The extensive Salvador Dali Museum is home to the largest collection of works by the famous Spanish surrealist outside of Europe. Visitors to the St. Petersburg highlight can view key works from every stage of Dali’s career as well as exceptional pieces from every medium of his artistic endeavors—oil paintings, original drawings, prints, sculptures, and photos—along with manuscripts and an extensive archive of documents.
The Dali Museum galleries are located on the third floor, with two wings displaying Dali’s artwork. The museum’s first two floors are dedicated to the Cafe Gala—intended to introduce visitors to Spanish food and history—and a research space. Public guided tours and audio guides for the permanent collection are included with admission; private docent tours are available for an additional fee. The museum also hosts events such as lectures, workshops, and even Sunday yoga classes, and it welcomes special exhibits throughout the year.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Backpacks and other large bags are not permitted in the museum; storage lockers are available.
- Still photography and smartphone video is permitted for personal use only.
- The museum’s galleries are wheelchair accessible, and disabled person parking is available on the building’s south and west sides.
How to Get There
The Salvador Dali Museum is aptly located on Dali Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is about a 25-minute drive from Tampa and 50 minutes from Sarasota. Onsite paid parking is available.
When to Get There
The museum is open from 10am daily, but is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a few days in March (during the annual St. Petersburg Grand Prix). Hours are from 10am to 5:30pm; on Thursdays the galleries are open until 8pm. Last admission tickets are sold 15 minutes before closing.
An Architectural Gem
The building that houses the Salvador Dali Museum is a work of art in and of itself. The Yann Weymouth–designed structure is a simple-looking concrete rectangle with hurricane-proof walls that are 18 inches (46 centimeters) thick. From the building protrudes a large geodesic glass bubble known as the Enigma, which is comprised of 1,062 triangular pieces of glass, stretches 75 feet (23 meters) at its tallest point, and is an homage to the dome on Dali’s museum in Spain. Inside is a unique white helical staircase, echoing Dali’s passion for spirals and fascination with DNA.