History Museums in Chicago

THE 10 BEST Chicago History Museums

History Museums in Chicago

Types of Attractions
Museums
Awards
Travelers' Choice Awards winners (including the "Best of the Best" title) are among the top 10% of listings on Tripadvisor, according to the reviews and opinions of travelers across the globe.
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What travelers are saying

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lady Explorer 🌍🌺🤿
    New York City, NY198 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a museum everyone in the US should see. These exhibits not only highlight US History but also focuses on Chicago Black History.

    These are important milestones that US public schools don’t teach us. The stories were heavy and difficult at times but it was needed. Can’t wait to see future exhibits here in the years to come.
    Written June 29, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Bill B
    Bel Air, MD18,478 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Bridgehouse Museum is located in one of four classic structures that "guard" each end of the bridge on Michican Avenue as it crosses the Chicago River. Each structure is decorated with sculpture. Their height is deceptive at street level because Wacker Drive is elevated. The "house" on the east side of Wacker and Michigan contains the river museum that is entered at the lower level along the river. Unfortunately, it was closed today in preparation for upcoming Halloween festivities, but one was still able to enjoy the impressive structures. In fact, the evening before, they stood out even more sharply with all the night lighting along the river and streets.
    Written October 20, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mark L
    36 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Features single exhibits rather than museum approach
    Exhibit “Drawn To War” a comprehensive review of the career of famed WW 2 and later political cartoonist Bill Maudlin

    Good displays in pleasant bright airy space overlooking Michigan Ave and Grant Park

    In a stunning architectural gem, take time to check out lobby especially ceiling
    Written June 30, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Lisa Johnson
    Fort Worth, TX184 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great authentic Chicago home. To tour is free but they request you go online and get a tour time set. Lots of antiques to look at. Two floors and the dining hall is a separate building.
    Written September 14, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • kmz88
    Plon, Germany390 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    It's a small but nice museum. The people who run it are very friendly. They are eager to tell you about the culture and history of Ukraine, which is very nice. The museum is free. They do take donations. You will see and learn a lot about Ukraine. The egg collection is beautiful!
    Written September 12, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • pfranckly
    Seattle, WA4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    As someone who has studied the Charnley-Persky house, I found the tour to be warm, intimate and interesting. The docent who led the tour was highly engaging and knowledgeable about the house and she provided many anecdotes about Louis Sullivan and the Charnley family. The house itself is lovingly maintained and restored, with many original elements intact. The layout is fascinating and you can readily see how this house is considered the beginning of modern architecture. Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will see similarities to his later Prairie style architecture in the details of the space. Altogether, this is a valuable and interesting tour.
    Written June 22, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Ann-Marie N
    42 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We were extremely lucky to be given a private tour by Barb and Rtd Chief Jack otherwise we would have missed seeing this amazing museum.
    There are so many pieces in this museum from the trucks to small original artefacts.
    If you are in town then email to see if there is availability to show you round.
    The museum is run entirely by volunteers and relys on donations.
    Forget the big museums this place is a gem of a find.
    Written June 1, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • AvWriter
    Rochelle, IL867 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We stopped in during Open House Chicago 2022. First off, access to this is on the NORTH side of the building, not the south side.

    Once you get inside, you'll be amazed at what they have. Anchors, a completed, detailed review of the Eastland ship disaster including pictures and analyses, and tons of boating stuff.

    The staff is extremely knowledgeable, and can answer any questions you may have related to the museum or the exhibits.

    We were very surprised about the amount of information that was available in the museum.

    Make sure you check out the gift shop if you are into boating - they had quite a variety of things that might interest you.

    Plan an hour to review this museum. Free parking on the north side of the building by the way. The entrance is towards the west side, and you go down to get to it.
    Written October 17, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • SteveAntpitta
    New York City, NY110 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We went during one of the scheduled tours of the house. The tour guide was not available, but there was a limited number of audio tour devices.Latecomers could view the house's exhibits without the benefit of the audio, or wait for one to be returned. The story of the house, and the development of Chicago, is very interesting. It had been moved twice, and is now near where it was originally. The furnishings and decor are mostly not original, but are of the period.The grounds around the house are also lovely, with an interesting sculpture by Louise Bourgeois in the garden. The house is well worth a visit.
    Written August 14, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Michael W
    Chicago, IL3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The National Cambodian Heritage Museum in Chicago is a very good place to learn about one of recent history's terrible chapters, the period when Cambodia was ruled by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970's. A visitor can also learn a positive story, how the Cambodian people have rebuilt their culture that the Khmer Rouge tried to erase.
    Written October 11, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • robby-d
    Edinburgh, IN201 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Freedom Museum is no longer at the Tribune Tower. Back around 2009 or so, it moved out. It is now a road show with its home base at the Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. Both the Cantigny Park and the Freedom "Bus" are funded by the Tribune Foundation. I believe that the bus is available for schools, etc and will travel to wherever a group is located. I could be wrong so call the Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL to get more info. I'm sure that they will stear you in the right direction. It gives a synopsis of some of the basic freedoms we enjoy by way of our Constitution.
    Written January 22, 2012
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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