Local Highlights

Best murals in San Francisco


From the Golden Gate Bridge to the Painted Ladies in Alamo Square, vibrant colors fill the streets of San Francisco, making it one of the most vivid cities in the country. Few walls escape the touch of local artists who, over the centuries, have created thousands of street art installations and public murals across the city. If you’re looking for your next Instagram post or just want to learn more about San Francisco’s history, visit the following 6 best murals in San Francisco.

“Naya Bihana” at Balmy Alley

Find the largest collection of murals in San Francisco in this alley between 24th and 25th Streets and Treat and Harrison Streets in the Mission. In the 1970s, two women, known as the Las Mujeres Muralistas, started to raise awareness of the displacement and marginalization of Mexican-Americans through large, colorful murals. This set the stage for Balmy Alley to be a platform for minority groups to express their experiences, stories, and outrage. In the 1980s, murals addressed human rights and political abuse across Central America. Today, themes have expanded to include gender equality, Hurricane Katrina, and more.

“Naya Bihana” or “A New Dawn,” by London-born artist Martin Travers, depicts three generations of Nepalese women toiling in the fields and breaking the chains of oppression.

“We All Deserve a Healthy and Safe Community” at Clarion Alley

Formed in 1992, the Clarion Alley Mural Project resulted in the creation of the second largest collection of murals in the Mission located between 17th and 18th Streets. Inspired by Balmy Alley, Clarion Alley reflects the variety of contemporary art styles and messages of social inclusiveness. CAMP collaborated with artists from around the world to discuss themes like race, class, and the housing market, like this one. However, not all the art is serious. Some include superheroes, dinosaurs, and Prince.

Carnaval Mural

The historic Carnaval Mural, originally painted in 1983, can be found on the corner of 24th Street and South Van Ness Avenue. This 24-foot-high painting depicts the spirit of the first annual Carnaval celebration in 1979, which is now in its 39th year. Also known as “Golden Dreams of the Mission,” it is one of the most important public art projects in the neighborhood.

Mondrian Garage

So far, the murals mentioned are located in renowned areas concentrated with street art. San Francisco, however, is more than that. The people and residential neighborhoods are just as welcoming, expressive, and colorful. As an homage to artist Piet Mondrian, this mural covers a house along the Great Highway in Outer Sunset.

Zio Ziegler Mural

American artist Zio Ziegler utilized a simple black-and-white palette to create this mural of a tribal-patterned tiger on a bright red background. Ziegler’s work, often described as “tattooing the skin of San Francisco” and “contemporary urban cave art,” accentuates the wall of the 24th Street BART station.

Ian Ross Mural

Much like Zio Ziegler’s pieces, Ian Ross’ street art can be found spread throughout the city. His “hyper-organic” style of bold romantic shapes, curving lines, and potent energy suggest Art Nouveau and architectural influences. This recent piece on the Mission’s Caledonia Street is one of our favorites with its intricate black-and-white strokes emulating feathers, leaves, and flowers.

This list of best murals in San Francisco does not even begin to cover all the beautiful sights that the city has to offer. Can you believe you can live right by such colorful and vibrant artworks? Learn more about our coliving homes in San Francisco, and sign up for a free tour today.

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