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15 Best Museums In NYC to Explore

11 mins read
best museums in NYC
Photo by Manolo Franco from Pixabay



There are fascinating museums and incredible museums in New York. If you are visiting New York City, you must explore these fifteen best museums in NYC listed below for a fantastic city experience with friends. These museums feature various art collections and have a rich art history. Apart from these, they also have a variety of other art and photography. Some of these museums are more than a century old and thus have a great history.

15 Best Museums In NYC

These 15 best museums in NYC must be visited by everyone who is planning a trip to New York City. If you are a history buff or interested in heritage or culture, you must explore these incredible museums in New York. These best museums in NYC feature various exhibitions and events. They also have an option of a virtual tour, and some offer this tour free of cost. A visit to these museums will also allow the visitors to appreciate people’s research skills. If you are interested in reading publications, you must visit these museums in New York City.

1. New York Transit Museum

Located at 99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, New York City, the United States of America, the New York transit museum was founded in 1976 on 4 July. The Transit Museum, Downtown Brooklyn, is open from Fridays to Sundays. The time for the place is from eleven in the morning to four in the evening. The museum tells stories about mass transportation and has The aim of the collection of vintage subway cars too. You can also shop for various things at New York Transit Museum.

1.1 Things To Do

Some of the things that visitors can do at the New York transit museum are sitting at the wheel of a city bus, boarding the vintage cars, and exploring how cultural, social, and technological history has evolved through time. The New York Transit Museum also hosts several virtual events, and people can be a part of those events as well. They also host virtual birthday parties.

2. Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is an art museum located at 200 eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, New York City, the United States of America. It is the third-largest museum and is one of the best museums in NYC, that was founded in 1897. The Brooklyn Museum is mainly known for its vast Egyptian and African art collections. This third largest museum also hosts several online and virtual events.

Brooklyn Museum
Photo by 397529 from Pixabay Copyright year 2014

2.1 More Details

The Brooklyn Museum has excellent collections, exhibitions, and programs. The experience of visitors who explore the museum is also great. Some of the things visitors can buy here include books and handcrafted plates. The visitors can also do a little shopping at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City from the gift shop located in the museum.

3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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Image from shutterstock.com

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as the Guggenheim Museum, was founded in 1939 in Manhattan, New York City, near Central Park. It is one of the best museums in NYC, located on Manhattan’s upper east side. Apart from exhibitions, the museum houses several events, performances, and programs. You can explore this museum with your family as it hosts several family-friendly programs.

Guggenheim museum
Photo by Kai Pilger from Pixabay Copyright Year 2017

4. American Museum Of Natural History

Located at 200 Central Park West on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, the United States of America, the American Museum of Natural History is a private natural history museum and is one of the best museums in NYC. The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869 and is open from Wednesdays to Sundays from ten in the morning to 5:30 in the evening. If you are planning to visit the Museum of Natural History, make sure you take a minimum of three hours to explore it well.

American Museum of Natural History
Photo by Wiki Media Images from Pixabay Copyright year 2015

4.1 About The Museum

The American Museum of Natural History, one of the most recognized natural history museums, aims to impart knowledge to its visitors, mainly about human culture and the natural world. This information is given to people after doing extensive research. You can also shop for toys, clothing, books, and home décor at the gift shop located in the museum. There are several exhibitions with an extensive permanent collection of wildlife and avian life that the American Museum features. These programs at the Museum of Natural History are divided according to age.

5. Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum is a National Historic Site established on 12 November 1988 by Ruth Abraham and constructed in 1863. The two historical Tenement buildings were used as places for residence earlier and housed many people. Therefore, the Tenement Museum is dedicated to the stories and experiences of immigrants and migrants. People are given guided tours of the buildings and the neighborhood. A visit to the Tenement Museum in New York City will allow you to appreciate the history, culture, and heritage of the people who lived there.

5.1 Things To Do

You can also take a virtual tour of the Tenement Museum. People can learn to appreciate the history of America after visiting the Museum. The museum also shares the primary sources used in the research with the public so that people can explore the stories of families with more interest. Children under the age of five cannot enter the museum. People can also listen to the podcast made by the museum, and this podcast also won an award.

6. American Folk Art Museum

Located at 2 Lincoln Square, New York City, The United States of America, the American folk art museum appreciates contemporary American art. The museum was founded in June 1961. It holds several exhibitions and educational programs and also shares many publications. The American art displayed at this museum gives a detailed picture of national identity, faith, community, and progress.

6.1 What To Explore

The museum is one of the most remarkable museums in New York City. It has a comprehensive collection of books, fraternal art and objects, paintings, photographs, and textiles. People can also shop for a lot of stuff at this museum and get acquainted with the rich culture and heritage of the country. One of the unique features of this museum is that it has a collection of works by self-taught artists.

7. The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as the MRT, is the largest art museum in Central Park in the Western Hemisphere. The museum was founded in 1870 on 5th Ave, New York City, the United States of America. The Metropolitan Museum has a permanent collection of many works. The museum houses an extensive collection of various art. The Metropolitan Museum also hosts several events. The visitors will need more than a day to explore this museum.

Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Photo by Aniel Baez from Pixabay Copyright year 2015

7.1 Interesting Facts About The MET

The Metropolitan Museum has more than two million art pieces that allow visitors to trace the history of human culture. It is also famous for the collection of various paintings, historical artifacts, and musical instruments. One of the ancient Egyptian sculptures is of the Temple of Dendur, which is an ancient Egyptian temple. When the museum was established, it had only three collections of paintings. Two different collections highlight medieval art. The Met Cloisters is another museum located near Fort Tryon Park.

8. The Museum Of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art is one of the best museums in NYC, as it plays an essential role in collecting modern art and developing it. The MoMA was founded on 7 November 1929 in Long Island City and is often recognized as one of the largest and most influential museums globally that protect contemporary art and modern art. The Museum of Modern Art hosts some specific and special events only for its members too.

Museum of Modern Art
Photo by JRMRT from Pixabay Copyright year 2015

8.1 About The Museum

The Museum Of Modern Art aims to be an inclusive place that promotes various cultures, art forms, social diversity, and political positions. This aim is fulfilled by promoting modern and contemporary art by various artists coming from diverse backgrounds. The museum has a collection of over 20,000 works of modern art, including the infamous starry night. If you plan to visit this museum, then you can also shop for various things from here. These things include bags, clothes, and vases.

starry night
Photo by Prawny from Pixabay Copyright year 2021

9. The Whitney Museum Of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art, also known as The Whitney Museum, is a museum dedicated to art founded in 1930. It is the most renowned institution devoted to the art of the United States. The Whitney Museum, one of the best museums in NYC, focuses mainly on contemporary art and has an extensive collection of art by living artists. The Whitney Museum was primarily established to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art. The museum is situated between the High Line and the Hudson River. The art patron members can get exclusive benefits from the museum.

10. Intrepid Sea, Air, And Space Museum

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Image from Shutterstock

Located at Pier 86 at 46th Street, along the Hudson River, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is an American military and maritime history museum. This non-profit educational institution features Intrepid, which is an aircraft carrier, and the space shuttle Enterprise. The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, apart from the space shuttle enterprise, also has a comprehensive collection of the world’s fastest jets. The museum was founded in 1982 by Zachary Fisher.

10.1 About The Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum are one of the best museums in NYC that aims to promote an understanding of history and science and inspire the youth. It does so through its collections, exhibitions, and programs. The museum’s main attractions are Intrepid, an aircraft carrier, Pavilion, which is a space shuttle, Growler, which is a submarine, and British Airways Concorde.

11. The Jewish Museum

Located along Museum Mile on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, The Jewish Museum is an art museum founded in 1904 and is one of the oldest Jewish museums in the world. The Jewish Museum aims to make aware to people the vibrancy of Jewish culture. A collection of more than 30,000 art pieces, media, and ceremonial objects reflects the experience of more than 4,000 years of Jewish people. The museum hosts several events like talks and performances. These events are classified according to age. It is New York City’s only museum dedicated to Jewish culture.

12. The Skyscraper Museum

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Image from Shutterstock

The Skyscraper Museum is an architecture museum that was founded in 1996. It is the world’s first vertical metropolis located at 39 Battery Pl in New York City. It is one of the best museums in NYC that holds and organizes several programs and exhibitions. It also hosts several lectures. The museum aims to celebrate the rich architectural heritage through publications and exhibitions. The visitors can explore various tall buildings at the museum. The museum is open from Thursday to Saturday, and the time is from noon to 6 in the evening.

13. Questroyal Fine Art

It is a family-owned and operated business. Contemporary artists from the Hudson River School Movement have contributed to this refined art gallery located at 903 Park Avenue, New York City, the United States of America. The visitors can read about the artists who have contributed to this museum in New York City. You can also check the official website of this gallery and read more about it.

