This post provides details about the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, what to see and do here, ticket pricing details and discounts.
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is the main art museum in Boston. It is one of the largest museums in the United States with over 450,000 works of art in its collection.
In addition to all the artwork, this museum also has an excellent Egyptian Mummy section as well as silverwork from the great patriot Paul Revere.
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is open 7 days a week (with the exception of certain holidays). Here are their hours:
- Sat–Tue: 10 am - 5 pm
- Wed–Fri: 10 am - 10 pm
Photos and videos are permitted for noncommercial use, but flash photography and the use of implementations such as tripods are not allowed.
There are two free coat check rooms and all items larger than 11” x 15” must be checked in. Bags and backpacks smaller than this will be allowed into the museum.
Some items, such as laptops, cameras and other valuables cannot be checked in or held in the coat check room.
If you’re looking for a place to store these items, please check our post about luggage storage in Boston.
With so much to see how can one see all of it in one day? You don’t have to! A ticket to visit the MFA includes all-day access and one repeat visit within 10 days.
In addition to that, there are also free days where you can simply provide a voluntary contribution for admission to the museum, allowing you to save money on tickets.
- $25/Adults | $23/Seniors, Students | $10/Youth (7-17)
- Free admission for youths on weekends/weekdays after 3 pm.
- Children under 6 years of age get in for free.
- Purchase tickets or learn more.
Aside from the options for free admission, there are also several ways to save money on tickets which we will cover in our discounts section.
This section will cover each of the deals currently available on tickets to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
We include details about tourist passes, military discounts and free days.
Tourist Discount Passes
Admission to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is currently included on three different types of tourist pass, allowing you to save anywhere from 20% - 55% off or more.
The easiest option is a build-your-own-pass, which allows you to save 20% off two or more attractions.
Another option is an all-inclusive pass, which provides access to dozens of activities for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days).
Since you have to pay a flat price for this service, you need to use it for as much as possible to get the best deal.
If you’re wondering about what types of activities you can enjoy with these tourist passes, here are a few of the most popular options:
- JFK Presidential Library & Museum
- Harvard Museum of Natural History
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Hop-on-Hop-off Trolley
- New England Aquarium
- Six Flags New England
- Museum of Science
- Franklin Park Zoo
- MIT Museum
- And more!
Although these passes will grant you discounted admission into the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, it is important to remember that the second visit they offer to ticket holders will not be valid with this pass.
You must purchase an individual ticket if you want to come back within one week to see the museum again.
For more information about these services, please read our post covering Boston tourist passes.
There are several ways to enjoy free or discounted admission to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
The most popular and frequent option is to come on Wednesday nights from 4 pm - 10 pm, at which time you can pay whatever you wish to enter the museum.
This location is also open to all visitors on the following days:
- Indigenous Peoples’ Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Lunar New Year Celebration
- Memorial Day
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is a Blue Star Museum, which means they offer free admission to all active duty, national guard, reserve military personnel & their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year.
That said, the MFA actually takes things a step further, offering all active-duty military, veterans and five family members free admission all year long.
They also provide free tours for all military families, active duty service members, and veterans.
If you decide to support the museum by becoming a member, you can also get a $30 discount on your membership.
All that is required is to present your military ID at the ticket counter!
If you’re a student attending college in New Hampshire or Maine, you may be eligible for free admission to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Students are also eligible for $5 tickets on film nights when purchased in person on the day of screening, and they can get a 10% discount on purchases at the Museum shops.
All you need to do is provide your student ID in order to receive these discounts!
Museums on Us
If you’re either a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch customer, you can receive free admission during the first full weekend of each month simply by presenting your debit/credit card and a photo ID.
This discount is not transferable to family members or loved ones.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Discounts
If you bring your Museum of Fine Arts ticket stub to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum within two days of purchase, you can save $2 off adult and senior general admission.
Combine this with the other great discounts available at this museum and you might not have to pay much at all to get inside!
With hundreds of thousands of different pieces in their collection, there is plenty to see at the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
This section provides details about a few of the more interesting items and exhibitions they have on display.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn about the history of currency, the Museum of Fine Arts actually has a very extensive collection of around 7,500 coins from throughout human history.
There is a free iPad app you can download which will allow you to zoom into the coins and even flip them over to see the other side!
Homer and the Epics
The work of the famous poet Homer has been so prolific that there have been several pieces of art developed over the years that reference his stories, including illustrations of scenes from the Iliad and The Odyssey.
This exhibit focuses on many of the different ways in which Homer’s tales have inspired other artists.
The ancient Egyptians are renowned for their art, and some of their most impressive work was done on sarcophagi and other funerary items.
This exhibit features painted coffins, statues, magical equipment, canopic jars and more artifacts that were used in the mummification process.
Since you’re in Boston, you might as well make a stop at this historic painting of the hometown hero Paul Revere.
Believe it or not, this piece of art was completed 5 years before the Boston Tea Party, but it wasn’t available for public viewing until 1928!
Houses at Auvers
This is one of the last paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, and it depicts a scene from the town where he lived before passing away.
Many art critics say you can see his mental issues bleeding through into the painting, as he didn’t let the paint dry before adding more to it, creating the effect of almost making the world in his painting appear to melt.
In addition to everything you can see and experience at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, there are also a few activities you can enjoy. This section will provide details about tours, films, and concerts available at the museum.
If a self-guided trip through the museum seems daunting, consider taking one of the free tours offered daily at the MFA. Guided tours are included with the cost of admission and they last for between 30 - 60 minutes.
The tours provided change every half hour and there are at least 9-10 different opportunities each day. To find out which service will be available when you visit, please check their tour calendar.
You can ask about joining a tour at the Sharf Visitor Center or call 617-369-3395 to schedule a group tour.
Alternatively, they also offer curated conversations covering specific exhibits every Sunday from 2 pm - 3 pm.
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts regularly screens a variety of films throughout the year. Most films will be screened for anywhere from 1-2 weeks, ensuring you’ll have an opportunity to see something new with each visit!
Tickets are $13 for non-members, $10 for members and $5 for Students. For more details, check their calendar of films.
In addition to their film screenings, the MFA also holds special concerts throughout the year representing a variety of different genres of music.
There are at least a few concerts per month and ticket prices are usually between $20-$30.
For more information, check their calendar of concerts.
- Things to Do in Boston
- Where to Store Your Luggage
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- Boston's Free Museums