Top Museums in Chicago to Visit During Your Trip
Chicago's diverse and unique museums are one of the main reasons tourists visit The Windy City. How can you skip a chance to see any of these institutions when they quite literally have a Museum Campus in the middle of the 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. If you're planning a vacation to Chicago, our local experts put together a list of the top Chicago museums to consider adding to your itinerary. Our ultimate museum guide includes...
- Art Institute of Chicago
- The Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Chicago History Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- and more
Want Passes to Top Chicago Museums?
Admission to a number of these attractions are included on the Go Chicago® Card. Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate. Browse all available Chicago Multi-Attraction Passes.
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Field Museum
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 skeleton, 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. You can even explore 10,000 years of Chinese history and culture all in one place. It’s the perfect place for adults and kids alike, as it combines story telling with fun and interactive exhibits. Examine DNA in the DNA Discovery Center, partake in DIY projects, and explore the culture and artifacts of civilizations all over the world. At the Field Museum, you'll learn to understand and appreciate the diversity of the world in which we live. Getting in: The Field Museum tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Museum of Science and Industry
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 and the only remaining building from the famous 1893 World's Fair. Visitors will enjoy the interactive, hands-on exhibitions and will be able to explore over 35,000 artifacts that call the 14 acre museum home. You can see a real WWII German submarine, control a 40-foot tornado, descend into an Illinois coal mine, and more. Some of the can't-miss exhibitions at the museum include Science Storms, which gives you the chance to explore the science behind some of nature’s most powerful phenomena; YOU! The Experience, which showcases what it means to live a healthy life; and the U-505 Submarine, the only place you can step inside the only German U-boat in the United States. Getting in: Museum of Science and Industry tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Chicago History Museum
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 help us 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. See how the Great Chicago Fire changed the city forever, explore themed galleries that tell the story of Chicagoans in Chicago: Crossroads of America, and take the kids over to Sensing Chicago, where they can make themselves into a giant Chicago-style hotdog or become part of a Chicago postcard. 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. Getting in: Chicago History Museum tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art (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. You'll see lots of works of art by living artists and get insight into the creative process, learning more about new trends in artistic expression across all forms of media. The museum features innovative exhibits, a 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a fabulous view of Lake Michigan. Explore showcases like Enrico David: Gradations of Slow, which explores the Italian artist's collection of pieces that revolve around the human figure as a fragile, vulnerable vessel. Or try to the colorful display of paintings by Federico Herrero in Atrium Project. Getting in: Museum of Contemporary Art tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour
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 iconic design concepts that became his architectural philosophy. You'll get to see his home, and the complex it resides in, which is made up of 29 of his own buildings, the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in the world. This is a must-see attraction for any architecture enthusiast. It's a chance to see the personal and professional spaces in which this architectural genius worked and lived. Getting in: Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card All-Inclusive Pass.
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. Designed in Wright's Oak Park studio in 1908 and completed in 1910, the building is both a masterpiece of the prairie style and renowned as a forerunner of modernism in architecture - a must-see for any architecture buffs. Tours of the site offer both a first-hand experience of its amazingly contemporary spaces and the current restoration work that is returning the house to its original appearance. It is also the perfect complement to your visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. Getting in: Robie House tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Chicago Children's Museumcalendar online to plan your visit around any special events. Getting in: Chicago's Children Museum tickets are included on Go Chicago Card.
Explore the universe at Adler Planetarium, located right in Museum Campus, and learn about all things space. You'll travel 91-billion light years across the universe, all from the safety of Chicago's premier planetarium. Adler Planetarium is the perfect place to take the kids if you're looking for something educational that will still be loads of fun for them. Each exhibit is interactive, allowing kids and adults alike to explore the mysteries of the universe. Something big is out there; join the search for a new ninth planet in Planet Nine. Crawl, climb and fly through Planet Explorers, a modern-day space adventure for kids and families. Take a fast-paced tour of your cosmic backyard in Destination Solar System. You can even look inside the historic Gemini 12 spacecraft and experience the Apollo missions through the eyes of Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr. and his family in Mission Moon. In addition to a never-ending list of awesome exhibits to check out, you can also catch a showing at the Atwood Sphere Experience. Choose from a myriad of planetarium shows that will have you feeling you're actually traveling through space and time. Getting in: Adler Planetarium tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card All-Inclusive Pass.
American Writers Museum
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the American Writers Museum is home to interactive exhibits and programs that put all genres of writing on display. Recently named one of the 10 Best New Museums in the World by Fodor's, it’s a must-see for any literature lover. From typewriters to touchscreens, the museum offers something for visitors of all ages. The American Writers Museum strives to educate the public about writers of the past and present through interactive and captivating displays and exhibits. The museum offers six permanent exhibits, like A Nation of Writers, where you can explore over 100 authors' pieces, and The Mind of a Writer, where you can try to get inside the mind and emotions of the world's most notorious writers. Getting in: The American Writers Museum tickets are included on Go Chicago Card.
Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Oriental Institute
Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Remember to Save on Museum Admission
Our list of some of the most popular museums in Chicago. Remember, many (if not all) of these options are included on the Go Chicago Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.