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Discover San Diego’s coveted secret for art lovers at Spanish Village Art Center. The Village is located between the Zoo and the NAT. These quaint buildings and colorful courtyards were originally built in 1935. They depicted a charming old village in Spain for the second California Pacific International Exposition. In 1937, the Village was reopened as an art destination by a group of dedicated artists. During World War II the U.S. Army used the village for temporary barracks, and in 1947 it was reclaimed and restored by the artists.

Over the last 60+ years, San Diego artists have continued to preserve and enhance this historical landmark by adding to its beauty with colorful concrete tiles, flowers, and unique studio entryways. Today the Village continues to be a thriving community for over 200 local artisans who share their talent and the love of all things that are art with you.

Spanish Village Art Center
4.7
Based on 2456 reviews
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Ghanshyam Patel
Ghanshyam Patel
00:36 22 Jun 24
Excellent place to visit this place. Very good tourist location for visiting Spanish Art Centre, Japanese Friendship... garden, open house Live concert etc. Very good scenic location for photography.read more
Ron Dinoso
Ron Dinoso
18:31 13 May 24
From floors to tiny little stores, just great to spend a mini get away. Had a hard time looking for parking spots due... to Mother’s Day weekend celebrations. Happy Mums day to all you mums out there!read more
Rodger Beard
Rodger Beard
23:39 25 Mar 24
Lots of nice arty stuff, but not much "Spanish" really. A highlight was the sculpture displays and wood objects store,... both on the right on the main entrance.The life sized sculptures are must see. A bit too expensive for my blood, but frankly, I thought about it. Luckily we live north of Tucson, and rationalized that shipping made it a no go. 🙄Ditto the many, many different wood objects of every description. Truly beautiful, utilitarian and not expensive at all considering the materials and labor.read more
Lust TheWander
Lust TheWander
21:48 09 Jan 24
No tickets needed. Most shops close by 4pm. So plan accordingly if you want to see this gem piece of San Diego... history. There's a little Cafe inside this village. Not sure exactly the extent of what they serve but I know they ha e hot cocoa also.read more
Cirrus Sanofi
Cirrus Sanofi
17:53 05 Jan 24
The coziest place of the whole Balboa Park. Colorful paving, small art shops and nice people make this place unique. It... is an incredibly photogenic place with beautiful Spanish architecture. There is no admission fee, you should definitely come and see.read more
Sharla Riead
Sharla Riead
13:39 27 Nov 23
I would love to come back and visit again! The artists are in residence and very willing to talk with you. Every type... of art you can think of is here. It is great as a place to wander around and see beautiful things for free. The prices are very reasonable. We were able to find several gifts and would have purchased more, but getting it all gone would have been an issue. If I am ever back in the area, I will return.read more
Marialejandra Rivera
Marialejandra Rivera
15:59 05 Nov 23
I HIGHLY recommend squeezing this little village into your SD vacation. There’s free parking in all of Balboa Park.... Multiple studios open daily starting at 11am. Artists display their craft while actively working on new pieces. Everyone is so sweet and kind. We loved our time here. Keep in mind there’s nowhere to eat in the village but they do have a coffee cart with pastries and juices/smoothies etc. They also do historical tours.read more
Sara celis
Sara celis
09:09 02 Nov 23
The Spanish Village Art Center in San Diego is a colorful and vibrant enclave within Balboa Park. It's home to a... community of artists who work and display their creations in charming studios. The village exudes a Spanish-inspired charm with its tiled courtyards and diverse range of art, from paintings to sculptures. It's a unique and lively spot for art enthusiasts to explore.read more
Zuri
Zuri
20:49 13 Oct 23
Such beautiful art exhibits with the friendliest local artists. You can tell they absolutely love their craft with the... art they produce. The cat lady was my favorite 🥰read more
The_Ardent ShutterBug
The_Ardent ShutterBug
23:22 11 Oct 23
Very cool Museum! First time seeing a Mammoth and Saber-tooth Tiger Skelton. Great family outing or day date.
art junkie
art junkie
14:02 12 Sep 23
The Spanish Village Art Center is always on my list when I visit San Diego. I love the handmade art, the funky vibe,... and the beauty of this place. I highly recommend it!read more
Sam Ch
Sam Ch
05:02 07 Sep 23
Lots of art stuff. Mango Pineapple smoothie at Daniel's is great. Most shops close pretty early at around 4pm on the... weekdays though. 5pm weekendread more
Ayala Gerendasi
Ayala Gerendasi
21:38 23 Aug 23
Amazing Artists and their art pieces. You get to meet the person behind the beautiful art in the diverse studios. I... went Saturday afternoon and it was a wonderful experience. I am stunned by Bedazzled By Mindy's handmade jewelry at Studio 40.read more
Kyla Joy
Kyla Joy
18:09 01 Aug 23
I absolutely love this space, and my whole family loves it more and more as my kids become young adults. We are all... artists, and really appreciate seeing what others have created in this space. I love chatting with the local art guild members and listening to what they have to say about their techniques or how they got started. Truly wonderful! I also love the beauty of the outdoor area. The tiles with all the colors are simple and lovely. The atmosphere is it cheerful and fun. There is a small café you can walk up to and order a little snack or drink. They had great options for our family.read more
Lina Leyda
Lina Leyda
04:52 19 Jul 23
I can be here all day! It's a place for artists who can showcase their own expertise and individualism. Thankfully I... was good and did not buy anything - next time for sure. If that beautiful gourd that makes those thunderous sound after being shaken a bit is still there the next time I visit, that gourd is meant for me lol! It's wonderful to watch people who create their own products make them right in front of your eyes 👀 - what a day! I'll definitely be going back.read more
Maria Flores
Maria Flores
16:46 28 May 23
I visited on a weekday and some of the shops where closed, there’s little coffee and art shops. There was still a lot... to see and enjoy, I loved all the vibrant colors, beautiful art and sculptures.read more
Heather Skale
Heather Skale
19:27 13 May 23
It's my favorite place for art in SD. Cute cottages filled with vibrant works by local artists. Glass paintings,... sculpture, mixed media, and more. Southwest Artist Assoc. is one of my favorites. Coffee cart in the back. Parking lot close by.read more
Jo Moss
Jo Moss
07:45 11 May 23
An art lovers paradise with lots of artists to talk to and see their paintings in the studio/shops all around the... colourful square. You can also buy the most delicious hot drinks and sit around watching the world go by. Balboa Park is just fantasticread more
N B
N B
21:08 08 May 23
One of the gems in Balboa park. Lots of history and interesting artifacts. Would recommend for all ages.
Rengesh K
Rengesh K
01:10 02 Feb 23
If you like art this is one of the must-do places to visit while in downtown San Diego. The artists show case their... creations in various "studios". Located right next to San Diego zoo entranceread more
Maltesh K
Maltesh K
00:53 04 Dec 22
Spanish village is very much native. You get the feeling of village homes and hand looms. One of the best thing I... visited was the artist who draws the scenes on canvas in front of you, it was so exciting although pricy. Trees and small plants mostly all are desert plants cactus and alovera families I suppose. People are friendly and I enjoyed my time. It is pretty close to zoo, if you go to zoo, plan a short visit to this village. Nearby there are many old buildings, if you like historic features, then just down the faint fig tree there are plenty of building, balboa park and museums. You may need another day apart from visiting the zoo.read more
Claudia Ortiz
Claudia Ortiz
14:54 20 Sep 22
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is located in Balboa Park and it’s the only accredited model railroad museums in... the country. The museum showcases the history of railroading across Southern California.When visiting the museum ask for the Scavenger Hunt sheet at the front desk and search for items on the list throughout the museum. There are many interactive trains with interesting information that staff in the museum are more than happy to share. There are so many tiny modeled towns, trains and farms.The museum was very interesting but my little one did get a little distracted after a while because my son is more of a hands on child and began running around and jumping. As for my 8 year old daughter, she was not very interested in the small trains either. I suppose if your children love trains and are more of the visual learners then this museum is perfect!This Summer The Model Railroad Museum Exhibit, Circus Trains, is full of fascinating and colorful model trains, railroad cars, and animals.read more
Joseph MacMillan
Joseph MacMillan
19:47 01 Sep 22
Lovely and quaint, the Spanish Village Art Center is a cute local arts pavilion with several local artists booths. They... also have art workshops, local artists exhibits and live music. The quaint architecture and ambiance is quite fun. Not bad for a free to do time.read more
Thom Hiatt
Thom Hiatt
21:32 30 Aug 22
This is an inspiring environment jam packed full of talented small business owners who are passionate about their... crafts. From pottery to blown glass and painting to gemstones, this place is incredible! Free parking and free entry. Plenty to see and do...all for free! Oh, and feel free to buy some COOL one of a kind stuff, too!read more
Estela Ortega
Estela Ortega
04:14 25 Jun 22
There were a lot of arts, crystals shops. Along with a coffee shop, very cute. It was sweet in a lay back and take in... the place in. Also if you want to make your daily steps goals, come here, you won't notice.read more
Nicole Paige
Nicole Paige
14:30 28 May 22
So interesting. I saw a man painting with such detail and his studio was filled with all of his work. It was amazing!... We saw statues and jewelry.read more
Christine Wong
Christine Wong
00:21 23 Apr 22
What a treasure—a bit of a quieter, more colorful part off of Balboa Park. Lots of different art studios to visit and... plenty of areas to sit and take in views. I loved the colorful buildings and walkways! If you have pets or friends/family with pets, stop by Lucy Wang’s Chinese Brush Painting Gallery to pick up these art pieces for $5 a pop.read more
Pattie Kromrey
Pattie Kromrey
04:35 22 Mar 22
I love wandering around this place. It has such a wonderful creative feel. Our friend Joel is a stained glass artisan... in one of the shops. It was our first time seeing him there. Love his work and everything is reasonably priced! His handle on IG is seminomaticartisanread more
Jessica Riggleman
Jessica Riggleman
22:39 19 Feb 22
Wow, what an unexpected, very cool place! My boyfriend and I were visiting for the weekend and I wanted to visit Balboa... Park. We randomly ran into the Spanish Village Art Center. I am not sure if it should be advertised more or if it is Balboa Parks best keep secret. My boyfriend is a glassblower and surprisingly there was another one there. We walked through like 8 times! Love it and the artisans are amazing.read more
Frank Juhasz
Frank Juhasz
21:35 07 Feb 22
This collection of working artist shops is unique in my experience and a treasure.After the 1935 exposition the... Spanish Village was reopened as space for local artists to create and sell their work and has continued in that spirit to this day. Artists must be recommended to the self governing board by two independent members of the local artist community. Once accepted an artist is there for life.read more
Brian Ammanna
Brian Ammanna
22:29 03 Jan 22
Definitely worth walking thru this village if you plan to visit Balboa park.Has a lot of small shops selling crafts,... jewellery n artread more
Keven Jeffery
Keven Jeffery
13:21 15 Aug 21
Artists can rent a little shop to show their handmade goods. It's a nice place to find a gift or souvenir that's a... little different. There's lots of variety, so something for everyone. The prices didn't seem outrageous.read more
Chris Gilligan
Chris Gilligan
16:30 03 May 21
I was pleasantly surprised by this little Art Village. I visited on a Friday and it was pretty empty due to the heat... but it was so worth it. I bought the cutest earrings from one of the artists and I have not stopped received complements when I wear them. All the artists were so nice and eager to talk about their STUNNING works. I will definitely come back here next time I'm in San Diego.read more
Pamela Hope
Pamela Hope
02:05 05 Apr 21
Gorgeous art center/village, a man does woodwork here,.including mini child size benches you can have a name chiseled... into, but also incredible quill pens with the handle made out of wood, beautiful. (Must buy your own ink) .read more
D Hanks
D Hanks
21:06 14 Sep 20
It was ok. We were there on a Monday so not every shop was open.
Jeff Lee
Jeff Lee
22:26 05 Sep 20
Cool little village with lots of arts and crafts
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