The 5 Best Museums in Minneapolis

Photo of Michelle Schmid
9 February 2017

As the largest city in Minnesota, Minneapolis has a thriving scene for the arts, music, restaurants and culture that draws visitors to explore its Midwestern streets. With a metro center full of memorable landmarks and the presence of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis is a great place to go museum hopping. Check it out…

‘Spoonbridge and Cherry’ with view of Minneapolis | © Matthew Deery/Flickr

Walker Art Museum

One of the five most visited contemporary art museums in the United States, the Walker Art Museum is definitely one of Minneapolis’ defining attributes. Not only does the building offer a fascinating architectural design, the center brings a variety of different types of art, from visual paintings and sculpture to performances to the public. Outside, visitors can explore one of the favorite sites of the city: the Minneapolis sculpture garden, which is home to the iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture.

Otter bones at the Bell Museum of Natural History | © Bjorn Watland/Flickr

Bell Museum of Natural History

Head over to the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus to explore the many scientific exhibits of the Bell Museum of Natural History. Explore a variety of dioramas that delve into the natural history of the world. Scientists from this museum travel around the planet collecting information and research for the museum. Thus, the Bell Museum has a constant rotation of exhibits that allows a broad expanse of knowledge for every visitor. Learn about research being conducted in the rainforests of South America, or discover a multitude of bird species – the choice is yours!

Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN, US. +1 612 626 9660

Minneapolis Institute of the Arts

Map View
For a more traditional experience of art, hang out at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, which houses a large collection of art from way back in history. Visitors can experience the vibrant colors of original works by well-known artists such as Monet and Matisse, or marvel at the creative skill the ancient Romans used to craft intricate sculptures of the human body. This museum is an extensive network of hallways and new surprises with every turn that will leave any visitor in awe.

American Swedish Institute

Tap into the Scandinavian background of Minnesota by taking a trip to the American Swedish Institute, which is housed in a beautiful castle-like mansion built by a Swedish immigrant family in the early 1900s. While the museum offers exhibitions that explore Swedish culture, the entire museum is a cultural experience in itself, offering music and other things to chronicle the cultures of many different nationalities and backgrounds. Visitors can enjoy performing arts and contemporary art, shop for Nordic gifts or taste the flavors of new Nordic cuisine.

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 871 4907

The Bakken Museum

Along the shore of Lake Calhoun rests the mansion and gardens that make up this scientific museum devoted primarily to the force of electricity. The Bakken Museum takes its name after an electrical engineer from the early 20th century, and is focused on sparking interest in the currents of electricity that course through every day life. It’s a scientifically focused museum with interactive exhibits great for kids and adults.

Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US, +1 612 926 3878

By Michelle Schmid

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