Many Museums are actually FREE? Yes, they are!
New York City Museums range from the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC and American Museum of Natural History NYC, to the more specialized, such as The New York City Police Museum or the Museum of American Finance.
Did you know it is possible to see two NYC museums every day for a year and still not cover them all?
NYC Locals – Add your NYC Museum Event (updates, exhibits, concerts, promotions) to the NYC Insider Guide.
NYC Insider Tip – New York City Museums
Suggested Donation vs. Admission Price
Many New York City Museums are non-profit organizations. Their goal is to make art and culture affordable to everyone. As non-profits, they ask for a “suggested donation” or contribution to access the museum, rather than an admission price. Pay attention when evaluating sightseeing passes, if the “price” is suggested donation or an actual admission cost. Please do donate as these Museums are priceless and the money donated goes back into the NYC Museums, so we can all enjoy them.
Most New York City Museums also offer Free or “Pay-What-You-Wish” days and times. Some are listed at NYC Museums and on the NYC Museums and Tours cheat sheet in the NYC Print Guide and free Mini Guide.
Most Popular New York City Museums
More New York City Museums
Which Discount Pass is best for New York City Museums?
New York City Museums – The Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka The MET) contains more than 2 million works spanning 5,000 years and is the number one attraction in New York City, counting over 5 million visitors annually. Even those who think Art or Museums are not their thing can spend days here and still not experience a small portion of their art collections, famous exhibits, special events, multiple restaurants, rooftop garden, live music, museum tours and much more!
- More Info: Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC
- Address: 1000 Fifth Ave. (at 82nd St), NY, NY 10028, Upper East Side
- Itinerary: Jean’s Art Lovers Tour of NYC Museums
Back to Top of NYC Museums
Whitney Museum of American Art
The Whitney Museum offers the most complete overview of twentieth-century American art of any museum in the world, with a special focus on works by living artists. The new museum building (opened May 2015) includes approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line.
Admission included with the New York Pass
If visiting the Statue of Liberty and getting inside the Statue of Liberty Museum and/or climbing Lady Liberty’s Crown is important to you, then stop right here and reserve your Statue of Liberty tickets (Monument Access Pass), either with or without $3.00 Crown Access now!
Neighborhood: Financial District/Wall Street
Back to Top of New York City Museums
The 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and open to the public on September 12, 2011. Tickets to the Memorial are FREE, and reservations are no longer required.
Read all about ways to honor the memories of the thousands of lives lost on 9-11-01 at 9-11 Memorial.
Back to Top of New York City Museums
9-11 Memorial Museum
Back to Top of New York City Museums
The Intrepid is a great New York City attraction and offers something for the whole family. It was one of my favorite NYC things to do as a kid and I loved it just as much when I visited this year.
Learn what to skip and what to see at: Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
Best For: Kids or anyone really interested in War history and transportation. (PS – this is my Dad’s all-time favorite thing to do in NYC, except eating, of course).
NYC Insider Way: Sorry, but private events, such as weddings and charity balls, are the true insider way to have this spectacular museum to yourself for a night.
Central Park West (at W 79th St.), Manhattan, NY 10024
Suggested Contribution (museum only): $19, $10.5 ages 2-12; Seniors/Students with ID: $14.50
SuperSaver Admission – Adults: $33 Children (2-12): $20.50 Seniors/Students with ID: $25.50. Include admission to Museum and Rose Center for Earth and Space plus all special exhibitions, IMAX films, and Hayden Planetarium.
Only the New York CityPASS includes the Planetarium Space Show.
Many New Yorkers think this is the best of all the New York City Museums. The Planetarium is well worth the price. Anyone who grew up in NY fondly remembers their class trips and Saturdays with their parents at the Planetarium. Check out the spectacular new Space Show, “Journey to the Stars,” narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, that premiered July 4, 2009. Show times approximately every half hour.
New York City Museums -MoMA
Museum of Modern Art NYC
Admission – $25; $18 seniors; $14 students; children 16 and under free. Open: 7 Days Week
Plan your day at MOMA with the interactive MoMA tool highlighting the best days to visit and best touring plan, based on your preferences.
