Salk Institute

Salk Institute, La Jolla: Hours, Address, Salk Institute Reviews: 4.5/5

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Salk Institute

Salk Institute
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Architectural Buildings
Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
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1-2 hours
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Tours and Tickets

4.5
231 reviews
Excellent
173
Very good
40
Average
10
Poor
3
Terrible
5

MamaMia796
Rancho Cucamonga, CA783 contributions
Went to see a Defense of a Doctorate
Oct. 2019 • Business
The buildings are so unique it looks futuristic. We were allowed in with a visitors pass to see the Defense. What a beautiful place to work.
Written 23 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

marilyna90
3 contributions
Salk Institute - Extraordinary architecture creating an inspirational place.
Sep. 2019
The Salk Institute is hailed as one of Louis Kahn's masterpieces and with good reason. Experiencing these buildings is the best way to understand why the Salk Institute has been renown and a mecca for visitors since it's inception. Particularly stunning is the way in which the buildings frame extraordinay views of the ocean and the sky above it. The architecture seems to embody the important research focus on the "betterment of mankind" that are the cornerstone of the Salk Institute.
Written 8 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Noel78
Florida446 contributions
Interesting architecture; great docent
Jul. 2019
We wanted to take an architectural tour of the Salk Institute three years ago on our last stop in La Jolla. At that time, all the tours we booked. This time we ordered a deluxe tour for $150 which allows for 10 guests. Well, there were only four of us, but it was worth the donation to the Institute. Dr. Bob, a retired surgeon, led us on an excellent tour, and he has a bi-coastal appreciation of Kahn since he knew his best building (on the Yale campus). I learned a lot more about Dr. Salk and a little bit more about the current labs. There are no interiors shown on the tour, except a brief stop in the library and a quick passage through the attic. These are working laboratories and are not open to interlopers. Let the scientists do their things. Kahn did his thing, and it was a very good one.
Written 10 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

leighh5
San Diego5 contributions
Architecture is interesting
Aug. 2018 • Family
I've been to a business event here, as well as brought the kids to walk around the courtyard. On the summer solstice, the water points directly into the setting sun. It is beautiful.
Written 18 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Colby S
Irvine, CA1,030 contributions
A Beautiful Temple to Science
Jul. 2019
I just recently got to visit this place and it is absolutely gorgeous!

Jonas Salk (who developed the vaccine for polio) wanted to establish a research center in that would continue his vision of helping people through the miracle of science so he hired architect Louis Kahn to design a campus so beautiful that it would be, in his words, “worthy of a visit by Picasso.” I think we can safely say that Louis Kahn succeeded in that goal when the campus was completed in 1965.

I walked through the gate, where a helpful guard gave me some useful tips about the site, and approached the complex which is striking in both its monumentality and elegance. There’s something about these buildings built in the Brutalist style that are somehow modern yet ancient at the same time.

They were built for scientific research, yet there’s a mystical and ethereal quality that seems to transcend the mortal realm. There’s just a temple-like atmosphere that pervades the space that I noticed while sitting down on a bench behind the fountain that runs through the middle of the courtyard and seemingly stretches beyond the horizon towards the Pacific Ocean.

Just as the Mayans built temples and palaces to their gods so long ago in the Yucatán, it feels like Louis Kahn was able to build a temple to science right here in Southern California.

I don’t have much else to say than to check it out! It’s definitely worth your time and exploration.
Written 17 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Amy B
Lincoln, NE3 contributions
Spent $7.50 to enter...
Jul. 2019 • Couples
...to get told all of the places that I could not go on the site. The views of the ocean were only okay at best. You would do better to go to Mt. Soledad to get better views for free. I'm not a student of architecture, so perhaps this is a spot for architecture lovers. But IMO for the casual tourist, this is a waste of time and money.
Written 16 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Napoleon521
San Diego, CA14 contributions
Not to be missed
Jun. 2019 • Solo
This building is one of the master piece of the famous architect Louis Khan. The Salk Institute was established in 1960 by Jonas Salk, MD, developer of the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Salk selected world-renowned architect Louis I. Kahn to design the research facility he envisioned would contribute to the betterment of humankind. I believe that tours of the institute are possible. If so, and if you are passionate by architecture or science (or both), this will make you proud of humanity
Written 2 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tony T
Calgary, Canada119 contributions
Disrespectful Security Guard - Decided not to visit
Jun. 2019 • Family
I really wanted to visit the Salk Institute during our vacation but an extremely rude and condescending security guard made me change my mind. If you plan to visit know that there is a $7.50 USD fee per person that needs to be purchased online beforehand and you cannot park in the parkade directly in front of the building. You need to park a few blocks away which isn't the end of the world.

I'm not complaining about the separate parking or the fee. I think both are completely reasonable. I'm complaining about the aggressive and condescending the security guard working there on June 6th, 2019. I don't know if he was racist or if he just didn't like dealing with tourists, but within 5 seconds of our conversation he basically said take out your phone and pay or leave immediately because you can't park in this lot.

It's really too bad because I'm sure I would have rated this attraction 5 stars if I had spent the time to read on the logistics prior to going, but I had spent my time planning other parts of our trip instead.
Written 18 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tunde S
Vancouver, Canada19 contributions
IT’S ONE OF THE TOP BIOLOGY RESEARCH FACILITIES IN THE WORLD.
Dec. 2018
I am an architect fan and I amazed myself with this building. Pioneering architect Louis Kahn truly created an architectural marvel. His masterpiece consists of two mirror-image structures — each six stories tall — that flank a grand travertine courtyard.The city of San Diego, California had gifted him with a picturesque site in La Jolla along the Pacific coast, where Salk intended to found and build a biological research center.
Written 10 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vernon E
Litchfield Park, AZ159 contributions
water, view and architecture too.
Apr. 2019 • Couples
We arranged for a guided tour. The docent was fabulous - give us history of the institute as well a wonderful explanation of the design, structure practicality and the beautify of the buildings.
Visits must be arranged in advance.
Written 27 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Salk Institute

Salk Institute is open:
  • Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm