In the mood for a bit of culture? The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) features a multi-disciplinary taste of contemporary arts, from cutting edge visual displays and films, and performing arts like music and dance. Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki created the Galleries and Forum, which are worth a look. YBCA is well-located in downtown San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens.
I especially love the dance performances at this venue. To be honest, the seating is not very comfortable, but there’s something to be said for intimate theaters over huge stadium seating. And while I don’t usually go just to browse the galleries, the art exhibits are fun to visit if you’re there for a show anyway.
SAVVY TIP: When you visit YBCA for one of their many ticketed events, you can visit the galleries that day free.
You’ll find plenty of fun cultural events to splurge on, but YBCA also offers reasonably-priced entertainment, often with special ticket offers. The venue offers monthly free admission on the first Tuesday of every month. Plus students, teachers and seniors get a break on admission.
How to get YBCA Discounts
Go San Francisco Card: If you’re visiting San Francisco, this discount card provides free admission to 55+ Bay Area attractions including YBCA Galleries. There’s also a “Build Your Own” option that lets you pick only the attractions you want. The more you pick the more you save, but even if you only pick two you’ll usually save at least 20 percent. Play with the choices on their site to see your savings. Print or show on your phone.
Student Rush Tickets: Student $10 rush tickets are available for YBCA Performances. (Pending availability, one hour before curtain, cash only, student I.D. required.)
Free Gallery Admission: With your ticket purchase for a show or film, you can also visit the Galleries for free (regular price is $10) on the same day. Also free: children age 5 and under, military service members with ID.
Free Admission Day: Free admission days are the first Tuesdays of every month. (But confirm before you go for any changes or updates.)
Public Transportation Discount: Get a 10% discount on gallery admission by showing a valid public transportation pass or transfer.
Special Gallery Discount: Admission is 10% off for seniors, students, teachers, non-profit employees, KQED members, Public transit riders, Library Card Holders
Know Before You Go
- Official Info: YBCA website www.ybca.org, phone 415-978-2700, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Address: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Grand Lobby, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.
- Hours: Galleries are open Wed 12-6pm; Thu-Sat: 12-8pm; Sun 12-6pm; First Tuesdays 12-8pm (free admission); Closed Mondays and major holidays. Holiday Gallery Hours: Wed, Dec 24 & Wed, Dec 31, Noon – 4pm. Closed Christmas & New Year’s Day.