Virginia Museum of Fine Arts#1 in Best Things To Do in Richmond
Price & Hours
Most visitors are impressed with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, comparing its collections to what you would find in the art museums of much larger cities.
This Museum District standout is best known for its five gorgeous Fabergé eggs, but it also features works by Degas, Cézanne and Renoir, and large collections of African, Indian and Tibetan art. Recent visitors were especially impressed with the McGlothlin Collection of American Art. In addition to its permanent collections, the VMFA regularly operates a series of temporary exhibits that explore everything from Black life in Virginia to jewelry to Asian religions.
Reviewers said it's impossible to see everything in just one visit and recommend setting aside at least several hours to peruse. If you can, try visiting more than once during your Richmond trip. Not only will you need time to see all the interior exhibits, but you'll want additional time to explore the grounds and the museum's sculpture garden. Aside from the amazing collections, travelers were also impressed with Amuse Restaurant, located on-site (often considered one of Richmond's best restaurants).
The museum is located about 4 miles west of downtown Richmond. The VMFA opens at 10 a.m. every day. Saturday through Tuesday the museum closes at 5 p.m.; on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the galleries and shop are open until 9 p.m. General admission is always free, but special exhibits and events may require tickets. You'll have to pay an extra $6 for parking. If you'd rather avoid the fee, Greater Richmond Transit Company bus route No. 77 services the area. Visit the museum's official website for further details.
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#2 Virginia State Capitol
In 1861, following Virginia's secession from the Union, Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy. The city's capitol building subsequently became the home of both the state's General Assembly as well as the Confederate Congress. Today, visitors stop by this imposing building not only to learn of Virginia's government history but to snap photos of its architecture, as it was partially designed by Thomas Jefferson (Charles-Louis Clerisseau, a French architect, also lent a hand). The surrounding area, known as Capitol Square, has several monuments dedicated to the civil rights movement, as well as to prominent Virginians like Edgar Allan Poe and George Washington.
Recent visitors said they were pleasantly surprised by how interesting a visit to the capitol building proved to be. Along with the unique architecture, reviewers also praised the knowledgeable guides and encouraged future visitors to join in on a free guided tour.
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