Of all the museums I have seen in my life, this one I'll remember!
After seeing the Dali special exhibition with some of his most famous works at the Reina Sofia in Madrid (to Sept. 2013), Dali's scope and genius is even more apparent in this fantastic setting in Figueres. When you only see a few of Dali's works, you can mistakingly think that it is all fantasy, bizarre and egotistical. When you see so many and the variety, you realize he was a true genius (if a bit neurotic) and unmatched in technique and breath.
The collection is roughly in chronological order and the map gives clear directions (even arrows), although it says you don't have to follow them in any order. Most of the rooms have a theme. Do not miss the Mae West room! I particularly like that you can take photos and videos (no flash!) to share with friends.
There were a several children touring and they seemed to really enjoy the art. To be sure, some of his works are "adult" but usually the eroticism is even difficult for adults to see and interpret, so I don't think children under 16 can really recognize that aspect.
There was a line to get tickets at 2 pm on a July Thursday and a similar line at 5 pm. Likely even more crowded on weekends. There is no audio guide -- which might be intentional because it could slow down crowd flow -- and I'm not sure whether many of this works can really be explained anyway.
There were several tour groups, which can clog up a whole room sometimes --- my advice is just skip a room if there too many and then come back to it. The people density tends to fluctuate -- crowded one minute and nearly empty 10-15 minutes later. You can go any direction through the rooms and retrace your steps if you want.
Figure minimum of two hours -- better 3 or 4. The museum is actually rather compact and I found navigation and amount of walking reasonable (I use a cane). There are a few wicker chairs in most rooms to rest and a nice outdoor plaza on the 2nd floor. Good air conditioning, too. The jewel collection (separate entrance) is worth visiting for 30 -45 minutes. There are several cafes just outside the museum.
From Barcelona, the most convenient is the MD (media distancia) trains that run about every hour and take 110 minutes. The cheaper Regional trains take 130 minutes and are not as nice. There is very limited high speed service, too (50 minutes). The scenery is not interesting except for the last 15 miles or so. Take a book or MP3 player.
The walk from the Renfe train station is uphill -- I took a taxi for 10 euros. The walk back to the train station is about 1 km (15 minutes). The old part of Figueres and the Ramblas are typical and not particularly interesting.
Whether you like Dali or not, a day in Figueres is a day you won't forget.
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