Peabody Essex Museum
Peabody Essex Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Experience art and culture from New England and around the world at one of the region’s largest art museums. Explore the museum’s vast collections and changing exhibitions, ranging from modern art to photography to Asian art and culture. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens, and 24 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, the only example of Chinese vernacular architecture on display in the United States.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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.
The area
Address
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Ellen28
    New York City, New York1,123 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth checking out
    I ended up here because I went to the Ropes Mansion and admittance to that is subsumed in admission at the main facility. They had some interesting things. Felt like a mix of artsy and history. The Yin Yu Tang house was lovely - a 200+ old house moved from China and reassembled in the museum. That piece is a timed ticket, but part of the overall admission. Staff are friendly and will coordinate it for you. Overall, a worth while detour in Salem.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written August 14, 2023
  • Nina E
    79 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great effort at making engaging and informative exhibits
    This was my second visit to the museum, so I was a little worried about 'seen it all before syndrome', but I was not disappointed. There were temporary exhibits that were well displayed and interesting, and the more permanent areas had supporting materials (videos, books) so you could dive deeper into things that perhaps you had overlooked on another visit. I don't think this would be a great museum for children or families, but for the older travellers, its great.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 5, 2023
  • cmi113
    Scotch Plains, New Jersey169 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice museum but don't expect to see the witch exhibit
    The museum is lovely and would have liked to spend more time there. We went primarily to see the Witch Trial exhbition. Unfortunately the way the ticketing online went, it appears you can see it but when we arrived were told it was at capacity. They did offer a refund, which was nice but we refused it. the American exhibit on first floor was as far as we got but it was really impressive. Allow enough time to really enjoy this place.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 12, 2023
  • Meghandee
    Miami, Florida12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoyable art museum
    The PEM is a wonderful way to spend a few hours (you could probably spend most of the day here) and a great way to escape the crowded streets if you are in Salem during Halloween-time. Admission was reasonable ($20) and they had a promotion for Bank of America cardholders while we were there (Free entry with BOA card). There are many different exhibits, plus a cafe. Bonus points for a great clean bathroom if you are in Salem for the day as a tourist.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 13, 2023
  • Passenger435006
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Really Nice Museum!
    Very nice museum with thoughtful exhibits that are well put together. We really enjoyed the Witch Trials Restoring Justice exhibit. It was nice to be able to have a quiet moment of respect and reflection for a tragic event in the midst of peak tourism time where everything was a bit more fun and silly.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 19, 2023
  • Andre H
    Brownsburg, Indiana63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great first stop when visiting Salem.
    When planning our trips we alway look at reviews to try and decide what to see and definitely what is worth the money. This museum is worth the price of admission just like all the other reviews we saw. The Native American section and the witch exhibit both tied to the area nicely. What we did not expect were the Japanese, Chinese and other art areas that had so many neat pieces to view but with no seeming ties to the area. Just a really nice art museum. Make this your first stop to get the true historical facts behind the trials and see all the original artifacts on display. Then go enjoy the rest of the shops and museums from there for their entertainment value.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 24, 2023
  • soccermom000
    Charlotte, North Carolina90 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Looking forward to a return visit
    Excellent museum, much larger then we thought so we didn't give ourselves enough time to thoroughly enjoy. But that means we will go back for another visit. Didn't realize we had to buy tickets in advance to see the 200 year old Yin Yu Tang (Chinese) house - we wanted to see if it was similar to ones we have visited in China, Vietnam and Cambodia. Most of these types of houses in Asia have been lost due to modernization, which is sad. So next visit we will purchase tickets ahead of time. We loved all the Asian exhibits - especially the hand painted wallpaper from China.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 31, 2023
  • Cynfis
    Lewes, Delaware24 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Touch and See
    The only downside of a family visit here is that the little ones (ages 1-4) will fatigue after the kids play space, Bats exhibit and garden. This may limit complete exploration by the adults, but incentivize them to return sans kids. Wonderful museum. Loved the maritime exhibit today. Our two year old tired before we could see the entire place but it was a great family outing.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 14, 2024
  • kisssmee
    Los Angeles, California828 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit!
    I had time to spare so why not visit the museum. I came within an hour of closure so I was able to get a discounted rate, but I also had to rush the exhibits a little bit. There was such a good variety of art. There is a Japanese exhibit, Chinese and Indian exhibits. I've never seen Indian art in a museum and I liked that. Along with other cultures there was the 'Black Atlantic' exhibit which was interesting as well, because again it's not something I've seen in a museum to that extent. So I really appreciated that. There was also an open room which reminded me museums in Paris. Visiting PEM museum is something you'll regret. If I wasn't pressed on time I'd easily spend another 45 minutes exploring.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written February 22, 2024
  • Chris B
    Preston, United Kingdom4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    very enjoyable visit
    Came from the UK to do the witchy stuff in Salem, it was very cold outside so decided to spend a couple of hours here to get warmed up, so glad we did as there was some really interesting things old and modern, highlight for me was the Prayer bead with the Coronation of the Virgin in Heaven and Judgment Day, WOW it blew me away. overall a great experience and great to see lots of children around the museum. had a great cup of tea there too
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 9, 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 bubbles2,138 reviews
Excellent
1,553
Very good
401
Average
117
Poor
41
Terrible
26

Chi Irene
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Friends
We came to Salem to learn about the witch trials. This was the first time in ages that this museum had an exhibit with relics from those days. We were excited to see it until we found out that it was separate from the rest of the museum and we needed a separate ticket and the only time it was open was 6 hrs later, during our other tour. So we never got to go to the exhibit.

People don’t come to Salem to see a random hodgepodge of Asian Art that we weren’t too keen on seeing. Put that stuff in Boston and perhaps people will be more amenable to it. But in Salem, they come for New England history and witch trial history. We paid for expensive tickets and saw none of it. We had family in town from Hong Kong who were excited to see the witch trials exhibit and they literally had to pay to see art from their own country....pieces they keep in their own homes. That’s like Americans spending money to go overseas and learn different culture and history...just to be taken to a museum that’s themed “current American pop culture ” Not successful...
Written October 5, 2020
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.

Tori
4 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Friends
I highly recommend the museum notify guests before they purchase their tickets that they require the MA state travel form (aka a negative covid test or proof of quarantine). Luckily we had completed this, but it made the process of entering the museum very confusing. I also recommend making the website less confusing when purchasing tickets. You had to choose different entry times for each exhibit and you had to have tickets for each exhibit, even if you already had a general admission ticket for the entire museum. The website wouldn’t even allow us to do this so it just contributed to the entire experience being confusing.
Written October 26, 2020
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.
Thank you very much for your feedback. We will take your review into consideration in providing more advance communication about travel restrictions going forward and improving our web ticketing system. Thank you again.
Written December 15, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wales_Solo_traveller
Penarth, UK2,053 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Solo
Apart from feeling that this place is a bit like a maze, I really liked thIs museum. It is housed in a large new building with a three-storey atrium as the central focal point, with all the galleries and exhibition spaces radiating off. Although they give you a guide and there are guides situated throughout the museum I am still not convinced that I saw all of the rooms. You seemed to walk through galleries which lead to staircases and other rooms but I am not sure that saw everything on the floor I was on. Maybe some guides on the floor to take people through the rooms would help. It is made a bit more difficult as some of the galleries were closed as they were being prepared for new exhibitions.

However the rooms and exhibits I did see were very good, and well curated. There was an interactive gallery for children where they were encouraged to touch and feel the experience, and this is a great addition to any museum. I really enjoyed the time I spent there (about two hours) and there was the option to spend longer by visiting the Chinese House and other nearby exhibits. Just to add the gift shop is about the best i have ever seen in a museum, none of the usual tacky tourist things, just some lovely gifts. There is a cafe in the main atrium space which looked very good too.
Written March 5, 2020
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.

lindasun
Massachusett128 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
Having been to the museum a few times over the past few decades, it was a thrill to be surprised by how much it's changed - it is a new favorite we'll return to. Getting tickets, staff, parking, etc. were all easy peasy. COVID safety was at its best with automatic doors to most rooms, capacity limits posted in galleries, and timed entrances for popular spots. Even without registering for a time at a gallery, you could generally ask and get in. Museum exhibit designers here are seriously the best - presentation, display, and signage were better than most any museum I've been to. Sweet that most things had a sea or far east theme, but it was subtle in many cases. Old artifacts were presented along with more modern flavors for great contrast and interest. Favorites were Where the Questions Live, Anish Kapoor's spectacular piece in the main lobby next to a view of the ancient Chinese home, Stencils (who knew?), the giant room with mastheads and a fascinating light display. I could go on. Spent 5 hours and was exhausted but didn't see everything we wanted to, including the gift shop which was so nice looking.
Written February 17, 2021
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.

sfrdrunner
San Francisco, CA229 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
Coming to Massachusetts from fire ravaged California did provide the needed relief we sought from nearly 4 weeks of 90 plus degree temperatures and poor air quality but what was not expected, was our finding a gem of a museum like the Peabody Essex in Salem. While the PEM is not yet in the class of a Met or the Getty, it's filling an important place for American History by memorialuzing Salem''s early days as a key Trading Port and linking the NE United States to key strategic Global Geographies. To this point, the "China House" Installation" took my wife back in time, to her remembering similar structures in Southern China. The PEM went to site and deconstructed this wooden structure and shipped to Salem and put back piece by piece to create a fascinating opportunity for Museum visitors to travel back to China two hundred years ago and to visualize how daily life for an extended family centered around the home.
It was also encouraging to learn the Bd of Directors acknowledged Indigenous People as real Americans and if there was a holiday commemorating the discovery of America, it should be in recognition of these important groups. For visitors from other parts of the country or even folks traveling from abroad, there's lots of engaging narrative history and for people who seek visual stimulation, there are serious collections of artifacts representing some of the world's great cultures and time periods.
Again, if you're spending time in the area and you can work in a good half day, the PEM would be well worth the effort and time.
Written October 13, 2020
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.

jeffrey k
Needham, MA547 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
This museum is in the center of Salem, and there is ample parking in the adjacent Witch City Mall, and not expensive. There is a cafeteria that has a good selection of food and drink. The museum is maintained in a superb manner for COVID protection, with proper directions for stairs and access. The galleries are well-presented.

A key current exhibit is on the witch trials of 1692. Be apprised that visits are time-limited, so they can clean the gallery, so if you spend a lot of time on one part of this exhibit, you might short-change yourself at the end. In this exhibit are original materials that have documentation of the trials and artifacts from many of the people involved, both victims and accusers/judges.

The PEM is the oldest museum of its type in the US, and it was founded based on the wealth of the seaport and merchants. It has a superb collection of nautical art, carvings, Chinese trade items, and Salem furniture. Decorative arts are a strong suit for this museum. There is a very nice installation right now on Japanese ceramics.

There is a wonderful garden that is a respite, a place just to sit and contemplate.

There is a very nice fashion gallery on the third level that you should not overlook. The third level also has access to a set of galleries about the history and art of Salem.

The traditional Chinese house is a gem, an exhibit found nowhere else in the West in this manner. It is even more important now, given that in China so many of the traditional villages are being destroyed, as are the hutongs in the cities.

Pay attention to the architecture of this museum. The key entry and courtyard areas are by Moshe Safdie.

This museum is, a la Michelin Guides, worth a "deviation" for those who appreciate art.
Written November 1, 2020
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.

CharleneSokal
Worcester, MA77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The American Struggle is a series begun by Lawrence that was to cover the history of the United States from its beginning to the 1950's ( I believe). Though he was unable to continue the series, it is an incredible both in it's scope and portrayal of subjects. Though PEM wasn't able to assemble all of the series, two paintings are missing, it is stunning in Lawrence's work. There was a class of high school students viewing it when my friend and I were there and it was interesting to hear younger people's input. Not to be missed if possible.
Written March 16, 2020
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.

Tom M
Great Barrington, MA149 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We live in Boston and have been to the PEM many times by car and by ferry boat from Boston harbor in the summer. It is a fabulous destination however their new expansion area has taken out the wonderfully intimate restaurant that had outdoor patio seating in the summer months.

Sadly, the only food option now is a plain and non-cozy cafe in the stark entry atrium that has limited plastic tables and chairs (we had to wipe ours off) , pre-packaged sandwiches, salads in plastic containers, and other quite limited selections. The Amtrak trains might have a better food choice. If you want to have Sugar Pops or Captain Crunch cereal for lunch, though, you’ll be quite happy because that’s one of the selections! Seriously.

Since we are retired we like to go to museums and make it a real destination trip so we can enjoy the day. A big part of that includes a good meal in a nice spot. We will probably still go to the PEM for major exhibits (Hans Hoffmann was great) but we will most likely go elsewhere in Salem for lunch. Sorry to see their sit down restaurant get chucked out the window!!

The museum, though, is well worth a visit and they do have a gift shop that reflects the high quality standards of the museum. I wish they’d solve the food option.
Written January 5, 2020
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.
Good afternoon Tom M, Thank you for providing us with feedback regarding your recent visit to the museum. While we did move away from the sit down restaurant concept in favor of a quick-serve café last year, that certainly should not mean that the food quality and selection is limited. We are working to expand our menu, and always have a selection of five pre-made salads and sandwiches available daily. Recently, we have added a quiche, personal pizza, and a hot sandwich daily specials to satisfy the diverse visitors of the Peabody Essex Museum. I am very disappointed to hear that you had to wipe down your own table. I will work on retraining the café team immediately as this is certainly not acceptable, please accept my sincere apology. We are always open to suggestions, and if there are specific options that you would love to see available at the cafe, please pass them along. We are also looking at the possibility of offering a second dining option in warm weather or a picnic lunch option that could be enjoyed in the Garden. We hope to have these options available late Spring....stay tuned for more information on that. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. I hope that you will give us a chance to redeem ourselves and would love to offer you a complimentary lunch for two on your next visit to PEM. Please reach out prior to your visit and I will make arrangements for you. I can be reached at 978-542-1680, should you wish to speak in person. Regards, Sarah Drost, Gourmet Catering Café and Venue Services Manager at Peabody Essex Museum
Written January 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Green1Ma
MA506 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Very impressed
I had not been there in 10 years and the museum has expanded and revamped extensively. I loved the American collection. It was interesting and well organized without being overwhelming. The maritime exhibit was also worthwhile. The fashion exhibit was fun. I was not a fan of the contemporary art from a India, but the Japanese artifacts were beautiful. I would go again and visit some of the houses next time.
Written February 3, 2020
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.

InTheMomentManhattan
New York City, NY1,108 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
The Peabody Essex Museum is a top notch location to view American and Asian art. The works on exhibit are all is excellent condition and of high artistic quality. There is a large range of categories - so the focus of the museum is a bit scattered, bit this is a minor point. I found the Asian Export gallery to be the most fascinating and diverse. There are also several installations by contemporary artists that are very worthwhile to view.
The presentation of "All the Flowers Are for Me" by Anil Quayyum Agha is not to be missed.
Written August 9, 2020
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 2,092
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

Peabody Essex Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Salem HotelsSalem Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Salem
All things to do in Salem
Spas & Wellness in SalemAmusement Parks in Salem
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars