The best museums in New York for a cultural visit (2021)

Few do not recognize that New York has one of the best museum offerings in the world. Of the 10 most visited art galleries in the world, at least 2 of them are New York museums,
best museums in New York

Few do not recognize that New York has one of the best museum offerings in the world. Of the 10 most visited art galleries in the world, at least 2 of them are New York museums, while the rest are always listed as some of the best in the world. And that has something to say.

Through a continuous process of acquisitions over the last 200 years of European and international works, the great museums of New York have managed to gain a foothold on the world scene. The Metropolitan Museum of New York or the MoMa , to name a few, have become key voices to talk about works of art, paintings and exhibitions.

Today we bring you a very complete article with 7 New York art galleries that we recommend for a cultural visit to New York . There is everything. From museums that cover all of histories such as the previously mentioned Met, or the unknown Brooklyn Museum, to museums such as the Guggenheim or the MoMa, which for lovers of contemporary art are an institution

The best museums in New York for a cultural visit

We have prepared a map for you with the best museums in New York so that you can place them perfectly. 3 of them (Met, Guggenheim, and Museum of the City of New York) are located on the Upper East Side, known as the Museum Mile, two in Midtown and Downtown, one in the Upper West Side, and a seventh in the New York borough of Brooklyn.

7 museums in New York that you cannot miss

1. The American Museum of Natural History, one of the most visited museums in New York

The first museum stop in this article takes us to the Upper West Side, skirting Central Park to reach the American Museum of Natural History (200 Central Park West), an institution in terms of science and technology museums.

new york metropolitan museum
American Museum of Natural History

Its gigantic figures of dinosaurs or the large life-size blue whale located in the Milstein room are just the tip of the iceberg, a museum for the whole family, but one that children especially enjoy.

Prices and hours of the American Museum of Natural History :

  • Prices : Adults are $ 23, students and over 60s are $ 18 and children (2-12 years) pay $ 13.
  • Hours : It is open every day from 10:00 to 17:45.
  • Free day? There are no free hours or days.

2. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoMa)

The MoMa (11 W 53 Street) is quite an institution when it comes to contemporary art . Opened in 1929 by three women (Lillie P. Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller), it was then considered the only museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. It is incredible how in just over 100 years a small collection has evolved through acquisitions to become what it is today: a museum with more than 150,000 pieces .

natural history museum new york
The starry Night

From paintings by Picasso, such as the Ladies of Avignon , to Salvador Dalí and his Persistence of Memory or paintings by Monet, Boccioni or Andy Warhol. However, the work par excellence of the MoMa is the renowned Starry Night by Van Gogh.

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The Persistence of Memory

Something that few people know is that Guernica, the famous work of Picasso, was kept at MoMa for more than 30 years. The representation of the horror after the bombing of the city by Nazi and Italian aviation in the context of the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent victory of Franco meant that the painting did not return to Spain until 1981 despite the ” drawbacks ” of the New York museum. It is currently in the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.

MoMa prices and hours :

  • Prices : Adults pay 25 dollars, students 14 dollars and those over 65 years old 18 dollars. Children under 16 years old are free.
  • Hours : Saturday to Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Free day? Yes! Every Friday from 16:00 to 20:00 admission is free.

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

If there is a museum that stands out in New York, it is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Av.), For its acronym Met. It is located within Central Park, specifically on the Upper East Side. Together with the Guggenheim, which we will talk about later, and small art galleries, they make up what is called the Museum Mile .

moma museum new york
Metropolitan Museum of New York

The Met is the most visited museum in the United States and the fourth in the world. The explanation is clear. Its purchasing policy over the years has turned it into a gallery of more than 4 million objects. Its collection includes works by Rembrandt, Raphael, Titian, or El Greco. One of the most outstanding works is the Temple of Dendur, a gift from Egypt for the help that the United States provided to the conservation of the Temples of Nubia.

guggenheim museum new york
The Temple of Dendur

It is a very large museum, so I do not recommend going crazy. The best thing to do is to visit the museum’s official website or Wikipedia and choose a bit which one you want to visit, although the works we recommend above are a good starting point.

