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Bostonians are passionate about their art and at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) you’ll bump into locals as well as tourists. This is one of the world’s great museums, boasting the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan. It also has one of the largest collections of Monet's work outside of France.
As you approach the MFA’s south entrance, you’ll be greeted by Appeal to the Great Spirit, a bronze statue of a Native American on horseback with his arms outstretched. This statue could easily be mistaken as a reference to the size of the MFA; it’s impressive and expansive. One of the largest museums in the U.S., the MFA houses almost 450,000 artworks and runs an impressive visiting exhibition program. Abandon any notions that you’ll see the entire collection in a single day.
Pick up a floor plan and enquire about the free gallery tours at the Sharf Visitor Center. For collections that hold a particular interest, download the detailed multimedia guides to your smartphone.
Museum highlights include an extensive collection of musical instruments, jewelry, and textiles from around the world and across the ages. Explore the Asian Art collection, which is reputed to be among the finest in the Western world. And for a taste of nirvana, spend a little quiet time in the Buddha room.
Allow a few hours to explore the museum’s newest addition, the Art of the Americas wing. It houses more than 5,000 works from North, Central and South America. The wing encompasses 53 galleries, arranged chronologically over four floors. Don’t miss the portrait of local hero Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley.
The gallery actively encourages visitors to learn and interact, so take advantage of the talks, art classes and workshops led by professional artists and educators. There are four on-site dining options, which include a family-friendly cafeteria and a wine bar. Two, more sophisticated offerings are the New American Café and Bravo.
Don’t despair if you don’t see as much as you planned on your first visit; your ticket price includes one free return visit, valid within ten days.
The Museum of Fine Arts is in the greater Boston area, about a 10-minute drive from downtown. The museum is accessible by subway or bus, and there’s parking on-site for a fee. MFA is open seven days a week.
Give yourself loads of time at Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Below are the most popular things to do:
When planning your excursion, you might want to think about buying a Museum of Fine Arts Small-Group Tour with Art Historian and a Go Boston Explorer Pass: Choose 3, 4 or 5 Top Attractions.
If you're after even more options, have a look at our Boston things to do page.
Located in Back Bay, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Newbury Street, Boston Public Garden and Boston Common. Copley Place and Hynes Convention Center are also within 1 mi (2 km). Arlington Station is only a 2-minute walk and Boylston Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Fenway–Kenmore, this luxury hotel is steps away from House of Blues Boston and Kenmore Square. Fenway Park and Newbury Street are also within 10 minutes. Kenmore Station is only a 2-minute walk and Blandford Street Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Downtown Boston, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Boston City Hall, Quincy Market and Boston Common. New England Aquarium and Boston Tea Party Ship are also within 15 minutes. Government Center Station and State St. Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Fenway–Kenmore, this hotel is steps away from Kenmore Square and Fenway Park. Longwood Medical Area and Boston Museum of Fine Arts are also within 15 minutes. Kenmore Station is 9 minutes by foot and Fenway Station is 9 minutes.
Located in South End, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of John Hancock Tower, Copley Square and Newbury Street. Copley Place and Charles Playhouse are also within 15 minutes. Arlington Station is 10 minutes by foot and Boston-Back Bay Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Back Bay, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Boston Symphony Hall and Kenmore Square. Copley Place and Northeastern University are also within 10 minutes. Symphony Station and Prudential Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Downtown Boston, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Charles Playhouse, Boch Center, and Emerson College. Newbury Street and Copley Square are also within 10 minutes. Arlington Station is only a 5-minute walk and Boylston Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Fenway–Kenmore, this aparthotel is steps away from Berklee College of Music and Kenmore Square. Newbury Street and Hynes Convention Center are also within 10 minutes. Hynes Convention Center Station is only a 4-minute walk and Symphony Station is 5 minutes.