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Museum Guide for New York City

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New York is packed with hundreds of museums - from classic landmarks like the Guggenheim and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to more cutting-edge gems like the New Museum and the MoMA PS1 - so whatever type of history, culture or art you enjoy, you're bound to find something to delight your senses from among New York's many institutions. For an unforgettable weekend of museum-hopping, here's my selection of the best the city has to offer.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

13 Places

3 City Tips

Print
Map

13 Places

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Art Museums

New Museum

Art Museums

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Speciality Museums

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Art Museums

Queens Museum

Art Museums

The Studio Museum in Harlem

Art Museums

Museum of Chinese in America

Speciality Museums

El Museo del Barrio

Art Museums

Museum of the City of New York

History Museums, Speciality Museums

The Morgan Library & Museum

Historic Sites, Libraries, Concerts, Gift & Speciality Shops, Art Museums

American Museum of Natural History

Natural History Museums

MoMA PS1

Art Museums

Frick Collection

Art Museums

Craig N's City Tips

  • Although most museums in New York do charge an admission fee, some are suggested donation only, so take a close look at the small print before entering.
  • Several money-saving multi-day museum passes are available - for the best possible value, plan to visit several in as short an amount of time as possible.
  • Save plenty of time for the smaller institutions - they're less crowded but just as memorable as the big ones.
  • Save
    The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    If you love contemporary art, MoMA has it all under one roof - from Warhol and Picasso, to Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock, as well as several rotating blockbuster exhibitions.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Leave plenty of time to explore the museum fully and really get your money's worth - the entry price is quite an investment.
    • Don't miss the cafe on the second floor - its tasty dishes make it a worthy refreshment stop.
    • The sculpture garden is a great place to relax with a glass of wine.
    • MoMA is crowded at almost any time during the weekend, so be prepared to share its famous artwork with other visitors.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Enjoyable 25/03/2017
    • MOMA 25/03/2017
    • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
    Address:
    11 West 53rd Street
    New York City, NY 10019-5401
    Phone:
    +1 212-708-9400
    Price range:
    US$25 - US$25
    Hours:
    Fri
    10:30 - 20:00
    Sat - Thu
    10:30 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Save
    New Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    This institution combines cutting-edge art with cutting-edge architecture to create a must-visit museum for any modern art enthusiast. Its location along the Bowery gives it an urban edge, perfectly reflected by the art on its walls. You'll find up-and-coming artists as well as more established contemporary works here, plus a hip gift shop and cafe.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • Don't miss great views from the Sky Room - open on Saturdays and Sundays only.
    • Visit on Thursday nights, 7 -9pm, when admission is pay-what-you-wish.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #238 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    • Packs a lot into a small space! 13/03/2017
    • not the best place 12/03/2017
    • New Museum
    Address:
    235 Bowery
    New York City, NY 10002
    Phone:
    +1 212-219-1222
    Hours:
    Wed
    11:00 - 18:00
    Thu
    11:00 - 21:00
    Fri - Sun
    11:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    Even if you don't have time to go inside, walking by this stunning building by Frank Lloyd Wright is worth a trip to the Upper East Side. The real highlight, however, lies inside - its circular, sloping galleries, which run the length of the building, make viewing art here a unique experience.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The temporary exhibitions are always a hit - check the calendar to see what's on during your visit.
    • Walk all the way to the top and then work your way down for an unforgettable museum visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #109 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    • The highlight of my trip to NYC 25/03/2017
    • Interesting museum 24/03/2017
    • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
    Address:
    1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St.
    New York City, NY 10128
    Phone:
    +1 212-423-3500
    Hours:
    Sun - Wed
    10:00 - 17:45
    Fri
    10:00 - 17:45
    Sat
    10:00 - 19:45
    Other:
  • Save
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    As one of the largest museums in the world, this place deserves a few hours of your time in order to explore everything it has to offer - from ancient Egyptian sculpture and European master works, to classic photography.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Plan which exhibitions you'd like to see in advance - with too much to take in on one trip, this will ensure you get to the things that interest you most.
    • Admission is a suggested donation, so don't worry if you can't stretch to the full $25.
    • During summer, head up to the rooftop for temporary art exhibits and cocktails overlooking Central Park.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Can't do it in a day 25/03/2017
    • Free and Fantastic 25/03/2017
    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Address:
    1000 5th Ave
    New York City, NY 10028-0198
    Phone:
    +1 212-535-7710
    Price range:
    US$25 - US$25
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 - 17:30
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Queens Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    After undergoing an extensive renovation in 2013, the Queens Museum - located in Flushing Meadows Park where the 1964 World Fair was held - is looking better than ever. Any city enthusiast will love its unique combination of international works, including local artists, with urban history, thanks to the 'Panorama of the City of New York' - a spectacular scale model of all five boroughs.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Leave time to enjoy the sights of the 1964 World's Fair, including the famous Unisphere globe, located close to the museum.
    • The institution is easily reached by the 7 train.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 31 things to do in Flushing
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Poor use of space. 20/02/2017
    • Panorama extra special 08/02/2017
    • Queens Museum
    Phone:
    +1 718-592-9700
    Hours:
    Wed - Sun
    11:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Studio Museum in Harlem
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    Highlighting both local and international artists of African descent, this museum has been an important part of the Harlem community since 1968. Located at the heart of 125th Street, you'll find a wide range of mediums here, including painting, mixed-media and a large collection of Harlem photographs from the 20th century.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum frequently hosts popular public events - check the calendar to see what's happening during your visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #306 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    • Marvelous small museum 23/01/2017
    • Celebrating MLK at the Studio Museum 16/01/2017
    • The Studio Museum in Harlem
    Address:
    144 W 125th St
    New York City, NY 10027-4423
    Phone:
    +1 212-864-4500
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 18:00
    Thu - Fri
    12:00 - 21:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Museum of Chinese in America
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    Designed by accomplished architect Maya Lin, this beautiful museum in the bustling neighbourhood of Chinatown, tells the story of Chinese immigrants living in New York City and beyond. Through a series of sharp multimedia displays, visitors can trace the history of Chinatown and the people that created one of the most significant neighbourhoods in the city today.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum offers excellent public walking tours of Chinatown - check the website for details of upcoming events.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #256 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    • Eye-opening gem 12/01/2017
    • Wonderful establishment with lots of potential 11/01/2017
    • Museum of Chinese in America
    Address:
    215 Centre St
    New York City, NY 10013-3601
    Phone:
    +1 212-619-4785
    Hours:
    Tue - Wed
    11:00 - 18:00
    Thu
    11:00 - 21:00
    Fri - Sun
    11:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    El Museo del Barrio
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    Located at the upper reaches of Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue, this institution showcases art by Latin and Caribbean artists, including many of the Puerto Ricans who made the surrounding East Harlem neighbourhood such an important hub for art, culture and music.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum often hosts live concerts and DJs - check the website calendar for details of upcoming events.
    • Visit the onsite cafe to sample some of the tasty regional delicacies it offers.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #374 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    • latino city 13/01/2017
    • Growing Museum with art from Latinoamerican artists! 08/01/2017
    • El Museo del Barrio
    Address:
    1230 Fifth Ave. at 104th Street
    New York City, NY 10029
    Phone:
    +1 212-831-7272
    Hours:
    Wed - Sat
    11:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Museum of the City of New York
    History Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    If you love all things New York, prepare to be wowed by this museum at the northern end of Museum Mile. Focusing on the the history of New York, you'll find all sorts of exhibits here - from the natural history of Manhattan Island to photography showcasing local neighbourhoods, plus frequent events to delight any true city enthusiast.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The gift shop here is top-notch, selling an increidble array of NYC-themed books, gifts and greeting cards.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #106 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    • One of the best museums I've ever been to 21/03/2017
    • The Best! 21/03/2017
    • Museum of the City of New York
    Address:
    1220 5th Ave
    at 103rd Street
    New York City, NY 10029-5221
    Phone:
    +1 212-534-1672
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Morgan Library & Museum
    Historic Sites, Libraries, Concerts, Gift & Speciality Shops, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    Once the home of famous banker J.P. Morgan's private library, this marvellous museum contains a wonderful collection of rare books, prints and drawings. Combining historic architecture with modern design, book lovers in particular will love this unique museum experience. Highlights include illuminated manuscripts, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and original scores by Mozart and Beethoven, among other musical masters.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is free to enter every Friday night, 7-9pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 24 Traveller Resources in New York City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Take a walk back in time 23/03/2017
    • AMAZING Place 22/03/2017
    • The Morgan Library & Museum
    Address:
    225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street
    New York City, NY 10016-3405
    Phone:
    +1 212-685-0008
    Price range:
    US$18 - US$18
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 18:00
    Tue - Thu
    10:30 - 17:00
    Fri
    10:30 - 21:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    American Museum of Natural History
    Natural History Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy a trip to this famous museum nestled alongside Central Park on the Upper West Side. From incredibly detailed, handcrafted dioramas of natural habitats, to the ancient art of storied civilizations - this is where the best of art, science and culture are brought together beautifully under one roof.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • The Hayden Planetarium is one of the best in the world and hosts frequent daily shows.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • So much to see, something for everyone 25/03/2017
    • Wooow 25/03/2017
    • American Museum of Natural History
    Address:
    79th Street and Central Park West
    New York City, NY 10024
    Phone:
    +1 212-769-5100
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:45
    Other:
  • Save
    MoMA PS1
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    An offshoot of the Museum of Modern Art, this groundbreaking Queens institution is known for more cutting-edge exhibits, and frequently rotating contemporary art shows.

    Good for
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • During the summer, enjoy the weekly Saturday Warm Up event - a series that highlights large scale architectural installations and well-known DJs.
    • Admission is free to anyone who has a bought a regular MoMA ticket within 14 days.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 29 things to do in Long Island City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great museum 12/03/2017
    • Such a neat building for a museum 13/02/2017
    • MoMA PS1
    Address:
    2225 Jackson Ave
    Long Island City, NY 11101-4309
    Phone:
    9292256519
    Hours:
    Thu - Mon
    12:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Frick Collection
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Craig N Says:

    Housed in a handsome mansion that was once the home of successful businessman Henry Clay Frick, this intimate museum on the Upper East Side is packed with old masterpieces from greats including Goya and James McNeil Whistler. There is also an impressive collection of antique furniture, sculpture and home decor to explore.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Admission is free on Sundays,11am-1 pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must see in NYC 25/03/2017
    • An absolute must 25/03/2017
    • Frick Collection
    Address:
    1 E. 70th St.
    Fifth Ave.
    New York City, NY 10021-4994
    Phone:
    +1 212-288-0700
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 17:00
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
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