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New York City Museums

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.

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New York City Museum Guides

New York City Museums


Best New York City Museum for Kids

Best New York City Museum for Kids


Best NYC Attractions Pass for Museums

Sightseeing Pass

New York Pass

Go City New York

CityPASS

  NYC Sightseeing Pass New York City Pass Discounts New York City Explorer Pass New York CityPASS
9/11 Museum ✔ 9/11 or Intrepid
Natural History ✔ Admission ✔ Admission ✔ Admission ✔ Admission
✔ Planetarium
Guggenheim ✔ TOTR or Guggenheim
Intrepid ✔ 9/11 or Intrepid
MET X X X X
MoMA  
Liberty/ Ellis ✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Secret Tour
✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Secret Tour
✔ Ferry/Grounds or Circle Line
Whitney  

 



New York City Museum Events Calendar

New York City Museum Events Calendar



Most Popular New York City Museums

Check out the new Museum of Ice Cream (SoHo), Guggenheim, MoMA, Whitney and so many more museums from which to choose.



New York City Museums

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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!

Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC

As of 2018, the Met Suggested Contribution policy only applies to NY State residents as well as NY, NJ, CT students.

The Met admission fee is covered on the New York Sightseeing Pass, New York CityPASS, New York Pass or a choice on the New York Explorer Pass

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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.

Whitney Museum NYC

Admission included with the New York Sightseeing Pass and New York Pass


New York City Museums – Statue of Liberty

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

Statue of Liberty Museum

Statue of Liberty Museum

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9-11 Memorial

9-11 Memorial

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.

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9-11 Memorial Museum

9-11 Memorial Museum

Learn all about the new 9-11 Memorial Museum including facts, fees, free admission night and Insider Tips. Review 9-11 in depth, commemorate those we lost and see WTC artifacts.

The New York Sightseeing Pass, New York CityPASS and New York Pass offer the 9-11 Memorial and Museum as an attraction choice.

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Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum

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.

Admission is included with the New York Sightseeing Pass and New York Pass and a choice on both the New York Explorer Pass and New York CityPASS

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.


American Museum of Natural History NYC

American Museum of Natural History Planetarium

Museum of Natural History, Hayden Planetarium

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.

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New York City Museums -MoMA

Museum of Modern Art MOMA

Museum of Modern Art NYC
11 W. 53rd St. (5th/6th Aves)
Subway: E, V to 53rd St.–5th Ave.; F to 57th St.;
B, D, F, V to 47th–50th Sts.–Rockefeller Center

Admission included with New York Sightseeing Pass, New York Pass and a choice on the New York Explorer Pass.

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) 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

2) UNIQLO Free Fridays: MoMA stays open late on the first Friday of every month and admission is free just for New Yorkers! Tickets, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., are free for New York City residents but must be reserved in advance (up to two adults), and are subject to availability and proof of residency. 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.

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NYC Museums – Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum NYC

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum NYC
1071 Fifth Ave. (89th St)
Manhattan, NY 10128
Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St

Admission – Adults: $30 Students and Seniors 65+ (ID required): $19 US Military (ID required): $25 Visitors with disabilities: $19 Members: Free Children under 12. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Please check their site for museum days, hours and events as they change quite frequently.

Admission included as a choice on New York CityPASS (or Top of the Rock), included with the New York Sightseeing Pass and New York Pass.

NYC Insider Ways to Visit the Guggenheim Museum

1) Pay-What-You-Wish: Saturday evenings 4-6pm. Make sure to book your ticket online as they are released at 10am the day (Friday) before.

2) (Paused as of 2020) 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.

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Museum of Sex NYC

Museum of Sex NYC

If you’re ready to take sex seriously, then a visit to the Museum of Sex is your next stop. The Museum is actually quite educational and does a great job at encouring public enlightenment, discourse and engagement on a variety of worldwide issues. Of course, some of the exhibits do have their sexy side.

Visitors must be 18 years of age or older to enter the museum and 21 to consume alcohol onsite. Admission is included in New York Pass and a choice on the New York Explorer Pass.

More Info: Museum of Sex NYC, 233 Fifth Avenue (@ 27th Street)

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More New York City Museums

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

The Ukrainian Museum (222 East 6th Street, 2nd/3rd Aves) – open Wed-Sun. Collections of Ukranian folk art, fine art, and extensive compendium of archival materials. Afterwards, browse the small are of "Little Ukraine" on 6th and 7th Streets b/w 1st and 3rd Aves and wander the East Village.


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.

Museum of American Finance

Museum of the City of New York

The Bronx Museum of the Arts – internationally recognized cultural destination that presents innovative contemporary art exhibitions and education programs and is committed to promoting cross-cultural dialogues for diverse audiences.

Like the rest of New York City, many of our less famous Museums are some of the best kept secrets. Examples include:

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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. 

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…

Click Here to Add a New York City Museum Event or Update

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Recent New York City Museums News

Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum

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.


Night at the Museums

Night at the Museums

On Pause 2022. New in NYC and held every June!!!! Night At The Museums, when Fifteen museums and historic sites in Lower Manhattan open their doors to celebrate summer – all for free. Night At The Museums is produced by the Downtown Cultural Association and is part of the RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is a volunteer-run small history museum of grassroots activism. We tell the story of efforts to create community spaces on the Lower East Side, especially efforts that “reclaim” space taken over by city bureaucracies or corporations. We highlight the political implications of how social structures shape and control our space and take a long-term historical perspective on how the urban landscape evolves through cycles. facebook.com/morusnyc/


More from NYC Insider Guide:

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NYC Insider Guide
NYC Insider Guidehttps://www.nycinsiderguide.com
Welcome! I'm Melissa, a fourth generation New Yorker, who has been lucky enough to live in New York for over 30 years. I love just about everything in New York City, the very reason I started this web site, and I look forward to sharing it all with you. Please explore the New York City Insider Guide at your own pace. I hope it helps you plan your New York City Vacation, so you not only go home as a NYC Insider, but plan to visit us again soon.

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