We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood: Balboa Park
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101-1621
Phone Number:
+1 619-696-0199
11:00 - 16:00
Open now
See all hours
Tue - Fri 11:00 - 16:00
Sat - Sun 11:00 - 17:00

One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model...

One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model railway that replicates San Diego's tracks.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Go San Diego Card
Why book on Viator?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information ›

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 397 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 234
  • 102
    Very good
  • 28
  • 7
  • 5
Trains, Trains, and More Trains!!

My boys and I love coming here! Its a fun place for families or even a train enthusiast! Every time we come back to visit, they have added more sections of train track and... read more

Reviewed yesterday
San Diego, California
Add Photo Write a Review

397 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 376: English reviews
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed yesterday NEW

My boys and I love coming here! Its a fun place for families or even a train enthusiast! Every time we come back to visit, they have added more sections of train track and landscape. The attention to little details is astonishing. Every train area has something, from the dinosaur in a cage, to the shark in the pool, the... More 

Thank maeganr23
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

On our way to the Zoo we stopped off at a few museums in Balboa Park to pass some time. this Museum was pretty cool. The model train displays were all working. It doesn't cost too much to enter here. f you like Model trains then I would go in.

Thank Erica S
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
785 reviews
405 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 450 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Even those not too interested in models may find the exhibits remarkable for their details. Everyone loves the adventure of train travel or at least the idea. And getting a chance to look back into our rail history is a gem. Recommended.

Thank Walker S
Temecula, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a great place for the family and kids. The people at the museum are full of information about the railroad history in San Diego. Plan a couple of hours. Definitely worth the money!

Thank Janie R
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
129 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Imagine thousands of square feet of set up for every gauge of model railroads from 3-rail and standard gauge to z gauge. Dozens of members were each running set-ups that required engineering and electronics by the thousands of hours to complete. a Must See in San Diego

Thank jwyblf
Level Contributor
512 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Operational model trains will amaze you. The scenery, along with the trains moving through the countryside and small towns, appear to be realistic, on a small scale. The staff (model railroaders themselves) are friendly, and will take the time to explain each display. Other train memorabilia can be seen throughout the museum. Worth the visit, especially if you have children... More 

Thank FLworldwanderer
North Augusta, South Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This place is pretty cool, even for a non-train fanatic. Some good history with some extensive and downright comical setups depicting everyday life. Not sure if they had planned talks, but our visit would have been better if they're were people standing near their layouts giving us some interesting tidbits. $10 seemed a little steep for this attraction, IMO, unless... More 

Thank John B
San Diego
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I am a 70 year old who grew up with Lionel and then built an HO layout for my kids. This is one of the great model railroad museums in the country. It is organized as a series of clubs, and each club has a different layout, with continuing refinement or extension work always ongoing. I have not been to... More 

Thank Robert W
Newport, RI
Level Contributor
55 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Very large model railroad museum and very nice folks running it. Lots to see, a few were interactive for the little ones. If you are into this kind of thing, could easily spend a couple of hours here.

Thank LyndaNewport_RI
Stuart, FL
Level Contributor
247 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2017 via mobile

We spent a couple hours viewing the multiple train layouts. Most all gauges are on display. After you tour the multi levels in one direction, reverse course to view again. You won't believe all that you will have missed the first time. Fun for all ages.


Travellers who viewed San Diego Model Railroad Museum also viewed


Been to San Diego Model Railroad Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from San Diego Model Railroad Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?