Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

The 10 Best Museums in Baltimore, Maryland [2024]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

816 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
Jessica Merritt's image

Jessica Merritt

Editor & Content Contributor

101 Published Articles 529 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 4U.S. States Visited: 23

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
& Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

38 Published Articles 3340 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 48U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

Table of Contents

  • The Best Museums in Baltimore
  • How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Baltimore Museums
  • Final Thoughts

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the most historic cities in the U.S., so it’s not surprising that the city has its fair share of museums. However, history isn’t the only topic covered by the its galleries. Whether you’re a sports fan or an avid reader, there’s an exhibit in this East Coast city to suit your interests. To start your travel planning, here’s a list of the best museums in Baltimore.

The Best Museums in Baltimore

1. American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum
Image Credit: American Visionary Art Museum

The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) houses 4,000 works of art from a variety of artists and styles. The space specializes in the conservation of outdoor art sculptures, but the types of pieces showcased at the museum are unlimited.

Some highlighted pieces in the permanent collection include “The Universal Tree of Life” by Robert Benson, “Love Balloon” by Leonard Knight, and “Whirligig” by Vollis Simpson. AVAM frequently hosts temporary exhibitions organized by guest curators, allowing each event to have a completely unique identity and ambiance.

Some of the museum’s most beloved exhibitions are the “mega-exhibitions,” which usually revolve around a singular theme, like love, war, or life. Other events hosted by the space include the “Kinetic Sculpture Race” each spring, volunteer gatherings, and workshops for new and aspiring artists.

Admission is free for members and children under 7, $9.95 for children, students, and active military personnel, $13.95 for seniors 60+, and $15.95 for adults. American Visionary Art Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Key Highway and Covington North South Eastbound.

  • Address: 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

2. B&O Railroad Museum

BO Railroad Museum
Image Credit: B&O Railroad Museum

Located in what was once a railway station, the B&O Railroad Museum has one of the biggest collections of train and railway artifacts in the world. It also has the most 19th-century locomotives of any collection in the U.S.

Baltimore is often considered the starting point of the country’s railroad system, and the B&O company is the first and oldest train company in the U.S. In total, the museum houses over 15,000 pieces, including a mile of train tracks that are still used to offer visitors train rides 8 months out of the year.

In addition to the standard visit or guided tour experiences, the B&O museum offers specialty tours that take guests behind the scenes. Some of the most beloved are the archives tour and the restoration shop train ride and tour. All tours must be booked in advance.

Admission is free for children under 2 and members, $12 for children 2 to 12, $17 for seniors 60+, and $20 for visitors 13+. B&O Railroad Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Pratt Street and Poppleton Street.

  • Address: 901 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21223

3. Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum

Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
Image Credit: Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum

The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is located in what was once the home of one of baseball’s most famous figures. Typically, there are 7 exhibits open in the space, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Babe Ruth’s life and career.

The museum features some of Babe Ruth’s uniforms, photos, documents, and other items he used personally and professionally. “The 500 Home Run Club” exhibit centers around Ruth’s impressive ability to hit home runs, making it one of the most talked-about parts of the sport. “Babe Batted Here” showcases the role Baltimore played in the player’s early life and how he got into baseball.

Special events are also frequently hosted at the museum, ranging from discussions and meet-and-greets with baseball players to lectures and panels with writers and other baseball experts. Though the museum is self-guided, tours are available with advance notice.

Admission is free for members and children under 5, $7 for kids 5 to 16, $13 for seniors and military personnel, and $15 for adults. Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Greene Street and Pratt Street.

  • Address: 216 Emory St., Baltimore, MD 21230

4. Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art
Image Credit: Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is the largest museum in Maryland, with over 95,000 items in its collection. Since the collection is so large, only a fraction of it can be displayed at any given time.

The space has a particularly impressive mix of work by Henri Matisse. However, the space doesn’t just focus on European masters; art from American and Asian artists is also displayed. There’s also a sizeable number of ancient artifacts on display. BMA’s archives and permanent exhibits can be broadly divided into over a dozen categories, each depicting an array of styles and time periods.

