The 21st-century city of Houston is a flourishing center of the arts, home to world-class museums, renowned art galleries, and a huge community of talented artists. If you want to visit museums in Houston, the heart of the art world is in the Houston Museum District, which has 19 museums. All of them, as well as the 50-acre zoo, are within easy reach and are accessible by METRORail. The Houston Museum District is one of the largest cultural districts in the country, with a space of more than 46 thousand square meters for exhibitions and six million annual visitors.
Where to start the tour? Follow our guide through these tourist places in Houston that help define the character and cultural atmosphere of the fourth largest metropolis in the United States.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON
Metal Sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Start your encounter with art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, MFAH ( Houston Museum of Fine Arts), located on Bissonnet and Main Street. Founded in 1900, the MFAH is the oldest and most prominent museum in Texas.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR: Being a dynamic cultural complex in the heart of the Houston Museum District. It has two gallery buildings, a cinema theater designed by Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe, and a quiet sculpture garden to inspire visitors of all ages.
DON’T MISS: The underground tunnel, Wilson Tunnel, which connects the two main buildings of the museum. In the tunnel, you will see the famous installation of James Turrell, called The Light Inside. Its changing lights make the walk a unique experience.
EXPERT DATA: Visit for an encounter with art and stay to attend talks, guided tours, and to practice drawing in the galleries (all included in your general admission ticket).
Meals + Drinks
To recharge the energies, you have several places at your disposal.
MFA Café – It is located on the ground floor of the museum’s Beck building. At the counter, you can order salads, sandwiches and pasta.
Monarch – Located a few steps from the museum at the ZaZa Hotel , this restaurant for more formal meals has a trendy bar to see and be seen.
The Raven Grill – For more casual meals, less than 2 miles from the museum, you can taste typical South American American dishes at a cozy neighborhood fair.
CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM HOUSTON
Diagonally of the MFAH, there is the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston , CAMH (Museum of Contemporary Art of Houston) that would be your next stop. You will be struck by its gleaming metal structure and a palm tree that springs from a pyramid (which is actually a sculpture by the Houston-born artist known internationally, Mel Chin).
IT IS HIGHLIGHTED BY: Presenting award-winning art exhibitions in its emblematic parallelogram-shaped steel building.
DON’T MISS: The museum shop, where you will find jewelry designed by artists and gifts for the whole family.
EXPERT DATA: Admission to this museum is always free.
Meals + Drinks
Nippon Japanese Restaurant – Approximately one kilometer from the CAMH, you will find in this restaurant the authentic Japanese food. The place is well known for serving the best Ramen soup in Houston.
HOLOCAUST MUSEUM HOUSTON
Three blocks away is the Houston Holocaust Museum , HMH ( Houston Holocaust Museum ). It is one of the largest and most important institutions in the country dedicated to remembering the meaning of the Holocaust.
HIGHLIGHTED BY: Educate students and the general public about the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society.
DON’T MISS: In its award-winning permanent exhibition, Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers , the museum presents life stories of Holocaust survivors, native to the Houston area.
EXPERT DATA: Every weekend, at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30, free guided tours are offered.
Meals + Drinks
Bodegas Taco Shop – This place, located two blocks from the Holocaust Museum, offers a variety of tacos and more than 10 flavors of salsa.
HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE
A few blocks from the Holocaust Museum, make your next stop at the Houston Museum of Natural Science , where the art of nature is the protagonist. The exhibits and the general program of the activities of this museum attract visitors of all ages.
HIGHLIGHTED BY: One of the largest collections of gems and minerals worldwide, with more than 750 beautifully crystallized specimens.
DON’T MISS: The new hall dedicated to paleontology (Paleontology Hall), two stories high and the size of a football field, where you can see hundreds of fossils, including several dinosaurs.
EXPERT DATA: Every Thursday, from 2 to 5 pm (closing time), admission is free to the permanent exhibits of the museum.
Meals + Drinks
McDonald’s – It is located on the ground floor of the museum.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF HOUSTON
Kids Standing in Front of Children’s Museum of Houston
Within walking distance, the Children’s Museum of Houston , CMH ( Houston Children’s Museum ), is an excellent place to visit in Houston, full of interactive educational and entertainment activities for the whole family.
IT IS HIGHLIGHTED BY: Being named in 2011 by Parents Magazine the No.1 Children’s Museum in the United States
DON’T MISS: Kidtropolis, USA – a fascinating attraction that simulates the life of a metropolis, with all its institutions and services. Children have the possibility of being in charge of the entire city and running it, being municipal leaders, voters, workers, owners of different businesses and buyers. And they will even have their debit card to learn how to manage their personal finances.
EXPERT DATA: To avoid the crowds, visit the museum very early in the morning or at the end of the afternoon.
Meals + Drinks
Kid’s Cafe – In this cafe, which is inside the museum, you can order fresh and healthy meals at affordable prices, including salads and sandwiches. Vegetarian options are also available.
Lucille’s – In this picturesque restaurant, located two blocks from the museum, the cuisine of the South of the United States reigns, with specialties such as fried oysters, fried green tomatoes and the famous Lucilll’s chili biscuits.
THE HEALTH MUSEUM
In the next block, the whole family can learn about the health, well-being and wonders of human anatomy at The Health Museum , the most visited health museum in the country.
HIGHLIGHTED BY: The giant model of the human body, with the ribs that reach the roof and the brain of the size larger than your car. Visitors can walk through this interactive exhibit and learn about the functioning of different organs of the human body.
DON’T MISS: Planet You 3D, the 3D movie that shows microscopic shots of the small organisms that live on your skin.
EXPERT DATA: Entrance to the museum is free every Thursday from 2 to 5 pm