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This Giant Boston Museum Has the Largest Collection of Monet Paintings Outside of France

Boston Museums
by Morgane Croissant Aug 22, 2023

There’s no need to buy a flight to Europe to see a world-class museum. The Louvre and the British Museum may be immense historical buildings filled with paintings by the great masters, Egyptian mummies, and Greek antiquities, but so is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (also known as MFA), and getting there is much easier than making your way to Paris or London. Actually, the MFA, is on par with many reputed museums: it has the largest collection of Monet paintings outside of France, for example, and that alone is reason enough to pay it a visit. Add to it the fact that it’s got over 65,000 pieces of art from Ancient Egypt, Nubia, and the Near East and you’ve got yourself a bucket-list museum.

Where is the Museum of Fine Arts Boston?

The museum is located in the Fenway-Kenmore area of the city, just 10 minutes on foot from Fenway Park, the famous baseball stadium that is home to the Red Sox.

The exact address of the MFA Boston is: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, United States

How to get to the MFA Boston?

The subway station “Museum of Fine Arts Boston”, located four minutes on foot from the entrance to the museum, is serviced by branch E of the Green Line (GLE). The Green Line easily connects with the Orange Line and Red Line that serve downtown, and with the Blue Line that serves Logan International Airport. Consult Boston’s map of public transports to plan your journey.

Parking at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

There are three parking garages on Museum Road, just a couple of minutes on foot from the entrance to the museum:

  • The Museum of Fine Arts Parking Garage
  • The Museum of Fine Arts – Fenway Lot
  • The Museum of Fine Arts – Huntington Lot

All three parking lots charge the same rate: $12 for one hour; $24 for two hours; $32 for two to five hours; $36 for more than five hours.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston tickets

General admission to the museum is $27 for adults; $10 for children between the age of seven and 17; children aged six and under enter for free.

Everyone who wants to visit the Museum of Fine Arts must get a ticket, even those for whom admission is free. Note that certain exhibitions require a timed-entry ticket. Timed-entry tickets for special exhibitions include access to the museum’s permanent collection.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston free admission

Members of the Museum of Fine Arts, and children aged six and under enter for free.

Massachusetts residents can enter the museum for free on:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday of January)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday of May)
  • Juneteenth (June 19)
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day (second Monday in October)

Discounted admission ($5 minimum) is available after 5 PM on specific Thursdays throughout the year. Consult the museum’s website to plan your discounted museum visit.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston hours of operation

The museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Thursday and Friday, the museum is open from 10 AM to 10 PM.

The museum is closed every Tuesday, and on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston late night visits

The museum is open late, until 10 PM, on Thursday and Friday.

The most famous pieces at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts is home to many world-famous pieces, including, but not limited to:

  • Katsushika Hokusai’s Under the Wave off Kanagawa also know as The Great Wave
  • Frida Khalo’s Dos Mujeres
  • Gauguin’s Where Do We Come From?
  • John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit
  • Vincent Van Gogh’s Postman Joseph Roulin
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Dance at Bougival
  • Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, among many other renowned pieces by the artist

While the museum’s world-famous pieces are some of the most popular, don’t focus on them only. There are plenty of smaller, lesser-known works that will capture your imagination and likely win your heart, like the 14th-century-BC drinking vessel in the shape of a fist in the Ancient Near Eastern collection; the ivory and horn netsuke in the shape of a hare holding three fruit under its paw in the Japanese Art collection; or even the wool and mohair tapestry titled Tapestry: Greenery depicting a idyllic forest scene on view in the European Textile collection.

To protect all of the art works in the museum against pests, in 2018 the FMA hired a special worker: Riley, a Weimaraner. Although Riley works behind the scene, you may catch a glimpse of this adorable museum mascot during your visit.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston restaurants

There are three food and drinks options on site at the museum:

  • Taste: For pastries, snacks, and beverages (hot, cold, and alcoholic)
  • Garden Cafeteria: For pizzas, salads, bagels, soup, ice cream, and various beverages
  • New American Café: A tableside service venue that offers hot and cold dishes, and mouth-watering desserts

Museum of Fine Arts Boston gift shop

There are three gift shops within the museum, offering various items from books to prints, home decor, jewellery, and even pieces branded with the MFA logo. Make sure you stop by the shops after your visit — you might find a book about or a poster of a piece that caught your eye, or just a fun mug. Note that the museum also offers custom prints and framing.

Can you get married at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston?

The Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

The Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. Photo: Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

Three of the museum’s spaces are available for rent for special events such as weddings, holiday parties, etc.:

  • The William I. Koch Gallery, a large, high-ceilinged room with dusty pink walls where European paintings from 1550 to 1700 are displayed.
  • The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard, a modern glass-covered courtyard built in 2010.
  • The Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, a modern structure with a vaulted glass ceiling.

Hotels near the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

If you’re looking for a rental in Boston, consult Matador’s selection of the best Airbnbs in Boston, from Beacon Hill to a ship in the Harbor. If you’d rather stay in a fancy hotel, Matador’s list of perfectly located striking Boston hotel should help.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

The Verb Hotel

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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What started as a small motor hotel in 1959 is now one of the trendiest and most fun places to stay in Boston. The Verb Hotel is all about keeping the spirit of Rock N’ Roll alive in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood and it sure works. All 93 of the hotel’s guest rooms are modern and well appointed with turntables, Marshalls speakers, and Rock N’ Roll posters on the walls, but it’s the Backstage Trailers — actual fancy trailers where guest can spend the night — that win visitors’ heart. The fact that there’s an immaculate 1947 Greyhound bus that could pass for a band’s tour bus keep the coolometer high, but the pool, sundeck, and on-site Japanese tavern help, too. The Verb Hotel is 11 minutes on foot from the MFA.

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Hotel Commonwealth

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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Located 18 minutes on foot away from the FMA, the Hotel Commonwealth is not just any luxurious accommodation: It’s the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox, making it the place to stay for many out-of-towners. The property has 245 plush and elegant rooms and suites, some with views of Fenway Park and Kenmore Square, and all with superb amenities: wardrobe steamers, Malin+Goetz bath products, coffee makers, and more. There are three dining venues on site, including a sushi restaurant, an udon noodle brasserie, and a seafood-focused grill.

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