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Chicago is one among the largest cities in the United States of America, and definitely, one that you have to visit at least once in your life, whether it’s for their delicious deep dish pizzas, the sky-high Willis Tower, the amazing skyscrapers and cityscapes, or for the beautiful architecture. Another great, though lesser known fact about this city, is that it has a rich cultural past, and there are many amazing museums in Chicago, that will intrigue not only every art lover but every person who visits this adventure packed city.

10 Best Museums In Chicago

This article has a list of museums in Chicago, that definitely need to be on your itinerary if you ever decide to visit this city. Take a look!

1. Art Institute of Chicago

 Art Institute of Chicago

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Not only is this Chicago art museum the best and most important of all Chicago museums, but it is also the second largest art museum in the entire country. Founded in the year 1879, their grand collection is segregated into 11 departments, including works of famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Seurat, Grant Wood and Edward Hopper. This museum with its huge collection of over 300,000 pieces of art has over 1.5 million visitors every year, making this one of the top museums in Chicago.

Location: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, USA
Timings: 10:30AM-5PM/8PM on Thursdays
Entry fee: INR 1,850 for adults, INR 1,400 for children.

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2. Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Museum of Contemporary Art

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The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago is one of the best museums in downtown Chicago, and the best contemporary art museum in town, established in the year 1967 and featuring thousands of works of art post the World War II period. Some of the most notable works of art in this museum include Frida Kahlo’s first US exhibition, and works of other important contemporary artists such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Alexander Calder.

Location: 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Timings: 10AM-5PM on Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun/8PM on Tue, Fri/Closed on Mondays
Entry fee: INR 1,108 for adults, INR 590 for children.

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3. Smart Museum of Art

Smart Museum of Art

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If you’re looking for a free art museum in Chicago, look no further than the Smart Museum of Art. Located on a university campus and established in the year 1974, this relatively new museum, is one of the top free museums in Chicago, containing over 15,000 pieces of art by some modern pieces of Asian, European and contemporary art by renowned artists like Normal Lewis, Roberto Matta, Luca Cambiaso, and Paolo Veronese.

Location: 5550 S Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637
Timings: 10AM-5PM/8PM on Thursdays. Mondays Closed.

4. Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum

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This museum formerly went by the name Chicago Historical Society and was established in the year 1856, in order to better understand and study the vast history of Chicago. The museum’s most famous exhibit is called, Chicago: Crossroads of America, and spanning over an area of 16,000 sq ft, tells the tale if Chicago’s development and its contribution to the building of America. This is one exhibit that you surely can’t miss out on your visit.

Location: 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Timings: 9:30AM-4:30PM/9PM on Tuesdays. Sundays 12PM-5PM
Entry fee: INR 1,400

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5. Chicago Maritime Museum

Chicago Maritime Museum

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This museum was built as a tribute to the study of Chicago maritime traditions and their history. In a city that lies on the border of Lake Michigan, maritime activities are an important part of the city’s history and this museum, containing over 6,000 items related to the rich maritime heritage of Chicago, are stored there to honour this valuable and significant part of Chicago’s history.

Location: 1200 West 35th Street #0E-5010, Chicago, IL 60609, United States
Timings: 10AM-4PM/ Mondays and Sundays are closed.
Entry fee: INR 738 for adults, INR 365 for children and seniors.

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6. American Writers Museum

American Writers Museum

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This museum, which is relatively new and has been established only in 2010, proudly stands among the 10 best museums in Chicago and is dedicated to American Literature. Inspired by the Dublin Writers Museum in Ireland, this museum has many exhibits such as Writers Hall, Surprise Bookshelf, The Mind of a Writer, A Writer’s Room, and Reader’s Hall. For those of you who are fond of American Literature, make sure you make time to visit this museum.

Location: 180 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Timings: 10AM-5PM
Entry fee: INR 900 for adults, INR 600 for seniors, free for children.

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7. National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

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This museum is one of the only non-profit museums located in Chicago and focuses on honoring and remembering extraordinary athletes of America who hail from Italy. Established in the year 1978, the museum pays tribute to over 230 exceptional athletes, including the likes of Eddie Arcaro, Dom DiMaggio, Lou Ambers, Gino Marchetti, Joe DiMaggio, Charley Trippi, and Vince Lombardi.

Location: 1431 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Timings: 12PM-4PM/ Closed on Sundays
Entry fee: INR 370 for adults, INR 300 for seniors, INR 220 for children.

8. Chicago Design Museum

Chicago Design Museum

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What first opened up as only a pop-up museum in various parts of the city, became so popular that they set up a permanent venue to store its collection. Established in the year 2012, with the idea to strengthen the design interest and knowledge of people, the museum relies heavily on community work and has many interesting exhibits such as the Great Ideas of Humanity, Chicago Design Market, and The Design Pack.

Location: Block 37, 108 North State Street, 3rd floor, Chicago, IL 60602, United States
Timings: 12PM–7PM Tuesday–Saturday.

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9. Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

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This is a public museum that is dedicated solely to the study of astronomy and was found in the year 1930, by a businessman named Max Adler, after whom the museum takes its name. Housing three theatres and many space-themed exhibitions, this museum is a fun learning experience that will definitely be loved by all members of the family. If you are travelling with children especially, you must make sure to pay a visit to this museum.

Location: Block 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Timings: 9:30AM–4PM.
Entry fee: INR 2500 for adults, INR 2200 for children.

10. Field Museum of Natural History

Field Museum of Natural History

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This is the top field museum in Chicago, established in the year 1893, is one of the largest museums in the world of its kind, and is dedicated to natural history. They have many exhibits based on the biological, geographic, and ecological evolution of history dating back to the prehistoric age and some of the most important exhibits include Animal Halls, Inside Ancient Egypt, Underground Adventure and Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Location: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Timings: 9AM–5PM.
Entry fee: INR 2800 for adults, INR 200 for children.

Further Read: 10 Best USA Hotels For A Relaxing American Vacation

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Category: Places To Visit, USA

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