7 Best Museums in Chicago That You Should Explore

There are many world-renowned museums in Chicago, ranging from art to science to history. Here is a list of some of the best museums in Chicago, along with a little bit of information about each one. Whether you’re a local or just visiting for a few days, be sure to check out at least one of these amazing institutions!

Museums in Chicago are a great way to spend an afternoon with the family. You can learn about history, science, and culture while having a great time.

Best Museums in Chicago

Here is a list of museums that you should visit if you are in Chicago right now if you are excited about exploring the hidden aspects of history.


The Field Museum In Chicago

The Field Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in Chicago. It has more than 30 permanent exhibitions covering 480,000 square feet of area and has biological and anthropological collections assembled for the Columbian Exposition of 1893. The permanent exhibitions attract around two million visitors annually. It is because of the size and quality of its educational and scientific programs and its extensive scientific specimen and artifact collections. People from around the world come to visit this historical museum.

They have towering dinos, marvel at ancient artifacts from an Egyptian royal tomb, or relax in a Chinese rock garden hidden inside the Cyrus Tang Hall of China. You also get to see the gigantic titanosaur skeleton named Máximo in the lobby and UE, the T. rex, residing in the Evolving Planet exhibition. The Field Museum has something for everyone, and you can easily spend your day here.

Location: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605. 

Contact: 312-922-9410

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Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is known as one of the largest and oldest art museums in Chicago. The museum includes the world’s most iconic works, such as Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and Grant Wood’s American Gothic and hosts approximately 1.5 million people annually. It has 300,000 paintings, sculptures, photos, and drawings displayed throughout the galleries and massive halls.

The footprint is around one million square feet and is the second-largest art museum in the United States, the Metropolitan Museum of Art being the first. It has a pair of grand bronze lions on the entrance making it popular among the masses. Besides, it is a research institution as well, and the art institute. AIC has a conservation science department, five conservation laboratories, and one of the most extensive art history and architecture libraries in the US. It is a Museum you cannot afford to miss if art is your fascination.

Location: 111 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60603 USA

Contact: +1 312-443-3600

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You must also explore at least one of thesemost visited movie theaters in Chicago.


Shedd Aquarium – Museum In Chicago

Shedd Aquarium is one of the best museums in Chicago. It is an indoor aquarium in Chicago with about 32,000 animals and is renowned nationwide. The aquarium contains 1,500 species. It has piranhas, frogs, and snakes of the Amazon; rays, turtles, and moray eel of the Caribbean; frightening predator sharks, mesmerizing jellies, adorable penguins such as the famous rockhoppers Wellington, Edward, and Annie and marine mammals like sea lions and many others. 

The aquarium received many awards for the best exhibit. The government of the US designated it a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The aquarium has 7 as many as seven permanent exhibits, and guests here can easily spend the entire day. If you want to visit the Shedd Aquarium with your family, make sure to book the tickets in advance as the aquarium has a great footfall. Getting tickets may take over a week.

Location: 1200 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, Illinois, United States

Contact: 312-939-2438

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Chicago History Museum

The next museum that you should visit is the Chicago History Museum. Located in Lincoln Park at 1601 North Clark Street, It is a museum of the Chicago Historical Society (CHS). It covers all aspects of the city’s history and its people and narrates it in covering music, film, design, fashion, and historical events. It was founded in 1856 to study and interpret the history of Chicago city but was burned down in 1871 during the great fire. But important documents were restored by the society in 1920. The community brought the paintings, manuscripts, and artifacts from the estate of confectioner Charles F Gunther, including a compass owned by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s deathbed.

The museum covers all the tragedies that happened in Chicago and has many incredible artifacts. It is also suited for kids, and they can get to know how Chicago developed over time. It is not one of the best small museums in Chicago and will take around just 2-3 hours to explore everything. Interested in the history of the US and particularly Chicago, consider it a must-visit for you!

Location: 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States

Contact: +1 312-642-4600

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Museum of Science and Industry


Just a few miles from downtown is the Museum of Science and Industry in Jackson Park. Maintained by the Commercial Club of Chicago and was founded in 1933 during the Century of Progress Exposition. The museum is in the former Palace of Fine Arts, initially created for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Museum’s exhibits include a full-size replica coal mine, German submarine U-505, a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) model railroad, the command module of Apollo 8, and the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train, and a lot of other captivating sights.

This is one of the best science museums. It is packed with exhibits that allow you to step inside a simulated tornado or navigate a maze lined with mirrors. Not only this, but you also find a recreation of a Chicago street circa 1910 that will surely take you back in time. A 727 Aeroplane hanging from the ceiling, a 3-D model of a beating heart, and other fantastic stuff will make you rethink the world you live in. 

Location: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637, United States

Phone: +1 773-684-1414

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Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)


The Next museum that is on our list is the Museum of Contemporary Art. It is located near Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago. Established in 1967, it is one of the most loved and prominent contemporary art museums in Chicago. This museum is widely known for its exhibitions dedicated to Louis Vuitton artistic director, Off-White founder Virgil Abloh and others. The museum emphasizes the living artists, and their permanent collection includes visual art, painting, sculpture, photography, video/film & performance from 1945 to the present.

MCA plays a vital role in promoting talented artists, and artists take pride in it. Their galleries are packed with exhibits that are dedicated to raising national and international artists. You can find art and history culminating here. The museum has thousands of objects and visual art dedicated to Post-World War II. It is a museum you should visit if you are a fan of surrealism, minimalism, conceptual photography and want to see fantastic works. 

Location: 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2643 United States

Contact: +1 312-280-2660

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These are some of the top museums in Chicago that we would wish you to visit. Going to the museums is not just fun, but it involves learning as well. You get to know about different places, things and learn about the tough times your country and the world have gone through. So, going to the museums with family and especially kids makes a lot more sense. Kids get to learn so much, and it helps them get inspired and create something for themselves and the world. Do pay a visit, learn and enjoy the masterpieces that time has given us in your nearest museum in Chicago.

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