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The 15 Best Museums in Dallas, Texas [2024]

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

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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...
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Dallas is one of the most notable Texas cities. Known for its cowboy culture and history, it has also become an important culture and art hub. Numerous museums have opened in the Dallas area over the years, and there’s an exhibit or gallery worth visiting, no matter your interests.

The Best Museums in Dallas

1. The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection

The Ann Gabriel Barbier Mueller Museum
Image Credit: Brad Flowers via The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum

The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection is one of the most important exhibits of samurai artifacts in the southern U.S.

First opened in 2012, the collection houses more than 1,000 pieces ranging from art to armor and samurai weapons used between the 12th and 19th centuries. However, only about 300 items are on display at any given time. Though the collection largely centers around the samurai, other Japanese cultures are also represented to give a more complete picture of the country’s history.

Some of the highlighted pieces in the collection are suneate shin guards, a maedate crest, a naginata, and several suits of armor. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum frequently hosts family events and temporary exhibits with pieces from the archives or on loan from other establishments.

Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Moody @ Pearl – E – NS.

  • Address: 2501 N. Harwood St., Dallas, TX 75201

2. Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas

Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas
Image Credit: Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas

First opened in 1998, the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas honors and celebrates Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Nepalese, Thai, and Vietnamese culture. The museum is split into 3 galleries.

The first gallery showcases Japanese art, though this section is also used as an exhibition space for temporary galleries. The second houses one of the best jade collections in the country, as well as Chinese artifacts and artifacts from the Qing dynasty. The third focuses on Southeastern Asian art.

The Crow Museum also hosts events throughout the year and displays pieces on loan from other worldwide collections to give visitors a more comprehensive look at Asian art and culture. Some of the museum’s highlights are “Sweepers” by Wang Shugang, “The Jade Room,” and a 17th-century silk tapestry from China.

Admission is free for everyone. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail station is St. Paul Station.

  • Address: 2010 Flora St., Dallas, TX 75201

3. Dallas Contemporary

Dallas Contemporary
Image Credit: Dallas Contemporary

Formerly known as the D’Art Visual Arts Center, Dallas Contemporary is one of the city’s premier facilities for contemporary art.

Initially, the structure only focused on Texas-based artists, but today, it displays work from creators around the world. It also embraces a spectrum of art mediums, from photography to sculpture. Located in the Design District, the museum is known for showcasing art from modern artists.

The museum takes pride in its “kunsthalle” operation model, which focuses on displaying work from current talents. For that reason, the museum doesn’t house a permanent collection. This also means every visit will likely differ since pieces are regularly rotated.

Some of the artists who have shown their work at the gallery are Eduardo Sarabia, Shepard Fairey, and Paolo Roversi. The museum also hosts monthly cultural events, like poetry readings, parties, and lectures.

Admission is free for everyone. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Market Center @ Industrial – N – FS.

  • Address: 161 Glass St., Dallas, TX 75207

4. Dallas Firefighters Museum

Dallas Firefighters Museum
Image Credit: Dallas Firefighters Museum

Located in a fire station that served the city for nearly 70 years, the Dallas Firefighters Museum aims to showcase the fire department’s history and honor Dallas firefighters.

The museum uses historical equipment to educate the public, especially children, about the importance of fire safety and how firefighting has changed over time. Some of the authentic pieces on display from past fire brigades are the 1884 Ahrens Steamer, the 1885 Cooney Hose Carriage, and Engine 42 from the 1980s.

Additionally, the museum houses a collection of uniforms and helmets that have been used throughout the history of the Dallas Fire Department. One of the most touching parts of the museum is the “Honor Wall of the Fallen,” which shows the names of the city’s firefighters who have lost their lives while serving the city. These names can also be viewed online.

Admission is $4 for children and $6 for adults. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail station is Zoo Station.

  • Address: 3801 Parry Ave., Dallas, TX 75226

5. Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Image Credit: Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum

First opened in 1984 as the Dallas Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum aims to spread peace by fighting prejudice and hate within the facility’s 4 wings.

