Dali Museum

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Salvador Dalí Museum

Top choice in St Petersburg

The theatrical exterior of the Salvador Dalí Museum speaks of great things: out of a wound in the towering white shoe box oozes a 75ft geodesic glass atrium. Even better, what unfolds inside is like a blueprint of what a modern art museum, or at least one devoted to the life, art and impact of Salvador Dalí, should be. Even those who dismiss his dripping clocks and curlicue mustache will be awed by the museum and its grand works, especially the Hallucinogenic Toreador.

The Dalí Museum's 20,000 sq ft of gallery space was designed to display all 96 oil paintings in the collection, along with key works of each era and medium: drawings, prints, sculptures, photos, manuscripts, movies and even a virtual reality exhibit in which guests enter Dalí's dreams. Everything is arranged chronologically and explained in context. The garden out back is also a delight, with a wish tree, a melting clock bench and a giant steel mustache sculpture.

Excellent, free docent tours occur hourly (on the half hour); these are highly recommended to help crack open the rich symbolism in Dalí's monumental works. Audioguides are also free, and contain secret, deeply hilarious narration from a voice claiming to be Dalí's mustache. To top everything off, there's a Catalan-inspired cafe and a first-rate gift store. Up to 5000 people have been known to visit in a day, so get here early or wait for everything.

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