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8 Best Museums in Richmond VA 🖼 | Art, History, Kids, Free & Civil War Museums in Richmond VA

Last Updated on: 31st July 2023, 04:03 pm

Are you visiting or moving to Richmond? This beautiful capital city offers a wide variety of incredible attractions, including museums! As one of America’s oldest cities, Richmond is full of history and culture for visitors and residents to explore. Richmond is also only 109 miles from the nation’s capital of Washington DC, so consider checking out both cities for some of the greatest museums in the country!

Whether you are looking for an art museum, science museum, or children’s museum, Richmond has it all. These are some of the best museums in Richmond that you can’t miss out on!

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | Free Richmond Art Museum Open 365 Days a Year

First opened in 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. This Richmond museum features some of the best modern and contemporary art in the world. In 2010, VMFA went through a four-year expansion project, which added more than 165,000 square feet to the already standing 380,000 square feet. Today, the museum has over 50,000 art pieces from all over the world.

Some of the biggest collections include Art Deco, English silver, Art Nouveau, Modern, Impressionist, and Contemporary art. VMFA is open 365 days a year, and general admission is always free.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Hours, Address & Admission Prices

Science Museum of Virginia | Unique Richmond VA Museum With Activities for People of All Ages

When searching for the best Richmond museums, you can’t skip out on the Science Museum of Virginia. This 223,000 square-foot building was established in 1970 in the old Broad Street Station, which was the city’s most popular passenger rail station for decades beforehand. This interactive science museum is unlike anything else. Visitors can spend all day traveling through the building’s four floors, learning about subjects such as wellness, innovation, and physical sciences.

The SMV is also home to The Dome, which is the largest screen in all of Virginia, stretching nearly a quarter of an acre! This giant screen transports you into a different world, with 360º views of space, the rainforest, Antarctica, and more.

If you are living in Richmond with children, you may also want to check out the museum’s summer camp programs. With themes such as ‘Space Survival,’ ‘Remarkable Robots,’ and ‘Expedition Environment,’ your child can have a blast while learning about how the world works.

Science Museum of Virginia Hours, Address & Admission Prices

Address: 2500 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220

Phone Number: (804) 864-1400

Hours: Mon-Sun: 9:30am-5pm

Admission Price: $16.00 for adults; $13.50 for seniors (60+); $13.50 for youth (6-12); $10.00 preschool (3-5); Free for children under 2

Children’s Museum of Richmond | Interactive Richmond Museum for Children of All Ages

Searching for the best Richmond children’s museum? Grab your little ones and head to the Children’s Museum of Richmond! This 44,000 square-foot facility is located on West Broad Street in the heart of downtown Richmond. The Children’s Museum of Richmond features dozens of engaging exhibits primarily for children ages 0 to 8.

Children visiting CMR are encouraged to interact with the different exhibits, allowing them to be doctors, astronauts, farmers, and bankers. Children can learn about real-world skills and professions while having the time of their lives! This museum is especially attractive in the summertime, as they offer both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Children’s Museum of Richmond Hours, Address & Admission Prices

  • Address: 2626 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
  • Phone Number: (804) 474-7000
  • Hours: Tues-Sun: 9:30am-5pm; Closed Mondays
  • Admission Price: $9.00 for adults and children; $8.00 for seniors; Free for children under 12 months; $1 military discount

The Poe Museum | Cozy Richmond Virginia Museum Dedicated to Writer Edgar Allen Poe

The Poe Museum is located at the “Old Stone House,” which was built in 1740 and is the oldest residential building in Richmond. This small museum is dedicated to writer and poet Edgar Allen Poe. Although Poe never lived in the Old Stone House, he lived in Richmond for most of his life and grew up only a few blocks away.

The museum consists of three buildings and focuses on different aspects of Poe’s life and legacy. The first building contains artifacts from Poe’s life such as his piano, childhood bed, and other furniture. The second building is dedicated to his writing and contains many first and early editions of Poe’s most famous works. The last building focuses on Edgar Allen Poe’s mysterious death.

If you want more of a personalized experience, you can join one of the public guided tours, which will give you background information on all of the historical artifacts.