The first wing introduces the topics of human rights, educates visitors on the Holocaust, and serves as an introduction to the rest of the museum.

Wing 2 showcases testimonies of Dallas locals who survived the Holocaust as well as genuine artifacts and reproductions of rail cars, films, and other documents that show what life was like for Jewish people in Europe during the Holocaust.

Wing 3 broaches the broader topic of human rights by showcasing not just the aftermath of the Holocaust but also tragedies from around the world. Wing 4 looks at the American dream through the lens of human rights.

Admission is $12 for students, $17 for seniors 55+, teachers, visitors with disabilities, military personnel, and first responders, and $19 for everyone else. The museum is open Wednesday to Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Rosa Parks Plaza.

  • Address: 300 N. Houston St., Dallas, TX 75202

6. Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art
Image Credit: Dallas Museum of Art

With more than 25,000 pieces housed in its structure, the Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the region.

The museum was first established in 1903 when it mostly displayed work from a single local artist, Frank Reaugh, before the collection gained traction and acquired pieces from artists worldwide. Today, the museum has grown so much that its pieces are divided into 9 categories, from African art to contemporary pieces.

Pieces in the collection range from traditional art, including “The Masseuse” sculpture by Edgar Degas, “The Abduction of Europa” painting by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, and historical cultural pieces. Etruscan earrings, a Roman Sarcophagus, and a Peruvian ceremonial mask are just a few of the historic artifacts housed in the structure. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

General admission is free for everyone. The museum is open Tuesday to Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Pearl @ Ross – S – NS.

  • Address: 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas, TX 75201

7. Frontiers of Flight Museum

Frontiers of Flight Museum
Image Credit: Frontiers of Flight Museum

First founded in 1988 as a terminal exhibit in the Dallas Love Field Airport, the Frontiers of Flight Museum has grown in space and notoriety. The museum’s collection is so significant that it’s earned Smithsonian affiliation.

The collection is split into multiple sections to display smaller artifacts such as books, journals, photos, and uniforms. It also has a collection of larger items, including a command module from the Apollo 7 space mission and a replica of a Sopwith Pup used in World War I.

Of course, the most popular exhibits in the museum contain its collection of over 30 aircraft. Meyer’s Little Toot, Culver Dart GC, and Laser 200 are just a few of the models on display at the facility. The museum frequently hosts educational events and can be rented as a party venue.

Admission is free for children under 3, $9 for children 3 to 17, $10 for seniors 65+, and $12 for adults. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail station is Inwood/Love Field Station.

  • Address: 6911 Lemmon Ave., Dallas, TX 75209

8. George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Image Credit: George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Opened in 2013, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the official presidential library and museum for the 43rd U.S. president.

The museum contains over 40,000 artifacts, including documents, personal items, and gifts given to President Bush during his time in office, often by foreign and domestic leaders. Perhaps one of the most important pieces in the museum is the bullhorn that Bush used to speak and address the public when he visited the wreckage of the World Trade Center collapse in 2001.

The museum doesn’t only serve as a time capsule of President Bush’s time at the White House. It’s also an educational center on the topic of civics. Additionally, the museum routinely hosts special events and temporary exhibits throughout the year that delve into topics such as where past presidents have traveled.

Admission is free for tour guides, tour group bus drivers, and children under 5. Tickets are $20 for children 5 to 12, $26 for children 13 to 17, $23 for seniors 62+, and $26 for adults.

The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is 6200 SMU – W – NS.

  • Address: 2943 SMU Blvd., Dallas, TX 75205

9. Meadows Museum

Meadows Museum
Image Credit: Meadows Museum

Known locally as the “Prado on the Prairie,” Dallas’ Meadows Museum is most well-known for its extensive collection of Spanish art.

Since opening in 1965, the museum’s collection has grown to more than 1,600 pieces, many created between the 10th and 21st centuries. It’s the largest single collection of Spanish artwork found outside of Europe.

Some of the most renowned artists represented at the Meadows are Picasso, Goya, and Dalí. The museum also has a sizable collection of Southern Methodist University work, including artists primarily from Texas.

