Lifestyle

Every Free Museum in Boston

Occasionally it’s fun to get some culture, especially if it’s free. So here you go: every always-free, sometimes-free, and suggested-donation (but still technically free!) museum in Boston:

ALWAYS FREE

The Museum of Bad Art

Davis Square
Free with admission to any film or theatre event at the Somerville Theater.
It’s exactly what it sounds like.
 

Mµseum

Union Square
This itty-bitty exhibition space is dedicated to micro-sized works by local artists.
 

The Waterworks Museum  

Chestnut Hill
Built on Boston’s historic Chestnut Hill Reservoir, the Waterworks Museum tells the story of the municipal water supply.
 

Boston Athenæum

Beacon Hill
The first floor and exhibition galleries are free to the public.
Tucked away in this gorgeous membership library are rare paintings, maps, photographs, and, of course, books -- even one bound from the skin of a man whose dying wish was to literally BE a book.
 

The USS Constitution Museum

Charlestown
Donations are suggested, but not required.
A collection of history and stories from the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. 
 

The Museum of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall
If the Constitution Museum wasn’t enough, get your fill of military memorabilia at this often-overlooked spot in Faneuil Hall.
 

The Vilna Shul

Beacon Hill
Donations are appreciated, but not required.
A historic synagogue and Jewish cultural center in Beacon Hill.
 

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Fenway-Kenmore
There's free admission on your birthday with your ID, or for your entire life if your name is Isabella.
This private art museum houses some of the most unique and unusual pieces in the country, many of which never leave Boston. Except the ones that are stolen, we presume.
 

The Warren Anatomical Museum

Fenway-Kenmore
A museum for science lovers, grown-up goths, and anybody who’s ever binge-watched House.
 

The Ether Dome

West End
Looking at the antiquated surgical instruments in this ether-themed exhibit will make you grateful for modern medicine.
 

The Plumbing Museum

Watertown
Hours: Monday-Thursday, by appointment only
Yep, it's an entire museum about toilets, and it's free -- so you won't be flushing your money away. Peek inside here.

SOMETIMES FREE

Museum of Fine Arts

Fenway-Kenmore
Hours: Wednesdays from 4-9:45pm
Boston’s most extensive art museum features traveling exhibitions as well as impressive permanent collections.
 

The Institute of Contemporary Art

Seaport
Hours: Thursdays from 5-9pm
The ICA’s innovative programming makes it one of the most popular museums in the Hub.
 

Harvard Museum of Natural History 

Harvard Square
Hours: Free for Harvard students and for Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning (year round) from 9am-noon, and on Wednesdays (September through May only) from 3-5pm. Proof of residency is required.
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is actually the collective name for three smaller museums: the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Mineralogical & Geological Museum. 
 

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University

Harvard Square
Hours: Free admission to Harvard students and for Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning from 9am-noon and on Wednesdays (September through May only) from 3-5pm. Proof of residency required.
Learn about cultural histories through exhibitions of artifacts and adult education classes.
 

The Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Square
Hours: Free for Cambridge residents, and for Massachusetts residents Saturdays from 10am-noon.
Harvard’s three separate art buildings house collections from all over the world.

Sign up here for our daily Boston email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the Hub has to offer.