Museum visits are self-guided, so you can go at your own pace and choose where to linger. Popular permanent exhibits include Egyptian mummies, carved stone stelae from the ancient Mayan period, and a fascinating look at the realities of cannibalism. An exploration of monster myths throughout history and the “Adventure Kids in Egypt” archaeology exhibit are family favorites, while rotating temporary exhibits introduce new and intriguing topics in anthropology. Climb seven stories up to the top of the California Tower for panoramic views over Balboa Park.
Things to know before you go
- Admission is free for children age five and under.
- Some exhibits and the California Tower may be temporarily closed due to construction, so check the museum website for updates.
- The museum is fully wheelchair accessible. An ADA ramp to the main entrance is located on the northwest corner of California Plaza.
- Wheelchairs are available to use at no additional charge.
How to get there
The San Diego Museum of Man is located in Balboa Park at California Plaza. The easiest way to reach it is by car. Several free parking lots and street parking are available in Balboa Park; the closest parking is along Balboa Drive or Sixth Avenue west of the Cabrillo Bridge. The free Balboa Park tram shuttles visitors from other parking lots and stops nearby the museum. If taking public transit, MTS buses 3, 7, 120, and Rapid 215 all service Balboa Park.
When to get there
The museum is open daily except for Thanksgiving day and Christmas Day. Each second and fourth Saturday of the month, the museum hosts an all-levels yoga class in the rotunda before the doors open to the general public.
Balboa Park: San Diego’s Museum Campus
An expensive green space filled with more than a dozen museums and other attractions, Balboa Park is San Diego's premier cultural destination. In addition to the Museum of Man, visitors can explore art, science, and history at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum, Timken Museum of Art, Fleet Science Center, and many others. Kid-approved attractions include the world-famous San Diego Zoo, vintage Balboa Park carousel and miniature train, and Sixth Avenue Playground. Add in restaurants, gardens, and performing arts spaces, and there's enough here to fill an entire vacation.
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