Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  San Diego  /  Balboa Park

Balboa Park, San Diego

4.8
An urban park, Balboa Park is home to 490 hectares (1,200 acres) of landscaped gardens, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, recreational spaces, art studios, museums, and theaters. Stroll through the Desert Garden or Japanese Friendship Garden to admire the park's diverse plant and animal life, or tour the San Diego Museum of Art or the Natural History Museum. Take advantage of the park's free tram service to get around. Arrange your visit to Balboa Park and discover more family-friendly attractions in San Diego using our San Diego trip itinerary maker site .
Create an itinerary including Balboa Park
map
Balboa Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
10,473 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The Park is incredible and immense, inside the Park have the largest Zoo in the world, unfortunately we don't because we only had two days in San Diego ... but I loved this place, I really want to go back with my kids.
    View original
  • visited at dusk. beautiful large 1200 acre park, with many things to explore: gardens, museum, theater, famous San Diego Zoo, restaurants and shops. There is a beautiful tower: California Tower with i...  more »
  • Very nice park, you can stroll for entire day and still won’t cover everything. A bunch of museums here, we only visited Museum of man and air and space. It was not busy and parking was never an issue...  more »
Google
  • Simply beautiful! I love the International Village, where on the weekends you can visit tiny little museums of different countries of the world and sometimes try their food! I highly recommend the House of Ukraine (right next to the House of the U.S). It was recently redecorated and it is gorgeous! There are many places (museums, little botanical garden, etc) with free admission. Balboa Park is a gorgeous place even to simply take a walk in.
  • As a resident, I've always been proud of our gorgeous Balboa Park! We have amazing museums, a world famous zoo, and lots of cultural "houses" you can visit, all of which have lectures and/or workshops often. I love it here so much, I've worked at the San Diego Zoo, and now I volunteer at the Nat (the San Diego Natural History Museum). Whether you are a resident or just visiting, you miss out on a huge chunk of what makes San Diego great if you don't hit up Balboa Park for a minimum of a day (at least 2 if you hit up the Zoo as that takes a day by itself).
  • A beautiful, sprawling landmark for our beautiful city. Built for the World Fair in the early 1900's, it boasts gorgeous architecture, amazing horticulture, delicious food and stunning artwork, both old and new. On the weekends, it's a great place for a stroll to see buskers and vendors. Tuesdays all have local-days for each museum, which allow to enter the chosen museum free of charge of you have an ID with a San Diego address. It's also home to the historic Old Globe theater, the World Beat center and seems to host all sorts of cool events. Just check their calendar. Whether you're a local or just visiting, Balboa Park is a must-see.
  • This park was recommended to me as a just visit while in San Diego. Well worth the visit! Unfortunately we didn't get to spend as much time here as we would have liked. The architecture and gardens are absolutely beautiful. There are plenty of museums and also the zoo. You need at least a day to see and appreciate everything. Can't wait to visit again and see the rest of the park the next time we are in San Diego.
  • This is San Diego Smithsonian. So many incredible museums, International cottages ( very unique collection of cultural representation anywhere) and even Japanese and cactus gardens. If you are visiting San Diego and want to spend a wonderful Saturday or Sunday afternoon without spending any money take a stroll down Prado and visit houses of the Pacific relations. If you're there on Sunday afternoon between 2 and 3 p.m. you may even get lucky and get to see a free concert organized by one of the 36 International cottages represented there. And if you are around Labor Day weekend don't miss out on House of Ukraine's Festival on Sunday afternoon.
Places to stay near Balboa Park

Plan your trip to San Diego

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Balboa Park by other users

12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in California BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, kids, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 29 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Bismarck, San Diego & Anaheim BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, teens, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, teens, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Irving & San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in San Diego SEE PLAN August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 52 days in United States BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans