The North Wall of the Detroit Industry Murals, a series of frescoes by Mexican artist Diego Rivera at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, October 1988. (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Detroit Institute of Arts

Top choice in Detroit

The DIA holds one of the world's finest art collections. The centerpiece is Diego Rivera's mural Detroit Industry, which fills an entire room and reflects the city's blue-collar labor history. Beyond it are Picassos, Caravaggios, suits of armor, modern African American paintings, puppets and troves more spread through 100-plus galleries.

Try out the Lumin augmented reality tour that takes you to 18 museum highlights; the devices are free, available first come, first served from desks near the entrance.

It's hard to believe the museum's collection was about to be sold to pay off the city's debt back in 2013. Luckily, donors saved the day.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Detroit attractions

1. Scarab Club

0.12 MILES

The Scarab Club transports you back a century to a gilded age of arts appreciation when costumed balls and visits by Diego Rivera and Norman Rockwell were…

2. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

0.42 MILES

MOCAD is set in an abandoned, graffiti-slathered auto dealership. Heat lamps hang from the ceiling over peculiar exhibits that change every few months…

3. Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

0.65 MILES

Henry Ford cranked out the first Model T in this landmark factory. Admission includes a detailed tour by enthusiastic docents, plus loads of shiny…

4. City Sculpture Park

0.84 MILES

Local artist Robert Sestok bought a forlorn lot by the freeway where cars whizz by, and plunked down his hulking abstract sculptures welded from scrap…

5. Lincoln Street Art Park

0.91 MILES

Vivid graffiti, murals and sculptures made from found objects adorn this stark industrial site that abuts a recycling facility. It’s a quintessential…

6. Fisher Building

0.92 MILES

This 1928 masterpiece from the man who built Detroit, Albert Kahn, has an imposing art deco exterior made from Minnesota granite and Maryland marble, and…

7. Motown Historical Museum

1.24 MILES

In this row of modest houses Berry Gordy launched Motown Records – and the careers of Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson – with an…

8. Eastern Market

1.57 MILES

One of the oldest and largest year-round bazaars in the United States, Eastern Market draws Detroiters of all types to its six-block spread of wares…