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Salt Lake City Temple Square in Utah

Salt Lake City Temple Square in Utah

Salt Lake City Temple Square is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints (the Mormoms).  It is also one of Utah’s biggest tourist destinations.

If you are on a layover in SLC Airport, there is a way to visit the square for free by riding the airport shuttle vans over.  Allow two hours between your flight and ask any airport employees for help on getting to where you need to be.  They will even store your luggage while you go.  More information can be found here.

There are lots of free concerts in Temple Square that were advertised on boards throughout the area.  My kids were tired from the journey, so we didn’t get to attend the one the night we visited.  There was a bagpipe musician playing near the gate of the square.  I assume he was a local guy busking for the tourists, as he played “auld lang syne” instead of what you would consider to be the classic church hymns an official musician would play.  The iconic Tabernacle Hall where the Tabernacle Choir performs was impressive!  They did a short demonstration on the acoustics (dropping a pin, tearing a piece of paper) and I really wished we could have listened to a performance in that setting.

Salt Lake City Temple Square in Utah

The kids enjoyed seeing the Bible story paintings on the wall, and the large celestial Jesus.  I hope I’m not showing ignorance of the Mormon religion, as I know they accept the traditional Christian Bible with the addition of the Book of Mormon.  But I will say there was more Bible and less Book of Mormon than I expected.

There were definitely a lot of people in the complex when I visited. I was surprised at the amount of Asian tourists.  As an American (and non-Morman), Salt Lake City isn’t really high on my vacation destination list.  But they seemed to be having a good time. Would love some insight into this… is it just one stop on a larger southwest tour? Is SLC doing marketing in Asian countries to push their destination? Inquiring minds!

Salt Lake City Temple Square in Utah

While it was a good way to spend a couple hours while stuck in the city, and if I’m in the neighborhood again I will probably stop by.  There’s a great buzz while still having the serenity of a religious area.  But, I probably wouldn’t travel to Salt Lake City expressly for the opportunity to check out the square.


Salt Lake City Temple Square in Utah

  1. Nic 11 August, 2014

    Hi, I randomly came across your article when Googling pictures for Temple Square. Anyway, about the number of “Asian tourists” rising in the area, there are a number of travel agencies in California that specialize in West Coast bus tours. Their clientele is mainly Chinese, 50% Chinese Americans/immigrants, 40% Chinese on travel visa, 10% others. You can check out this link for extra research: I went on two bus tours last year with this travel agency. This company has multiple small branches in Chinese supermarkets all over the San Francisco Bay Area. I bet they also work with multiple agencies in China to promote their tours in America. In short, Salt Lake City was a one stop between Yellowstone and Arches National Park on last summer’s West Coast tours.

  2. msouth 14 June, 2015

    Hi, I found your blog in a google search looking for the bagpiping busker I met in SLC last week. I think I found my guy here:

    I’m randomly curious if it might be the same person.

    Regarding the Christus statue and the pictures depicting scenes from the Bible, I’m reasonably sure that there is a conscious effort there to make sure people understand that it is a Christian church, since there has been a lot of misinformation out there about that fact.

    Also, the particular scenes depicted–such as Moses ordaining Aaron, and Isaiah writing his prophecies about the messiah–seemed to me to be selected intentionally as sort of conversation starters around the intersections of our beliefs with those of the wider Christian community. I don’t have any inside information on what was picked and why, but I visited last Sunday with some friends (who, unlike me, are not members of the church) and that was the impression I had.

    If you ever happen to be in SLC again there is a beautiful cathedral there ( ) that’s worth a visit, as well.

    I agree with your overall assessment (that it’s an interesting place to go if you’re there, but not something I’d make a trip out specifically to see), and appreciate the respect you show in the description of the religious elements.