A Smithsonian affiliate museum in San Antonio, the Institute of Texan Cultures celebrates the indigenous people and immigrants from many different cultures who have helped shape Texas through the years. Exhibits on race, military history, and folklore help visitors understand the region’s rich cultural heritage.
A variety of exhibits and special events, informed by community artifacts, explore the more than 20 original cultural groups that settled in Texas at this museum, which is part of the University of Texas San Antonio. Tour through six exhibit spaces that explore Texas and more than 300 years of San Antonio history. Hop-on hop-off and trolley tours make stops by this museum, allowing you to easily make the most of your itinerary.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors should plan for about two hours for their museum tour.
- A limited number of wheelchairs are available for visitor use.
- There is an on-site museum store, as well as vending machines for soft drinks and snacks.
How to Get There
The institute is located about a mile southeast of the Alamo, near the Tower of the Americas. There is a limited amount of complimentary parking, as well as some disabled-parking spots, in a lot near the main entrance. The VIA stops at Cesar Chavez and Indianola, about a five-minute walk from the museum.
When to Go There
Admission is free the second Sunday of every month, which can bring larger crowds than usual. The institute sponsors two festivals during the year: the Texas Folklife Festival in June, and the Asian Festival in January or February.
The 3-day Texas Folklife Festival showcases the state’s diversity and heritage with a variety of ethnic foods, musical and dance performances, arts, and crafts, at the Institute of Texan Cultures every June. The institute also hosts the Asian Festival timed around the Lunar New Year, celebrating Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Pacific Island cultures.