Museums in Chicago

THE 10 BEST Chicago Museums

Museums in Chicago

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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, number of page views, and user location.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

5.0 of 5 bubbles24,601
Art MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

231ikechukwus
By 231ikechukwus
"The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-class museum that offers a unique and fascinating experience for art lovers...

2. Museum of Science and Industry

4.5 of 5 bubbles11,229
Science MuseumsHyde Park

ChelseaL976
By ChelseaL976
We enjoyed a tour of a real German submarine, a coal mine, an IMAX movie about Michael Jordan, a farm exhibit, a trai...

3. Chicago Architecture Center

5.0 of 5 bubbles3,536
Speciality MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

544anner
By 544anner
The architectural walking tour of the Magnificent Mike (Michigan Ave) by docent Ron Roman was terrific & engaging.

4. Field Museum

4.5 of 5 bubbles8,972
Science MuseumsSouth LoopAdmission tickets from $27

Coyote-Travelerz
By Coyote-Travelerz
The Field Museum offers a little of everything (dinosaurs, ancient americas, natural history, Egyptology, etc).

5. Medieval Torture Museum

5.0 of 5 bubbles805
Speciality MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

Bldurbin02
By Bldurbin02
... was really informative and interesting to see! Plus the museum has interactive activities which was super fun!

6. Richard H. Driehaus Museum

4.5 of 5 bubbles1,481
Art MuseumsNear North Side

seebeeGA
By seebeeGA
If you love house museums, history, art, architecture, the Victorian and Gilded Age period, beautiful decorative arts...

7. Chicago History Museum

4.5 of 5 bubbles1,208
History MuseumsLincoln Park

Silvercompass
By Silvercompass
Thank you to our excellent guide Wayne, our bus driver Brian and the lovely staff at the museum who assisted us, espe...

8. American Writers Museum

5.0 of 5 bubbles439
Speciality MuseumsDowntown / The LoopAdmission tickets from $16

T2537UMmichaelr
By T2537UMmichaelr
It features all sorts of writing - novels, poetry, speeches, song, etc from people with diverse backgrounds.
Speciality MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

JB81ontheroad
By JB81ontheroad
A relatively small but interactive museum located in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, packed with history and inf...

10. Adler Planetarium

4.0 of 5 bubbles2,193
Observatories & PlanetariumsSouth Loop

TC6217
By TC6217
Amazing museum to peek one’s interest in space and learn about the planets and solar system!
History MuseumsHyde Park

moniquer862
By moniquer862
Plan to walk a bit from a bus stop or hike a bit more from the L. Outstanding collection of artifacts from the resear...
Speciality MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

B7177KAsharons
By B7177KAsharons
Lots of fun! Kloby (a museum employee) was wonderful, helping us see the illusions and taking photos for us.
Children's MuseumsStreeterville

kennys791
By kennys791
We highly recommend this museum and look forward to a return visit during our next trip to Chicago!!!
Art MuseumsStreetervilleAdmission tickets from $22

Elfma
By Elfma
A great museum, user-friendly and beautifully curated.
Art MuseumsLower West Side

hrobinson1114
By hrobinson1114
... minded and love exploring new cultures and experiences, but I was really amazed by how much I loved this museum!
Natural History MuseumsLincoln Park

866TaylorB
By 866TaylorB
Operated by the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the museum traces its history to the founding collection of the academy...

17. Color Factory Chicago

4.5 of 5 bubbles27
Speciality Museums

chaoman45
By chaoman45
Fun, interactive museum of art, illusions, activities, and exhibits that challenge all senses

18. Chicago Sports Museum

4.0 of 5 bubbles152
Speciality MuseumsStreeterville

490irinag
By 490irinag
The zones of the museum are very spacious, well lighted, and the last one offers fantastic views of the area around W...
Shopping MallsMagnificent Mile

thewpgjetsrule
By thewpgjetsrule
This is a very luxury, high-end shopping mall found on the famous Magnificent Mile in Downtown Chicago.

20. Glessner House Museum

4.5 of 5 bubbles101
Historic SitesSouth Loop

699ScottB
By 699ScottB
Warm , passionate and knowledgeable curator and docent made this a fantastic visit.
Science MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

C1725HCerind
By C1725HCerind
My kiddos had a ton of fun with the interactive exhibits, and my husband and I participated in several decision-makin...
Science MuseumsGold Coast

866TaylorB
By 866TaylorB
... to the history of surgery and an exquisite collection of art and artifacts from the history of medicine and the h...
History MuseumsWashington Park

RonL40
By RonL40
There are several standing exhibits, all of which are superbly curated -- we especially enjoyed the exhibit about Afr...
Speciality MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

B3180FWpeggyb
By B3180FWpeggyb
... interiors representng hundreds of years of European and American architecture, furnishings, lighting, art and decor.

25. WNDR Museum Chicago

3.5 of 5 bubbles96
Art MuseumsWest Loop

F2333AYerics
By F2333AYerics
The museum's exhibits are truly one-of-a-kind, combining traditional art forms like painting and sculpture with cutti...
Points of Interest & LandmarksDowntown / The Loop

Foodange
By Foodange
A fascinating little museum detailing the history of the Chicago River and its bridges.

27. Museum Of Ice Cream

3.0 of 5 bubbles243
Speciality Museums

Explore62532113775
By Explore62532113775
The experience is quite expensive for what is provided. I was especially disappointed in the limited kinds of ice cream...
Speciality MuseumsDowntown / The Loop

jgbtravels
By jgbtravels
It’s free and the staff is friendly and helpful. Sure it’s small and you will probably only spend 30 minutes or so here...
Art MuseumsMagnificent Mile

pamelaf518
By pamelaf518
The LUMA has a wonderful collection of religious art. We were there during a time between temporary exhibits. The...

30. Smart Museum of Art

4.0 of 5 bubbles56
Art MuseumsHyde Park

janisf964
By janisf964
Just the right size to use exhibits as talking points in the wider conversation that is the art world.
LibrariesDowntown / The Loop

866TaylorB
By 866TaylorB
The Pritzker Military Museum & Library, formerly the Pritzker Military Library, is a museum and a research library for...
History MuseumsNear West Side

866TaylorB
By 866TaylorB
Highlights of the collection include intricate textiles woven in the Hull-House Labor Museum, portraits and drawings of...
Art MuseumsRiver West

988maximed
By 988maximed
Nice little museum. Totally lives up to its name - Intuitive & Outsider Art. Unassuming from the outside.
History MuseumsWest Town

D8103NRmichaelw
By D8103NRmichaelw
Well-designed exhibits allow you to learn a lot about Ukraine and Chicago in a short period of time....

35. Charnley-Persky House

4.5 of 5 bubbles35
History MuseumsGold Coast

pfranckly
By pfranckly
The docent who led the tour was highly engaging and knowledgeable about the house and she provided many anecdotes abo...
Speciality MuseumsChinatown

Hu-kwa
By Hu-kwa
The Chinese American Museum of Chicago is an absolute local gem tucked away on 23rd Street in Chicago's Chinatown jus...

37. Swedish American Museum

4.5 of 5 bubbles59
Speciality MuseumsAndersonville

866TaylorB
By 866TaylorB
One such museum is the Swedish American Museum, which is devoted to Swedish American topics and the Swedish immigration...
Children's MuseumsFar North Side

Robsgalz
By Robsgalz
Thanks for making travel with kids even more stressful O’Hare. Nothing inviting about this “Family Lounge”
Speciality MuseumsNear North Side

culbyjs83
By culbyjs83
The soundtrack of beautiful classical music enhances the art and transcends the boundaries of the typical art display.

40. Sloomoo Institute

3.5 of 5 bubbles7
Speciality Museums

What travelers are saying

  • Ellen B
    Hortonville, WI1,215 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is truly world class. We took the opportunity during this visit to Chicago to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit of her New York City paintings.

    The permanent collections of the AIC are amazing in and of themselves. We toured the Classic Statuary, the Japanese art collection, and the extensive Impressionist painters exhibit. We enjoyed them immensely, and I recommend them highly.

    The Georgia O’Keefe exhibit is also truly exceptional. (Runs through September 22). I was previously unaware of this component of her body of work. The exhibit is very well curated & presented, with interesting background information. Her NYC paintings are absolutely stunning!

    I definitely recommend seeing it if you’re in town during the exhibit.
    Written July 12, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Curious14841147073
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great museum with something for everyone. Hatching chicks to U boat.
    The U boat exhibit was my favorite part well worth the extra fee. You can walk inside an actual captured German sub from World War II. The guide was knowledgeable and provided great info about the crew and the story of capture. The pre show portion as you approach the boat is well done and interesting.
    When you first walk into the huge room with the sun it is nothing less than impressive.
    There are other exhibits of planes trains and automobiles not to mention space capsules. Plan to visit for at least half a day.
    Written July 24, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Debbie D
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Linda was our docent & she was fabulous! Her knowledge, expertise, and love for the building was evident. We were even able to sneak a peak into two artist’s studios with magnificent views. Everyone we encountered was professional and eager to share a piece of the artistic experience.
    Written July 20, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • vacayladyc
    Oakland, California17 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Had a good time exploring here. There are many great exhibits with some additional special paid exhibits/shows. We did not do any paid extras and there was still plenty to keep us busy and interested, always something just around the corner to see. There is a food court and 2 gift shops. HEADS-UP this is not a budget outing as a visitor to the city: if you need ADA or family parking, there is a lot on museum property that’s $30 and is first come and credit card payment only. Admission can get pricey too depending on numbers & ages of your party. Don’t forget food and souvenir shopping. HOWEVER, even with all of that, I still enjoyed the time we spent there and would totally recommend it to others. I will be going back to to see any new exhibits on my next visit to the city.
    Written June 24, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • DayTrip16983753368
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A little bit of an uncomfortable experience, so it did it’s job and was pretty educational on how torture methods, devices and tools were used in the past. Would recommend!
    Written July 14, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • MeridaD
    Arizona31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    When built, it seems the instruction to the designers must have been, "find the best materials, the most skilled craftspeople and make this house a feast for the eyes and imagination!" Two or three hours is enough for a self-guided tour. The staff is courteous, knowledgable, and friendly. I loved all of it.
    Written July 18, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Potomac_11
    Potomac, MD448 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This museum is a great way to learn more about the history of one of the greatest cities in the world, Chicago. It is both user friendly and informative.
    Written July 9, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Anuja V
    Toronto, Canada31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This little museum is such a worthwhile stop if you are visiting Chicago! Staff are so friendly and enthusiastic, tickets are reasonably priced, and there is a lot to see, do, and learn. There’s a great kid lit room that’s perfect for kids who might just want a quiet space to read/chill. Lots of interactive exhibits to check out. Kids especially liked the typewriters and the digital mad libs. Free bookmarks for everyone was a nice touch!
    Written March 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • joaniemaria
    Eldridge, IA4,841 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We decided to visit this free attraction near the Rookery building. It was quite interesting. The video is informative and should be required watching for every high school student! See the million dollar cube! Receive a souvenir bag of cash when you visit—shredded of course! Many displays that will help you better understand the Federal Bank. We spent about an hour here. You must show ID to enter and go through security.
    Written July 9, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Eric
    Los Angeles, CA14 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun experience. There are two planetarium style theaters. Shows were pretty standard. Exhibits in the rest of the museum are interactive and informative.
    Written April 5, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Member24
    Berkeley, CA21 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This small museum flies somewhat under the radar, but it has a world-famous collection. It's on the University of Chicago campus just across the street from Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. In the first half of the 20th century the University's Oriental Institute, funded by John D Rockefeller, led excavations in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Palestine and Egypt and brought home treasures including important neolithic and bronze age artifacts and some truly monumental sculptures from Assyria, Babylon and Persepolis. The collection is housed in a beautiful art deco building (thanks again to John D) and is very well displayed and interpreted. A short (1.5 hour) visit and extremely worthwhile.
    Written June 15, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Joan N
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Although this is not a cheap activity, it was very well done. I brought a 4 year old boy and he had a fun time. It is probably best to bring slightly older children who can read the important notes alongside the exhibits but it was truly a fun and fascinating activity. It is close to the Bean, a great playground and many casual restaurants along with many shops. Discounted parking helped with the cost. Go....you will have fabulous photos!!! We went to Elephant and Castle for lunch after and it is cost and very good.
    Written July 21, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Dawn K
    San Francisco, CA73 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Chicago Children's Museum is one of the best children's museum we've visited in the world! It's very thoughtful, lots of rooms with creative play, and the tinker room is very well stocked. It's one of the museums that is most generous about all the play items, such as make belief circus room, place to dig for dinosaur bones, and a huge climbing structure. Would highly recommend visiting this for anyone with kids under 6 years old!
    Written July 8, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Bastian
    Copenhagen, Denmark113 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The museum is not very large compared to other contemporary art museums but it makes good use of the space. You can easily see all exhibitions in a couple of hours. There is a good mix of different artistic styles on display.
    Written February 23, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • skylite0
    Canton, IL345 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Small but colorful museum in the Pilsen area. Three different exhibits to browse and a gift shop. Admission is free. Staff very friendly.
    Written October 9, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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