HomeAttractions in SpainMuseums and Art Galleries in SpainUnlocking the World of Surrealism at the Dalí Theatre Museum

Unlocking the World of Surrealism at the Dalí Theatre Museum

Imagine stepping into a world where time melts away, and reality blends with the surreal. Welcome to the Dalí Museum Spain, a mesmerizing journey into the life and work of the legendary Salvador Dalí.

From architectural wonders to mind-bending exhibits, this unique museum offers an unforgettable experience for art lovers and curious minds alike. Are you ready to unlock the secrets of surrealism? Let’s begin!

  • Experience the surreal world of Salvador Dalí at the captivating Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain!
  • Explore stunning sculptures and installations, iconic paintings, film collaborations & jewelry designs.
  • Enjoy an unforgettable visit with prebooked tickets & guided tours plus nearby parking & wheelchair access.

Stepping into the Surreal: A Tour of the Dalí Theatre Museum

Nestled in the picturesque town of Figueres, Spain, the Dalí Theatre Museum is a testament to the creative genius of Salvador Dalí. A former theatre transformed into a surreal wonderland, this theatre museum in Figueres is unlike any other art museum you’ve ever visited. With every corner adorned with sculptures and monuments, a visit to the museum is like stepping into Dalí’s imagination.

Some highlights of the art museums include:

  • White busts with baguettes on their heads
  • Golden figures welcoming you with open arms
  • A treasure room filled with carefully crafted elements designed to arouse curiosity and wonder
  • A unique gift shop offering memorable souvenirs

Your tour starts at the striking open-air courtyard where a vintage car, adorned with a statue of a naked woman on the hood, offers a memorable introduction. This Rainy Taxi is a great surrealist object that sets the tone for the rest of the museum. As you venture inside, be prepared to be amazed by the intricate ceiling and wall painting of a human torso lacking a face – a testament to Dalí’s mastery of blending reality and fantasy.

The Origins of the Theatre Museum

The rich history of the Dalí Theatre Museum contributes to its charm. Originally the site of the Municipal Theatre, the building was burned to ruins during the Spanish Civil War. Dalí chose this location to honor his hometown and because it was steps away from the church where he was baptized and had his first formal exhibition. Under Dalí’s guidance, the former theatre was transformed into a grand temple to showcase his works, officially opening on September 28, 1974.

Salvador Dalí was instrumental in the design and creation of the Theatre Museum. As an homage to his own artistic career, Dalí designed the museum to incorporate Moorish architectural details and a transparent geodesic dome, combining elements of rationality and fantasy in its design.

Architectural Marvels

The museum’s architecture, a reflection of Dalí’s distinctive vision, offers a feast for the eyes. The geodesic dome, resembling the eye of a fly, covers the former stage and houses Dalí’s grave, symbolizing his eternal connection to the museum. As you explore the museum, don’t miss the gleaming golden Oscar-esque mannequins lining the surrounding walls of the rotunda, eerily yet joyfully celebrating the creation below.

A view of the architectural marvels of the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain
A view of the architectural marvels of the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain

Another exciting feature is the diving suit at the front entrance of the museum. This diving suit is a testament to Dalí’s daring spirit, as he narrowly escaped suffocation while delivering a lecture in England wearing it. Together, these architectural marvels create an immersive experience that transports you into the world of Salvador Dalí.

The Importance of the Museum to Dalí’s Legacy

The Dalí Theatre Museum carries significant responsibility for preserving and exhibiting Salvador Dalí’s expansive oeuvre. Housing the largest collection of Dalí’s work, the museum allows visitors to explore his artistic evolution and delve into his many creative obsessions. Each of the approximately 1,500 pieces on display provides insight into Dalí’s unique artistic style, making the museum a testament to his grand vision.

