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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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Best Lodging Options Near Houston Museum of Fine Arts

See all 1,385 Properties near Houston Museum of Fine Arts
Hotel Zaza Houston Museum District $200
Hotel Zaza Houston Museum District

Hotel Zaza Houston Museum District

5701 Main Street, Houston, TX
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Southeast Houston, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Houston Museum District and Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Houston Natural Science Museum and Rice University are also within 10 minutes. Museum District Station is only a 2-minute walk and Hermann Park - Rice U Station is 7 minutes.

    Wyndham Houston - Medical Center Hotel and Suites $109
    Wyndham Houston - Medical Center Hotel and Suites

    Wyndham Houston - Medical Center Hotel and Suites

    6800 Main Street, Houston, TX
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Texas Medical Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rice University, Houston Museum District, and Texas Children's Hospital. Houston Zoo and NRG Park are also within 2 mi (3 km). Dryden - TMC Station is 8 minutes by foot and TMC Transit Center Station is 8 minutes.

      Club Quarters Hotel in Houston $94
      Club Quarters Hotel in Houston

      Club Quarters Hotel in Houston

      720 Fannin Street, Houston, TX
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Houston, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Christ Church Cathedral, Discovery Green, and House of Blues Houston. George R. Brown Convention Center and Downtown Aquarium are also within 15 minutes. Preston Station is 5 minutes by foot and Main Street Square Station is 6 minutes.

        Marriott Marquis Houston $209
        Marriott Marquis Houston

        Marriott Marquis Houston

        1777 Walker Street, Houston, TX
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Houston, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green. Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park are also within 10 minutes. Main Street Square Station is 12 minutes by foot and Preston Station is 14 minutes.

          Americas Best Value Inn Medical Center Downtown $65
          Americas Best Value Inn Medical Center Downtown

          Americas Best Value Inn Medical Center Downtown

          2419 Riverside Dr, Houston, TX
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Southeast Houston, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Children's Museum of Houston, Houston Natural Science Museum, and Houston Zoo. Toyota Center and George R. Brown Convention Center are also within 3 mi (5 km). Museum District Station is 21 minutes by foot and Hermann Park - Rice U Station is 27 minutes.

            Modern Loft-style Home w/ Rooftop Deck In The Museum District
            Modern Loft-style Home w/ Rooftop Deck In The Museum District

            Modern Loft-style Home w/ Rooftop Deck In The Museum District

            Houston, Texas
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Southeast Houston, this vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Houston Museum District and Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Natural Science Museum are also within 15 minutes. Museum District Station is 8 minutes by foot and Hermann Park - Rice U Station is 14 minutes.

              Sophisticated 1BR Suite w/ Gym Near Downtown
              Sophisticated 1BR Suite w/ Gym Near Downtown

              Sophisticated 1BR Suite w/ Gym Near Downtown

              5280 Caroline Street, Apt. 2011, Houston, TX
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Southeast Houston, this luxury apartment building is steps from Holocaust Museum Houston and Houston Museum District. Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Natural Science Museum are also within 10 minutes. Museum District Station is 7 minutes by foot and Wheeler Station is 11 minutes.

                Unique 1BR w/ Pool + Gym in Museum District
                Unique 1BR w/ Pool + Gym in Museum District

                Unique 1BR w/ Pool + Gym in Museum District

                5280 Caroline Street, Apt. 2012, Houston, TX
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Southeast Houston, this apartment building is steps from Holocaust Museum Houston and Houston Museum District. Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Natural Science Museum are also within 10 minutes. Museum District Station is 7 minutes by foot and Wheeler Station is 11 minutes.