New York is one of the most visited cities in the world, and the number of museums in New York is extensive. Each with its own quality, from avant-garde to medieval museums, you can be confused about where to start. We have a list for you! From the art, architecture, history and science museums, see what fits you and put it on your bucket list.
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Entry Fee: $12 for students and $25 for adults.
Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is part of Central Park and boasts over 5000 years of art from all over the world, so it's a no-brainer that it'll be at the top of the list of the best museums in NYC. It is a late-nineteenth-century neoclassical museum that houses everything from mummified monarchy to avant-garde fashion couture. The Temple of Dendur, an Egyptian temple from 10 B.C., captivates visitors of all ages. There are special exhibits that rotate every few months and range from big-name historical blockbusters to displays of little-known treasures.
Must See: The Greek and Roman Sculpture Court and The Temple of Dendur.
2. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Entry Fee: $18 for students and $25 for adults.
Address: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, USA.
The Museum of Modern Art has redesigned itself into a woke museum in New York as they have resurrected works by women and artists of colour, giving the public a more renewed MoMA to look at. The institution's total size is 708,000 square feet, 166,000 of which is dedicated to displaying art. After decades of showcasing Picasso, Matisse, Pollock, and other renowned white guys, The Modern has switched to a multicultural rethinking of 20th and 21st-century art. But don't worry: artwork by fan favourites like Matisse can still be found.
Must See: Starry night, Van Gogh.
3. Guggenheim Museum New York
Entry Fee: $18 for students and $25 for adults.
Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA.
A modernist monument located near the Metropolitan Museum is the Guggenheim Museum. The distinctive architecture of the space, with its spiral ramp rising to a domed skylight, continues to excite tourists and provide a unique venue for the presentation of contemporary art. The art is revealed from various angles as you descend and cross the open circular dome. This unconventional, daring approach to art has inspired outstanding displays by cutting-edge contemporary artists, so if you like contemporary movies, you will definitely dig this museum in New York!
Must See: Edgar Degas, Spanish Dance and Pablo Picasso, Woman Ironing.
4. Whitney Museum of American Art
Entry Fee: Free admission for visitors under 18,
$18 for students and $25 for adults.
Address: 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014, USA.
The Whitney Museum of American Art features 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries featuring works by Jean Michel Basquiat, Richard Avedon, Edward Hopper, and Alexander Calder. There are four outdoor exhibition spaces and terraces and a ground-floor restaurant and top-floor bar by Danny Meyer, one of the city's most well-known restaurateurs. The upper floors and sculpture terraces are also linked by a series of outside staircases, providing spectacular views of the downtown skyline and a rare opportunity to appreciate art in the open air.
Must See: Marsden Hartley, Painting, Number 5 and George Bellows, Dempsey and Firpo, 1924.
5. Brooklyn Museum
Entry Fee: Free admission for visitors under 19,
$16 for adults.
Address: 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238, USA.
Brooklyn Museum is the third largest museum in New York City, encompassing 560,000 square feet and housing 500,000 pieces. The museum is most recognised for its outstanding Ancient Egyptian exhibition, considered one of the finest in the world. With 1.5 million works in the collection, nearly every type of art is represented. Particular standouts are its assortment of paintings by Dennis Hopper and Norman Rockwell and a top-notch Egyptian artefacts gallery.
Must See: KAWS: ‘Along the Way’ and Coffin in the Form of a Nike Sneaker.
6. Merchant's House Museum
Entry Fee: $10 - $15
Address: 29 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003, USA.
Travel back in time to Merchant's House Museum, a lost gem among the best museums in NYC. It's a modest house museum and is a time capsule of the lives of an affluent nineteenth-century family, complete with original furnishings, clothing, books, and artwork. You'll feel like you are prying into this neat, luxurious home while everyone else is out. Two generations of the merchant-class Tredwell family left over 4,000 things, ranging from oil lamps and exquisite porcelain to incomplete needlepoint projects in this five-storey Greek Revival Structure.
7. The Noguchi Museum
Entry Fee: $6 for students and $12 for adults.
Address: 9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY 11106, USA.
Isamu Noguchi had a dream and made it come true; a peaceful sanctuary in the middle of the concrete garden; the Noguchi Museum is now one of the best museums in NYC. Noguchi's sculptures are displayed in twelve galleries and a garden, with drawings, paintings, collages, architectural models, and stage and furniture designs. You may not be familiar with Noguchi's work, but you must have seen the Akari light sculptures, geometric washi tape, and bamboo lamps with a soft glow; yes, that's Noguchi!
Must See: Serene sculpture garden.
