Frequently Asked Questions
Due to the growing concern over COVID-19, the Salk Institute campus is closed to all visitors and tours for the immediate future, beginning Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
If you would like to be notified when the Institute reopens for tours, please sign up below:
Normal business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The campus is closed to visitors on weekends, holidays and for private events.
Yes. Visitors and groups of seven or smaller are permitted on campus Monday—Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. with advance reservation. Visitors will be required to pay an online $7.50 fee to fund the Architectural Conservation Program before visiting campus. It is highly recommended that visitors register and pay online in advance. All visitors must check in with the security guard at the front gate upon arrival. A self-guided architecture tour map is available free of charge.
The fee supports the Salk Institute Architectural Conservation Program, which helps support 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. Learn more about the project here.
All tour registration must be done online using the Salk Institute website. Please visit https://www.salk.edu/about/visiting-salk/ for tour registration. Private tour requests must be submitted at least seven working days prior to the prospective tour date. For more information about arranging a private tour please visit https://www.salk.edu/custom-architecture-tours/.
Private, docent-led tours are required for groups of 8 or larger. However, these tours are available, with prior reservations, for any groups between 1-44 visitors. The docent-led tour and the self-guided architecture tours both follow the same tour route and cover the same architecture highlights. Docent-led tours include additional information about the history of the Salk Institute and anecdotes from our knowledgeable guides.
The Salk Institute is a working research facility and access to the labs and other interior spaces is prohibited on all tours.
If you are unable to attend your tour or need to reschedule to a new date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 453-4100 x1287. All tours must be cancelled or rescheduled at least two business days before the scheduled tour date for a full refund.
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.
No. All architecture tours happen 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 architecture tours are outdoors on the main travertine courtyard. Tour groups do not go inside the laboratories, upstairs/downstairs, 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. Donation envelopes are available at the front desk. We accept cash, credit cards or checks (made out to the Salk Institute) or you can click here to make an online donation.
Yes. Our Salk café is open from 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. We also have a coffee cart on campus open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
We do not recommend young children or babies coming 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 in the car as there are stairs on the tour route.
Taxis or a ride-sharing service such as Uber/Lyft is recommended, however there is a bus stop in front of the Institute. For the schedule, visit San Diego’s MTS trip planner: http://www.sdmts.com/Planning/googleTP.asp
Groups of eight or more are not permitted on campus unless a tour has been booked online at least seven days in advance. To arrange a tour, please visit https://www.salk.edu/custom-architecture-tours/.
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 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 (858) 453-4100 x1371 or email@example.com.
We’d love to see your unique view of our Institute. Share you photos with us by tagging us on Instagram @salkinstitute and use the hashtags #salkinstitute #wherecuresbegin.