Visiting Salk

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Visiting Salk

Visiting Salk

Due to the growing concern over COVID-19, the Salk Institute campus is closed to all visitors and tours for the immediate future.

If you would like to be notified when the Institute reopens for tours, please sign up below:

We are excited to have you visit!
The Salk Institute has a long history of innovation and excellence in biomedical science. In addition, the Salk Institute continues to be acclaimed by architecture critics as one of the world’s boldest structures. Completed in 1965 and now designated a historical site, the Institute fulfills founder Dr. Jonas Salk’s vision of a facility with open, unobstructed laboratory interiors set in a dramatic location that inspires creativity among its researchers. For more information about the history of the Salk Institute please click here».

The Salk Institute is a private, not-for-profit research institute. Online reservations are required to visit the Salk campus and visitors are welcome during normal business hours. Groups of 8 visitors or larger must book a private docent-led tour at least 7 working days in advance. Please note that we do not combine private tour groups together. FAQ

Two visitation options are available:

  • Self-guided tours of the campus during normal business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Online reservations are required. Conservation fees are valid for up to 10 days after the booking date.
    • Adults: $7.50 Conservation Fee*
    • Students with ID & children under 12: Free

  • Salk Docent-led Architecture Tours are led by trained and knowledgeable staff on Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tour requests must be submitted at least 7 working days prior to the prospective tour date. Groups of 8 visitors or larger must book in advance, however we welcome requests from groups of 1-44 people. These one hour tours are private, we do not combine private tour groups together Important note: The price for a Salk Docent-led Architecture Tour starts at $150.00.

*The Salk Institute Conservation Fee supports the preservation and maintenance of the buildings and landscapes that make the Institute such a special place. Recent renovation projects have included restoring the teak accents and repairs on the concrete façades of the buildings. These efforts are critical to preserving one of the region’s historic landmarks. Fees are nonrefundable, however the reservation is valid for up to 10 days after the booking date.

Due to the growing concern over COVID-19, the Salk Institute campus is closed to all visitors and tours for the immediate future.

Visitor Parking

There is no public parking available on the Salk Institute’s campus for visitors and tour attendees. We encourage guests to use free parking along Torrey Pines Scenic Drive and in the Gliderport parking lot. Paid public parking is available for a modest fee at the Sanford Consortium lot which is located just across the street from the Salk Institute. The current fee is $3/hour.

If you plan to drive your own vehicle, please allow for an extra 15-20 minutes to park.

Click here for parking map»


Recreational photography is permitted and defined by the use of one hand-held camera without the use of any additional photo/video equipment. While taking photos, please respect other visitors and Salk staff. Any other type of photo or video shoot must be arranged with our Communications Office at (858) 453-4100 x1371 or email
Click here for photo guidelines»

Conservation Efforts

Built in the early 1960s, the Salk Institute is revered around the world as a modern architectural treasure. In July 2017, Salk Institute announced with the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) that conservation efforts were complete for one of the key architectural elements at the Salk Institute—its teak window walls. The project offered Salk an opportunity to be proactive in maintaining and conserving the teak for the next 50 years. Learn more about the teak project here». As part of its Keeping It Modern initiative, the Getty Foundation has awarded the Salk Institute a grant to begin the necessary work to support the conservation of the concrete facades. Learn more about the concrete project here».

Conduct Policy

To ensure the safety and civility of the Institute’s culture and campus, we are committed to an environment that is free of all forms of harassment, discrimination, bullying or other inappropriate or disrespectful conduct, whether physical, verbal or visual. Actions of this nature will not be tolerated by Salk, regardless of one’s relationship with the Institute. This applies to online and in-person conduct by and against all persons involved in the operation of the Institute, including but not limited to Institute employees, visitors, contractors, volunteers, any individuals providing services pursuant to a contract, other third-party non-employees or applicants for an employment, volunteer, or training position with Salk. If you see something that you think isn’t right, speak up. Please share any concerns with Salk by emailing with the assurance of knowing that the Institute does not tolerate retaliation against anyone who reports in good faith.

Due to the growing concern over COVID-19, the Salk Institute campus is closed to all visitors and tours for the immediate future.

Salk Cafe

The Salk CulinArt café is open for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Happy Bean coffee cart on campus is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hotel and Car Rental Discounts
Click here for hotel and car rental discounts»