The Poe Museum Hours, Address & Admission Prices

  • Address: 1914 E Main St, Richmond, VA 23223
  • Phone Number: (804) 648-5523
  • Hours: Tues-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm; Closed on Monday
  • Admission Price: $10 for adults; $7 for seniors (60+), youth (7-17), AAA members, and veterans; free for active duty military and children under 6


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The Valentine | Longest-Standing Richmond VA History Museum

Out of all of the Richmond VA museums, The Valentine will provide you with the most history about the city itself. The Valentine was founded in 1898 and was the first museum in Richmond. This museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting Richmond’s nearly 400-year-old history. 

The Valentine has a permanent exhibition titled ‘This is Richmond, Virginia.’ This exhibition tells the complete story of how Richmond came to be. Aside from the permanent exhibition, The Valentine also offers many rotating exhibitions as well as research opportunities and special events. The museum also offers walking tours of the city, which takes visitors to many historical areas such as Downtown Richmond, Shockoe Bottom and Hollywood Cemetery.

The Valentine Hours, Address & Admission Prices

  • Address: 1015 E Clay St, Richmond, VA 23219
  • Phone Number: (804) 649-0711
  • Hours: Fri-Wed: 10am-5pm; Thurs: 10am-7pm; Closed on Monday
  • Admission Price: $10 for adults; $8 for seniors (55+); Free for children under 18, students with ID, and military personnel

The American Civil War Museum | Top-Rated Richmond Virginia History Museum

The American Civil War Museum is one of the highest-rated museums in Richmond, VA. The goal of ACWM is to acknowledge the past and discuss how our lives today are influenced by it. This Richmond museum uses Civil War-era documents and artifacts, militaria, battle flags, and more to understand the war’s causes, course, and consequences.

The ACWM is a multi-site museum with three different locations. The American Civil War Museum – Historic Tredegar and The White House of the Confederacy are both in Richmond. The American Civil War Museum – Appomattox, is in Appomattox, VA. The museum offers packages where you can purchase tickets to multiple sites at once. 

Along with the artifacts on display, the ACWM has weekly events and activities with guest speakers, authors, and more.

The American Civil War Museum Hours, Address, & Admission Prices

  • Address: 480 Tredegar St, Richmond, VA 23219
  • Phone Number: (804) 649-1861
  • Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm; Closed on Monday
  • Admission Price: $18 for adults; $16 for seniors, veterans, teachers, and students; $9 for youth (6-17); Free for kids under 6 and Virginia Public School teachers and students

The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU | Free Art Museum in Richmond With Unique Exhibitions

If you are on the hunt for free museums in Richmond, VA, then check out the Institute for Contemporary Art located inside of Virginia Commonwealth University. This Richmond museum features contemporary art from all over the world and offers exhibitions, film screenings, public lectures, performances, and more.

Because this museum is located inside of a university, you can often find artwork and displays from current students and staff of the school. Admission into The Institute for Contemporary Art is always free, however some programs may require advance registration.

The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU Hours, Address, & Admission Prices

The Virginia Holocaust Museum | Public Richmond History Museum Dedicated to the Victims of the Holocaust

First opened in 1997, The Virginia Holocaust Museum is one of the best museums in Richmond, Virginia. With the same mission as the Civil War Museum, The Virginia Holocaust museum aims to help us remember history, rather than to avoid the atrocities we have faced. This center is dedicated to depicting the history of the Holocaust through its archival collections, permanent exhibitions, educational programming, and stories of victims and survivors.

The VHM features a few permanent exhibits that aim to educate visitors on the chronological history of the Holocaust. They are also the permanent home to the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. In addition to these exhibits, there are also many rotating exhibits on everything from Holocaust photographers, to concentration camps, to artwork from the time period.

Due to the graphic nature of the subject matter, it is recommended that children should be in at least 6th grade before attending.  

The Virginia Holocaust Museum Hours, Address, & Admission Prices

  • Address: 2000 E Cary St, Richmond, VA 23223
  • Phone Number: (804) 257-5400
  • Hours: Sat-Sun: 11am-5pm; Temporarily closed from Mon-Fri due to renovations
  • Admission Price: Free, donations encouraged

Map of Museums in Richmond VA

Any one of these museums in Richmond, VA are sure to be educational and informative. If you are in the process of moving to the area, then you need the best Richmond movers to help you! Call Richmond movers today at (804) 836-4954 to discuss your move and receive a free quote.


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