Frequently Asked Questions
Visitors are only allowed on campus Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m., unless the Institute is closed for a holiday or private event. All visitors must pre-register. Click here to pre-register.
Yes, walk-in visitors in groups of 7 or less are allowed on campus during normal business hours (Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). There is no fee for self-guided tours, however you must pre-register online. We ask you to consider making a donation to the Salk Institute conservation program upon registration. All visitors must check in with the security guard at the front reception desk upon arrival. A self-guided our map is available free of charge. Click here to register for a self-guided visit.
Both docent-led tours follow the same outdoor tour route and cover the same architectural highlights, information about the history of the Salk Institute, and anecdotes from our knowledgeable guides. The only difference is the size of the groups and the mixture of guests within the tour group(s). A private docent-led tour includes only your group of guests, whereas the regular docent-led campus tour is a group made up of the general public.
The Salk Institute is a working research facility and access to the labs and other interior spaces is prohibited on all tours.
All tour registrations must be completed online using the Salk Institute website. Please visit https://www.salk.edu/about/visiting-salk/ to register for a private docent-led campus tour. Private docent-led tour requests must be submitted at least 10 business days prior to the prospective tour date. For more information about arranging a private docent-led tour, please visit https://www.salk.edu/custom-architecture-tours/.
The donation helps fund the Salk Institute Architectural Conservation Program, which supports the preservation and maintenance of the buildings and landscapes that make the Institute such a special place. Recent renovation projects have included restoration of 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. Learn more about the project here.
If you are unable to attend your private docent-led tour or need to reschedule to a new date, please email email@example.com or call (858) 453-4100 x1287. All tours must be canceled or rescheduled at least two business days before the scheduled tour date for a full refund. If canceled or rescheduled after two business days, your purchase will be considered a donation.
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 or in the Gliderport parking lot. Paid public parking is available across the street from the Salk Institute at the Sanford Consortium. The current fee is $3/hour.
If you plan to drive your own vehicle, please allow for an extra 15-20 minutes to park.
No. All architecture tours will take place rain or shine.
No. The Salk Institute campus is closed on weekends, holidays, and for private events.
No. The Salk Institute is a working research facility and all Salk campus tours take place outdoors. With the exception of the restrooms, tour groups do not go inside the laboratories or in any areas of the buildings that are not a part of the designated tour route.
Yes. Our tours can accommodate those who need ADA accessibility.
Yes, the Salk café is open to visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The access to the Café is on the perimeter of the building and we recommend that you plan your meal for before or after your visit. Seating is available on the Lower West Courtyard for café patrons. The Rhino Cake and Coffee Co. coffee cart is located in the Salk Institute Grove and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
We do not recommend bringing young children or babies on the tour as they may distract the group or tour guide. The Salk architecture tour is geared toward architects and adults interested in architecture.
No. We recommend leaving all strollers, luggage, or any other large bags at home as there are many stairs on the tour route and no place to store these items. If you do bring any of these items with you, Salk is not responsible for storing, securing, or watching these belongings.
Taxis or a ride-sharing service such as Uber/Lyft are recommended. However, there is a bus stop in front of the Institute and a Blue Line trolley stop at the UC San Diego campus. For the schedule, visit San Diego’s MTS trip planner: http://www.sdmts.com/Planning/googleTP.asp
Taking personal photos or short videos are permitted on campus and restricted to one hand-held camera without the use of any additional photo/video equipment. Tripods, lighting set-ups, and other equipment are prohibited. While taking photos, please respect tour guides, other visitors, and Salk staff. Any type of photo or video shoot for commercial or media purposes must be approved and arranged through the Communications department at (858) 453-4100 x1371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to see your unique view of our Institute. Share your photos with us by tagging us on Instagram @salkinstitute and use the hashtags #salkinstitute #wherecuresbegin.