Old Mission Santa Barbara
Old Mission Santa Barbara
4.5
About
Visitors can tour this historic Franciscan mission that features twin bell towers and lovely gardens.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Plan your visit
The area
Address
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Mona Lisha
    120 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A glimpse into the past
    Santa Barbara is a perfect day trip from LA. We arrived around 11:00am on a Sunday. As the church is still functioning, it was closed to the public until 12:30 for Mass. There were beautiful gardens to explore (olive tree garden and rose gardens). The roses were in full bloom and were beautiful. The museum is small and is a quick read. We took a guided tour around the property, which is well-worth it and no additional cost to the cost of the regular admission ticket. There is a small gift shop. There was a coffee truck outside, which was great for an afternoon pick-me-up.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 18, 2023
  • Wikumj
    Bromley, United Kingdom327 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful and peaceful environment
    Such a beautiful and peaceful place. We had never been to a Franciscan monastery before. It has a lovely atmosphere to walk through the grounds, lovely smells from the garden, and an amazing church that has a very unique style compared to most churches I’ve been to - colourful yet down to earth. The small museum provides history and context. This was a great stop on our road trip along the coast. Takes about an hour to walk round.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 18, 2023
  • colombiajan
    Saint Albans, West Virginia195 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful and Serene
    Lovely experience. this mission is beautiful and we loved looking over the grounds and inside the beauty of the church. I felt very peaceful there. The gardens were beautiful and the whole area as a very spiritual feeling. We only got to visit 3 missions but we loved all three.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 16, 2023
  • D-Leader
    Waynesboro, Virginia204 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful California Mission
    This mission is the gem of the California missions, and one not to miss. It has an amazing courtyard with beautiful plants and trees. The old church is beautifully preserved, and active today. The side chapels are lovely, especially the one with St. Francis and St. Claire. The two towers make it unusual for the California missions. These is a nice museum and shop as well.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 13, 2023
  • runinCO
    Denver, Colorado159 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting Stop
    Paid for the self-guided tour, which was a bit pricey at $15. The audio worked about half the time depending upon where you were in the complex. The information was interesting and helped give context for the sites. Interesting that learn about connections with the children’s book “Island of the Blue Dolphins”
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written January 2, 2024
  • ATraversLeMonde_2011
    Sparks, Nevada30 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical treasure
    Historical treasure. Must see if you're going to be in Santa Barbara. Garden could be better kept - but that may be a seasonal issue (visited in March 2024). Cemetery was off limits during visit. Overall, very spiritual and serene. Expect to LEARN a lot, as opposed to seeing a lot. Well worth the visit.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 16, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,746 reviews
Excellent
1,488
Very good
936
Average
276
Poor
40
Terrible
6

ATraversLeMonde_2011
Sparks, NV30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Historical treasure. Must see if you're going to be in Santa Barbara. Garden could be better kept - but that may be a seasonal issue (visited in March 2024). Cemetery was off limits during visit. Overall, very spiritual and serene. Expect to LEARN a lot, as opposed to seeing a lot. Well worth the visit.
Written March 16, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rbwriter
New York City, NY407 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Well worth a visit. Beautiful views from the mission. Mission is quite lovely.
Learning about the history of Santa Barbara was very interesting
Very nice gift shop
Written March 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael B
Sydney, Australia22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Probably the most beautiful of the Missions up and down the California Coast. Worth a tour inside, but also the grounds are beautiful and you could enjoy a short trip just to enjoy the architecture and a little bit of history.
Written February 27, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

runinCO
Denver, CO159 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
Paid for the self-guided tour, which was a bit pricey at $15. The audio worked about half the time depending upon where you were in the complex. The information was interesting and helped give context for the sites. Interesting that learn about connections with the children’s book “Island of the Blue Dolphins”
Written January 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

D-Leader
Waynesboro, VA204 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
This mission is the gem of the California missions, and one not to miss. It has an amazing courtyard with beautiful plants and trees. The old church is beautifully preserved, and active today. The side chapels are lovely, especially the one with St. Francis and St. Claire. The two towers make it unusual for the California missions. These is a nice museum and shop as well.
Written November 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fungramma51
CA178 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
We were very disappointed in the mission. First, they were to open at 9:30 but didn’t open until after 10 am due to a “staff meeting” while many people had to wait outside. Very poor customer service. Next was the outrageous price of $25. This may have been due to a Sistine Chapel exhibit but you didn’t have a choice not to see that part and pay a more reasonable fee. (They were in separate sections and it would have been easy to split the admission). Due to the high cost we had to leave some people outside as it was too expensive for a family of six. While we’ve worked our entire lives $125 was too high a price to pay when welfare recipients were allowed to enter for only $3. We have been to the mission before and enjoyed it but with the change of exhibits, not much on the original mission, we will not plan on going again. We will enjoy the other missions in California instead.
Written July 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen N
Evanston, IL15 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
In all fairness, the mission might have been more captivating if I hadn't already visited San Jaun Capistrano, but it just doesn't hold a candle to its neighbor to the south. Gardens were sparse and bare. Architecture wasn't particularly impressive. Fine if you are in Santa Barbara, but otherwise it's not worth a trip.
Written July 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

svale_sp
Sunnyvale, CA7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
The outside area is very attractive and worth visiting, but a $25 adult admission is ridiculous, even including a so-called Sistine chapel exhibition.
Written July 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

meche15655
Baton Rouge, LA55 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Interesting historical mission tour that outlines the different influences from the indigenous people to the Franciscan Priests from Spain. Also, currently has a Sistine Chapel exhibit worth viewing.
Written July 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susanna C
Portland, OR2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Family
Gorgeous piece of Santa Barbara history. My son and I enjoyed exploring the antiquity and flora while learning the history dated back to the late 1700’s.
Written June 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,289
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

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Frequently Asked Questions about Old Mission Santa Barbara




All Santa Barbara HotelsSanta Barbara Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Santa Barbara
All things to do in Santa Barbara
Day Trips in Santa Barbara
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars