Exploratorium
Exploratorium
4.5
Speciality Museums • Science Museums
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10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday
10:00 - 17:00
Thursday
10:00 - 17:00
18:00 - 22:00
Friday
10:00 - 17:00
Saturday
10:00 - 17:00
Sunday
12:00 - 17:00
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About
The Exploratorium is more than an iconic San Francisco museum perched by the Bay—it’s an all-ages gateway to joyful exploration of science, art, and human perception. Let your curiosity roam free through hundreds of exhibits in six spacious indoor and outdoor galleries. Watch, listen, notice, experiment, and play with wondrous phenomena from the world around you: from living cells to cosmic rays, from bubbles to human behavior, from optical illusions to electricity, from playful machines to rainbows, and much more. Plus observe the Exploratorium’s open shop, where our exhibits are designed, built, and tinkered with. You’ll find thoughtful safety protocols for visitors and staff, our unique museum store, excellent dining, and beautiful San Francisco Bay views. Located in the historic Pier 15 along San Francisco's Embarcadero, between Pier 39 and the Ferry Building, the Exploratorium is easy to get to by public transportation, and there's ample parking nearby.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Admission tickets
from €39.67
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Neighbourhood: North Waterfront/Embarcadero
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4.5
3,524 reviews
Excellent
2,493
Very good
780
Average
203
Poor
38
Terrible
10

Lorena C
1 contribution
Sep 2022 • Couples
Maybe separating the area for adults and chillaren but overall really interesting things to look at.
Written 4 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amy P
San Jose, CA19 contributions
Aug 2022
This museum touches different sciences - biology (dissecting a cow's eye. seeing a chick's heart beating, shrimps), geology, physics (wheels, floating fabrics). So much to see and explore with kids. Worth the time and energy to visit!
Written 1 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Roary
Vancouver, Canada2,914 contributions
We used our Go City Explorer pass to visit the Exploratorium. This is a huge science museum. I read that most people spend 3 hours here, but if my kids had a choice, we could have spent most of our entire day there.

I was really impressed with the sheer quantity, quality and variety of exhibits. This place needs a lot of staff to keep it so well maintained (very few pieces were out of order). I also liked how they had some pieces shown like artwork where they provide details of the creator and exhibit piece.

Close enough to the Ferry Building to grab a nice lunch before spending more time there.

By far the best science museum I’ve ever visited. Using the Go City pass made it more affordable.
Written 31 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

4grandtravel4
Davenport, IA89 contributions
Aug 2022
This is fun place for inquisitive kids who like science. But the admission fee is very high. I never understand why adult prices are so high considering they are really only there to chaperone the kids. There is no senior discount. We didn't spend as much time there as we thought we would. There were too many people who do not have manners and just step in front of you.
Written 29 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sally K
Southampton, UK12 contributions
Aug 2022
We visited as a family of four (2adults & 2 children, 13 & 10) during our holiday and found this to be a really engaging and interesting place. We enjoyed exploring all the hands-on exhibits and spent a good few hours there. We attended a day or two after the local schools had resumed, so it was fairly empty.

The staff were all very helpful and friendly and the place was clean and well kept, even the restrooms. We had lunch in the on-site restaurant, which was quite expensive, but the food was tasty with good sized portions (our girls only managed about half a slice of pizza each).

There is a lot to see and do at this attraction, both inside and outside. It is easy to get to via the F-line trolley/streetcar or bus. I would definitely recommend this place to curious children who enjoy finding out how things work.
Written 24 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kellyscottcollins
San Francisco, CA5 contributions
Aug 2022
So much science. Experiments galore. Love the map room upstairs. The place is designed to engage young minds but all adults will love it. Also, lots of local lore and history re North Beach and its environment.
Written 14 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicola_W_0108
United Kingdom477 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
We were looking forward to visiting after reading lots of positive reviews. It would have been useful to have been provided with a map of the different galleries so we knew what was where. It was quite a stressful experience when we visited on a Sunday in July (perhaps these are busier days) - there were people everywhere, which made it difficult to look at the exhibits properly as you felt rushed or crowded. Unfortunately we also encountered several people with no manners, who proceeded to stand in our way or not wait their turn to look at exhibits. All visitors had to wear masks; we do understand the need for this but it was warm in the museum so we felt quite stifled by the heat and masks. Food in the restaurant also seemed overpriced (nearly $10 for two packs of crisps and one can of pop!) Due to the reasons mentioned, this was not the most enjoyable of experiences for us so we didn’t spend long at the Exploratorium. Maybe if we’d have visited on a quieter day, we would have enjoyed it more.
Written 1 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Odyssey198558
Lebanon, MO2 contributions
A place were someone of any age can learn science and have fun. While it may be geared towards the imaginations of children, you would be hard pressed not to find the many exhibits fascinating no matter how old you are.
Written 31 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Charles M
3 contributions
Have to say. This may have been my 17 year old kids favorite place she visited in San Francisco. Wasn’t expecting much but you can literally spend a day there. Personally I left her alone there by lunch time and she could have stayed there even past closing
Written 24 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tami
Eureka, CA5 contributions
Jul 2022
Spent several hours here with a 12, 6 and 4 year old. They had a blast. There is so much to see and do. Definitely worth going.
Written 22 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Exploratorium | San Francisco | UPDATED October 2022 Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Exploratorium

Exploratorium is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 - 17:00
  • Wed - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
  • Thu - Thu 18:00 - 22:00
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

Exploratorium admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost €40.75, while a popular guided tour starts around €6.11 per person. See all 9 Exploratorium tickets and tours on Tripadvisor

Exploratorium can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 9 Exploratorium tickets and tours on Tripadvisor



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