NYC Insider Ways to Visit the MoMA
1) MOMA Thursday Nights: see all the museum attractions with an added bonus of live music and cash bar cocktails in the The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The summer music selection showcases Brazil and China. Performances at 5:30 and 7:00 pm. The Garden Cart sells gelato and sorbetto from Il Laboratorio del Gelato and Terrace 5 is open for light refreshments inside the Museum on the fifth floor. Regular NYC Museums admission applies.
2) The Modern – This is not a typical New York City Museum cafe. Everything from the food to the atmosphere and scenery is exquisite. The Modern is part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which also owns Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla and many other of NYC’s top rated restaurants. The dining room overlooks the sculpture garden in the middle of the museum and food itself is practically art. Of all the dining in New York City Museums, this is likely the nicest
3) UNIQLO Free Fridays: Like many New York City Museums, MOMA offers free admission every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Since the program launched in 2004, nearly three million visitors have enjoyed free admission and increased accessibility to MoMA’s exhibitions, film screenings and The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum NYC
Admission – $25, $18 Students and Seniors (65+), Free children under 12. Closed Thursdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
NYC Insider Ways to Visit the Guggenheim Museum
1) Art After Dark – The Guggenheim hosts really cool after hours art events with a cash bar and music centered around a special exhibition or program. Once the general public has left for the day, usually after 9pm, the museum turns into one of the city’s hottest spots. $22 guests and general public (credit card only at the door).
2) Pay-What-You-Wish: Saturday evenings from 5:45–7:45 pm
Guggenheim Museum Hours:
Sun-Wed, Fri: 10 am–5:45 pm*
Thursday – Closed
Saturday – 10 am–7:45 pm*, Pay What You Wish 5:45-7:45pm
Guggenheim Museum Current Exhibits
- Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video – January 24–May 14, 2014
Carrie Mae Weems is a socially motivated artist whose works invite contemplation of race, gender, and class. Increasingly, she has broadened her view to include global struggles for equality and justice. Although Weems employs a variety of means to address an array of issues, all of her work displays an overarching commitment to better understanding the present by closely examining history and identity. It also contains a desire for universality: while African Americans are typically her primary subjects, Weems wants “people of color to stand for the human multitudes” and for her art to resonate with all audiences. This retrospective includes Weems groundbreaking Kitchen Table Series (1990) and Coming Up for Air (2003-04)
- Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe – February 21–September 1, 2014
With this major exhibition, the Guggenheim organizes the first comprehensive overview of Italian Futurism to be presented in the United States. This multidisciplinary exhibition will examine the historical sweep of the movement, from its inception with F. T. Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto in 1909 through its demise at the end of World War II. Presenting over 300 works executed between 1909 and 1944, the exhibition encompasses not only painting and sculpture, but also architecture, design, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising, free-form poetry, publications, music, theater, and performance.
- Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, Latin America – June 13–October 1, 2014
Organized by Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America, the exhibition reconsiders what constitutes contemporary art in Latin America. It investigates the practices of a current generation of artists and examines a diversity of creative responses to shared complex realities influenced by colonial and contemporary histories, repressive governmental agendas, economic crises, and social uprisings, also taking account of concurrent periods of economic wealth, development, and modernization in the region.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop
Ground Zero Museum Workshop – The first Museum created to memorialize the tragedies of 9-11-01. Since it was founded in 2005, before Ground Zero was reconstructed, it resides in the Meatpacking District, and not downtown, where the 9-11 Memorial and future 9-11 Museum are located.
420 West 14th St (9th Ave and Washington Street)
Included as a choice on the New York Explorer Pass, the Ground Zero Museum Workshop is a non-profit state museum with artifacts, photos, history, stories, remnants and more. Ticket proceeds are used to cover the museum’s operating costs and also shared with FDNY and 9/11 charities.
