Are you looking for museums in Austin to visit on your holiday? If you are, I am pleased to inform you that there are plenty of options available.
Austin is full of amazing museums that teach you about various parts of the city’s history.
There are museums that display both local and international works of art and museums where kids can learn while having a great time.
On top of that, there are also museums with rare artifacts that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else and museums that give you a taste of Austin’s culture and history.
So without further adieu, let’s take a look at 11 of the best museums in Austin.
1 The Contemporary Austin
If you’re a creative spirit like I am, you’re going to love The Contemporary Austin.
This is one of the museums in Austin that specializes in contemporary art. That means that you’ll see works of art that are unlike anything you have ever seen before.
This also isn’t an ordinary museum where you can only view exhibits inside the building. As a matter of fact, the spectacle starts outside.
You’ll see works of art on display as you enter the premises. It’s almost as if these works of art welcome you and give you a taste of what you’re about to experience.
The premises is also reasonably big. So, there are a lot of works of art for you to see. Now, I’m sure that we all love free activities.
Unfortunately, The Contemporary Austin isn’t free to enter on most days. However, it is free to enter on Thursdays.
So, be sure to schedule your trip accordingly. Let’s head over to The Contemporary Austin. It’s time to let your creative juices run wild!
2 The Bullock Texas State History Museum
This one is for all of the history lovers out there. Are you interested in learning more about what Texas used to be like in the past and how it became what it is today?
If you are, don’t forget to make a pit stop at The Bullock Texas State History Museum.
This is where you’ll learn exactly what Texas is all about. In case the name hasn’t given it away already, the museum focuses on exploring Texas’ history.
Especially the parts that took place in Austin. That’s exactly what makes this one of the best museums in Austin.
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is also a popular activity for school tours.
If you are traveling with children that are under the age of 3, they will get free admission.
However, it costs $9 for children who are over the age of 3 to enter and $13 for adults to enter.
I highly recommend visiting this museum if you want to travel back in time to what Texas used to be back in the day.
This will be an educational experience that you won’t soon forget.
3 Blanton Museum of Art
Here’s another one of the museums in Austin that every art-lover simply has to visit. The Blanton Museum of Art belongs to the University of Texas.
It has plenty of exhibits with beautiful works of art that will mesmerize you.
Contrary to the previous art museum we discussed, the Blanton Museum of Art is more of an art gallery.
You’ll see plenty of paintings and sculptures that were created by locals and internationally acclaimed artists.
The museum was founded in 1963 which makes it one of the oldest museums in Austin. On top of that, it has a collection of over 20,000 art pieces for you to view.
The works of art that you’ll see are also quite diverse.
You’ll get to see Latin Art, Contemporary Art, and Greek Art which will add a cultural twist to your expedition.
So, how much does it cost to explore this spectacular museum? Well, it only cost $12 per adult and $10 for college and high school students.
If you are a teacher with a verifiable ID, you’ll get free admission. How awesome is that?
Visiting the Blanton Museum of Art is an experience that you don’t want to miss out on.
So, get your art hats on and explore the creative nature that Austin has to offer!
If you’re a parent who’s thinking of a fun place to take your little ones, think no more! The Thinkery has got you covered. Let’s be honest.
When we think about museums in Austin, we don’t necessarily think that they’re something that kids will enjoy.
However, what if I told you that the Thinkery is the perfect place for your little ones to have the time of their lives?
As a matter of fact, this museum has been created especially for children so that they can have fun while learning new things.
There are plenty of hands-on exhibits for your little ones to enjoy.
Your kids will be able to experiment with building light structures and they’ll even get to have some fun with bubbles. On top of that, there are launching gliders.
If your little ones are too young to enjoy the hands-on exhibits, they can always have some fun in the play area that was created for babies.
Otherwise, your older kids can have fun in a different play area that has plenty of space to run around in.
The play area even has some streams where your little ones can have a splashing time.
So, if you’re looking for museums in Austin where your kids can have a blast while learning new things, the Thinkery is the way to go!
5 LBJ Presidential Library
Now, this is one of the most interesting museums in Austin. So hold onto your hats and get ready to have your mind blown.
Believe it or not, the LBJ Presidential Library is open to the public.
This is a presidential library that contains a variety of rare and sacred books that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
The museum also has artifacts, documents, and other items that will teach you all there is to know about the country’s presidential history.
Naturally, you can only take pictures and leave footprints.
These items are so important that you won’t be allowed to remove any of them from the location like you’d be able to do at a normal library.
The greatest part is that there’s a lot more to see at the LBJ Presidential Library.
The museum holds some of the most important artifacts that have been gathered throughout the Unites State’s history.
There is even an LBJ Limo that you can look at. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take a ride in it regardless of how tempting it sounds.
On top of that, there is a replica of JBL’s oval office which is something I’m sure none of us had the pleasure to see in person.
So, if you are a patriot for your country, head over to the LBJ Presidential Library to learn more about the country that you call home.
6 Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
Are you looking for museums in Austin that you can visit on a hot, summer day? If you are, I’m pleased to inform you that you have just found one.
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is a museum that is set outdoors.
It has plenty of beautiful sculptures that you can stare in awe at while taking in a breath of fresh air. The area itself is also quite stunning.
You’ll be surrounded by green grass and lush trees that will make you feel like you are more in touch with nature. The garden is filled with bronze sculptures.
Each sculpture was created by a local artist who goes by the name of Charles Umlauf. As a matter of fact, Charles Umlauf was born and raised in Austin.
It’s always great to support local artists in their endeavors. The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is one of the more budget-friendly museums in Austin.
It only costs $7 for adults to enter. If you are visiting with young children it only costs $3 per child.
Otherwise, if your little ones are under the age of $12, you only have to pay $1 per child.
The greatest part is that military veterans get to enter for free. Who knew that outdoor museums even existed?
7 Texas Military Forces Museum
Stand at attention comrades! You are about to learn more about one of the best museums in Austin.
The Texas Military Forces Museum is one of the more interesting museums in Austin.
Especially if you’re someone who admires the United States military forces. You’ll get to learn everything there is to know about Texas’ military.
On top of that, you’ll get to learn more about the Air National Guard and the State Guard in Texas.
If you’re interested in war history, you’ll also love the Texas Military Forces Museum.
The museum has exhibits that teach you all about the wars that have taken place in the state over the past few decades.
This includes but is not limited to World War I, World War II, the great Mexican War, and the Texas Revolution.
This is a great place to take your kids if they are studying for an upcoming history exam.
However, it’s also a great place to learn more about Austin and the special forces that turned the city into what it is today.
So, head over to the Texas Military Forces Museum to get to know how the war impacted the development of Austin, Texas.
8 Elisabet Ney Museum
Are you looking for budget-friendly museums in Austin? If you are, look no further.
The Elisabet Ney Museum is not only budget-friendly, but it is also completely free to enter.
It might not be one of the biggest museums in Austin but it’s still a spectacular place to visit.
Elisabet Ney was once a famous artist who was born and raised in Austin, Texas.
She created stunning works of art that are spectacular enough for any art lover to appreciate.
There aren’t too many works of art and exhibits for you to stroll through. So, don’t expect to spend an entire day at the Elisabet Ney Museum.
However, what the museum lacks in size, it makes up for in the quality of the art.
You’ll get to see all of Elisabet Ney’s works of art as well as precious artifacts that have been collected from her home.
She played quite a significant role in Austin’s history which is what makes the museum so significant.
The museum also has a writing studio that is situated on the third story of the building. Elisabet Ney and her husband used this writing studio to write letters and other important documents.
One thing is certain. Visiting the Elisabet Ney Museum may be a quick pit stop, but it will definitely be worth your while.
9 Mexic-Arte Museum
Are you looking for museums in Austin that will add a cultural touch to your day out? If you are, Mexic-Arte Museum is the way to go!
The Mexic-Arte Museum is all about expressing art that comes from different backgrounds and cultures. However, its primary focal point is Mexican art.
The works of art that you’ll see here are unlike anything you’ll see at an ordinary art gallery. I guess that’s what makes this museum so spectacular.
The Mexic-Arte Museum first opened its doors in 1984 and it has grown in popularity over the past few decades.
It has a wide variety of exhibits that display Mexican and Latino art. If you’re looking for budget-friendly museums in Austin, be sure to stop by on a Sunday. There are no admission fees that need to be paid on Sundays. However, even paying for admission during the week will be worth the money you spend.
10 Harry Ransom Center
There are plenty of art museums in Austin and the Harry Ransom Center is another one of them.
This is one of the best museums in Austin for those who enjoy art and have a creative side.
For starters, there are a variety of exhibits that you can stroll through, each of which holds exquisite works of art that are guaranteed to leave you standing in awe.
You’ll also see some literary artifacts that are quite rare. That means you’re unlikely to see them anywhere else.
On top of that, the Harry Ransom Center is home to some cultural artifacts such as the Gutenberg Bible.
If you want to see something extra spectacular, be sure to stop by the exhibit that displays the very first photograph that was ever taken.
There are also millions of military literary items for you to scroll through. If you want to gain access to rare documents, be sure to visit the Viewing Room.
You won’t be allowed to touch any of the documents since they are extremely rare, but looking at them is definitely something that you should add to your bucket list.
11 Neill-Cochran House Museum
Here’s another one of the best museums in Austin for all of the history lovers out there.
The Neill-Cochran House Museum isn’t any ordinary museum.
No, you won’t be strolling through an art gallery or looking at beautifully carved sculptures like you would at the rest of the museums that we have discussed.
As a matter of fact, this is one of the most unique historical museums that you’ll find in Texas.
The Neill-Cochran House Museum is, in actual fact, a house that used to belong to Neill Cochran.
It was first built in 1854 which makes it one of the oldest historical structures in Texas.
The Neill-Cochran House Museum used to be a home for runaway slaves who were seeking shelter.
This means that stepping into the museum will be like stepping into an important part of Austin, Texas history.
The whole purpose of the museum is to educate people on slavery and how it impacted victims in the past.
Its secondary purpose is to raise awareness of the trauma that slaves had to go through so that history doesn’t repeat itself.
In general, I would say that the Neill-Cochran House Museum is an admirable museum that teaches visitors about the cold and hard truths of the past.
So, if you’d like to get a taste of history and learn about slavery, the Neill-Cochran House Museum is the place to go.
12 Austin Museum of Popular Culture
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Austin’s culture, be sure to make a pit stop at the Austin Museum of Popular Culture.
This is one of the museums in Austin where music, art and culture come together. If you love the golden oldies, you will also love this museum.
Once you walk in, you’ll see music posters that stretch all the way back to the 1960s.
You’ll also see vintage music items that were used decades ago.
The purpose of the Austin Museum of Popular Culture is to educate the public on what music used to be like back in the day.
It also exhibits artifacts that show why Austin is popularly known to be one of the biggest musical cities in Texas.
I’m not sure about you, but this sounds like my kind of museum!
13 Austin Rock & Roll Car Museum
Get your head into gear and get ready to visit one of the most epic museums in Austin!
The Austin Rock & Roll Car Museum is a dream come true for every car lover out there.
There are plenty of exhibits with items that you’ve probably never seen before. For starters, you’ll get to see historical race cars that will leave you standing in awe.
On top of that, you’ll see some famous cars that were used in movies. How awesome is that?
The cars that you’ll see will probably make you envious of whoever got to drive them before they became a part of the museum.
So, if you are a car fanatic, your piece of heaven awaits!
14 Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata
The Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata has all sorts of weird and wonderful collections for you to browse through.
The reason I say that it’s weird and wonderful is due to the fact that you probably won’t expect some of these items to be displayed in a museum.
For starters, did you know that the Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata has a snow globe collection? How cool is that?
This museum is all about preserving collectible items that most people would keep in their home.
There’s even an entire section of the museum that is dedicated to sleep.
Now, do you see why I say it’s both weird and wonderful?
15 Austin Nature & Science Center
The Austin Nature & Science Center is one of my personal favorite museums in Austin.
This is primarily due to the fact that it brings science, education, and nature together.
The museum first opened its doors in the 1960s and it has grown in popularity ever since.
There are a bunch of interesting exhibits for you to stroll through.
For starters, there is a wildlife exhibit where you can learn more about the wildlife that inhabits the area.
If you’re visiting the museum with children, they can become mini paleontologists and search for fossils in the Dino pit.
There is also a human sundial and a beehive observation center that you can explore. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the pond area. It’s absolutely breathtaking!
That concludes our list of the best museums in Austin. There are plenty of options to choose from.
As a matter of fact, it may be hard to decide on a single museum to visit.
In that case, you could always create a bucket list and visit as many of these museums as you have time for.
The greatest part about the museums in Austin is the fact that the majority of them teach you valuable information about Austin’s culture and history.
Once you visit these museums, you’ll have a better understanding of what the city is all about. Besides, museums are the best way to have a budget-friendly day out.
So, are you ready for your next expedition? Head over to one of these museums today. You won’t regret it!