best museums in chicago

7 Of The Best Museums In Chicago

Chicago is home to some of the nation’s best museums. Plenty of options for burning some time in the afternoon or spending the entire day exploring. Whether you are looking for massive t-rex fossils, the history of Chicago blues or 6,000-year-old Mesopotamian artefacts, ‘Paris on a Prairie’ has it all. Here are the seven best museums in Chicago.

Best Museums In Chicago

1. Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is as much a symbol of Chitown as the Bean. Here you’ll find one of the best impressionist collections in the country made up of over 300,000 permanent pieces. Be sure to carve out enough time to spend an entire morning or afternoon here due to the size. 

What to see: Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

best museums in chicago

2. Museum of Contemporary Art

Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art holds one of the world’s largest collections of post-1950 art. You can easily explore the museum by foot in just a couple of hours, making it perfect for an afternoon activity. In addition to world-famous works, they also host exhibits dedicated to local artists and put a lot of care into the local community.

Must see: Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Scout.’

best museums in chicago

3. The Field Museum

The Field Museum has come along way since 1893 when it was built for the World’s Columbian Exposition. This place is truly a natural history heaven with towering dinos, Egyptian tomb jewels, and so many more archaeological gems. It’s even home to the world’s largest T-Rex.

Must See: 5,000-year-old tomb of Unis-Ankh, The Ancient Americas and ‘Sue the T-Rex’. 

best museums in chicago

4. National Museum of Mexican Art

Head to the National Museum of Mexican Art for one of the best collections of Latin works in the country. Mexican culture is celebrated with art spanning over 3,000 years and a whopping 10,000 piece permanent collection. Another perk? Piping hot churros are served right outside.

Must See: Pre-Cuahtémoc Collection

best museums in chicago

5. Chicago History Museum

Learn the story of one of the USA’s most influential cities at the Chicago History Museum. From Chicago Blues, Chicago-style hotdogs to Chicago’s role in the civil war, this museum covers it all. In addition to Chicago’s history, you can also explore other various collections and historical figures.

Must See: Prints and Photographs Collection

best museums in chicago

6. The Oriental Institute Museum

Over 6,000 years of archaeological treasures make The Oriental Institute Museum one of the cities best. Stroll through Ancient Egypt, Israel, Persia and Assyria galleries or explore the mysteries of Mesopotamia. The museum itself is not very large, but be sure to carve out a few hours for the impressive collections.

Must See: 40-ton human-headed wing bull from Khorsabad

best museums in chicago

7. wndr Museum

Last but not least is wndr Museum aka every Instagrammer’s dream. This museum is an immersive experience of art, feeling and reality-bending science. Interactive installations like infinity mirror rooms and mind-blowing galaxy-esque exhibits. Even better, their collection is constantly changing and evolving, so you’re always in for a surprise. 

Must See: Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room

best museums in chicago

Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

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