The Museum is a welcoming shared space.
The San Diego Museum of Art is a welcoming space. All who share this space are expected to treat others with respect and dignity. Anyone whose conduct is disruptive, abusive, or discriminatory will be asked to adjust their behavior and may be asked to leave the premises.
Thank you for your interest in visiting the Museum. Below are frequently asked questions and guidelines to help guide your visit.
Are children welcome?
Yes! Children of all ages will find The San Diego Museum of Art to be a fun and fascinating place to explore. Plus, youth ages 17 and under always receive free admission. Children younger than 14 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (age 18 years or older) at all times. We request one adult chaperone for every ten children under the age of 15.
Can I take photos or videos?
We encourage our visitors to share their experiences and photos with friends. Non-flash photography of objects in the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions (where noted) is permitted for private use only. Photographs may not be published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner. Flash photography, the use of tripods, monopods, extension sticks (also known as selfie sticks), and the use of movie or video recording are prohibited.
Please be advised of gallery areas designated with “No Photography Allowed” signs as well as the labels of selected works of art with the ‘“No Photography Allowed’” symbol. If you’re not sure if photography is permitted, please ask a Museum Attendant.
Video filming and special photography projects, including wedding photography, are not permitted at the Museum unless preapproved by the Museum’s Marketing Department. Contact 619.232.7931 or email@example.com to inquire.
For press photography, please contact Venice Henson at 619.295.8232 x129.
Do you have access for visitors with disabilities?
All parts of the Museum are accessible to visitors using wheelchairs or mobility equipment. The access ramp entrance is located at the east end of the front of the Museum.
What are your hours?
We are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. The Museum is closed on Wednesdays.
Can I bring a pet?
We welcome you to bring your service animal into the Museum. Pets are not allowed.
How can I contact someone at the Museum?
You may contact us at 619.232.7931 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or you may contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I get with general admission?
General admission covers our permanent collection and non-ticketed special exhibitions. We also offer a variety things including free our mobile app and virtual programming.
Do you have a store?
The Museum Store stocks San Diego’s most comprehensive selection of art books. Browse the exquisite jewelry, beautiful gifts, uncommon home décor, creative toys and find the unexpected. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or a piece of the Museum to call your own, The Museum Store has something for everyone.
Bibliotique is the Museum’s second store, which is located in the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court. Offering unique and innovative items, Bibliotique focuses on the creatively inclined with an emphasis on San Diego culture (arts and design, surf, skate and craft beer). Proceeds from every sale benefit the Museum’s educational and exhibition programs.
What are the membership levels and benefits?
Membership starts at $50 and offers many benefits. Visit our Membership page for more information.
What do I get for Member for a Day ticket?
Where should I park and how much does it cost?
We are located in the heart of Balboa Park with many options for parking at no cost. See the Balboa Park parking lots map for parking options.
How can I get to the Museum on public transportation?
How much time should I allow to view the Museum?
Stop for a few minutes or spend the day—there’s always something new to view or experience.
What is the dress code?
There is no formal dress code, but we suggest casual sportswear and comfortable walking shoes. Special events held at the Museum may suggest more formal attire. Shirts and shoes required in the Museum.
Do you allow food or drinks?
No food or drinks are allowed in the Museum gallery spaces.
Is there a restaurant or café at the Museum?
Panama 66, the Museum’s restaurant, is located in our May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden and features craft beer and fresh casual fare sourced locally for the whole family. No outside food is allowed in the Court and Garden.
Is outside food allowed in the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden?
No outside food is allowed in the Court and Garden.
Do you have any guided tours or audio tours?
We offer virtual tours led by docents on a variety of topics throughout each month. Visit the schedule here. We also offer a free mobile app that has 200 insider stories about our works of art, 15+ hours of video content, several augmented reality experiences, and much more. Ask at the Visitor Relations desk for availability.
The Museum also offers free guided tours inside the Museum with paid admission. Knowledgeable Museum docents provide as many as two public tours each day. Each tour lasts approximately 30-40 minutes. Sign up for guided tours the day of your visit at the Visitor Relations desk or Docent desk, both located near the Museum entrance. Same-day registration is required. Space is limited.
Are there signature works of art that I cannot miss?
We have wide range of artworks from all time periods and all around the globe. Visit our Collection Highlights webpage to look at staff picks and vote for your favorite, then come in to see them in person.
Do you offer any senior, student, or military discounts?
We are pleased to offer discounts to seniors, full-time college students, and military personnel. All children 17 and under are free. Visit the Hours and Admissions for a full list of prices, discounts, and offers.
Do you allow the use of cell phones?
The use of cell phones for phone calls is limited to the lobby areas of the Museum. While in the galleries please silence cell phones and use headphones when accessing the SDMA app and/or phone.
What is proper museum etiquette?
We ask that our visitors refrain from running in the Museum, touching the works of art, or speaking in a loud manner. Courtesy to fellow visitors and protection of the works of art is the goal.
What is the 12-inch rule?
Twelve inches is a comfortable “buffer” zone when viewing works of art.
What is currently on view?
