The small coastal town of Figueres, just north of Barcelona, is known for one thing: Salvador Dalí. Though the artist's fame brought him to more glamorous parts of Spain, Dalí eventually returned to his hometown of Figueres to build his greatest masterpiece, the Dalí Theatre–Museum. Located in the town's former Municipal Theatre, the site is a work of art in itself. Since this quirky museum was designed by Dalí to showcase his paintings, it offers insight into his imagination with a maze of his works displayed according to his own strange tastes. The museum also houses his crypt and grave.
One of the best ways to see the museum, especially for those with limited time, is on a guided day trip from Barcelona, which usually allows for one to two hours of museum exploration. Day trips can also include visits to nearby Girona or two other Dalí attractions—Gala–Dalí Castle (Pubol Castle) and the Salvador Dalí House–Museum at Portlligat—along Spain's Costa Brava.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Dalí Museum is a must-see for art lovers.
- Tours from Barcelona to the museum and surrounding area can last upwards of 11 hours.
- Bring some one euro coins to activate several interactive exhibits within the museum.
- The museum's central courtyard, stage, ground floor, and under-stage area (the site of Dalí's crypt) are all accessible by wheelchair.
How to Get to the Dalí Museum
Figueres is located 87 miles (140 km) northeast of Barcelona. A guided day trip with roundtrip transport is the easiest and most convenient way to visit the museum from the city, but travelers can also visit independently by taking a 55-minute high-speed train ride from Barcelona Sants station to Figueres Vilafant. From the train station, it's a 15-minute walk (or short taxi ride) to the museum. The nearest commercial airport is in Girona, 27 miles (43 km) to the south.
When to Get There
Although opening and closing hours vary slightly, the museum is generally open from about 10am to 6pm daily. Due to its popularity as a day trip destination from Barcelona, the museum can get crowded during peak tourist season in July and August. It quiets down from October to April, and the cooler temperatures make exploring Figueres more pleasant as well. To avoid crowds, plan to visit first thing in the morning or in late afternoon, a couple of hours before the museum closes.
The Dalí Jewels
The Dalí-Joies exhibit, included in the price of admission, occupies two floors of the museum annex. Inside are 39 pieces of jewelry made from gold and precious stones, as well as concept drawings made by Dalí between 1941 and 1970. It’s well worth setting aside an extra 30 to 40 minutes to tour this secondary collection.