San Diego Museum of Art
San Diego Museum of Art
4
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
The San Diego Museum of Art, the region’s oldest, largest and most visited art museum, provides a rich and diverse cultural experience. Located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned permanent collection includes Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and sculptures.In addition, the Museum regularly features major exhibitions from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule of supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults. Exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles318 reviews
Excellent
121
Very good
139
Average
42
Poor
11
Terrible
5

baird t
Tucson, AZ372 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Decided on a whim to take in the popular Renoir to Matisse exhibit. The Museum is part of the Balboa Park complex which includes the famous zoo and multitudes of arts spaces and exhibitions.

The Renoir to Matisse exhibit required a slight up charge above the normal admission price, which was merited. The works of Impressionist legends were plentiful, beautifully displayed, enchanting.
The halls are spacious, with high ceilings. Quietly engaging to walk through, or if you wish find a docent to guide you and others.

It remains at the Museum until early October.

We also had just enough time to take in a magnificent work by legendary Spanish artist El Greco beautifully mounted as the center piece of one of the museum's many spacious halls. A nice topping to the Impressionist exhibition.

This is a sizable museum with an excellent collection. Though we weren't able to enjoy its vastness, if the visit to Renoir/Matisse and El Greco are any indication, it's well worth a good part of a day to enjoy its bounty.

Signage to the Museum (and most of the Balboa park facilities) is lacking. Directionals assume you know where you are going or where you've been.
The signs for parking are scarce; we drove by the main parking lot entrance three times before citing a small sign with an arrow. However the parking lot (once you find it) is free, plus an easy walk to the Musem and the other attractions around the large european style outdoor square.

There was a restaurant adjacent to the Museum that had not opened for business that day. We were among the first to enter the museum at 10am.
Written August 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara M
24 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
This is actually a lovely museum and costs only $10 to get in. They were very fussy about wearing a mask so make sure you have one with you. The downside during my visit was the not being able to read the tiny signs posted next to the amazing art from the Bemburg collection. The line away from the works was deep enough so that you could not read the labeling. The museum should have considered the elderly or those with poor vision but apparently that was not considered. A big help would have been posting the artist and name of work in bigger letters. Also, I was not told upon entry there was an app that offers one a spoken tour of the works. For elderly folks, who are not technologically proficient, headphones would have been a big benefit but apparently those were not available. Lovely place with amazing art but not easily accessible to those with visual impairments.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nancy
12 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
This museum has a few semiprecious gems (Riveras, O’Keeffes, Frieda’s body cast) but the offerings are otherwise lackluster. Their art identification system is the least user-friendly I’ve seen in all my years. A free interactive app is just useless, and the $20 admission fee is overpriced for the collections. The Art Institute of Chicago and other first-class art museums in the country have a less than/equal to charge for exponentially superior offerings. Balboa Park is a lovely setting, but save your pennies for other local sites.
Written February 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marfak
Half Moon Bay, CA1,346 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The collection here is on the small side compared to art museums in other cities, but it has a lot of high quality pieces. It is very well laid-out. It could have benefited by better signage like at the Timken. All in all, we enjoyed our visit and would return the next time we are in the area.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dustythoughts
Manchester, CT2,127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
This beautiful art museum is smaller than some other art museums (like the MOMA or the Met), but the size makes this museum more manageable and more intimate. There's a wide range of artwork for a small museum, giving more time to take a step back and enjoy each piece of art at your own pace without the pressure of trying to take in everything. The building itself is also beautiful and worthy of praise. Make a point of going to the sculpture garden. The museum is situated in Balboa Park, so after the museum, you can stroll through the park and take in a nice day if the weather's nice.
Written April 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mohammad Qutishat
Amman, Jordan2,216 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
A beautiful building that represents what is inside it, it is a medium-size museum, that contains amazing arts from all over the world.
I saw a musical performance in front of the museum, I am not sure if that is a regular thing or a one-time event.
Note: there is a free day each month for San Diego residence.
Written November 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mini
Fremont, CA202,952 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We were at Balboa Park and had our choice of four museums on our Balboa Park Pass. We chose to go to the San Diego Museum of Art. The building itself is architecturally interesting.

We enjoyed seeing the two floors of art. There is a large variety such as art from the masters, Contemporary, Asian, etc.
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

L_K1509
London, UK1,604 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
The museum is well maintained with lovely high ceilings and dark coloured walls which enhance the mood of each room.

I particularly liked the flowers and landscape pictures. Brightly coloured and beautiful.

The museum is not big. The security are quick to say stay behind the grey line in front of exhibits and no drink of food allowed. This I noticed was done in a very friendly manner.

We only paid $10 each to enter which I think is enough. Normally $20 each - it’s not worth that price.
Written February 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bidule05
France1,916 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We visited the fine Museum of Art in Balboa park.
We saw fine paintings in the European Gallery, including paintings of Modigliani, Chardin Goya, Rubens and Zurbarán.
An interesting museum.
Written April 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NMgal4life
Albuquerque, NM176 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
The physical building itself is lovely and there are some really good pieces on display but the overall layout of the museum is terrible. There is no flow from room to room and none of the rooms connect so you are constantly backtracking instead of making a loop. A floorplan would have been helpful but they don't have any, only a terrible example on one wall. I couldn't get wi-fi to work to try and download something so we just tried to make the best of it.
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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San Diego Museum of Art - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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