Some notable pieces in the collection are “Landscape of Sown Fields” by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, “Profile of a Woman Crowned with Flowers” by Picasso, and “Cubi VIII” by David Smith. The museum also frequently exhibits pieces on loan from other establishments.

Admission is free for children 18 and under and SMU students and staff, $4 for other students, $10 for seniors 65+, and $12 for adults. Admission is free for everyone after 5 p.m. on Thursdays. The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail station is SMU/Mockingbird Station.

  • Address: 5900 Bishop Blvd., Dallas, TX 75205

10. Museum of Biblical Art

Museum of Biblical Art
Image Credit: Museum of Biblical Art

First founded in 1967, the Museum of Biblical Art displays more than 2,500 works of art, most of which depict biblical themes. In addition to the traditional art in the facility, the museum also houses hundreds of Bibles from around the world.

The museum was restructured after the museum was largely damaged in 2005 by a fire, and the National Center for Jewish Art wing was added in 2014. This wing allowed the museum to expand its collection of Jewish ceremonial art.

The structure is split into 11 sections, including its conservation labs and the Via Dolorosa Sculpture Garden, which attract thousands of visitors annually. The museum is primarily self-guided, but audio tour recordings are available. Additionally, the museum hosts temporary exhibits and events each year. It also serves as a venue for private events with advance notice.

Admission is free for children under 6 and members, $10 for children 6 to 12, $12 for students and seniors 65+, and $15 for adults. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail station is Park Lane.

  • Address: 7500 Park Lane, Dallas, TX 75225

11. Museum of Illusions Dallas

Museum of Illusions Dallas
Image Credit: Museum of Illusions Dallas

First opened in 2019, the Museum of Illusions Dallas is one of the city’s newest and most unique exhibit spaces. The facility uses light and forced perspective to create interactive sets that bring illusions and tricks of the mind to life.

The museum is suitable for people of all ages, but some galleries could cause issues for people with sensory concerns. Call ahead to ensure everyone in your group can enjoy a visit. The museum divides its space into 3 main categories: exhibit rooms, installations, and images.

Some of the most popular sets in the facility are “Head on a Platter,” “Tilted Room,” “Vortex Tunnel,” and the holographic images. The facility is available for events, but if you’d prefer a regular visit, expect to spend at least an hour here. Taking photos of your visit is welcome. 

Admission is free for children under 5, $19 for seniors 60+, military personnel, and children 5 to 12, and $21 for adults. The museum is open Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Elm @ Market – W – NS.

  • Address: 701 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75202

12. Nasher Sculpture Center

Nasher Sculpture Center
Image Credit: Nasher Sculpture Center

With over 300 pieces in its collection, the Nasher Sculpture Center has been one of the most important modern and contemporary art centers in Dallas since 2003.

The original collection was comprised mainly of pieces privately acquired by its founders, Patsy and Raymond Nasher, prominent figures in the Texas art world since the 1950s. They primarily focused on purchasing artwork from mid-20th-century contemporary artists, including Matisse and de Kooning. The collection has begun to pivot toward newer artists to keep up with the evolution of the sculpting medium.

Since the museum’s collection is so extensive, pieces are regularly rotated. The rotations, in addition to the temporary galleries, ensure repeat visits will provide different experiences. Some of the highlighted pieces in the museum are “Safe Cracker” by Matthew Monahan and “Flower Man” by James Surls.

Admission is free for members, military personnel, first responders, children under 12, and SNAP card holders. Tickets are $5 for students and teachers, $7 for seniors 65+, $8 for DART transit riders, and $10 for adults. Admission is waived on the first Saturday of the month. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail stop is St. Paul.

  • Address: 2001 Flora St., Dallas, TX 75201

13. Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Image Credit: Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Though its origins go back to 1936, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science first opened its doors in 2006 as one of the city’s most important educational centers.

