Whether you’re new to NYC or a local, museums are always an interesting place to explore. There’s everything for everyone here, from modern art to dinosaurs and mummies. Here’s our guide to the best NYC museums:
Museum of Modern Art
PC: Clem Onojeghuo
One of the most popular and beloved museums is the Museum of Modern Art (aka MoMA), which should be on your must-see list. Plan your visit in advance and be sure to check their event calendar and exhibitions online. There’s always a great mix of ongoing and limited-run exhibitions on offer.
MoMA doesn’t just offer a feast for your eyes, it also provides a variety of dining options. The fine-dining Modern restaurant boasts two Michelin stars, and if you’re in the mood for lighter fare you can also check out Cafe 2 and Terrace 5.
Adult admission is $25, while kids under 16, active U.S. military members and their families, United Nations employees, and select NYC college students get in for free. Visit the museum on Friday nights from 4-8pm to take advantage of UNIQLO Free Friday Nights.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
PC: Igor Miske
The Met Fifth Avenue offers more than 5,000 years of art, crossing a dizzying array of time periods and cultures, from French to Egyptian, Chinese, and much more. It has a rich range of exhibitions, both ongoing and temporary, and a diverse events calendar.
Hint: Exhibitions are free with museum admission. The suggested general admission is $25 per adult, but you can pay whatever you want.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is a staple of the Upper West Side and a must-see attraction. Explore the museum’s diverse permanent exhibits, including the biodiversity and environmental halls, birds, reptiles, and amphibians halls, Earth and planetary sciences halls, fossils halls, human origins and cultural halls, mammal halls, and the Rose Center for Earth and Space.
The museum also includes self-guided audio tours that allow the viewer to listen on their phone. Some of the more popular tours are the Dino Tour, Earth and Space Tour, and the Whales Tour.
Hint: Download a guide with your preferred language on your phone before visiting the museum. Another fun thing to do is an AMNH sleepover, where kids aged 6-13 can do a ‘Night at the Museum’ Sleepover adventure.
Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
PC: Jim Linwood
When you head over to 12th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, you’ll see a giant aircraft carrier docked in the Hudson. It’s a museum!
The aircraft carrier served in World War II and the Vietnam War, and it was decommissioned in the 1970s. In 1982, the ship reopened as the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.
The main exhibitions are the Hangar Deck, the Combat Information Center, the Flight Deck, and the Concorde. You’ll also get a chance to watch a variety of films about American military history and space exploration.
Hint: If you visit the museum in the morning, there’s less of a crowd. Additionally, consider visiting the Flight Deck either early or late in the day as it can get very hot, especially around midday in the summer.
The Paley Center for Media
PC: Gary Minnaert
If you’re interested in the history and culture of television, radio, internet, and other forms of digital media, the Paley Center for Media is a paradise for you.
You can get access to their comprehensive media archive of 160,000 collections and watch old TV programs, movies, videos, and even commercials. They have many viewing stations, each with a large flat screen TV and headphones. You can find the museum at 25 West 52nd Street.
Hint: Admission to the Paley Center is free. This includes 1.5 hours of accessing the Paley Archive in the Library.