In 2017, Dalí’s body was exhumed from the crypt as part of a nearly decade-long failed paternity case. Shockingly, Dalí’s trademark mustache remained intact nearly 30 years after his death, as if time had stood still for the surrealist master. The museum serves as a powerful reminder of Dalí’s artistic legacy and his enduring influence on the world of art.

Delving into Dalí’s Imagination: Key Exhibits and Installations

The essence of the totally theatrical museum, Dalí Theatre Museum, resides in its enthralling exhibits and installations. From the Rainy Taxi in the courtyard to the mesmerizing Mae West Room and the celestial love story in the Palace of the Wind, each exhibit offers a glimpse into the boundless creativity of Salvador Dalí.

A view of the surreal installations of the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain
A view of the surreal installations of the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain

Notable works on display at the museum include “The Mae West Room,” “The Persistence of Memory,” and “The Hallucinogenic Toreador.” These masterpieces showcase Dalí’s surrealistic style and are among his most famous works, inviting you to explore the depths of his imagination.

The Rainy Taxi and Courtyard Wonders

Among the first exhibits you’ll come across is the Rainy Taxi, a striking sculpture situated in the courtyard’s center. Acting as a special show, the umbrella on top opens and closes, and it starts to rain inside the car. This three-dimensional artwork, also known as ‘Mannequin Rotting in a Taxi-Cab,’ showcases Dalí’s fantastical and surrealistic style, combining elements of the real world with the bizarre and imaginative.

As you explore the courtyard, you’ll also find the following sculptures and installations:

  • ‘The biggest surrealist monument in the world’ (center piece)
  • ‘Port Alguer’ (1924)
  • ‘The Cosmic Athletes’ (1943)
  • ‘Leda Atomica’ (1949)

Each of these creations is a testament to those who love Dali’s work, showcasing his boundless creativity and unique vision.

Mae West Room: A Tribute to a Hollywood Icon

Step into the Mae West Room, where the living room layout transforms into the visage of the Hollywood icon. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the Mae West Lips sofa, a sculpture in the shape of a woman’s lips that is a triumphant expression of surrealism. The room also features large, seemingly random objects that create a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere, immersing you in Dalí’s unique vision.

Dalí was captivated by Mae West’s unique personality and iconic image, and he used her likeness in his work “Mae West’s Face which May be Used as a Surrealist Apartment,” creating a collage of West’s face that blurs the lines between reality and imagination. Dalí’s iconic Mae West Lips sofa, inspired by West’s distinctive features, is a significant example of modern furniture.

Palace of the Wind: A Celestial Love Story

Experience the celestial love story of Dalí and his wife Gala in the Palace of the Wind room. Featuring a mural of Dalí and his wife on the ceiling and personal possessions, this room offers an intimate glimpse into their passionate relationship.

The Dalí Theatre Museum is a real treat for art and surrealism enthusiasts
The Dalí Theatre Museum is a real treat for art and surrealism enthusiasts

The centerpiece of the room is the mural of a majestic windmill and a series of sculptures depicting a beautiful celestial love story. This large-scale installation, created by Salvador Dalí, showcases his passion for blending reality and fantasy in his artwork, offering a unique and immersive experience for visitors.

The Treasure Trove: Exploring the Diverse Collection

The Dalí Theatre Museum, also known as the Dali Museum, showcases a varied collection of Salvador Dalí’s works, enabling visitors to further examine his intriguing artistic trajectory. From iconic paintings that defy time and space to intricate sculptures and installations, the museum offers a treasure trove of captivating art.

A view of the surreal painting in the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain
A view of the surreal painting in the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain

In addition to Dalí’s paintings, the museum also showcases his foray into film and jewelry design. His collaboration with Walt Disney Studios on the animated short “Destino” demonstrates his passion for film, while his exquisite jewelry designs reflect his boundless creativity and unique artistic vision.

Paintings that Defy Time and Space

Among the museum’s diverse collection, two paintings stand out as truly remarkable: “The Persistence of Memory” and “The Hallucinogenic Toreador.” These iconic paintings defy time and space, showcasing Dalí’s unique ability to merge reality with the surreal.