The San Diego Museum of Art’s permanent collection is all-encompassing, with objects from across the globe, and ranging in date from 5000 BC to the present. Perhaps best known for its Spanish old master paintings, the Museum holds a broad collection of European, American, Latin American, and Asian art. We also regularly have special exhibitions on view. See what’s on view here.
What is the Museum's policy on rights and reproductions?
Does the Museum appraise works of art?
The staff of The San Diego Museum of Art do not provide appraisals of works of art for insurance or sales purposes. Please consult the following for referrals to appropriate resources. The inclusion of organizations and individuals on this list is not an endorsement by The San Diego Museum of Art but is offered as a courtesy to those seeking information.
American Society of Appraisers
P.O. Box 17265
Washington, D.C. 20041
Phone: (800) 272-8258
Appraisers Association of America
386 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 889-5404, ext.11
7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Phone: (323) 850-7500
20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 636-2000
1334 York Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Phone: (541) 312-5682
Are works of art for sale?
The Museum of Art does not sell works of art.
Do you have events?
Do you offer field trips or educational programs?
We offer many virtual educational programs and opportunities for school tours throughout the year, as well as educational resources for teachers and educators. We serve children, adults, educators, and families in the San Diego area through educational and interpretive programs and performances in the Museum’s galleries, classrooms, and auditorium, and through outreach programs in the community.
Will the Museum donate to my organization’s fundraiser?
The Museum is proud to support the non-profit community within San Diego County, and we will donate guest passes for most fundraisers, benefit events, and galas. To view our guidelines and submit a request for a donation, click here.
Do you offer group discounts?
Due to current restrictions, we are not currently offering group discounts.
Do you accommodate large groups?
We can accommodate groups of all sizes. Please visit our Admissions webpage for more information.
Where can I purchase admission?
Admission tickets may be purchased at the door or online.
Do you accommodate different languages?
All exhibition information is available in English and Spanish. Other languages can be accommodated with advance notice. Contact email@example.com to make arrangements.
What can I leave at coat check?
For your comfort and the safety of the art on view, please leave larger items at home. Coat check is available to stow food, drink, backpacks, and oversized items, including bags exceeding 16x16x8 inches and umbrellas, as these items are not allowed inside the Museum. Additional items may be checked at our discretion. Please note, backpacks and backpack-style child carriers must be worn on the front of the body, carried by hand like a briefcase, or left at coat check. Strollers are allowed in all gallery spaces. Thank you for keeping our works of art safe.
Do you have a lost and found?
Lost or found items may be turned in or claimed through our Security Department. To speak with a representative, call 619.232.7931.
What's your refund and cancellation policy?
General Museum Admission
The Museum will issue refunds on a case-by-case basis for general Museum admission.
Special Exhibition Admission
The Museum will issue a refund on a case-by-case basis for Special Exhibition admission. Depending on the exhibition, all or part of your ticket price may not be refundable.
- You must cancel at least two weeks prior to the first day of your child’s camp/studio to receive a 100% refund.
- Cancellations less than two weeks prior to the first day of your child’s camp/studio will be refunded at 50% of the fee paid.
- After the first day of your child’s camp/studio, no refunds will be issued for any reason
- Cancellations must be made at least 72 hours prior to class time to receive a full refund.
- After the 72-hour mark, no refunds will be given.
- Unless otherwise stated the above policy is in effect for all workshops.
No Refunds are given for:
- Art Alive
- Bus Trips
- Culture & Cocktails/Sculpture & Cocktails
- And other special events where listed
Circle and Gallery Collective Events
If you are attending one of these member-specific events, please let us know if you are unable to attend leading up to the event. These events often have very limited capacities, which means there are often waitlists. Help your fellow members by freeing up a space for them.
Refunds for Canceled Events
The Museum will contact ticket holders in the case of a canceled event and will issue refunds.
Refunds for Rescheduled Events
The Museum will contact ticket holders with a new date and time for rescheduled events. If a ticket holder cannot attend the rescheduled event, a refund will be issued.
Use of Tickets
The Museum reserves the right to require photo identification of any person picking up or using tickets/passes at the Museum.
The Museum prohibits the resale of tickets. Unlawful sale or attempted sale subjects tickets to revocation without refund. Persons who purchase ticket(s) to the Museum and/or to Museum events other than through the Museum’s ticket office or website should note that the Museum accepts no responsibility for the validity or such tickets. Tickets obtained from unauthorized sources may be invalid, lost, stolen, or counterfeit and if so are void.
Can I draw in the galleries?
The Museum requires that visitors complete a Sketching Permit Form during their visit before sketching, available at the front Admissions Desk. Once you complete the form, you will be issued a sticker so that Gallery Attendants will know that you’ve been approved for sketching.
*Groups of 10 or more must complete a Sketching Permit Form at least two weeks in advance. Please contact the Admission Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Visitors may sketch with pencil, colored pencils, or crayons. Ink pens and chalk are NOT allowed in the galleries, except in designated art making areas. Please take care not to gesture with your pencil or other tools so as not to endanger the works of art.
Drawing surfaces—including hand-held sketchpads, notebooks, and drawing boards— must be 15” x 17” or smaller. Visitors may not use easels and may not prop materials against walls and display cases nor spread out on the floor.