Salvador Dali Theatre and Museum in Figueres
The Salvador Dali Theatre and Museum in Figueres is one of the most famous museums entirely dedicated to the life and work of the famous artist Salvador Dali. The museum is considered to be the last great work of Salvador Dali: everything in it was conceived and designed by the artist himself.
The museum is the second most popular tourist attraction in Spain, second only to the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
The official opening of the museum took place on October 28th, 1974.
History of the Museum
The museum project began in the early 1960s, when the mayor of Figueres, where Dali was born, asked the artist to donate one of his paintings to the city, but Dali decided to donate not just one work, but to create a whole museum.
The Dali Museum Theater was built on the site of the former Municipal Theater of Figueres, built in 1849. The municipal theater building was in a ruined state as a result of a fire at the end of the Spanish Civil War: the ceiling of the orchestra pit had collapsed, and the anteroom and lounge were the only parts that remained more or less intact. The artist planned to use the charm of the ruins of the former theater to house his future museum.
Since the 1970s, Dali devoted his full attention to this museum project, taking part in it and constructing its minute details until it became a reality in 1974.
One of the most notable features of the museum is the transparent dome that crowns the building: it was designed by the Murcia architect Emilio Perez Pinero. This dome has now become the emblem of the Teatro Museo and an icon of the city of Figueres.
Externally, the museum has retained the neoclassical appearance of the theater, but decorated with several masculine sculptures.
Dali Theatre Museum exhibit
The collection of the Gala Salvador Dali Foundation contains all kinds of works of art by the great artist: paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, installations, holograms, stereoscopes, photography, etc. Of these, about 1,500 are on display at the Teatro Museo Dali in Figueres.
Each room in the museum is an example of high art with bold compositions of paintings, sculptures, furniture, decorations and other amazing things. In many rooms, the walls and ceilings are completely covered with large wall paintings: some of them are original compositions made especially for this museum, others are enlarged copies of its famous paintings.
Under the main floor of the building is the crypt where Salvador Dali’s tomb is kept. Despite the artist’s last will – to find rest in Chateau Pubol – he was buried in the Teatro-Museum two days after his death, on 25 January 1989.
Dali Theatre Museum 2022 opening hours and ticket prices
The opening hours of the Theater-Museum depend on the season:
- January 1 through February 28: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission at 5:15 p.m.). Monday is a day off.
- March 1 to March 26: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission at 5:15 p.m.). Monday is a day off (except March 26).
- March 27 to April 11: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last admission at 2:15 p.m.).
- April 12-May 9: Fri-Sun 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last admission at 2:15 p.m.).
- May 10-June 30: Wed-Sun 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission 5:15 p.m.).
- July 1 to August 31: 09:00 to 20:00 (last admission at 19:15).
- September 1 to October 31: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission 5:15 p.m.). Monday is a day off.
- November 1 to December 31: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission at 5:15 p.m.). Monday is weekend (except November 1 and December 6).
- full ticket – 15 euros.
- Discount ticket (students and senior citizens upon presentation of a document) – 10 euros
- For groups of over 25 people (advance registration required) €10
- “A night-time ticket costs €20.
Buy tickets to the Dali Theatre Museum
Buy tickets for the Salvador Dali Museum directly on site in the museum ticket offices, online at the official museum site, or through the form below.
Excursions to the Dali Theatre Museum
How to get to Dali Theatre Museum from Barcelona
On your own, you can get to the Teatro Dali Museum either by car or by public transportation, such as trains or buses.
It takes 1-1,5 hours by car from Barcelona along the AP-7 Barcelona-La Junquera road to the Figueres exit. The locations of the parking lots near the museum are available on google maps.
By train you can get from Barcelona from Sants station to Figueres in 2 hours. The train from Girona will take 15 minutes. The Dali Theatre and Museum is a 12-minute walk from Figares train station.
There is a bus 602 from Barcelona airport via Girona. The travel time is 2 hours. The bus timetable is available here.
To order a cab, you can use the Non stop service recommended on the museum website.
Salvador Dali Theatre and Museum in Figueres
The Teatro Museo Dali is a surrealist museum in Figueres, designed and opened by the artist, sculptor and filmmaker Salvador Dali himself. The museum features a collection of the Spanish surrealist’s most extravagant and seminal works.
The museum building itself is the largest surrealist object in the world.
It is common to visit the main building of the museum and the treasury (a collection of jewelry).
The Dali Theatre-Museum was built on the site of the 19th century Municipal Theatre, which was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War (in 1939). Dali had the idea of creating a museum in this location as early as 1961, but construction did not begin until 1970. The delay was caused by the reluctance of the Spanish genius to give the museum the originals of his works. Dali insisted on decorating the museum with copies, but with this approach, the municipal services refused to finance the project.
