The Guide to San Francisco's Mission District Murals | San Francisco Travel
A couple walking down Balmy Alley in the Mission.
A couple walking down Balmy Alley in the Mission.

The Guide to
San Francisco’s Mission District Murals

The Mission District is an outdoor art gallery full of vibrant murals depicting themes ranging from cultural heritage to social-political statements.

In San Francisco, we treat the city as our canvas. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Mission. In this neighborhood, you'll find a collection of striking murals that chronicle decades of the activism, innovation, and cultural diffusion that makes San Franciscans proud and sets our city apart in the world.

Follow our guide for exploring some of the Mission's most astounding murals. We've also given you tips on which other local landmarks are worth a visit, as well as where to sample some of the neighborhoods most enticing food and drink.

Balmy Alley

Between 24th and 25th streets and Treat and Harrison streets
Murals first appeared along Balmy Alley in the mid-1980s as an expression of outrage over human rights violations and political corruption in Central America. Today, themes have expanded to include gentrification and government injustice.
If you're looking for more arts and culture, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts is located just a few blocks away. Along with a collection of exhibits, they offer a number of workshops in theater, music, and dance.

Clarion Alley

Between 17th and 18th streets and Mission and Valencia streets

Inspired by Balmy Alley and other murals around the neighborhood, Clarion Alley is known for community and arts activities. This collection of murals reflects a variety of artistic styles and often depicts themes of social inclusiveness. More than 700 murals have been created since 1992, speaking to community concerns of social, economic, and environmental justice.

For an equally inspiring view, pay a visit to Mission Dolores Park, where the sloping hills offer the beautiful sight of downtown's skyscrapers rising above the park's green grass and the Mission's neighborhood homes. Woods Cerveceria, a nano brewery best known for its craft beer and sweet and savory empanadas, is also worth a visit when you're in the area.

The Women’s Building MaestraPeace Mural

3543 18th St.

The Women’s Building is internationally recognized for its MaestraPeace Mural, which honors women’s contributions to art, science, and social justice worldwide. Painted in 1994 across two walls, this mural results from a multi-cultural, multi-generational collaboration between seven women artists.

If collaboration is what you're after, then venture a few blocks down to Lazy Bear, one of the most sought-after dining experiences in San Francisco, or Good Good Culture Club, if you're in the mood to explore east and southeast Asian cuisine with a California twist.

A colorful, large-scale mural covers the side of the Women's Building in San Francisco's Mission District.
The murals that cover the Women's Building (3543 18th St #8) are a true masterpiece.

Carnaval Mural

24th St. and South Van Ness Ave.

Known as “Golden Dreams of the Mission,” the Carnaval Mural located above the House of Breaks on the corner of 24th Street and South Van Ness Avenue is an impressive 24 feet tall and 75 feet wide. Originally painted in 1983 by muralist Daniel Galvez—with the help of local artists Dan Fontes, Keith Sklar, Jaime Morgan, Eduardo Pineda, and Jan Sheild—the painting depicts the energy and spirit from the city's first Carnaval event in 1979.

Keep Penny Roma on your radar when in the area. Their Italian cuisine makes for a great spot for an evening dinner.

Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitor Center

2981 24th St.

Many people looking to explore the local murals come to the Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitor Center. It’s no wonder why; this community-based non-profit is filled with works by local artists and offers self-guided and guided tours that cover the murals' history, cultural and historical significance.

If you visit this mural, you're also in for a sweet treat. Just across the street is Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream, a Mission District favorite scooping unique and seasonal flavors since 2008.

The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
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