Architecture in San Francisco
San Francisco has some of the most iconic buildings in the world. From the iconic cable cars, to the stunning Golden Gate Bridge, to the modern architecture of the Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco has a variety of architectural wonders. And you can't leave out the interesting places such as the Palace of Fine Arts, the de Young Museum, or Coit Tower, too. If you're planning to visit this dynamic city, these are the best iconic buildings that you must see in San Francisco.
Alamo Square Park
This park is most notable as the place to view the famous "Painted Ladies," a series of Victorian and Edwardian homes that were made famous by the Tanner family, in the 1980's sitcom, "Full House". The park spreads out for 36 acres and it's a nice place to relax with a book, enjoy a picnic lunch, or let the kid's play on the playground.
Steiner St & Hayes Street, Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA, 94117
The 210 foot Coit Tower is located on Telegraph Hill in Pioneer Park. It was built in 1932 and 1933 and offers impressive views of the city. If you're short on cash, you can explore Pioneer Park for free and enjoy comparable views to those offered at the top of the tower.
15 Telegraph Hill Boulevard, Telegraph Hill, SF, California, 94133
de Young Museum
This art museum is located in Golden Gate Park and features work from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. This museum is more than 125 years old and it's popular for its unique fashion exhibits that include everything from costumes to contemporary Muslim fashions. There's also a beautiful observation tower on the 9th floor that looks out over Golden Gate Park, downtown San Francisco, the Bay, and the Marin headlands.
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, 94118
This historic building has been converted into a shopping area with great restaurants and local vendors who sell produce, cheese, and more. There's also a weekend farmer's market in the area that's fun to browse.
1 Ferry Building, Financial District and Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA, 94111
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is the iconic symbol of San Francisco. It's one mile wide and connects the city of San Francisco with Marin County. It offers a stunning view looking back on the city and many visitors enjoy renting bikes and riding across the bridge. It is also considered one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Golden Gate Bridge, SF, California, 94129
Legion of Honor
From it's beautiful Beaux-Arts building to its impressive collection of ancient and European art, this museum is a must-see in San Francisco. The limestone, marble, and chevron wood building is a beautiful work of art and inside there is a collection of more than 800 European paintings (with 250 available to view).
Lincoln Park | 100 34th Avenue (at Clement Street), Lincoln Park, San Francisco, CA, 94121
Also called Mission Dolores, Mission San Francisco de Asis is the oldest remaining structure in San Francisco. The mission was founded in 1776 by Lieutenant José Joaquin Moraga and Francisco Palóu. Regular Catholic services are offered in the larger basilica, and visitors can also see the Old Mission which contains gorgeous murals, as well as the historic cemetery on the grounds.
19 Chula Lane, Duboce Triangle, SF, California, 94114
Point Bonita Lighthouse
Located at Point Bonita, this lighthouse marks the entrance to the Marin Headlands near Sausalito. It was the last manned lighthouse in California.
San Francisco, California, 94121-1545
St. Patrick Church
Founded in 1851, this is one of the oldest churches in the city, and its cornerstones were brought from Ireland. Nestled in SoMa among modern buildings, it contains a beautiful Gothic Revival interior with gorgeous stained glass windows.
756 Mission Street, SoMa, San Francisco, California
The Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts is the last building remaining from the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. It's a beautiful, classical style building that sits by a lagoon that serves as a reflecting pool. Inside the palace there are regular art exhibits and performances. The theater seats about 1,000 people.
3301 Lyon Street, Marina District, San Francisco, CA
The Redwood Park at the Transamerica Pyramid Center
The Redwood Park offers a peaceful setting with plenty of benches and striking redwood trees in the heart of the city. This is a quiet spot where you can enjoy lunch or simply rest your legs before continuing to explore the city. At the center of the park is a beautiful fountain.
600 Montgomery St, Financial District, San Francisco, CA, 94111
How much does it cost to experience the architecture of San Francisco?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $32 to $32. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $32. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in San Francisco