National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati

4.2
#4 of 9 in Museums in Cincinnati
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center explores the topics of slavery, inequality, and freedom, paying particular attention to the history of slavery in the United States and the role of the Underground Railroad. The center sits on the banks of the Ohio River, which thousands of slaves crossed as they fled the slave states of the South for the relative safety of Ohio during the 19th century. Take in the impressive collection of items, multimedia exhibits, and personal stories relating to slavery, the civil rights movement, and contemporary freedom struggles. You can go inside one of the premier artifacts here: a restored slave pen built in 1839. Note that the center has no snack or drink facilities, so bring your own if you are planning a long visit. Use our Cincinnati trip itinerary planner to add National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and other attractions to your Cincinnati vacation plans.
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National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Reviews
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788 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Loved the building, but found this museum to be too much reading and not enough appreciating the displays. After 30 minutes, I was somewhat bored and started skipping through. It offers a sobering mes...  more »
  • I would have enjoyed this museum more if they had more content about the Underground Railroad (hence the name). Most of content about slavery. I’ve seen other users do a better job with this subject. ...  more »
  • My Sweetheart and I spent most of a day in the Museum, relearning the horrors of American slavery and the long, bitter struggle to escape it, and finally to end it. The exhibits are well chosen and we...  more »
Google
  • This is a really cool museum. It looks small from the outside, but they have a lot of information packed into not that much space. And it's important information. It's stories and people that we all too often tend to forget. It's an aspect of Cincinnati history that I had never really considered before. Plus the location just by the river is incredibly scenic. Take a walk across the bridge afterward! Think about what that journey could have been like 160 years ago.
  • A rich experience. The terrible pain and suffering that the African slaves endured from their capture, sale, hard labor, separation of families as husbands, wives, sons and daughters were sold. The famous abolitionists were shown with murals, interactive audio and video. The modern day slavery was shown from forced labor to the sex trade. Quite eye opening. You will leave a better person. Cost was 15.00, Veterans are free in November.
  • My experience of this museum was with a group guided tour. The museum is wonderful but I would highly recommend NOT purchasing a guided tour. The tour guide spend a long time talking about a few items. The tour only talks about the items on the 2nd and 3rd levels. I enjoyed what I saw of the 4th level, but I only saw it for 10 minutes as the guided tour took up the almost the entirety of the time on a few items on the second floor. Pictures posted separate from review.
  • Amazing building. Very informative exhibits. Go to the top floor. Was there for four hours and still didn't get through half of it. Learned a lot. Look forward to visiting again.
  • Very modern and well laid out. Self guided, at your own pace. Lots of displays, some are 'hands on'. They have a full size cabin inside and many historical items to view. Great for any age. Plan on at least 1 to 2 hours, at least.

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Where to stay in Cincinnati

To take advantage of the best cultural attractions available in Cincinnati, stay at a hotel downtown. Though pricey, centrally located hotels offer spacious rooms packed with high-tech features, as well as quick and easy access to the city's best shopping, dining, and entertainment. If you're traveling on a budget and prefer to sleep in a quieter area, explore more affordable hotels in Covington, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati's downtown.
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