Asian Art Museum Statue

Downtown / Civic Center

Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum is…um…an Asian art museum. Located in the Civic Center of San Francisco, the museum, although we joke, carries one of the largest collections of Asian art in the world. Check out what this museum has to offer.

San Francisco includes a large Asian population, with the first Chinese immigrants arriving by sea in 1848, so it seems only fit that an art museum honor the Asian heritage.

Starting as a wing of the de Young Museum of Golden Gate Park in 1966, the Asian Art Museum soon grew to a substantial size, requiring a permanent place of its own. Since 2004, the Asian Art Museum has called the old San Francisco library building in the San Francisco Civic Center home.

The Asian Art Museum is FREE to the public the first Sunday of each month. Be prepared, though ‚ÄĒthe lines are usually long.

Currently displaying a collection of more than 17,000 pieces, everything from paintings and tapestries to Samurai armor, the museum also includes relics over 6,000 years old for tourists to view. The main collection, donated by Chicago millionaire industrialist Avery Brundage in 1959, still exists in the museum today for our enjoyment.

To complement the museum, tourists can visit an interesting gift shop or sample real Asian green tea at Café Asia.

Rather inexpensive at $12 (and free to the general public the first Sunday each month), the Asian Art Museum is worth a visit if you’re into Asian cultural history. Accessed easily by any form of San Francisco transportation, the museum requires the right mindset and a willingness to learn. It’s a good spot…if you enjoy museums.

Asian Art Museum Outside

How Do I Find the Asian Art Museum?

  • The Asian Art Museum is located in the Civic Center,¬†where most of the government buildings are located.¬†If you get lost, ask someone where to find City Hall. The Asian Art Museum is just across the street.
  • You can use public transportation routes¬†5, 9, 14, 19, 21, 26, 31, 47, 49, F-Line, BART and the underground K, L, M, T, J and N to reach the Civic Center. Most¬†public transport routes go past the Asian Art Museum.
  • To reach the Asian Art Museum from¬†Union Square¬†you can ride the¬†F-Line (8 min), underground K, L, M, N, J or T (8 min) or BART, although BART is more expensive. You can also walk, however it’s across The Tenderloin, San Francisco’s most homeless neighborhood.

Asian Art Museum


Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

The Asian Art Museum is cool once you’ve seen¬†the more popular attractions of San Francisco. In other words, a place to save for a rainy day. Be prepared for large crowds on the free days. Personally, we’d pay the entry fee on a normal day just to avoid the crowds.


Location of the Asian Art Museum