The Met is divided into 3 locations , the most important being located on Fifth Avenue. However, since the ticket includes a visit at three o’clock , The Cloisters , the second largest headquarters located in Washington Heights, is famous for its cloisters, so if you have time you can also visit it.

We strongly recommend that you buy your Met tickets in advance. If you take them out with Civitatis you forget about having to queue.

Prices and hours of the Metropolitan Museum :

  • Prices : Adults pay $ 25, students $ 12 and over 60s have a special rate of $ 17. For children under 12 years old, admission is free.
  • Hours : Sunday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closing on Friday and Saturday at 9:00 p.m.
  • Free day? No! A “pay what you wish” modality came into existence but it was withdrawn in 2018.

4. The Guggenheim Museum

Another of the best-known museums in New York, the Guggenheim (1071 5th Ave.) stands out both outside and inside. Building Frank Lloyd Wright was a turning point in the museum that was exacerbated when it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, along with 7 other works of the author.

free museums new york
The Guggenheim Museum

Its interior also preserves the minimalism of the exterior and the architecture is quite curious. So even on the assumption that you are not going to visit it inside, we recommend that you come closer. His collection, quite complete – although it cannot be compared with that of MoMa -, has its foundations in the private collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim to which others were later added, and which currently includes works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Pissarro, Paul Klee or Kandinsky.

museums new york
Inside the Guggenheim Museum

Prices and hours of the Guggenheim Museum :

  • Prices : Adults pay $ 25, while there is a reduced rate for students and over 65s of $ 18. Children under 12 years old enter free.
  • Hours : It is open from Friday to Wednesday from 10:00 to 17:45, closing on Saturdays at 19:45.
  • Free day? Yes! Every Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (the last entry of this type is at 7:30 p.m.) there is a “pay what you wish” mode, in which you pay what you want. They recommend about 10 euros, but you can give what you consider.

5. The Brooklyn Museum

Few know that the second largest museum in New York is not located in Manhattan but in the neighboring district of Brooklyn, specifically in the museum that bears his name. The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway) is located in Prospect Park and is perfectly connected by lines 2 and 3 of the New York subway (Brooklyn Museum station is on your doorstep), so it is quite easy to get to.

natural science museum new york
The Brooklyn Museum

Much less visited than the previous ones, the Brooklyn Museum is a great option for those who want to enjoy art in a quieter museum with fewer people. His collection is very complete that includes Egyptian and African works, works by European painters such as Monet or Van Gogh and I include some objects from my beloved Rapa Nui.

guggenheim museum new york
Effect of the sun on Monet’s Parliament

Brooklyn Museum Prices and Hours :

  • Prices : Adults are $ 16, students and over 65s pay $ 10. Those under 19 are free.
  • Hours : It is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00 (except on Thursdays, which closes at 22:00).
  • Free day? No

6. The Museum of the City of New York

Small museum located north of the Upper East Side, already practically attached to East Harlem (El Barrio), the Museum of the City of New York (1220 5th Ave.) was established with the aim of publicizing the evolution of the city and its history since it was founded back in the seventeenth century.

Museum of the City of New York prices and hours :

  • Prices : Adults have a rate of 20 dollars and those over 65 and students enjoy a reduced rate of 10 dollars. Those under 19 are free.
  • Hours : It is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00
  • Free day? No

7. The American Museum of India America

The American Museum of Indian America (1 Bowling Green) is one of the Smithsonian’s headquarters, the main headquarters is located in Washington DC. The gallery is named after George Gustav Heye, a collector of pre-Columbian objects and artifacts and the main architect of the museum. It is much smaller, but the good thing is that the entrance is completely free, so it never hurts.

Prices and hours of the American Museum of America India :

  • Prices : Entrance is completely free.
  • Hours : It is open from 10:00 to 17:00 (on Thursdays it closes at 20:00).
  • Free day? If every day.

The best museums in New York

As you may have realized, the history of New York City will not span so many centuries, but its museums do. With a very complete offer – possibly one of the best in the world – MoMA, the Met or the Guggenheim Museum are essential testimony not only to the history of the United States, but of the world.

I hope that with this article on the best museums in New York you will be encouraged to visit some of them (you always have the free days of MoMA or the Guggenheim) and that you will discover the wonderful works that are hidden in them.