Some highlighted pieces are “Seen from a Wall in the Memory” by Mario Negri, “The Marchioness of Worcester” by Sir Anthony van Dyck, and “Self-Portrait of the Artist Etching” by Henri Matisse. Temporary exhibitions and special events are also frequently hosted at the museum.

Admission to the regular exhibitions is free for all visitors. Special galleries may require a ticket purchase. Baltimore Museum of Art is open Friday through Sunday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The nearest bus stop is 31st Street – Baltimore Museum of Art.

  • Address: 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218

5. Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum

Edgar Allan Poe House Museum
Image Credit: Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum

Edgar Allan Poe is one of Baltimore’s most famous former residents. His home in the city has been a museum since 1949.

The Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum has been almost completely preserved, still housing many of the personal effects and writing that belonged to the author. Poe still has an active fanbase. For that reason, the museum has become a city landmark. It also hosts a series of special events each year, including the International Edgar Allan Poe Festival & Awards.

Though Poe is known for his mysterious and macabre writing, the museum is family-friendly, and visitors of all ages are welcome. Photography is also allowed on-site, but the use of any professional equipment must be cleared with the facility before arriving. All visits must be booked before your arrival to help control crowds within the museum’s small visit spaces.

Admission is free for children under 3, $6 for kids 3 to 12, $8 for seniors 65+, and $10 for adults. Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Fayette Street and Schroeder Street.

  • Address: 203 North Amity St., Baltimore, MD 21223

6. Maryland Science Center

Maryland Science Center
Image Credit: Maryland Science Center

Maryland’s Science Center in Baltimore has been teaching visitors about the sciences since 1976. Today, the property has 12 exhibits, not including the on-site IMAX theater and planetarium, which are used for special events and multimedia exhibitions.

Each of the gallery spaces has both traditional and interactive display elements to help visitors of all ages immerse themselves in the sciences. Some favorite exhibits at the museum are “Dinosaur Mysteries,” “Life Beyond Earth,” and “Newton’s Alley.” Visitors, young and old, are welcome at the museum, but many of the galleries were designed with kids in mind.

The museum hosts several events throughout the year that are only for adults, including field trips, concerts, and galas. Science encounters are also held at the demo stage and in the observatory, where kids can see science come to life through experiments and studies.

Admission is free for members and children under 3, $20.95 for kids 3 to 12, $25.95 for seniors 62+, and $26.95 for adults. Maryland Science Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Key Highway and Light Street.

  • Address: 601 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230

7. Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Port Discovery Childrens Museum
Image Credit: Port Discovery Children’s Museum

With 80,000 square feet of space for kids to learn and play, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum is a favorite among Baltimore families. Guests of all ages are welcome at the museum, but most of the exhibits were designed for children 10 and under. Currently, there are 13 play areas spread across 3 floors. Some favorites include the “Kick it Up! Royal Farms Convenience Store & Fill’er Up Station” and “Wonders of Water” areas.

Most of these spaces have interactive zones suitable for children of all ages, but those with specific age recommendations are clearly marked. There are also a number of areas that were designed to be sensory-friendly for kids who can be overwhelmed by too many stimuli. The museum can be rented for private parties, and there are a number of public events held during the year, including summer camps and story times.

Admission is free for members, kids under 1, and active or veteran military personnel. Tickets are $24.95 for everyone else. Port Discovery Children’s Museum is open Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest metro stop is Shot Tower.

  • Address: 35 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202

8. Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Reginald F. Lewis Museum
Image Credit: Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum preserves and highlights the lives and histories of the African-American men and women who have helped Maryland become the state it is today. To date, the museum houses over 11,000 artifacts and documents, which are preserved and displayed by the facility.

This space’s permanent collection is broadly divided into 6 categories and includes items such as African artifacts, military gear, and historical newspaper and magazine articles about prominent Marylanders.

Multiple temporary exhibitions are also frequently hosted at the museum. These galleries cover topics ranging from specific moments and figures of the past to rising and prominent African-American voices of today.

Admission is free for children 6 and under, $9 for seniors and youth 7 to 17, and $12 for general admission. Reginald F. Lewis Museum is open Thursday through Saturday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is President Street – Reginald F. Lewis Museum Westbound.

  • Address: 830 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

9. Star Spangled Banner Flag House

Star Spangled Banner Flag House
Image Credit: NPS

Also called the Flag House, the Star Spangled Banner Flag House is the site where Mary Pickersgill sewed the large American Flag used at Fort McHenry in the 1800s. This house gained much of its notoriety after the flag survived the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.

Since the house was privately owned before becoming a museum, many of the personal effects that belonged to the original family were sold. Today, the pieces that have survived are mixed with other period-accurate antiques, so it’s authentically furnished for a Baltimore home of the 1800s.

Some of the pieces highlighted by the museum include a drum used during the Battle of Baltimore, 7 fragments of the original Star Spangled Banner, and over 15,000 items found in and around Baltimore during archeological digs and searches. A selection of items in the house’s care are also available for online viewing.

Admission is free for children under 6, $7 for students, $8 for seniors and military personnel, and $9 for adults. Star Spangled Banner Flag House is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Pratt and Albemarle Eastbound.

  • Address: 844 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

10. The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum
Image Credit: The Walters Art Museum

Since 1934, The Walters Art Museum has housed one of Maryland’s most comprehensive collections of American art from the 19th century. Today, the museum’s collection can be divided into 8 wings, ranging from ancient art to pieces from European masters of the 1800s.

Some important pieces housed by The Walters Art Museum are “Mummy and Painted Cartonnage of an Unknown Woman Egypt” by an unknown artist, “La Huerta del Retiro, Seville” by Martin Rico y Ortega, and “Allegorical Figure of Europe” by Joseph Werner II. Since the museum’s collection is so large, exhibits are often rotated, and archived pieces are often displayed in temporary exhibitions.

This museum is so large that it’s grown to include 3 buildings around the city. Each space displays different pieces, but the facility on Charles Street is often considered to be the flagship location and is the most popular among art lovers.

Admission is free for all visitors, but donations are welcome. The Walters Art Museum is open Friday through Sunday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Cathedral Street and Centre Opp Southbound.

  • Address: 600 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201

How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Baltimore Museums

We’ve indicated with each museum whether or not children, students, or seniors receive free or reduced admission. Several other programs also offer similar concessions.

The Museums for All program offers free or reduced admission to museums through the U.S. for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). Participating Baltimore-area attractions include the American Visionary Art Museum, the B&O Railroad Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and more.

Bank of America’s Museums on Us program offers cardholders free general admission to the Maryland Science Center and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture on the first full weekend of every month.

Participation is subject to change; please verify participating museums and entry conditions before your visit.

Final Thoughts

Baltimore is notable for its history and food. In recent years, it’s also become a hotspot for its museums, which cover topics from the Revolutionary War to art and sports history. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a museum in this corner of Maryland that will suit you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Baltimore museums free?

While many of Baltimore’s museums and exhibits are free to the general public, that’s not always the case. Many facilities in the city charge an admission fee. Often, these exhibits offer deals or promotions for certain visitor categories or certain days for extra affordability.

Is Baltimore worth visiting?

Baltimore is one of the most historic cities in the U.S. It has a number of great museums and landmarks that are sure to interest history lovers. There are also art museums, concerts, and other sites to suit other types of visitors as well.

How many museums are in Baltimore?

Currently, there are over 60 museums in the greater Baltimore area. However, this number can grow or shrink over time as facilities close and new spaces open. This number also doesn’t consider all of the temporary exhibitions and pop-up museums found in Baltimore.

What is the largest museum in Baltimore?

Currently, the largest museum in the city is the Baltimore Museum of Art. This isn’t just the largest museum in Baltimore but in Maryland in general. It even has the largest single collection of Henri Matisse paintings in the entire world housed on its property.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

The Ultimate Lounge Playbook!

Discover the exact steps we use to get into 1,400+ airport lounges worldwide, for free (even if you’re flying economy!).

playbook cover
DMCA.com Protection Status