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Whether an art lover or not, a trip to Chicago isn’t complete without a visit to the city’s Art Institute, and the critics agree. In 2014 TripAdvisor, the popular website for frequent travelers, published a list of the world’s top museums, and The Art Institute came out on top.

ThinkstockPhotos-122553675The museum, which encompasses 5,000 years of human expression and contains more than 260,000 works of art, is staggered over three levels and has art from more than 50 countries on six continents. In addition to its permanent displays, the museum hosts 30 rotating exhibitions and hundreds of gallery talks and performances each year.

The diverse collections include pieces from a variety of media including painting, prints, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, textiles, architectural drawings and more. The Institute is known for its collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings including Georges Seurat’s 1884 “A Sunday Afternoon on La Grand Jatte,” Renoir’s 1879 “Acrobats at the Circque Fernando,” Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and numerous paintings by Claude Monet.

Here are a few Art Institute stops that shouldn’t go missed:

General admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. and always free for children under the age of 14. For more information on museum hours and ticket prices click here.

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