We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very Enjoyable!”

Mission San Juan Capistrano
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Small-Group World Heritage San Antonio Missions...
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Famous for the Annual Return of the Swallows, Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic landmark and museum, welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year. Enhance your visit with our new multi-language Audio Tour available in English, Spanish, French and German and now offered free with admission. Enjoy permanent exhibits featuring historic and religious artifacts, precious and rare paintings, and more. Experience the tradition of bell ringing daily honoring the legacy of Saint Junipero Serra, who founded the Mission in 1776. Visit the newly conserved Serra Chapel, California’s only chapel still standing where Saint Serra celebrated Mass and where the Eucharist has been celebrated daily.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

Great historic visit. A lot of history here. The audio tour was great. Worked well and was very informative. You can explore at your own pace and can go around in any order. Don't have to follow a rigid format. Very clean. Some construction going on to the entrance but nothing to deter visiting. If you love history you will enjoy visiting here and even if you don't it is small enough that you won't get bored. Only need a couple of hours to visit. Highly recommend!

2  Thank Rodvalente
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,322)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"audio tour"
in 123 reviews
"california history"
in 86 reviews
"gardens are beautiful"
in 29 reviews
"old church"
in 20 reviews
"gift shop"
in 70 reviews
"self guided"
in 17 reviews
"serra chapel"
in 43 reviews
"own pace"
in 26 reviews
"native americans"
in 16 reviews
"interesting history"
in 19 reviews
"the great stone church"
in 23 reviews
"swallows return"
in 22 reviews
"take your time"
in 16 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 21 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 21 reviews
"los rios"
in 13 reviews
"two hours"
in 21 reviews

1,054 - 1,058 of 1,322 reviews

Reviewed March 3, 2013

I usually read most if not all of the text panels when I go to museums and heritage sites. Here, I think I read one or two. Otherwise, my Mom and I just wandered through the lovely grounds and looked at the gardens, buildings, butterflies, swallows' nests, etc. We also hung out by the koi pond, where a youngster named Adrian had figured out how to attract the koi by waving his fingers over the water as if he were feeding them. Lots of great photo ops here.

This was a great day trip from Anaheim -- we took the Amtrak down and spent the day here. The train station is only a block from the mission, in the centre of town. It would be even better during swallow season!

Thank delarana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

A beautiful place to visit with so much history. Guided tours are available, as are audio tours which are included with your admission, but we enjoyed just walking through the many exhibits. The grounds are beautiful and lovingly cared for. Having visited other missions in California, we were impressed with how much of San Juan Capistrano Mission remains for visitors to view.

1  Thank Judy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We really enjoyed our tour of the San Juan Capistrano Mission so much. It was so beautiful, and easy to access. The tour was only so so, a young guy and he seemed condescending and not so knowledgeable- but I would not want that to discourage anyone, it is a beautiful historical site and not to be missed. The church, they said, was the oldest building in California! The gift shop is neat, also, with some carved saints and beautiful crosses. Go to see this mission, it is a neat place to visit.

1  Thank nature+surf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed February 20, 2013

It's famous for being famous. Nothing much to see here beyond ... other tourists wishing there was something to see!

But it is right off the freeway and does provide an excuse to stretch the legs, get a bite to eat, and ogle other tourists.It costs money ($9) by the way to walk among the actual ruins.

Photos, if you're remotely interested: http://www.pressreleasewriter.info

3  Thank PressReleaseWriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Mission San Juan Capistrano also viewed

Laguna Beach, Orange County
Newport Beach, Orange County
San Juan Capistrano, Orange County
Laguna Beach, Orange County

Been to Mission San Juan Capistrano? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing