A Guide to Free Museums in Boston

Updated On October 5, 2023

If you have not already visited Boston, you should definitely put it on your bucket list.

There you can find many museums and galleries, and some of them are completely free or very cheap.

And if you want to stick to your budget, a free entrance to a museum is always a good idea.

Here is a list of the best free museums in Boston:

A mural in Boston
A mural in Boston

The Museum of Bad Art

If you buy a ticket at the Somerville Theatre, you can wander around the Museum of Bad Art for free.

The museum proudly wears the title “the only museum in the world dedicated to bad art”. 

Its collection is entertaining, there you can find many works of bad art.

Certainly, this is a place where you will laugh till your stomach hurts.

The Institute of Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art is without a doubt the best free museum in Boston.

It is known for its visual arts, creative programs and innovation.

However, there is only a free entrance to the museum on Thursday evenings, from 5 pm until 9 pm.

Hurry up and try to explore most of it.  

If you are staying more than a week in Boston, come back for another tour.

The museum is situated on a waterfront, so you will enjoy beautiful views while waiting to enter at 5 pm.

Modern museum with huge walls looking at the sea
Modern museum with huge walls looking at the sea


For this museum, you have to bring glasses.

The Mµseum is the smallest museum in the world and it showcases a very tiny art.

The ‘µ’ in its name means “micro” in Ancient Greek.

Everything about this museum is micro.

It does not even have an official address, because it is too small.

It is only eight inches deep and sixteen inches wide.

The Mµseum mainly focuses on miniature art made in New England.

The Warren Anatomical Museum

The Warren Anatomical Museum is a museum that focuses on the history of medicine and science.

It was founded by Dr Warren in the middle of the 19th century to present his personal collection of anatomical and pathological species.

The most famous item in the museum is the skull of Phineas Gage.

He was a railroad worker who had a large iron bar passed through his head and miraculously survived to tell the incredible story.

Gage suffered a traumatic brain injury after the incident and his skull has been used for studying human personalities.

The Ether Dome

The Ether Dome is a museum of historical surgical instruments, placed in the teaching amphitheatre of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. 

It was used as the hospital’s operating room during the middle of the 19th century.

In this place, the first public surgery using an anaesthetic, also known as ether, was demonstrated. 

Boston Athenæum

The first floor and the galleries at the Boston Athenæum are free to enter.

It is one of the oldest independent libraries in the US.

Here you can see rare paintings, old maps, historic photographs and ancient books.

A visit to this aesthetically pleasing place is a must.

Boston studnets
Boston studnets

Boston University Art Gallery

At the Boston University Art Gallery, you can see exhibits of young artists and participate in interesting panel discussions.

Entry is always free, so check their list of events to find something interesting.

A statue
A statue

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and Harvard Museum of Natural History 

If you buy a ticket to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology you will get a free entry to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and vice-versa.

Both museums are quite impressive.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology have one of the largest collections of cultural artefacts in the Western Hemisphere;

In the Harvard Museum of Natural History, you can see thousands of specimens, like rare gems and dinosaur bones.

Beautuful nature
Beautuful nature

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1 Comment on A Guide to Free Museums in Boston

  1. s
    stetson says:

    Boston is a must-visit for any museum lover, with its wide range of free options.

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