The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

4.8
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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20,020 reviews
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4.8
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  • I am again surprised at University of Chicago famous for Economics and Business programs. Archaeology is also developed in the university.  more »
  • Very special exhibit of Rodin sculptures. Of course, the Impressionist gallery remains my favorite. Always love to visit here.  more »
  • I had a few hours to see the sights while in Chicago for a business meeting. I decided to visit The Art Institute after reading these reviews. I am so glad I did! What an impressive collection! There ...  more »
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  • The ancient collections were mind blowing. Where other museums have dusty shards of pottery, the Art Institute has hundreds of preserved, in tact examples of art from each era and location. This allows the viewer to get a sense of the design motifs that were used and how timeless they seem. I haven't been to the Institute in 20 years until this recent visit. Comparatively, the exhibits are arranged in more dynamic displays. For example, the medieval weapons room had a central display of two knights on life sized horses in battle. Before I remember a room lined with glass cases. For visitors who are local or in Chicago frequently, I recommend an annual pass. The permanent and temporary exhibits are too much to absorb in one day. I can imagine the pleasure of popping in to check out one or two exhibits at a time.
  • I had a great package deal for Navy Pier Ferris wheel and the Art Institute for 35$. It was a steal! We spent the whole day at the museum, it was truly a culture shock I will never forget. We saw memorable pieces, current pieces, and ancient pieces that are well structured together. It may be a confusing maze, especially when you want to see something specific and having a hard time finding it, but it was part of the enjoyment because there was always something new to engage with. The staff was extremely friendly and offered great services. This is also a must for Chicago Tourists. We were there from open-close and felt that we haven't seen it all.
  • One of the top places to visit in Chicago and the World. Because I am a member I go to the AI every month to view their blockbuster special exhibits as well as their own amazing collection. Whenever I can I also try to catch one of their lectures or guided tours. I am fond of their extensive collections from all over the world. Recently I have been spending more time with the Japanese prints. This experience has prompted me to go to Japan and Taiwan this year. So, come to Chicago and plan to spend the day with Art. Discover a new culture or antique armor. Eat lunch in their cafeteria or gormet restaurant overlooking Millennium Park. You will be a better person by experiencing the world class art collection at the AI.
  • Truly one of my favorite places on Earth. Brilliantly curated, full of world class works of art and historical treasures. After visiting all the major museums in Chicago this is the one I come back to over and over again. You can rush through and see a few famous pieces in an hour, but really you need at least 2-3 to feel like you weren't just running through.
  • A big art museum for everyone to enjoy. There is plenty to see in the museum. I like that you can go out and get some food and still be able to come back. It's a great way to spend a few hours while in Chicago especially on a rainy day. They do not like you walking around with large pieces so they have a storage room for you to use to store some of your big items like an umbrella or backpack. Bring your camera or a sketch pad and don't forget the two lions outside.

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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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