📍 Location and contact

, San Diego
(619) 239-0512

ℹ️ Information

The Balboa Park is a large urban park located in San Diego, California. It is bordered by San Diego Zoo to the north, Balboa Park to the south, and Interstate 5 to the east. The park covers 1,200 acres of land and is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The park is home to a variety of attractions, including museums, gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The Balboa Park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

🕒 Opening hours

  • Monday: Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday: Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday: Open 24 hours
  • Friday: Open 24 hours
  • Saturday: Open 24 hours
  • Sunday: Open 24 hours

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🗣️ Balboa Park: Reviews

T K 9 months ago

Balboa park is an incredible park in fact I’ve never seen anything like it in the U.S. words can’t even describe it, it’s something you really need to see. It’s a huge park in San Diego it has many buildings with great architecture, gardens, bridges, museums, a zoo, canyons, woods, and much more. The scope of the park is really amazing all surrounded by nature.

Chris Leon 9 months ago

There's much, much more to Balboa Park than the zoo. Lots of museums and buildings to explore and places to eat. The free shuttle is nice. It would be nice if they offered a ticket for all of the museums. Restrooms: Restrooms were clean Picnic area: Plenty of clean picnic areas

Dan Thompson 10 months ago

SUCH a gorgeous area to walk around snd hill for an evening stroll. The architecture is so amazingly beautiful to look at. Everything is well landscaped all over. If I lived in San Diego I’d definitely be going here almost weekly. It’s just so pretty.

Georgiana G. 10 months ago

Balboa park is filled with nice gardens, museums, seating areas, cafee and a few restaurants. There are areas with paid access and areas free of charge. The parking is very conveniently placed, the restrooms are very close to the parking lot. The restrooms might need some care. But they were functional. The park itself is very nice for photo shooting and just sun bathing. If you are not in a hurry it might be worth to bring a blanket and take a moment of rest on the grass close to the green houses. We were impressed with the architecture and the variety of plants.

Joseph Stalin 10 months ago

Great place. You need more than a day to cover it. A very entertaining for the whole family. On weekends, there are many street vendors and shows. A great place to hangout and spend time with the family and friends.

Ramya SG 10 months ago

Beautiful place with so much to do. One might need at least 2 days to really explore the museums and parks here. There are lot restrooms around. The visitor desk will provide a map and explain where everything is based on your choice of visiting.

Logan Porter 10 months ago

This was such a lovely stop on our San Diego trip! We loved the Spanish Village Art Center, Desert Garden, Rose Garden, Natural History Museum, and the Botanical Building. You can definitely spend hours visiting all of the museums and outside attractions! Pro tip: definitely stop at the Rose Garden and Desert Garden. We went during the first week of April and all of the roses are stunning!

Brian Keenan 10 months ago

This is a must do place full of museums, green areas, restaurants and on the weekends countless stalls from local vendors that sell amazing items and food. A word of warning, you cannot do everything in a day. With all the museums, the zoo and green areas, you could easily spend 3-4 days. So plan accordingly. But you will be rewarded if you do.

Christopher Fiscus 10 months ago

One of the best things about San Diego. Numerous museums, gardens and open space, an amazing outdoor organ, and a wonderful little vendor village all right by the famous San Diego Zoo. For little ones, you have to check out the model train museum with room after room of model trains and detailed “cities.”

Sal Galdamez 10 months ago

Balboa has some of the most beautiful views and is definitely a park that I would want to visit more than once. I didn't get a chance to enjoy it as much as I'd like, but its absolutely beautiful grounds!

Shauna Gustuson 10 months ago

Highly recommended to let the kids run and enjoy a multi cultural experience. We started at the carousel and ended at the air museum with the roller skate crew. Lots of walking so taking a scooter for the books or bringing a stroller is your best bet to enjoy the day. Some places are too crowded for scooter but when it opens up the kids have fun. We spent time hanging up in the amphitheater and enjoying all the things that caught our eyes.

Luisa 10 months ago

Balboa park was pretty! Nice way to spend a weekend day! A lot of people with their kids, walking, eating, dancing, reading! They have little tents people selling things! The buildings look like old Spanish style - very pretty! Definitely recommend visiting! It’s was a little hard to find on the GPS! But it’s on top of a hill near the San Diego zoo!

Esli Morales 11 months ago

Balboa park is huge, we barley put a dent in it. If you are going to buy the day explorer pass be prepared to start early. Overall, it was a worthwhile experience. I recommend stopping by the information desk to pick up a map. The botanical garden was closed for construction when we went, so double check. The Japanese gardens are lovely, I would recommend stopping by. This is pay for entrance.