“The Persistence of Memory” features:

  • Melting clocks, representing the relativity of time
  • A self-portrait draped with a soft watch, symbolizing the artist’s perception of time
  • Ants and a fly, serving as symbols of decay

These elements add another layer of intrigue to the painting.

“The Hallucinogenic Toreador” uses double images and blending of different elements to create a sense of distortion and illusion, with the repetition of the “Venus de Milo” image and the formation of features through shadows showcasing Dalí’s mastery of surrealism.

Sculptures and Installations: Fragmented Women and More

Dalí’s intriguing sculptures and installations often feature fragmented women, a common theme in surrealist art. The woman’s head sculpture in the Fragmented Women exhibit, with an ear where the nose should be and a nose where the ear should be, invites visitors to ponder the meaning behind this peculiar piece.

Inspired by the Surrealist art movement, Dalí’s Fragmented Women sculptures portray distorted and abstracted female bodies as objects of fascination and exploration. These sculptures reflect the daring and challenging conventions of surrealism while exploring the subconscious mind.

Dalí’s Foray into Film and Jewelry Design

Dalí’s passion for film led to his collaboration with Walt Disney Studios on the animated short “Destino.” Produced by a team of 25 animators using the original storyboards, this film is a testament to Dalí’s creative spirit and love for animation.

A view of the painting in the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain
A view of the painting in the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain

Beyond film, Dalí also designed exquisite jewelry, showcased in the “Dalí Jewels” exhibit. Featuring precious gems and jewelry designed throughout his life, the exhibition includes thirty-nine gold jewels and precious stones from the Owen Cheatham collection, as well as two additional jewels made later on. These stunning pieces transport surrealism into new forms of wearable art, demonstrating Dalí’s incredible versatility as an artist.

Tips for an Unforgettable Visit to the Dalí Theatre Museum

To fully enjoy your visit to the Dalí Theatre Museum, consider purchasing your tickets ahead of time to prevent waiting in lines. The museum is open from 9am to 8pm from July to September.

From October to June, the museum opens at 10:30am and closes at 6pm, and last admissions are taken 45 minutes before closing. Tickets for adults are 12 euros each. There are reduced rates for students, seniors and groups, and free admission for children under 9.

For a more immersive experience, the museum offers:

  • Guided tours in multiple languages, including English, French, Catalan, and Spanish
  • A limited number of wheelchairs for public use
  • A paid parking lot right next to the museum for your convenience.

Navigating the Museum: Chronological Order vs. Thematic Exploration

While navigating the museum, you have the option of following a chronological sequence or thematic exploration. Chronological order allows you to capture Salvador Dalí’s artistic evolution, from his early experiences to surrealism, nuclear mysticism, and his passion for science. This approach provides a comprehensive understanding of his captivating life.

A view of the sculptures and installations of the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain
A view of the sculptures and installations of the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain

Alternatively, thematic exploration allows you to explore the museum’s collection based on themes prevalent in the Dalí Theatre Museum’s collection, such as:

  • surrealism
  • dreams, including the theatrical dream
  • fantasy
  • symbolism
  • the exploration of the subconscious mind

To navigate the museum by theme, consider using the free Dalí Museum App, which provides augmented reality, helpful maps, schedules, informative tours, and tons of other information.

What to Expect: Accessibility and Facilities

The Dalí Theatre Museum is accessible to all visitors, offering a limited number of wheelchairs for public use.

To request a courtesy wheelchair, visit the App/Information Station located at the base of the spiral stairway. If you’re planning to drive to the museum, parking is available at the Saba car park located at number 107 Avenida Salvador Dalí, just a few meters away from the theatre. Make sure to leave some time for parking before your ticket time slot to ensure a smooth visit.

