The San Francisco Legion of Honor houses a broad collection of ancient and European art. Best known for Auguste Rodin’s statute The Thinker in its front courtyard, the Legion, as it is called by locals, is equally impressive for the jaw-dropping views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Pacific Ocean visible from nearly every window.
Walk through the Legion of Honor’s imposing neoclassical stone archway and through The Thinker’s courtyard to reach galleries divided neatly into collections of European paintings, decorative art, and sculpture, as well as ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities. Rodin collection casts and sculptures draw many visitors, as do works by Peter Paul Rubens, El Greco and Rembrandt van Rijn. Print lovers should look for items from the Ed Ruscha Archive, Japanese prints, and prints and drawings from Depression-era WPA program. Complete a visit with a walk along the cliffs to see majestic views of the Golden Gate.
San Francisco CityPASS, Explorer Pass, and Go Card include admission to the Legion. Single admission tickets also include same-day admission to the Legion’s partner fine arts museum, the de Young Museum, in Golden Gate Park. Tours don’t include admission to any special exhibits.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Legion of Honor is a compact museum and easy to visit in a few hours—ideal for those with limited time.
- The small on-site café is very busy at lunchtime and during special exhibitions.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible with accessible restrooms on both floors.
- Children under 17 are always free.
- The Legion does not allow large bags (larger than a carry-on) into the museum and does not offer a bag check for large bags.
How to Get There
The Legion of Honor is at the far western end of San Francisco at 34th Avenue, inside Lincoln Park and near the Lands End Lookout. San Francisco Muni runs the 18 connection service to the Legion from the 38R bus line along Geary Boulevard. Exit at 33rd Avenue and Geary to catch the 18 directly to the Legion. Other visitors walk on the path up from Baker Beach through China Beach to the Legion.
When to Get There
The Legion is busiest during the summer and when special exhibitions are held. Arrive when the museum opens at 9:30am for uncrowded galleries and easy parking. In spring and fall, when the city’s notorious fog retreats to the coast, picnickers are plentiful in Lincoln Park and in front of the Legion. The Legion is closed on Mondays as well as Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Honoring World War I Soldiers
Modeled after Paris' Palais de la Légion d'Honneur, the Legion of Honor museum was built to commemorate soldiers who died in World War I. The Legion's neoclassical design and distinctive setting near Lands End combine the region’s nature with classic architectural lines to gorgeous effect.