New York City has some of the best museums in the world, from the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA) and Guggenheim Museum of Natural History (Guggenheim), to the historical collections of Ellis Island Immigration Museum (Ellis Island, NY), and many more. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of places to visit, but if you have a limited amount of time, it’s best to stick to a few, or even a few, museums instead of trying to see them all. Keep in mind that some museums are closed on Monday, and the hours may change throughout the week. Bring your earphones and an audio guide. Many museums offer audio guides you can download. 10 Top Museums in New York City
1. Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, colloquially “the Met”, is the largest art museum in the Americas. In 2022 it welcomed 3,208,832 visitors, ranking it the third most visited U.S museum, and eighth on the list of most-visited art museums in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building at 1000 Fifth Avenue, along the Museum Mile on the eastern edge of Central Park on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is by area one of the world’s largest art museums.
The museum’s permanent collection consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings, and sculptures from nearly all the European Old Masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes, and accessories, as well as antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st-century Rome through modern American design, are installed in its galleries.
2. The Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a museum located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It is one of the most influential museums of modern art in the world. Founded in 1929, MoMA’s permanent collection contains over 200,000 works of art, including paintings, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, and performance art.
MoMA is also home to a number of temporary exhibitions, which showcase the work of both emerging and established artists. The museum’s education department offers a variety of programs for adults and children, including lectures, workshops, and film screenings. MoMA is a popular tourist destination, and it is open seven days a week.
3. 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a tribute to the 2,977 people killed in the September 11 attacks of 2001 and the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. It is operated by a non-profit institution whose mission is to raise funds for, program, and operate the memorial and museum at the World Trade Center site.
The memorial consists of two reflecting pools, each inscribed with the names of the victims of the attacks. The pools are located in the footprints of the Twin Towers. The museum is located underground and houses artifacts from the attacks, as well as personal stories of the victims and survivors.
4. Solomon R Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a haven for art enthusiasts and casual observers alike. Located on Fifth Avenue in New York City, this iconic structure houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. With its unique spiral design and ever-changing exhibitions, the Guggenheim Museum offers an unparalleled experience for those seeking to immerse themselves in the world of art.
The Guggenheim Museum’s architectural design is as captivating as the art it houses. Conceived by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum’s spiral ramp takes visitors on a continuous ascent through the galleries, creating a sense of movement and progression that mirrors the evolution of art. The absence of right angles and traditional walls fosters an open and airy atmosphere, allowing art to take center stage.
5. Frick Collection
The Frick Collection is an art museum in New York City, located at 1 East 70th Street. The museum is housed in the former residence of Henry Clay Frick, an American industrialist and art collector. The collection includes over 1,700 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and books. It is one of the most popular museums in New York City.
The Frick Collection was founded in 1935, after the death of Henry Clay Frick. Frick had intended the mansion to become a museum eventually, and a few of the paintings are still arranged according to Frick’s design. The museum’s collection has grown significantly since its founding, and now includes works by some of the most famous artists in the world, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and El Greco.
The Frick Collection is open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm, seven days a week. Admission is $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $12 for students. Children under 10 are free. The museum is also open for free on Thursdays from 4 pm to 6 pm. 10 Top Museums in New York City