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Balmy Alley Murals, San Francisco

4.5
#46 of 92 in Sightseeing in San Francisco
Landmark Tourist Spot
Colorful scenes line a block-long alley affectionately known as Balmy Alley Murals. The first murals popped up in 1972, and the collection expanded throughout the 1980s as part of a foundation-funded project with emphasis on Central American cultures. The colorful illustrations depict a number of social and political issues, including human rights outrage, gentrification, the Nicaraguan revolution, the Guatemalan civil war, and Hurricane Katrina; scenes are always changing. Walk the alley on your own or with a local touring company. Nearby you'll also find many restaurants and stores. To visit Balmy Alley Murals on your trip to San Francisco, use our San Francisco tour planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
96 reviews
Google
4.6
  • Spend an afternoon in the Mission and checked out Balmy alley Murals. The work is just fantastic and if you take time to understand the meaning it all makes sense. Very short alley though.  more »
  • Beautiful alley full with local street art murals located in the Mission District. Bright, eclectic mix of colors and subject matter. Great for photos. Highly recommended.  more »
  • This Alley is short but has art all the way down. Make sure you look down other alleys as there are a lot artwork too. Make the trip to the mission district worth your wild. Check out Lilac and Cyrpes...  more »
Google
  • Love the street arts along here, unfortunately the area is not well taken care of. I am pretty sure the homeless are camping here as u can smell urine and etc as you walk along here. I believe the authority to should look into this and make this place a real tourist attraction.
  • One of my favorite stops in the city. I love the messages of the murals. There is so much that is expressed in this little alley. It represents the richness of the mission culture and how it wont go down without a fight. From the old to the new this alley is forever a beautiful gem!
  • This was a pleasant surprise, a lot of culture in one place, the murals are (some) very well made and can even make you really emotional! Beautiful place, also be sure to check out the whole neighborhood, it is truly one of a kind, bars, restaurants, caf├ęs have so much going on!
  • Great alley and art without the "this place is someone's toilet" smell.
  • Some of the immigration/civil rights murals were too deep for me, but my fave was definitely Where the Wild Things Are. My friend loved the one with the juxtaposition between rich and poor. (Probably a good idea to not take us to art museums.) Anyway, Balmy Street kind of feels different because part of it is painted on people's garages. Feels safe during the daytime, idk about nighttime. Plus, I don't know how illuminated it would be.

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From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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