Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and the hub of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. The city is, of course, famous for Temple Square where the iconic Mormon temple stands, surrounded by a beautifully landscaped plaza. The city is also known for the historic Utah State Capitol Building, which offers related exhibits and enjoyable tours. Families love Hogle Zoo, which features a number of exotic animal species, as well as a fun carousel and train. For those who love the fresh air, Red Butte Garden offers trails around the botanical garden as well as regular music concerts. One unusual fact about Salt Lake City is that the city boasts the highest Jell-O consumption in the world and Jell-O is the official state snack. Read on below to check out our guide to Temple Square, Salt Lake City.
Things to do / highlights
The magnificent granite temple took 40 years to build, with the cornerstones first laid in April 1853. The temple was dedicated in April 1893. While it was initially the first temple to be built in Utah, it is officially the fourth to actually be completed in the state. The Temple is not open for public tours, as it is sacred to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, visitors can experience the following in Temple Square.
Temple Square South Visitors’ Center
The public can learn more about the history of the temple in the South Visitors’ Center and also view a beautifully crafted scale model of the temple, as well as interactive views of its interior.
Stroll around Temple Square
The temple is surrounded by a 35-acre square in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. The beautiful gardens are lovely to view, as well as the fascinating architecture of the Temple itself.
Explore the Family History Library
Known to be the largest genealogy library in the world, the Family Search Center is available for anyone who would like to learn more about their ancestry and their own family history.
Attend a concert by The Tabernacle Choir
Temple Square’s Tabernacle Choir started out as a small group in August 1847, shortly after the pioneers arrived in the valley. It has since grown larger and is composed of 360 volunteers. The Tabernacle Choir has performed across the US and overseas, including concert hall appearances and US Presidential inaugurations. The choir has previously won a Grammy Award for its rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” along with three Emmy Awards.
The Choir first started a weekly live radio broadcast back in 1929 and in the 1960s, appeared on television. Their TV broadcast “Music and the Spoken Word” still runs as a network broadcast. The show is open to the public, as well as weekly choir rehearsals, held on Thursday evenings in the tabernacle.
What to eat
Temple Square Hospitality runs a number of restaurants in downtown Salt Lake City. Lunch is available on Main Street Plaza, while delicious dinners are offered throughout.
Offering panoramic views over the city, The Roof is famous for its desserts, along with traditional and international cuisines.
The Garden Restaurant
Housed on the 10th floor of Joseph Smith Memorial Building, this American-style Bistro offers beautiful views over the city and offers a retractable skylight during the summer months for open-air dining.
This breakfast and brunch cafe is located on the main floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and is the perfect spot for sandwiches, salads soups and homemade pies. Nauvoo Cafe is ideal for those wishing to boost their energy during their visit to Temple Square.
Lion House Pantry
Enjoy home-style cooking and the best comfort food in the former 19th-century home of Brigham Young in South Temple, Salt Lake City. Located right in the center of Temple Square, this is a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner.
The plaza surrounding the temple in Temple Square is comfortable to navigate in a wheelchair and any buildings visited in the area offer elevators. You can even get a free wheelchair if you have a loved one with mobility issues.
Just stroll around the square
Temple Square is the ideal place for a relaxing stroll in beautiful surroundings or relax on a bench watching the passing parade.
Check out the Tabernacle Choir
For those who love beautiful choir performances, The Tabernacle Choir is a must-see and hear in Temple Square.
Get a guide
If English isn’t your first language, you can opt to sign up for a tour conducted in one of the 40 available languages. Check out their website to see if your local language is supported.
How to get there
The following are ways to access Temple Square from Downtown Salt Lake City. Should you be traveling from a different location, use Google Maps for more accurate directions.
- Head east on 300 S/Broadway toward Marguerite Court
- Turn left onto W Temple.
- After 0.5 mi (0.8 km) you arrive at Temple Square
The journey on the Blue Line or Green Line bus takes approximately 12 minutes.
Uber and Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft services are available in Salt Lake City. Download the appropriate app on your phone.
The fastest route from downtown is via 300 S/Broadway and S. State Street as follows:
- Head south on 300 S/Broadway toward 300 S/Broadway
- Pass by Jimmy John's (on the right)
- Turn left onto S State St
- Turn left onto S Temple
- Take a slight left to Temple Square
There are a number of options for parking in Temple Square and the following are the most convenient:
- Joseph Smith Memorial Building: 15 E. South Temple.
- City Creek Center: 50 E South Temple.
View more options in the Temple Square Parking Guide on the attraction’s official website.
Temple Square information
Address: 50 N Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
Website: Temple Square
Department of tourism: Visit Salt Lake
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.