The facility stores over 130,000 artifacts and specimens, though only a fraction are on display at any moment. The rest are preserved in the museum archives or set aside for research purposes. The museum has 11 permanent wings covering various topics from sports science to the human body and innovation and engineering.

Perhaps one of the most popular sections in the museum among visitors with young children is the Moody Family Children’s Museum. This department allows kids to interact with scientific concepts seen in the rest of the facility in a hands-on way. However, the structure has immersive exhibits for visitors of all ages. 

Admission is free for members and children under 2, $15 for children 2 to 12, and $25 for adults. The museum is open Wednesday to Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail stop is Akard Station.

  • Address: 2201 N Field St., Dallas, TX 75201

14. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Image Credit: The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

As its name would lead you to assume, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a museum on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building in the downtown area. Since opening in 1989, the facility has focused on educating visitors on the life of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in Dallas in 1963.

In addition to showcasing the life of the president and the circumstances surrounding his untimely death, the museum also examines the culprit, Lee Harvey Oswald, through videos, photos, and documents. It showcases evidence and documents of some of the most widely spread conspiracy theories surrounding the event.

In addition to the facility’s exhibits, the museum also hosts events throughout the year that dive deeper into the life and career of the Kennedys and the fateful day JFK was killed.

Admission is free for children under 6. Tickets are $18 for children 6 to 18, $20 for seniors 65+, and $22 for adults when purchased in advance. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Houston @ Main – S – NS.

  • Address: 411 Elm St., Dallas, TX 75202
Valley House Gallery
Image Credit: Valley House Gallery

Founded by the Vogels, a local couple determined to promote Dallas’ fine arts scene, the Valley House Gallery has been a place for artists to showcase their work since 1959.

Located on the Vogel estate, the sculpture garden is nestled in the trees surrounding the home. This juxtaposition between the modernity of many of the sculptures and the surrounding nature helped the museum make a name for itself early on. There is also an indoor gallery space with delicate pieces that can’t withstand exposure to the elements.

The museum houses dozens of sculptures from contemporary artists ranging from the mid-20th century to today. Some of the highlights include “Are You Listening” by Debora Ballard, “Miami Star” by Alex Corno, and “Between Light and Shadow” by Michael O’Keefe. The museum frequently hosts events where the public can meet the artists behind the pieces.

Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest DART Light Rail stop is Spring Valley Station.

  • Address: 6616 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, TX 75254

How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Dallas Museums

We’ve indicated with each museum whether or not children, students, or seniors receive free or reduced admission. There are also several programs that can reduce or eliminate admission costs.

The Museums for All program offers free or reduced admission to museums through the U.S. for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). Participating attractions in the greater Dallas area include the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum and Nasher Sculpture Center.

Bank of America’s Museums on Us program offers cardholders free general admission to the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum on the first full weekend of every month.

Capital One cardholders can enroll in a complimentary 6-month membership with The Cultivist through June 22, 2024 and receive access for themselves and a guest to the Nasher Sculpture Center.

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

Final Thoughts

Dallas clearly isn’t just home to cowboys. It’s also one of Texas’ biggest cultural hubs. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or civics, there’s a museum in the city to suit your tastes. We hope that this list can inspire you to decide which of Dallas’ museums you should visit first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dallas museums free?

While many of the museums in Dallas require a paid admission ticket, some offer free visits. Museums that don’t offer free admission occasionally take part in programs that can help bring ticket costs down for certain types of visitors.

Is Dallas an art city?

In recent years, Dallas has made a name for itself as a hub for art and culture, thanks to its many museums, galleries, and exhibition spaces. This doesn’t just refer to static art but performances as well, with numerous venues for singers, dancers, and musicians.

How many museums are in Dallas?

Dallas has over 25 museums currently open within its city limits. However, this number is can change as new establishments open. There are also other attractions, galleries, and exhibits throughout the city that often aren’t included in official lists of museums.

What is Dallas famous for?

Dallas is a popular sports town, as it’s home to the Dallas Cowboys, one of the most well-known football teams in the country. The city is also famous for its history and food. Lately, it’s become famous for its art scene.

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.

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