Mission San Diego

San Diego de Alcalá Mission

California's first mission was founded on July 16, 1769. Mission San Diego’s church (rebuilt in 1931) has a captivating 46’ Campanaro (bell wall) you won't forget. This mission has inviting grounds, informative displays, and a rich history.

Facts About This Mission

General Information

San Diego de Alcalá

Founded:
July 16, 1769
Also Called:
Mission San Diego
Current Status:
Active Roman Catholic Church of the diocese of San Diego, properly referred to as the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala. The mission was made a Minor Basilica in 1976 by Pope Paull VI.
Summary:
California's first mission was founded on July 16, 1769. Mission San Diego’s church (rebuilt in 1931) has a captivating 46’ Campanaro (bell wall) you won't forget. This mission has inviting grounds, informative displays, and a rich history.

Visitor Information

Address

10818 San Diego Mission Road
San Diego, CA 92108
United States

Get Directions
Phone

Gift Shop / Visitor Center: 619-281-8449

Tours: 858-565-9077

Library and archives: 619-283-6338 (Mon. to Thurs. 12 – 2 p.m.)

Parish Office: 619-283-7319

Hours

Visitor Center and Gift Shop Hours

9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Fees

Adults $5.00

Seniors $3.00

Children $2.00

Directions

If you have a GPS system in your car, use it the first time you visit this mission. Detailed instruction from different locations within the San Diego area are posted on the mission website. There is a Mission San Diego stop on the city trolley.

In addition to the main parking lot there is a small lot in front of the church. (You climb up to mission on a stairway to the right.)

Tours

To schedule a tour and for tour information call the Visitor Center at 619-281-8449 or send an email tours@missionsandiego.com

Mass Times
Interior of San Diego Mission Church
Interior of San Diego Mission Church, a photograph by Carol Highsmith, courtesy Library of Congress

This mission offers one of the best opportunities to attend Mass in a California Mission. Unless noted otherwise, Masses are celebrated in the Mission Church

  • Saturday (Sunday Vigil): 5:30pm
  • Sunday: 7:00am, 8:00am, 9:00am (in St. Francis Chapel), 10:00am (ASL interpreted), 11:00am, 11:00am (Spanish in St. Francis Chapel), 12:00pm, 5:30pm
  • Weekdays: 7:00am and 5:30 pm
Weddings and Other Special Services
  • Weddings are held at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 2:00 p.m. 
  • Rehearsals are held Thursdays, 3:30 and 6:00 p.m. and Fridays at 3:30, 6:00, and 7:00 p.m. 
  • Visit the mission website to download special PDF's with details and instructions
Special Events

San Diego holds several events, including the “Festival of the Bells” in the fall.

For a comprehensive list of current events see http://www.missionsandiego.com/events.htm

Supporting Organization

 There is an active group of docents who provide an invaluable service in keeping the Mission Basilica San Diego and its museums well preserved and open to the public. 

Special Attractions
Image of the Casa de los Padres Room
Casa de los Padres Room

The Casa de los Padres room, which has large full-color drawings of mission events as well as a detailed model of the mission. Located on the left after you leave the gift shop. 

The mission church (built originally in 1813 and fully restored in 1935) is one of the most inviting in the mission chain.

The distinctive feature of this mission is the striking 46’ tall companario (bell tower). Detailed information on the bells and the role they played in the mission era is on a sign in the garden area behind the bell tower.

The mission museum contains many informative displays.

Tips for Visitors
  • When you are in the church, be sure to look at the burial marker honoring Fr. Luis Jayme, who was killed in the 1775 attack on the mission. The remains of Fr. Jayme are entombed beneath the chancel floor (area around the altar).
Other Mission-Era Historical Attractions
Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill
Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill

Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill (original site of mission)– 2727 Presidio Drive, 619-232-6203. 

The Old Mission Dam. This dam was the first major irrigation system in the West. This Historic site has an informative Visitor and Interpretive Center and offers several trails. More details and directions at http://www.mtrp.org/old_mission_dam.asp.

The chapel at Santa Ysabel, a photograph by David J. McLaughlin, 2017
The chapel at Santa Ysabel

Asistencia of Santa Ysabel, located in the mountains some 60 miles east of San Diego. Picturesque countryside. Cabrillo National Monument. The site offers great panoramic views of the city and has an extensive Visitor’s Center. There is a striking statue of Cabrillo. SDV 11. The monument is located at 1800 Cabrillo Monument Drive, San Diego. 619-551-5450

Maritime Museum of San Diego. Extensive displays covering the maritime history of this major port. 1492 North Harbor Drive. 619-234-9153.

Additional Information

Discover More Information About California's Rich History

Browse the Mission Resource Store, where we have everything from maps to trading cards to help immerse you in the California Missions and more.

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