Wanna make the most out of New York? Check out our 20 things to do in New York blog!
8. The Morgan Library & Museum
Entry Fee: $13 for Students and $22 for adults.
Address: 225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Here's another look into someone's personal belonging that has turned into a museum; the Morgan's Library and Museum is a private library of J.P. Morgan. Be amazed by the 3-storey metal and walnut bookshelves furnishing that are packed with rare books from over the world. Inside the multimillionaire's personal library, you will also find rare artefacts, books and paintings from 4000 B.C., which makes it a must-see museum in New York.
Must See: 23 copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Haffner Symphony by Mozart, and A Christmas carol manuscript by Charles Dickens.
9. Rubin Museum of Art
Entry Fee: $10 for students and $15 for adults.
Address: 150 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011, USA.
Have you been curious about The Himalayas and wanted in on Indian art? Visit the Rubin Museum; that is all about it! It is a museum devoted to Himalayan concepts, culture, and art that gives you an opportunity to teleport to south Asia! This comprehensive collection spans over 1,500 years and has 38,000 items. The collectables are a deep dive into Himalayan art, full of sculptures, paintings, and installations.
Must See: Murals from Tibet's Lukhang Temple.
10. American Museum of Natural History
Entry Fee: $20 for students and $25 for adults.
Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, USA.
The American Museum of Natural History is undoubtedly the best museum in NYC that attracts toddlers to the elderly! This enormous science museum contains 33 million specimens, but just 3% of them are on exhibit. This museum is considered the best museum in NYC and globally for natural history collectables. The massive Tyrannosaurus Rex dominating the dinosaur floor is the belle of the ball! The museums also hold special exhibits dealing with the human sense and a deep dive into mummies and Egyptian and Peruvian specimens.
Must See: Lucy, The Blue Whale and Hayden Planetarium.
11. Museum of the City of New York
Entry Fee: $14 for Students and $20 for adults.
Address: 1220 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029, USA.
This is one of the best museums in NYC when it comes to showcasing the past, present and future of New York. The Museum of the City of New York, located at the top of Museum Mile, is a medieval structure situated near Central Park. The collection here has nearly 1.5 million items, including photos, paintings, sketches, furniture, decorative artefacts, and manuscripts related to the history of New York City's five boroughs.
Must See: Extensive Collections of vintage photographs, costumes and textiles, and theatre memorabilia.
12. 9/11 Memorial and Museum
Entry Fee: Free admission to all.
Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, USA.
Another top museum in NYC is the 9/11 Museum and Memorial; we suggest you be emotionally prepared as you are bound to shed a tear when you visit the museum. This thoughtfully designed museum in New York City is located directly adjacent to the moving 9/11 memorial that honours the magnitude of the tangible. Because the interior is below ground level, you must take an escalator down to get there. The museum's layout is clean and simple, and your attention is immediately drawn to the intended exhibit.
13. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Entry Fee: $31 for students and $33 for adults.
Address: Pier 86, W 46th St, New York, NY 10036, USA.
Are you a fan of Top Gun? We suggest you visit this aviation museum in New York! The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in NYC is a thing to not miss for every military enthusiast or history buff. It houses a fantastic collection of military vessels of the sea and sky. More than 1 million people visit this top museum in NYC yearly to explore the interesting collection. Expect to see actual WWII fighter planes, aircraft carriers, a Cold War submarine, a supersonic jet, and the NASA space shuttle Enterprise.
Must See: A legendary aircraft carrier, the Space Shuttle Enterprise
14. New York Transit Museum
Entry Fee: $10 for adults.
Address: 99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA.
This museum, a tiny museum in New York near Borough Hall in Brooklyn, is housed in a disused subway station; to enter, you must get down the pavement, much as you would on your everyday routine to catch the subway. Visitors can see inside vintage cars, some of which date back to 1903, sit in the driver's cabin, and admire vintage walk signs and transit furniture. Make sure to look at the stunning images that depict the evolution of the subway system; you'll be fascinated by this famous museum in New York.
15. Met Cloisters
Entry Fee: $17 for students and $30 for adults.
Address: 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, USA.
The Met Cloisters is a division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and America's only museum dedicated to Middle Ages art and architecture. This comes under our list of best museums in New York as it integrates five medieval-inspired cloisters into a modern museum structure, offering a historic, contextualised setting against which to see the art. The museum is nestled in a scenic setting within Fort Tryon Park along the Hudson River's bank.
We hope this helps you make the most of your stay in the city if you decide to study in the US. So what are you waiting for? Go out and explore the best museums in New York!