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Houston Museum of Fine Arts

Architecturally stunning and filled with pieces by renowned artists of the world, this museum is a must-see for art lovers.

The Houston Museum of Fine Arts houses more than 62,000 works of art covering almost every continent, and time periods from antiquity to present day. There are pieces from masters such as John Singer Sargent and Henri Matisse, to modern Scandinavian artists. Located in multiple buildings in the downtown Museum District, this is the largest cultural institution in the southwest. 

Before heading inside, take time to admire the majestic architecture. There are several buildings on campus, including the original neoclassical style building finished in 1926. Renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed two glass-enclosed galleries, built in 1958 and 1974 respectively. 

Meander through the sculpture garden, designed by famed Japanese-American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi. It houses sculptures by some of the world’s greats, including Matisse and Auguste Rodin. 

A tunnel links the original cluster of buildings to the modern Audrey Jones Beck building, finished in 2000. This is the main entrance and the best place to start browsing. You’ll find the museum’s collection of American paintings and sculpture as well as European masterpieces. Don’t miss Claude Monet’s incredible Water Lilies painting, a piece from the impressionist’s priceless series, many of which are housed in galleries in Paris.

Back through the tunnel in the original cluster of buildings are 20th- and 21st-century exhibits, as well as the Museum’s South American, Asian and African collections. There are many impressive gold relics, sculptures and intricate carvings; these are some of the largest collections of their kind in the world. Break your visit with lunch from one of a number of food trucks that stop in the parking lot daily, or a bite from the museum café.

While the museum’s own collection is huge, it attracts many international exhibitions, such as a Picasso series straight from New York’s Guggenheim Museum and Portraits of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado. Check the Houston Museum of Fine Arts website before a visit to find a list of current exhibits.

There are two off-site galleries: The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and the Rienzi House, both about five miles (eight kilometers) from the main campus. They house American and European decorative arts pieces and paintings from the museum’s main collection. 

The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is located in the downtown Museum District, and free parking is available. It’s open Tuesdays through Sunday, and entry is free every Thursday. 


Guide to Exploring around Houston Museum of Fine Arts


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Lodging Near Houston Museum of Fine Arts

See all 363 Hotels near Houston Museum of Fine Arts
$230
Hotel Zaza Houston Museum District

Hotel Zaza Houston Museum District

5701 Main Street, Houston
4.5
of 5, from 406 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This Houston boutique hotel lies in the Arts District within walking distance of numerous museums; the Texas Medical Center and Rice University are 1 mile away, the Galleria shopping mall is 6 miles away and connected via a complimentary shuttle. The Reliant Park, the Reliant Stadium and Downtown Houston are also within easy reach.

SureStay Plus Hotel Houston Medical Center by Best Western

SureStay Plus Hotel Houston Medical Center by Best Western

6700 S Main Street, Houston
3.3
of 5, from 99 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Houston, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Houston Maritime Museum, Houston Zoo, and Houston Natural Science Museum. Children's Museum of Houston and NRG Park are also within 2 mi (3 km).

Rice / Museum District Retreat ~ $138 Per Night ~ 1br/1ba ~ Private Condo Rental

Rice / Museum District Retreat ~ $138 Per Night ~ 1br/1ba ~ Private Condo Rental

5003 Mt Vernon St, Houston
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Houston Museum District, this spa condo is within a 15-minute walk of Houston Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston Natural Science Museum, and Children's Museum of Houston. Houston Zoo and Menil Collection are also within 1 mi (2 km).

Rice / Museum District Retreat ~ $75 ~ Private 1br/1ba in 2br/2ba Condo ~ Shared

Rice / Museum District Retreat ~ $75 ~ Private 1br/1ba in 2br/2ba Condo ~ Shared

5003 Mt Vernon St, Houston
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Houston Museum District, this spa condo is within a 15-minute walk of Houston Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston Natural Science Museum, and Children's Museum of Houston. Houston Zoo and Menil Collection are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$80
Americas Best Value Inn-Medical Center Downtown

Americas Best Value Inn-Medical Center Downtown

2419 Riverside Dr, Houston
3.2
of 5, from 200 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Houston, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and Children's Museum of Houston. Houston Zoo and Houston Natural Science Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

Luxury 2 Bedroom 1 Bath Med Center/hermann Park/museum District

Luxury 2 Bedroom 1 Bath Med Center/hermann Park/museum District

5755 Almeda Rd, Houston
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Houston Museum District, this apartment is within a 15-minute walk of Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Natural Science Museum. Houston Zoo and Menil Collection are also within 3 mi (5 km).

2 Bedroom Loft Apartment Hermann Park / Medical Center

2 Bedroom Loft Apartment Hermann Park / Medical Center

1 Hermann Museum Cir Dr, Houston
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Houston Museum District, this apartment is within a 15-minute walk of Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Natural Science Museum. Houston Zoo and Menil Collection are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Beautiful 1 bed / 1 Bath Apt. w/ Shuttle Service to MDA and Med. Center

Beautiful 1 bed / 1 Bath Apt. w/ Shuttle Service to MDA and Med. Center

1 Hermann Museum Cr., Houston
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Houston Museum District, this apartment is within a 15-minute walk of Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Natural Science Museum. Houston Zoo and Menil Collection are also within 3 mi (5 km).