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“Highly recommend you visit.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (Central Business District)
513 333 7500
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Ranked #13 of 143 things to do in Cincinnati
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center stands as the nation's newest monument to freedom. It brings to life the importance - and relevance - of struggles for freedom around the world and throughout history, including today.
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Highly recommend you visit.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

As you would expect, this museum is a solemn experience. It does a very good job of documenting the history of slavery, and the people involved in its creation and abolishment. The last wing is a very good exhibit relating the past to the present slave practices in today's world. This entire museum is a must-see for people that have the maturity and patience to learn and reflect. The exhibits are varied, interactive and engaging but I do not recommend this stop for children. It really does need some amount of concentration and reflection. We were fairly tired, and emotionally and mentally drained after about 3 hours (we probably needed 4 hours to see everything completely). The architecture of the building is purposefully light, hopeful and open. Really beautiful.

Even though the audio map and the ticket takers suggest you start on the second floor, I HIGHLY recommend you start on the third floor in the "From Slavery to Freedom" gallery. It is an excellent summary of everything presented elsewhere in the museum, plus it is the most compact and interactive review of the history. Many of the other exhibits in the museum repeat or explain further what is in this gallery. After this first stop, you will be ready to go down to the second floor to see and appreciate the centerpiece of the museum and the other exhibits. End your tour back on the third floor in the Perseverance gallery. After touring the whole exhibit, everyone in my group agreed this would have been a more logical way to absorb and appreciate the information presented.

There are excellent movies through the various floors. The first movie, though, in a beautiful main theater on the second floor ("orientation") is the least helpful or engaging of any of the presentations. You won't miss a thing if you skip it.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank chgo57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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482 reviews from our community

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
86 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Beautiful Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

I had no idea how impressive this relatively new museum is until I visited it in person. I allowed two hours for the visit, thinking that this would be enough time, but it was clearly not enough. I rushed through the exhibits, wishing that I had closer to a full day to take it all in. It's well worth a visit if you are in the area. However, do not be misled by the name: although it certainly deals with the Underground Railroad, as is appropriate in a city that was heavily involved in it, it covers far more than the U.S. era of slavery. It covers various sorts of human rights issues, including sex trafficking internationally and workers who are enslaved by brutal working conditions, even though they may have been hired at least nominally voluntarily. For relaxed breaks overlooking the Ohio River, there is a nice 3rd story patio with a permanent flame adding symbolism. When my toddlers grew tired of museum exhibits I let them play on the patio to gain their second wind. Many of the museum exhibits are intended for visitors older than toddlers, so that break area is particularly nice for families with very young children.

Visited March 2013
Thank NanjingBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Loved it!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

It moved me to tears it was soo good!! Beautiful building, beautiful location, wonderful exhibits. Staff nice and friendly!!! Cost only $12!! Plan to spend about 4 hours inside if you want to see EVERYTHING!! I recommend the iPod touch tour, it has movies you can watch and gives you tons of extra info.

2 Thank Kellie4565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
99 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Excellent, informative, interesting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

World class museum. Very much recommended. We learned a lot and spent 2+ hours here no problem. Good audio guide. I'd have expected something of this standard in New York, Chicago so was surprised to find in a smaller city.

Visited March 2013
Thank m_james_s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very Well Done”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Our visit was very educational and entertaining. They have many hands-on exhibits. The experience of the runaway slave was very sobering and well done

Visited September 2012
Thank carlechols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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