Trip Planner:   USA  /  Massachusetts  /  Boston  /  Museums  /  Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

(4.3/5 based on 2,000+ reviews on the web)
Designed after a Venetian palace, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is home to the private art collection of its namesake. Gardner bought her first painting, Vermeer's "The Concert," at auction in Paris. The painting was stolen in a famous heist in 1990, when 13 renowned works of art were stolen. Not to worry, because almost 3,000 pieces representing periods from ancient Rome to 19th-century America still fill the gallery spaces. These include furniture, textiles, illuminated manuscripts, ceramics, and paintings from almost every era displyed just as Mrs. Gardner left them, with empty spots where the artwork was stolen. Don't miss Anders Zorn's painting of Mrs. Gardner in the galleries. Her collection blossomed quickly after her first Vermeer and she commissioned the building of the current space to give the public access. Mrs. Gardner's great love of Italy, and particularly Venice, inspired her to recreate a Venetian palace to house her favorite pieces, and in 1903 it opened to great fanfare. If your name happens to be Isabella, you get free admission. Put Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at the forefront of your travel plans using our Boston family vacation planner.
Create a full Boston itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Boston

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Boston by other users

7 days in Boston & Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Boston BY A USER FROM CANADA May, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, romantic, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Switzerland, Italy & Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is an amazingly beautiful museum. Even if you have no interest is old art, the interior is stunning. It's great in the winter because the gardens make you feel like your in a tropical environment...  more »
  • I was very pleased I visited this private museum. It is amazing what Isabella Stewart Gardner created and what she wanted to maintain. We were not fortunate to get a place on the guided tour and would...  more »
  • We visited this great museum on a cold morning. What a treat! The collection is very personal to Mrs. Gardner's eclectic and wide ranging tastes. The docents were helpful as were the cards in each roo...  more »
Google
  • Absolutely amazing museum, a time capsule into Isabella Gardeners world. The garden portions are absolutely beautiful, as is the wide variety of art. The addition and cafe and also amazing, with a truly beautiful and unique performance space.
  • Excellent museum where you get to see the house/museum as Isabella Stewart Gardner put it together. Stunning collection. If your name is Isabella you get in free!! Discount for wearing anything Red Sox as she was a huge fan. Not to be missed.
  • The Renzo Piano addition to Mrs. Gardner's home and wonderful art collection is pleasingly harmonious. The Venetian courtyard garden featuring a mosaic Medusa and statue of Persephone are among the many highlights.
  • A beautiful museum. Gardner collected a lot of great pieces, and you also get a great picture of her life and the times. Highly recommend; wish I could have visited the restaurant as well.
  • Very cool place, lots of beautiful pieces. The guide sheets in each room were very helpful.