of the month.
Musee Mecanique
Free – always.
Museo ItaloAmericano
Free – always.
Museum of the African Diaspora
Free – check calendar.
Museum of American Heritage
Free – always.
Museum of Anthropology
Free – closed until 2017 for renovations.
Museum of Craft and Design
Free – first Tuesday of every month.
Museum of Performance and Design
Free – always.
Oakland Museum of California
Free – first Sunday of every month, ages 18 & under every Friday 5-9pm.
Half Price – every Friday 5-9pm.
Randall Museum

ruth

Ruth Bancroft Gardens
Free first Tuesday of the month.
San Francisco Art Institute
Free – always.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
Free – every morning 7:30-9am, second Tuesday of every month, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.
San Francisco Fire Department Museum
Free – always.
SF Camerawork
Free – always.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Free – ages 18 & under.
SFO Museum
Free – always.
San Francisco Railway Museum
Free – always.

SF-Zoo

San Francisco Zoo
Free – check calendar (residents only).
San Jose Museum of Art
Free – check calendar, first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Card Holders.
$5 – after 5pm third Thursday of every month.
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
Free – always.
San Mateo County History Museum
Free – first Friday of every month.
Sake Museum
Free – always.
Tech Museum of Innovation
Free – first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Card Holders
Half Price – last hour of every day.
Third Thursdays in Yerba Buena
Free – third Thursday of every month, 5-10pm, Yerba Buena museums and neighborhood venues.
Wells Fargo History Museum
Free – always.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Free – first Tuesday of every month.

Did you see one we missed? Tell us in the comments section below! What’s your favorite museum? Art gallery?

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