To Do: Must-See Boston Museums

Paul Gauguin: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Paul Gauguin: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (at the MFA)

As the summer temperatures creep up, there is no better way to beat the July heat and humidity than by spending a couple of hours cooling off in one of the incredible Boston museums. Whether you are in the mood for the soothing swirls and sweeps of the Impressionist painters, the challenge of post-modernist sculpture, or want to spend some time with pre-Raphaelite masterpieces, these Boston-area museums have everything you are looking for. Below are our picks for the top museums in Boston.

Three Must-See Boston Museums

1. Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Boston Museums - 1 Museum of Fine Arts BostonFrom Egyptian Mummies to Modern Art , this museum has it all. Founded in 1870, the MFA is one of the largest museums in the United States, with over 450,000 works of art, making it one of the largest collections in the country. The museum’s stunning new addition, the Art of the Americas Wing, awarded the very prestigious Harleston Parker Medal by the Boston Society of Architects, is alone worth a visit.


The Boston Globe writes, “There are some works of art that every person who comes to the Museum of Fine Arts needs to see: obvious star turns by the likes of John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, and John Singer Sargent. And then there are the surprise hits: new acquisitions, great pieces of silver or furniture, and items from Native American, pre-Columbian, or Spanish Colonial cultures.” The museum offers free guided tours daily.

Address: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 

Open: 7 Days a Week. Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday – 10 AM to 4:45 PM. Wednesday to Friday – 10 AM to 9:45 PM

Admission is $25 for Adults, $10 for Children

2. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Boston Museums - 2 Institute of Contemporary Art Boston

Founded as the Boston Museum of Modern Art in 1936 with a mission to exhibit contemporary art, the ICA moved into its new, breathtaking 65,000 square foot home in Boston’s Waterfront area in 2006. Don’t miss visiting the John Hancock Founders Gallery, a glass wall facing the harbor that spans the entire width of the museum, for unbeatable views.

arlene ICA

A comprehensive exhibit of New York-based experimental artist Arlene Shechet’s sculptures is currently on view. The New York Times writes that Shechet “combines painting and sculpture while pushing her work in increasingly diverse directions, with exuberant polymorphous, often comic results.”

There are also free tours of the museum with the price of admission.

Address: 100 Northern Ave, Fan Pier, Boston, MA 

Open: Closed Monday. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM. Thursday to Friday – 10 AM to 9 PM

Admission is $15 for Adults, $10 for Student, and Free for Children under 17

3. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Boston Museums - 3 Isabella Stewart Gardner MuseumEstablished in 1903 by Isabella Stewart Gardner, an American art collector, philanthropist, and patron of the arts, this treasure box of a museum is located within walking distance of the MFA and is known for its collection comprising more than 2,500 objects—paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, drawings, silver, ceramics, illuminated manuscripts, rare books, photographs and letters—from ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America.

Carlo Crivelli of Venice Chinese Loggia

The museum was constructed to evoke a 15th-century Venetian palace, with three floors of galleries surrounding a gorgeous garden courtyard.

This wonderful museum is internationally known for the still-unsolved 1990 art heist during which a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers stole thirteen works of priceless art. Watch Stolen, the documentary about the heist, before visiting the museum for a real insider’s look into the theft that shocked the art world.

Address: 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 

Open: Closed Tuesday. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday Saturday, and Sunday – 11 AM to 5 PM. Thursday – 11 AM to 9 PM

Admission is $15 for Adults, $5 for Student, and Free for Children under 18

Want to have easy access to these fantastic cultural institutions every day of the year? Why not talk to one of our Boston agents about making Boston your home. After wrapping up an enriching day looking at all these stunning works of art, visit our Boston Market Center at 140 Newbury Street, Boston and explore our exclusive listings in the area, or call 617.262.1414 to speak with one of our agents.

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