Mingei International Museum
Mingei International Museum

Mingei International Museum

1439 El Prado, San Diego, California, 92101

The basics

San Diego’s Mingei International Museum displays “art” from over 140 countries—with the broadest definition of creativity possible, visitors will wander exhibits of 19th-century dolls, ancient woven baskets and feathered headdresses, tequila bottles, and surfboards (this is San Diego, after all).

Hopefully, at the end of your museum exploration, you’ll walk away realizing this: Though it may be in different ways, we all have the urge to create. The result is infinite, fascinating, and worth a second look.

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Things to know before you go

  • Download the app for a self-guided tour; texts are offered in English and Spanish.

  • Large bags must be checked in the cloakroom; drinks with lids are only permissible on the Commons level.

  • Two wheelchairs are available for check-out at the Admissions Desk.

  • If you get peckish, there’s an onsite restaurant and cafe.

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How to get there

The Mingei International Museum is set in San Diego’s Balboa Park (you can get great views from the museum’s two terraces). If you’re driving in, there’s a large lot near the Plaza de Panama that offers easy access to the museum—the plaza is also a tram stop if you’re coming from other parts of the park.

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Trip ideas

When to get there

The Mingei International Museum is open year-round, closing on Mondays and holidays. There’s no bad time to visit, though you can make an adult’s night out by nabbing happy hour before an evening of perusing art on Thursdays and Fridays when there are extended hours. Be sure to check the museum calendar for exhibit rotation and special events.

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A welcoming space

“Mingei” translates to “art of the people”—Japanese philosopher Soetsu Yanagi coined it. In addition to the museum being just that, it’s also art for the people. As such, the Commons level of the museum is a free public hangout space with a cafe, restaurant, gallery shop, and courtyard.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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As well as visiting the Mingei International Museum, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: