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“One of the highlights of Boston”

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
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Ranked #12 of 394 things to do in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A Venetian palace in the middle of Boston, Gardner's home is now a museum displaying her impressive, eclectic collection of European, American and Asian art, including sculpture, paintings, furniture, ceramics and textiles. Visitors can stroll or rest in a spectacular skylit courtyard filled with plants and flowers.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“One of the highlights of Boston”
Reviewed November 26, 2013

The Gardner Museum is really a special place with a great collection and opportunities for discovery with each visit. The new addition is bright and cheerful and the original building quite dark and mysterious and the gardens are very lovely.

Visited April 2013
Thank ywnyny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,241 reviews from our community

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Suffield, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Travel back in time”
Reviewed November 26, 2013

My book club traveled to Boston after reading The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro, we booked a private tour for 8 people using the website directions. Wow were we stunned at the beauty of the museum as well as the real life story of Isabella Stuart Gardner. The true charm of the place is the dark interior, period pieces and lighting. You can imagine yourself traveling back in time and seeing the impressive art collection as Isabella wanted to display it. The guide was fantastic and really did a great job explaining Isabella's vision, as well as the art theft. The staff was very helpful and we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at the cafe with our Opera singing waiter.

Visited November 2013
Thank Apete95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“A great collection, but a little too dark to enjoy.”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I've been to this museum many times and have always enjoyed the collections very much. I will say though, that it is a very dark museum (apparently to preserve much of what's on exhibit) and could use more light to enhance the trip. They do have good info cards in each room to orient you to what is where, very helpful! The courtyard is brilliant and beautiful! One addition since the renovation is the café. I've been twice and enjoyed both visits very much. Everything is from local farms and area businesses. Delicious homemade bread!

Visited November 2013
2 Thank RidingGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“A Little Gem Full of Serious Art”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

If you like paintings, you'll love the Isabella Steward Gardener. Housed in her mansion, the collection is stupendous. Enjoy the gardens while you're there.

Visited November 2013
Thank b0nnieb00p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Dark Interior”
Reviewed November 22, 2013 via mobile

I was so hoping that the museum would be more home like. Too bad we did not get to see Ms. Gardner's private rooms. Thought the grounds would be more garden friendly. There was only a small area which was unimpressive, to say the least.

The rooms were dark and dreary. Most often the furniture was pushed up against the walls. Definitely too much repetition of religious type furnishings.

It would have been nice if items were identified with small signs. There were charts in each room but how does one determine which way is north, south, east or west in order to read the charts.

The conservatory was delightful, especially with the four foot tall individual mums! It was airy and cheery.

Beware, you may only carry one bag. The docent were annoying. One kept telling me to put my short handled heavy bag on my shoulder...and to not sit on anything. Did she think I was going to swing the bag around and dance on the furniture?

Many of the museum guards seemed bored and preoccupied. It was so quiet. Wish there had been period music playing.

Talked with another tourist as I waited for the train which was close by. Her experience was negative as was mine. Would I suggest others visit? Only if they had seen everything else in Boston twice.

In addition, there was no price cut for seniors.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank MommiKake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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