The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

4.7
Developed from a free art school and gallery started in the 1860s, The Art Institute of Chicago now holds a permanent collection of more than 300,000 artworks. One of its most beloved paintings is George Seurat's Pointillism masterpiece "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte." Exhibits spread over eight buildings include Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, with additional holdings of Old Masters, European and American decorative arts, and industrial and graphic design. Highlights include paintings by American artists Grant Wood and Edward Hopper, as well as Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, van Gogh, and Picasso. The main building itself counts among the city's major landmarks, featuring two bronze lions guarding its main entrance. Check the online calendar for special events and temporary exhibits, which often require separate time-stamped tickets. Save time by purchasing your tickets in advance. Because the museum covers so much ground, it helps to map out exhibits you particularly want to see before you start exploring. Before you head to Chicago, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Chicago trip maker tool , to make sure you see all that Chicago has to offer, including The Art Institute of Chicago.
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The Art Institute of Chicago Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
19,609 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This is an absolute must visit when in Chicago. There is so much to see here, we only had a couple of hours but you could easily spend a full day visiting and still not see everything!  more »
  • Really long lines to get in... Go online a buy a fast pass ticket- Well worth the extra 10.00! Very crowded- but it was raining and on Saturday afternoon!  more »
  • By far the best museum in the world. The amount of work there is incredible. Absolute must visit when you are in Chicago.  more »
Google
  • Amazing assortment of some of the most famous and iconic examples of modern and impressionist art. Even with 5 hours, I saw only part of the second and third floors (a little less than half the exhibits). The audio guide provides a helpful explanation or sorry for 1-2 paintings per gallery room (they told me it would cover *all* paintings, but that would have been truly overwhelming). Can't wait to go back and see the rest!
  • Absolutely amazing. Worth every penny and more. For those of you out of town, save your money and buy standard tickets. They won't let you in with a large bag (for good reasons), so you'll be waiting in line anyways. The coat check and ticket purchase counters are in the same hallway off to the left. As for the collection, simply breathtaking. I had no issues with people being respectful. They all seemed to be there for the very same reason I was; to enjoy art and culture. Worth going here, if you don't do anything else in Chicago.
  • Amazing museum with something for everyone. My son loved the ancient Roman sculpture, my wife loved the Asian art and I enjoyed the modern art. The only downside, the ticket prices are a little expensive. BTW- look closely at Picasso's The Guitarist. He painted a portrait of his mother on the canvas and when it didn't sell, he covered over it with the new painting. However, you can still see remnants of the original painting underneath. The eyes of his mother appear just above the Guitarist's neck
  • Simply could not believe how many objects of art this museum has. Awesome experience. You're gonna need more than one day to go through it. And a plan. Definitely a plan. You could get lost. No joke. But it'd be worth it.
  • We are lucky, we don't have the long lines in front of master artworks like in NYC, Louvre or Hermitage, in fact we can get within 2'-3' of the masters and study them. The classic arts are in the original building and the modern arts are in the back of the original building in the modern wing. We loved the photography, miniature houses & the armor exhibits.

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Where to stay in Chicago

The Midwest's major center for business conventions, Chicago boasts many affordable places to stay, with most hotels located around the airport and the city's central business district. To discover the city from a comfortable base within walking distance of most tourist attractions, aim for one of the big chain hotels in the downtown area. If you're traveling on a limited budget and wish to get a deeper sense of Chicago's many diverse neighborhoods, consider staying away from the pricey city center and explore suburbs on a commuter train line for easy city access.
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