L T 11 months ago

This is a great place to take your kids, family, friends, a date, or even your dog! Such beautiful sceneries everywhere which is perfect for any photographer! There are so many museums and gardens to look at. Definitely a fun time if you visit San Diego!

A J 1 year ago

Such a beautiful park to walk around. It’s huge and there’s something for everyone. A zoo, craft areas, many museums and pop ups. We saw lots of running groups and everyone was enjoying the sunshine. It’s a great day out no matter what your preferences of a good day out are. Definitely recommend if staying in or passing through San Diego!

Sacramento Real Estate agent Perepelitsa 1 year ago

Balboa “park” is beyond amazing. 12-15 million visitors per year. If you visit San Diego you must see it!!! Balboa architecture is stunning. Each building is a museum, visitor center or theater. Per Balboa app, it features 24 gardens - 18 museums and attractions like San Diego Zoo. I recommend to download Balboa app. TIP You can spend entire week here touring amazing museums gardens zoo etc. So consider to come here for entire day not just few hrs. Have fun!!

Ed Eyden 1 year ago

What a large beautiful park area. One could spend all day here with the multiple museums, scenery, wonderful walking areas and architecture. Our time was limited this time but plan on going back for a day. Restrooms: Plentiful restrooms and locations. Dog-friendliness: All dogs are on leashes. Comfortable walking with minimal car traffic

Mitch Green 1 year ago

Beautiful part of the downtown San Diego area. Lots of great museums to visit. The gardens and grounds are nice just to walk around. Home of the San Diego zoo! Nice place to walk around and spend 1-2 hours. Of course, you could visit the museums and zoo and spend the whole day or more.

Rachel Senick 1 year ago

Bolba Park has something for everyone to enjoy. The courtyards are free so you could spend all day just walking around and looking at the old architecture. They also offer a massive amount of museums and historical sites that have admission. There are also street vendors selling art and food, even on a Monday. They offer a shuttle that has stops all over the park so no matter where you start you can easily access all parts of the park within 10 minutes. Every worker we interacted with was helpful and friendly even recommending what we should do based on our time limit and interests. Always check the website to see what's open as most of the museums are only open a couple days. It is incredibly kid friendly but also offer events adults can enjoy. If trying to attend all the sections of the park (the zoo, museums, shops) I recommend at least three to four days. If that's not possible just spend a few hours walking around and exploring.

Ashley Gutowski 1 year ago

An amazing park. The buildings are gorgeous and really nice to walk around. As visitors to this area we were jealous that this isn't where we live. Love how all meseums are in one area. Rose garden was very pretty and had tons of roses! Definitely worth a visit.

Yolanda Rodriguez 1 year ago

Had a great time at the San Diego Zoo animals were very active except the lions best time to go is early in the morning. Will definitely visit again. Bathrooms were very clean which I wasn't expecting since thousands of people there but workers were very quick to clean them.

Kiran K 1 year ago

Must see place if you visit San Diego! You can do this place whole day or you can do it in few hours depends on what you like. Most of the museums in the park close at 5pm PST. There are free art museum, Spanish village, Natural history museum and many other places. Building have a great architect. Cute ponds around. A lot of local talent performing different skills like Magic, dance, painting, face painting etc…

Matthew Sanborn 1 year ago

One of my favorite places in San Diego. Beautiful scenery. Botanical garden. Food and coffee stands along with other trinkets and jewelry. Great to walk around. Bring your dogs! Bring your friends! Go to the San Diego zoo!!

Isrrael Espin 1 year ago

If you are visiting San Diego this place is a must see. Bring your walking shoes and get ready to walk through the many Museums, theaters, shops, and wonderful views this place has to offer. It was nothing of what I expected, the Balboa park connects several Cathedral style venues on this wonderful walkways that include the San Diego Zoo, the Natural History Museum and several other museums. We didn't even have time to see everything. There is a tram that takes you to all the parking lots. I went there on a Tuesday and it was very crowded, so weekends must get really packed. I highly recommend this place if you have a day to kill and spend some quality time with the family or significant other. Although I saw many snack vendors, I didn't see many good restaurants so I would recommend bringing some sandwiches or whatever you can bring to eat. There are many areas to sit under the shade and relax on the grass or a bench. We went inside the natural history Museum and paid the admission but was a little disappointed with it. It probably took us around 20 minutes to see the entire Museum, compared to the natural Museum in L.A., this place was very small and was in need of more exhibits. Other than that, I gave Balboa Park an A+ because it really impressed me.

