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“uhg. Terribly disappointing.”

San Diego Museum of Man
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San Diego Gaslamp Segway Tour
Ranked #80 of 446 things to do in San Diego
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Owner description: The San Diego Museum of Man is your museum! Join the hundreds of thousands of people each year who come to see its exhibits on beer, monsters, torture, race, human and primate evolution, and more. You can also experience one of most important ancient Egyptian collections in the United States, which includes authentic Egyptian mummies, an exceptionally rare child sarcophagus, and one of the world's few surviving examples of Nefertiti's cartouche. Also, for the first time in 80 years, we are now offering guided tours of the California Tower - one of San Diego's most iconic landmarks. Tower tour tickets are timed like theater tickets, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance to secure your desired date and time.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I was really looking forward to this museum when I heard about it. I bought the Balboa Park passport and this was one of the included museums, but entry did not include the exhibit on torture which would have cost an additional $15. (This seemed weird/crazy high to me since regular adult admission is $12.50 w/o torture exhibit or $20 with. So, it seems that the torture exhibit add-on to the passport ticket should only cost $7.50)

The exhibits were really disappointing, they try to use video/audio clips to augment displays but it seemed like several were broken. We went to play with the archeological dig sand box and the brush fell apart in my hand. The Egyptian exhibit is tucked away in a small room & was under renovation which left half of the room empty and covered with tools. My husband was not impressed by the museum employee in the Egyptian room that was too busy checking her Facebook on her phone to look up/greet visitors.

2  Thank WeGoSlow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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187 - 191 of 314 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2014

Not worth the high admission price. The permanent exhibitions on evolution, primates were interesting, but the museum is small and limited in quality. A lot of the artifacts are replicas. The ancient Egyptian exhibition area was under renovation. The temporary exhibit on various torture implements was gruesomely fascinating though. But overall, not worth the special exhibitions ticket price of $20 for adults. Stick to the wonderful, free, scenery of Balboa Park and the museum exterior, but skip the inside unless you want to see a specific exhibit!

Thank SadieMerlot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Firstly, the ticket is pricey at USD 12.5 per person. Though the museum has good collection, I personally feel that one should visit this museum only if time and interest permit. Instead, I would rather recommend, to spend time in the Balboa park, where this museum situated. By paying an additional USD 7.5 pp, one can visit museum of 'Instruments of Torture' also, where they have kept some medieval instruments of human torture.
My overall feeling is - visit if you are an anthropology student or interested in human evolution. Otherwise, spend your time in better places in the same park...

Thank RameshMysore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Went here recently with my wife and two children (ages 15 and 12). I was disappointed with the museum as a whole. We saw the torture exhibit and that was very interesting (albeit small); however, the remainder of the museum was a bit dull and uninspiring, with one exception - the exhibit with the pharaoh's caskets and mummy's. For families, the museum is best for children under 13 in my view. We had to sign a waiver for our 12 year old to view the torture exhibit. Some of the torture devices were brutal and sexual in nature, but I think fine for children 12 and over who indicate it would be interesting to them. My 15 year-old hustled through (maybe a bit too much for him) - my 12 year-old spent more time reading and looking at the exhibits. Many of the exhibits were partially restored and not original and several were entirely reproductions. $67.50 for the 4 of us - a bit steep for the experience.

Thank Jason G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

There are different exhibitions to choose from so if something doesn't catch your eye right away, something else will. From Mayan to Egyptian, human evolution to Star Wars paraphernalia, this museum is a nice one to visit once in Balboa Park.
The staff not only guide you through the exhibits but also gives you tips on where you get the best pics in Balboa Park ;) Thanks Marc!

Thank winterdamsel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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