Exploring Figueres Beyond the Dalí Museum

Although the Dalí Theatre Museum is certainly the highlight of Figueres, this enchanting town offers plenty more to see. Some of the attractions include:

  • The stunning old town center
  • Vibrant cafes and restaurants
  • The Church of San Pedro
  • The Toy Museum
  • The Museum of Empordà

Figueres offers a taste of authentic Spanish culture and a glimpse into the life of Salvador Dalí, especially when visiting the Gala Salvador Dalí Square.

To fully immerse yourself in the Figueres experience, consider exploring the following attractions:

  • Gala Dalí Castle Museum in Púbol
  • Salvador Dalí House in Portlligat
  • Castell de Sant Ferran
  • Museu del Joguet
  • Plaça Gala-Salvador Dalí

With so much to see and do, a visit to Figueres is bound to be an unforgettable adventure.

Strolling Through the Old Town

Take a leisurely stroll through the old town of Figueres and soak in its history and charm. The town’s historic center is filled with stunning medieval corners, including:

The Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain
The Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain
  • The Monumento a Salvador Dali
  • The Sculpture ‘In memory of Newton’
  • The Memorial Monument to the Catalan Philosopher Francesc Pujols
  • The Sant Jordi I El Drac

These historically significant sites are sure to enchant and captivate visitors.

As you wander through the picturesque streets, don’t miss the famous squares such as Plaça de l’Ajuntament, Plaça Gala-Salvador Dalí, and Plaça Catalunya. Each of these locations offers beautiful architecture and unique atmospheres, making them perfect spots for photography and leisurely exploration.

Cafes, Restaurants, and Dalí’s Favorite Haunts

After a day of sightseeing, quench your hunger at one of the many delightful cafes and restaurants in Figueres. Indulge in local cuisine at Dalí’s favorite haunt, Hotel Duran restaurant, or try traditional dishes such as snails and calçots de valls at other popular eateries like Dalicatessen, Café Olé, Xurreria Casa Vostra, and SAVAGE – Brunch & Bowls.

For a more casual dining experience, check out Cafeteria Fabrega, El Pilar Cafeteria, and Lido Bar. These local cafes offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and enjoying a delicious meal after a day of exploring the wonders of Figueres.

Where to Stay: Top Accommodation Picks

Maximize your Figueres visit by selecting the ideal lodging. Top picks include Hotel Pirineos, The Museum Apartments, and Ibis Styles Figueres Ronda. Each of these options offers a comfortable stay and easy access to the Dalí Theatre Museum and other attractions in Figueres.

Hotel Pirineos is located in the center of Figueres, offering rooms starting at $64. The Museum Apartments provide free WiFi, a kitchenette, and other amenities for a home-away-from-home experience. For a stylish and affordable stay, consider Ibis Styles Figueres Ronda, which has received positive reviews for its comfort, design, and friendly staff.


In conclusion, the Dalí Theatre Museum is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows you to explore the captivating world of Salvador Dalí. From its unique architecture and thought-provoking exhibits to the charming town of Figueres, a visit to the museum and its surroundings is sure to leave a lasting impression. So why wait? Embark on an unforgettable journey into the surreal and discover the magic of Salvador Dalí’s imagination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Dali Museum Spain worth it?

Exploring the Dali Museum in Figueres is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, offering a fascinating glimpse into the life and works of Salvador Dali. With a range of creative eccentricity to take in, from his symbolic art to his remarkable history, it’s definitely worth experiencing – whether or not you’re a fan of his artwork.

Where is the Dali Museum?

The Dali Museum is located in Figueres, a Spanish city 147 kilometers north of Barcelona. It takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes to get there by car, or you can take a high-speed train + taxi/bus to Figueres Vilafant station. It’s the second most visited museum in Spain, after the Prado!

How to get from Barcelona to Dali Museum?

Hop on the train from Barcelona-Sants to Figueres Vilafant and you’ll be at the Dali Museum in just under an hour – tickets cost between €13 and €40 and the journey takes about 55 minutes. From the Figueres Vilafant train station, the walk to the museum is just 5 minutes!