Diana Mendes 1 year ago

So much to discover with over 20 museums and so many gardens, you can easily be here all day. The Rose and Cactus Gardens are a can't miss and the Palm Valley are hidden gems. The Lily Pond is wonderful too

Joshua Russell 1 year ago

Truly a gem and must visit while you are here. It is a very large park that has museums, a zoo, many trails and so much more! I walked up here in an early morning so it was pretty empty. The architecture is beautiful and has many spots to relax if that is what you are seeking. Highly recommend to come here and check it out!

Matt Luca 1 year ago

Balboa Park was clean and had many things you could see. There was a rose garden, a Lilly pond, historic buildings, a botanical garden.. etc. there are also vendors there with food, snacks, and accessories. Great place to visit if you're passing by.

Kaffers Black 1 year ago

I love Balboa Park! Growing up in San Diego I loved the Sunday afternoons spent at Balboa Park! There weren’t as many “things” going on at the Park back in the 60’s, but all the old buildings have been here for a long time! I prefer the ‘outskirts’ of Balboa Park now where fewer tourists go by. Every time I’m there I find something new! Whether you’re visiting San Diego, or a resident, go and explore Balboa Park, it’s a real treasure!

C M-R 1 year ago

One of my favorite parks. It's so lucky for us San Diegans to have such an amazing park that you can visit all year round. There are a lot of museums and restaurants inside the park and lots of places and trails to do your exercises

Fred Ford 1 year ago

My favorite park in the whole country. There are so many museums and gardens it's amazing. The nature trails are wonderful and there are so many types of plants and animals. The San Diego Zoo is located in the park and a must see. I love the water fountain and the beautiful buildings. It is a must see when visiting San Diego.

Courtney Ryan Haacke 1 year ago

A must see. Such a cool park with great architecture and museums. Even if you don't go to the museums and you just walk around, you don't want to miss it. Great for families, pets and elderly.

Robert Cunningham 1 year ago

One of the most iconic parks in America. They have so much to do and see that you could literally plan a full day in there and I think not run out of things to see. As the air and space there's the Renaissance style theater there the Rose gardens there's the international buildings there are restaurants and I'm leaving out of ton of stuff but definitely an amazing and beautiful and relaxing part of California.

Jane R 1 year ago

I want you to know Japanese friendship garden is not deserve to pay entrance fee. Nothing is open in there and some part is on construction. Go main buildings and there are many things to see and peaceful!!! I feel really happy to fo Balboa park!!

sotagirl1 1 year ago

Gorgeous architecture and gardens! Well worth the visit, even if you don't go inside the museums. There's such beauty everywhere, food and gift/trinket vendors, a couple restaurants, and talented music performers placed thoughtfully throughout (electric violin, acoustic guitar, flute etc). Start at the information desk to get a map. If you do want to go inside the museums, they have a rotating daily schedule that lists what buildings are open that day, which is usually a handful. Wear good walking shoes and get there early as the afternoon is very busy.

Amjad Kinhnarath 1 year ago

Great park with a lot of attractions. The museums are great and worth getting a season pass or finding a deal online to go to multiple. The gardens are beautiful any time of year and great for a stroll. The architecture was the incredible. Walking through the court yards and walkways will yield a visual gem around every corner. Parking at the zoo and walking over is the way to go. Its free, plentiful, and easy to get in and out even at peak hours.

Ashutosh Shandilya 1 year ago

Such a lively place with plenty of foods and music. Great architectural buildings all over. Walking alongside fountains, sculptures, beautiful trees with so many people was a great experience. Nearby places are also amazingly beautiful. Cactus park across the road was superb as well. A very nice walk in well paved sidewalks.

Elijah X 1 year ago

Once in a lifetime experience for tourists. A well preserved and rich environment, filled with beautiful dining and seating areas. Plenty of Museums are available; free parking areas and a great place to hike. The property is huge, so bring good shoes and a will to collect steps. You'll be rewarded...

Manny Alonzo 1 year ago

Beautiful place to visit in San Diego. The park has a lot of museums, several theaters and it includes San Diego zoo. Very huge park 1200 acres, you could spend all day exploring it. There are several gift shops and restaurants within the park. Several parking areas mostly free. Balboa park hosted the 1915-16 Panama-California exposition and 1935-36 California pacific international exposition, both of which left amazing architectural landmarks. The park site is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use.

Madhura Hulsurkar 1 year ago

Beautiful place! Architecture is breathtaking!! Any age group would love this place !! You can just walk in and need not buy any ticket. It's just the parking ticket which you might have to buy if you don't find any free parking spot.

Saad Sadiq 1 year ago

Oh what a wonderful place. The park is breathtaking and is filled with so many activities. Loved the feel of the place, the Japanese park, the little stalls and eateries, etc. A little pricey if you want to see multiple exhibits but can be a great day spent when visiting

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