Planning a vacation to Chicago? Our local experts put together a list of the top Chicago museums that you should consider adding to your itinerary.
Chicago’s diverse and unique museums are one of the main reasons tourists visit The Windy City.
Whether you’re an art, history, or architecture enthusiast or interested in science and wildlife, you’ll find an educational and entertaining museum on our list.
Looking for Passes to Top Chicago Museums?
Many of these great Chicago museums are available on the Go Chicago® Card pass.
Choose as you go from dozens of top Chicago attractions and save up to 55% off combined admission vs paying at the gate. Or, build your own pass and save up to 20% off.
See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.
A few of the museums available on the Go Chicago Card include…
- Art Institute of Chicago
- The Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Chicago History Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art
This world-renowned art museum is a must-see for any visit to Chicago. Consistently ranked as the best museum in the United States, The Art Institute of Chicago is home to some of the most sought-out art in the world.
Discover over a dozen collections of art ranging from modern photography to medieval armor and several vibrant and continually changing exhibitions.
Be sure not to leave before stopping in the Thorne Miniature Rooms, 68 European rooms recreated on a one-inch-to-one-foot scale!
Travel back in time and all around the world at this famous museum of science and anthropology. Meet Sue, the world’s largest and most famous T-Rex, and explore more than 35 other world-famous exhibits.
Walk through Underground Adventure, where everything is 100 times its normal size, or discover 23 Egyptian mummies at the Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit.
At the Field Museum, you’ll learn to understand and appreciate the diversity of the world in which we live.
Recently named one of the Top 25 Museums in the United States by TripAdvisor, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.
Visitors will enjoy the interactive, hands-on exciting exhibitions and exploring the museum’s more than 35,000 artifacts housed in 400,000 square feet.
Exhibit highlights include: Science Storms, exploring the science behind some of nature’s most powerful phenomena; YOU! The Experience, showcases what it means to live a healthy life; and U-505 Submarine, step inside the only German U-boat in the United States.
If you’re curious about Chicago’s past, present, or future, the Chicago History Museum is an attraction you can’t miss.
The museum’s goal is to illuminate the past in order to understand the present and shape the future. The building houses 22 million artifacts and documents pertaining to Chicago and U.S. history.
Collections include architecture, costumes, archives and manuscripts, decorative and industrial arts, and prints and photographs.
Several hands-on galleries make the museum a great place for history buffs and kids alike. Create, construct, and test your own Chicago-style bridge or act out the city’s history on the museum’s front steps.
The MCA is proudly one of the nation’s largest facilities dedicated to current art. It’s the residence of an expansive collection of contemporary artwork in painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance.
The museum also features innovative exhibits, a 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a fabulous view of Lake Michigan.
The book store, gift shop, and restaurant make the MCA an all-inclusive tourist attraction.
Take a tour of the private residence and studio that once belonged to the world-famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
His home is a result of Wright’s architectural experiments with the design concepts that became his architectural philosophy.
This is a must-see attraction for any architecture enthusiast.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his client Frederick C. Robie, the Robie House is considered one of the most important buildings in the history of American architecture.
Completed in 1910, the building showcases quintessential design elements of Prairie style, and is considered a classic example of modernism in American architecture.
Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) Tours focus on the historical and modern buildings that make Chicago the “First City of American Architecture”.
Check out fun and exhibits that explore the unique architecture of Chicago and the challenges faced by architects, engineers, and city planners.
Go on one of the many walking tours offers and see some of Chicago’s famed architecture up close and personal.