North of Barcelona lies the sleepy town of Figueres. On first glance it may not seem that different to other Catalan towns, with its quaint squares and local cafés and restaurants. Yet this seemingly normal town is the birthplace of the master of surrealism: Salvador Dalí.
For visitors to Barcelona who wish to escape the crowds and delve into Dalí’s sublime mind, we’ve put together this small guide for a surreal day-trip for the whole family.
History of the Dalí Theatre-Museum
Dalí travelled the world as an artist, conquering Spain, France and the US, yet Figueres always held a place in his heart. It was this reason that he chose it as the home for his museum.
It was in 1974 that the town’s old theatre – which was destroyed in the Civil War – was reopened to showcase a large selection of his art. Dalí wanted a place where visitors could immerse themselves in his diverse range of work. He supervised the entire design and reconstruction to ensure his wishes were fulfilled, staying at a nearby hotel.
The result, as you will discover, was a flamboyant, indescribable space that goes beyond what any other local artist achieved. This is Dalí’s legacy as a surrealist and will surely be the most original and unique museum you ever visit.
Visiting the Dalí Theatre-Museum
From the famous eggs perched on the museum’s rooftops to Dalí’s very own black Cadillac where it rains, Dalí’s aim was to astound, amaze and amuse.
Every room and every piece proposes a question to the visitor and we are sure you will come up with your own conclusions about Dalí’s works. Discover the Mae West room designed with the actress’s facial features. Look out for pieces dedicated to Gala, the love of his life. Stare in wonder at the Oscar statues.
A ticket to the museum cost €14 for adults and are free for under 8s. We’d recommend saving 2–3 hours for the visit to ensure you make the most of this surreal experience. Museum opening times vary depending on the season (peak season 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.) and exhibition rooms close around 15 minutes before the actual closing time. There is also the option to book a guided tour with an expert guide, who will share stories about Dalí’s life, the inspiration behind his theatre-museum and its most eccentric and bizarre pieces.
Aside from the town’s top attraction, Figueres itself is also worth exploring. Look a little closer and you might be surprised – there is a little bit of Dalí to be found on every street corner. If you decide to stay a little longer after your surreal trip, take a wander through its cobbled streets and discover its emblematic churches, the Plaça de Gala y Salvador Dalí and the Rambla de Figueres, and the Toy Museum of Catalonia (where you will get 30% discount on entry with your Dalí theatre-museum ticket). You won’t be disappointed!
How to get there
Figueres is located close to the city of Girona and around 140 km away from Barcelona.
Getting there by public transport is relatively easy. Take the train to the Figueres-Vilafant railway station from Barcelona Sants station and, in a short journey of 55 minutes, you’ll be in Figueres. Return tickets start from €30 depending on the train service (Ave or Avant). The museum is about 10 minutes walking distance from the station.
If you prefer to take the bus, Sagalés coaches offer services from Barcelona El Prat Airport or Barcelona Estació del Nord, which take just under 3 hours. Tickets cost €20 each way and you’ll take either bus 602 or 603.
If you’ve hired a car, take motorway AP-7 towards France and take the Figueres exit. Then head towards Figueres city centre.
Check out the opening times and ticket prices, book online and find out all you need before you visit the Dalí theatre-museum here.
The Dalí museum is a flamboyant and spectacular experience not to be missed!