What is the admission fee for the Dalí Theatre Museum?

Experience Dalí’s surreal masterpieces with an admission fee of 12 euros for adults, reduced rates for students and seniors, as well as free admission for children under 9!

Are guided tours available at the Dalí Theatre Museum?

Yes! You can explore the Dalí Theatre Museum with a guided tour, available in multiple languages.

Practical information

  • It’s best to buy tickets to the Dalí Theatre Museum in advance. You will then avoid standing in a long queue and avoid the risk that all tickets have been sold out, which happens very often in the case of this monument.
  • Opening hours: Usually from 9:30AM to 05:15PM. Most Mondays throughout the year, the museum is closed. On selected days, the museum is open until 07:15PM. In August, it is possible to visit at night from approximately 11:00PM to 01:00AM.
  • Address:  Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5, 17600 Figueres, Girona, Spain
  • Buy Tickets on GetYourGuide

Dalí Theatre Museum on a map

Discover Catalonia

Each region of Spain is divided into provinces. Their names often coincide with the names of their main cities. Catalonia is divided into four provinces, each of which has different tourist attractions and interesting places to offer:
ProvinceTourist attractions and interesting places
BarcelonaGothic Quarter Barri Gòtic, La Rambla, Montjuïc, cable railway Telefèric de Montjuïc, Magic Fountains (Font Màgica), La Boqueria, Laberint d’Horta Park, Poble EspanyolCamp Nou, Torre Agbar, oceanarium in Barcelona, Barcelona Zoo, Tibidabo Amusement Park, Palace of Catalan Music, National Art Museum of Catalonia, Picasso Museum, Catalan Museum of Archaeology, Miniature Park - Catalunya en Miniatura, MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, Generalitat Palace, Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy (La Mercé), Cathedral of Barcelona, remains of the temple of Augustus, Els Quatre Gats Cafe, Erotic Museum, Santa María del Mar Church, Port Vell, Plaça de Catalunya, Parc de la Ciutadella, Parc de Collserola, Casa Amatller, Palau Güell, Passeig de Gràcia - luxury street in Barcelona, Montserrat Monastery. Barcelona's neighborhoods and districts (El Raval, El Born, Sant Pere, Les Corts). Gaudi's Monuments: Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Pabellones Güell, Bellesguard, Casa Vicens, Casa Calvet. Popular cities: Barcelona, Torrelles de Llobregat, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Tarrasa, Badalona, Sabadell, Mataró, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, San Cugat del Vallés, Cornellá de Llobregat, San Baudilio de Llobregat, Rubí, Manresa, Villanueva y Geltrú, Viladecans, Casteldefels, El Prat de Llobregat, Granollers, Sardañola del Vallés, Mollet del Vallès, Gavá, Sant Antoni de Vilamajor
GironaSalvador Dali Museum, Museum of Miniatures and Microminiatures Micro Mundi, Sausage Museum. Popular cities: Girona, Figueres, Besalú, Blanes, Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Olot, Salt, Palafrugell, San Felíu de Guixols, Rosas, Bañolas, Palamós, Santa Coloma de Farnés, Castellón de Ampurias Torroella de Montgrí, La Bisbal del Ampurdán, Ripoll, Castillo de Aro, Calonge, La Escala, Cassá de la Selva, Castellfollit de la Roca
LleidaPopular cities: Lleida, Tárrega, Balaguer, Mollerusa, La Seo de Urgel, Cervera, Solsona, Alcarrás, Guisona, Almacellas
TarragonaAmusement and theme parks: PortAventura. Popular cities: Tarragona, Reus, Vendrell, Tortosa, Cambrils, Salou, Valls, Calafell, Amposta, Vilaseca

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Jessica Alvaro
Jessica Alvaro
Travel has always been close to me. For me, it's the air I can't breathe without. The sun, without which I forget what a smile is.