14. The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection has a permanent collection of various paintings and European fine and decorative arts. Located on the Upper East Side in New York City, the Frick Collection is one of the best museums in NYC dedicated to art. The museum was founded in 1935. People can witness paintings from the renaissance period at this museum. The Frick Collection has been temporarily closed due to renovations, but people can visit Frick Madison for the time being.

14.1 More Details

The Frick Art and Historical Center was earlier Henry Clay Frick House. This house has eleven rooms and two and a half storeys. The museum maintains a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceramics, medals, and clocks. The mission aims to protect and display the collection to the public. It also maintains the historic peace of Mr. Frick’s home. It is also a place where research is promoted.

15. National Museum of Mathematics

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Image from Shutterstock

The National Museum of Mathematics, also known as MoMath, is a museum that was founded on 17 November 2009. It is a relatively new museum that opened at 11 E 26th Street in New York City. The museum aims to portray the role of mathematics in the structures around us. It is one of the best museums in NYC as it is designed to allow people to be curious. People can also see the images of exhibits on different floors of the museums on the virtual platform.

15.1 More Details

This museum in New York City also hosts several programs for families. One of the other exciting features of this museum is that it is open all seven days a week. The times of the museum are from ten in the morning to five in the evening. To know the museum’s map, visitors can visit the museum’s official website. This will ensure that you do not miss anything important once you visit the museum.

Other Museums In New York

Apart from the above-listed 15 best museums in NYC, many more museums in New York City are worth exploring. All these museums have a rich history and have different aims that they try to fulfil using their collection of various arts. New York City’s museums are not only dedicated to art but also aim to preserve and interpret paintings and sculptures. If you are planning a trip to New York City, then you must visit these best museums in NYC.

1. The Morgan Library And Museum

This museum was earlier known as the Pierpont Morgan Library. It was founded in 1906 by J.P. Morgan in the heart of New York City. The hours during which visitors can explore the Morgan Library and Museum are from 10:30 in the morning to 5 in the evening on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Fridays, the museum is open till 7 in the evening, and Monday, it is closed. It is not only a museum but also an independent research library that began to collect various books, drawings, and prints in the 1890s. The goal of the Morgan Library and Museum is to protect, present, and analyze literature to advance learning.

1.1 Things To Explore

Some of the things you can explore in this museum are the diverse programs like musical performances, film screenings, and tours. Various foundations support educational programs. The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the City Council also offer support to the museum. The public programs, including concerts, are also one of the attractions for people. It has a collection of old master paintings and ancient Egyptian arts.

2. New-York Historical Society

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at 170 Central Park West, New York City, the United States of America, the New York Historical Society is an American history museum and library that was founded in 1804 by DeWitt Clinton and John Pintard. This museum is close to the American Museum of Natural History. People can explore the art history of over 400 years at this museum. New-York Historical Society features arts of emerging artists and is one of the most extraordinary museums in New York City.

3. Rubin Museum Of Art

This museum, located at 150 W 17th St, New York City, the United States of America, is one of the most exciting museums in New York. This museum dedicated mainly to art features paintings, statues, and textiles from Tibet and Bhutan and has rotating exhibits. The museum aims to promote interpersonal relations and connections by spreading diverse ideas and promoting understanding. It also organizes a variety of workshops for people of all ages. For instance, one of the workshops that is a main attraction of the museum is the senior-writing workshop for older people.

4. New Museum

The New Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the best museums in NYC that was founded in 1977. Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, this museum was founded by Marcia Tucker to advance the values of questioning, learning, and working. The museum aims to promote new artists and new ideas. The New Museum is a seven-story building and organizes many exhibitions and programs. More than 3,000 artists are associated with the programs hosted by the museum.

5. The Studio Museum In Harlem

This museum is dedicated to American art and is located at 144 West 125th St in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in 1968 and is dedicated to collecting and preserving art created by African Americans. The museum’s exhibition space features many interesting old master paintings by artists as well. The museum is temporarily closed; however, you can get official notification about its opening from the website of the museum. The museum also supports diverse artists and aims to strengthen them by allowing them to portray their work.

You must visit and explore these 15 best museums in NYC. Exploring these museums in New York will allow you to get a lot of knowledge about the culture and history of various places. If you are a person who is fond of art and can appreciate it, then a visit to these museums would be highly fruitful for you. These museums also have fantastic architecture, and there are many events organized in these museums.

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