As a result of years of negotiation, Dali agreed to give the museum the originals of his works. His desire to open a museum in this particular place was due to the fact that across the street was the church in which he was baptized. It was also in the foyer of the theater where he first exhibited his paintings.
Dali designed 18 halls of the museum and decorated their interior according to his artistic taste. He used his favorite symbols – eggs and bread – in the exterior design of the building.
The official opening of the Dali Theatre-Museum took place in 1974.
Subsequently, during the expansion of the museum, four more halls of the exhibition were decorated. After the artist’s death, the artist’s foundation bought the annex next door to the museum, where Dali spent the last years of his life. A treasure trove of jewelry was opened there.
What to see in the Dali Museum
The museum is a series of rooms with paintings, sculptures, installations and drawings. Mostly works by Salvador Dali are on display, but there are separate halls with works by other artists: El Greco, Bouguereau, Duchamp, Antoni Pichot, Valles and others.
The museum traces the artist’s entire path and the different styles in his work: Impressionism, Futurism, Cubism, Surrealism.
All of Dali’s works are unusual, and some are even striking. Some exhibits have holes for dropping coins. Drop a coin and you will see magical metamorphoses.
Upon entering the museum, guests are greeted by the “Rain Taxi” installation in the courtyard. It is a cadillac with naked human figures sitting inside and a sculpture of Queen Esther standing on the car. The queen is dragging behind her on chains a pole made of car tires, on which the boat Gala is mounted.
Blue rubber droplets point down from the bottom of the boat. When a coin is dropped into a special hole in the car, it rains.
From the courtyard, the visitor enters the former theater scene, which is adorned by a huge backdrop depicting a bust of a nude woman with an opening in her chest. It was painted by Dali for the ballet Labyrinth, based on the myth of Theseus and Ariadne.
Another interesting painting in this room is Naked Gala Watching the Sea. If you look at it up close, you see exactly a naked girl. But if you go up the stairs opposite the painting, you can already see a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on it.
Not everyone knows that Salvador Dali himself is buried under the floor of this room – a modest gray slab in the center is part of his tombstone. It was the will of the genius – he wanted his admirers to be there for him even after his death.
One of the most impressive rooms in the museum is the room dedicated to the American actress Mae West. It is an illusion room, all the objects of which are part of the portrait of the actress: the couch is the lips, the fireplace is the nose, the paintings are the eyes.
You can see the portrait in full by climbing a special staircase.
An inverted bathtub on the ceiling completes the overall picture of the absurd exposition.
Everyone will find something that touches their mind, heart or soul in the Dali Theater-Museum.
There is no strict chronology or thematic distribution of exhibits in the museum. The author himself did not want to have guided tours in his museum – each visitor must perceive the artist’s idea in his own way.
The halls can be visited in any order, but it is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of the museum when visiting chaotically. Therefore, all the rooms are numbered, so that visitors can walk through them sequentially and not miss anything.
At the exit of the museum there is a souvenir store.
The treasury contains unique jewelry pieces made by Dali, each of which is a unique composition with its own story. For example, the creation of the “Ruby Lips with Teeth Like Pearls” brooch was inspired by the plump lips of that same actress Mae West.
And the ruby heart, pulsating with a special mechanism, was created as a gift to Gala’s beloved wife.
Admission to the treasure trove is by individual or all-inclusive ticket.
How to get there
You can get to the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres from other cities by train or bus. The train and bus station are located next to each other, and you can walk from them to the museum in 15-20 minutes.
For example, the trip by train from Barcelona takes about two hours, from Calella – 1 hour 45 minutes, from Blanes – about one and a half hours.
You can also visit the Theater Museum as part of a guided tour, which is often combined with a visit to Girona.
Opening hours at the Teatro Museo Dali:
- October 1 through June 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m;
- July 1 to September 30 from 09:00 to 20:00.
From October 1 to May 31 the museum is closed on Mondays, during the rest of the time it is open every day. Closed on New Year’s Day (January 1) and Christmas Day (December 25).
Cashier closes 45 minutes before closing the museum.
In the summertime at the museum there are night shows.
Tickets to the Dali Museum Theater are purchased for a specific time, the sessions are every half hour.
Tickets to the Dali Museum: 15 euros, children under 8 years – free.
There are discounts for seniors, students, disabled and unemployed (ID required), as well as for group visits (over 25 people – ticket price €10).
Ticket to the Treasury costs 7 euros, but it is more advantageous to buy complex tickets to visit two places at once.