Back to Top of New York City Museums
The Paley Center for Media (formerly Museum of Television and Radio)
The New York City Police Museum – The NYPD’s tribute to 165 years of service features exhibits on its history and the tools of its trade, including vintage uniforms, squad cars and firearms. More notorious artifacts are also on view, including a gun used by one of Al Capone’s minions in the 1928 murder of Frankie Yale. Visitors can participate in a simulated police gunfight, see a model jail cell and a 9/11 memorial.
The New Museum – Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a leading destination for new art and new ideas. It is Manhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum and is respected internationally for the adventurousness and global scope of its curatorial program. Lower East Side
Like the rest of New York City, many of our less famous Museums are some of the best kept secrets. Examples include, The Frick Collection, The Morgan Library, The Cooper Hewitt, The New York Historical Society, The Museum of The City of New York and International Center for Photography.
Add a New York City Museum Event or Update
New York City Museum Updates
UNIQLO Free Fridays: Like many New York City Museums, MOMA offers free admission every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Since the program launched in 2004, nearly three million visitors have enjoyed free admission and increased accessibility to MoMA’s exhibitions, film screenings and The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.
Art After Dark July 2012 | Guggenheim Museum Art After Dark is a series of seasonal events at the Guggenheim Museum for members and their guests, centered around a special exhibition or program at …
Free NYC Museum Admission for Military Families Summer
Free NYC Museum Admission for Military Families is being offered all summer at more than 40 New York City Museums and gardens. The program, sponsored by Blue Star, allows all active duty, National Guard and Reserve military…
NYC Holiday Candlelight Tours at Mount Vernon Hotel Museum Step back into the holiday season of 1830 and take a tour of this 200+ year-old treasure by the warm glow of candlelight. Sample traditional confections …
Posadas y Pastorelas Mexican Celebration at Museum of the City of New York Get into the holiday spirit a la mexicana. Join Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders for its ninth annual presentation of Posadas y Pastorelas,…
Halloween Murder Mystery at Mount Vernon Hotel Museum Halloween Murder Mystery!. Based on the real mystery surrounding a reported discovery in the building, this fictional game begins with an unidentified …
Remembering 9-11 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art On Sunday, September 11th at 3:30 p.m., listen to the Wordless Music Orchestra, in The Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing, as they premiere the live …
Candlelight Tours at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Experience the magic of the mansion by candlelight – decorated for the holidays. Christmas trees inspired by children’s holiday stories adorn rooms throughout …
Recent New York City Museums News
Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum
The Intrepid Museum offers dynamic, interactive exhibits in the Exploreum Hall and a host of fun-filled, hands-on activities for every member of your family – every day of the week. From special guests and activities galore to flight simulators and multimedia technology, Kids Week at the Intrepid is action packed and filled with excitement.
Two for One Admission at Eight New York City Museums
Get Two for One Admission at Eight New York City Museums through May 31, 2011. The New York City Museum Discovery Pass includes 2 for 1 admission to American Folk Art Museum, Asia Society Museum, International Center of Photography, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Chinese in America, Noguchi Museum and Rubin Museum of Art. Download your New York City Museum Discovery Pass today and start saving!
See 9 (Nine) New York City Museums for $50
Get $50 of Museum Entries for just $25 with the Downtown Culture Pass!
See how the Brooklyn Bridge was made at the Skyscraper Museum, uncover what makes the NYPD New York’s finest at the New York City Police Museum, find out just exactly what default swaps are at the Museum of American Finance (in photo at left).
Must sees include the Tribute WTC Visitor Center and the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site.
Also included: Museum of Jewish Heritage and National Museum of the American Indian.
How It Works: Get two adult passes to explore eight of Lower Manhattan’s museums. Or, $30 gets you two adult and two children’s tickets (an $80 value). Each pass gives you access to eight of the Financial District’s treasured cultural institutions. The Downtown Culture Pass is always a bargain.
More from NYC Insider Guide:
- NYC Museums – free days and times for every New York City Museum
- New York City Museums – free days and times downloadable chart
Back to Top of New York City Museums