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National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati

4.2
#3 of 9 in Museums in Cincinnati
History Museum Museum
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 itinerary planner to add National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and other attractions to your Cincinnati vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
741 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We recently planned a trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom museum and I couldn't wait to get there, but I was disappointed. The first thing we did was the Rosa Parks experience which was ...  more »
  • It was my favorite exhibit. So much to be mindful about. We did the rosa parks exhibit as well which was very cool. Got to experience what it was like to sit on the bus and walk in her shoes for a sho...  more »
  • We went for our anniversary. It’s eye opening for current times and heartbreaking for past. Very well done and super informative. Would recommend!  more »
Google
  • Fantastic museum, housed in a gorgeous building! Visited with two families with kids ranging from 6 to 16 and highly recommend it! The displays were well thought out, designed to handle traffic and deeply impacting. The museum is appropriate (although a little information-dense) for all school-aged kids. Younger kids need a lot of adult support to process the displays (and should definitely skip the wing dealing with trafficking) but the audio-visuals and narrated videos were perfect for them.
  • The museum is so educational. The knowledge combined with visuals was a bit overwhelming for my 5yr old daughter. I recommend everyone to attend at least once. I definitely plan to attend again (several times).
  • MY daughter and I really enjoyed our time at THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. I learned about how people rescued the slaves. IT is important for us to remember what those precious people endured they were treated like property! We r all the same !
  • This museum cum exhibition documents history of slavery and freedom and it does a great job at it. Documents history of american slave trade and struggles of slaves. At the same time, it shines light on current state of slavery on international stage and emphasizes that there is still a lot to be done. This is a must visit place if you are in Cincinnati.
  • Going off from attending a field trip to the freedom center, it was OK. However, there was only little information I never was really taught in school. Everything was a review, and I could tell the other students I was with did not want to be here. Everyone became more tired and uninterested as more facts and lessons were being taught. For an impressive amount of space in the building, almost half of the space was pretty much empty and it could have been used for so much more. In the space that was already filled, there wasn't a lot of artifacts or relics from the time that slavery was still going on. A majority of what I saw was a short film, and barely nothing from slavery time. And this place does not seem worth while to go to a second time. If this is your first time making a trip to the freedom, I will not judge you for that. However, after reading this review, you might want to reconsider your trip.

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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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