Museums in New York

The complete New York museum guide: Find current exhibitions at MoMA, the American Museum of Natural History and more.

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A New York museum trip shouldn't be saved for a rainy day: With specialties ranging from modern art to mathematics, sex to outer space, there a New York museum for every aesthetic and intellectual curiosity. Click on a listing for museum information and complete details on current exhibitions.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Price band: 3/4
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RECOMMENDED: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Occupying 13 acres of Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened in 1880, is impressive in terms both of quality and scale. Added in 1895 by McKim, Mead and White, the neoclassical facade is daunting. However, the museum is surprisingly

  1. 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
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The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art Photograph: Timothy Hursley

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

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RECOMMENDED: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) After a two-year redesign by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, MoMA reopened in 2004 with almost double the space to display some of the most impressive artworks from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Outside, the Philip Johnson–designed Abby Aldrich

  1. 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

  • Price band: 3/4
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RECOMMENDED: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum The Guggenheim is as famous for its landmark building—designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and restored for its 50th birthday in 2009—as it is for its impressive collection and daring temporary shows. The museum owns Peggy Guggenheim’s trove of Cubist,

  1. 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
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Photograph: Wendy Connett

American Museum of Natural History

  • Price band: 2/4
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RECOMMENDED: American Museum of Natural History No matter which wing you wander through or where your curiosities lie (dinosaurs, gems or something else entirely), it’s hard to explore this Upper West Side fixture without being awestruck. You’ll immediately spot the rotunda’s hulking

  1. Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
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Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building

  • Free

RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions We won’t argue if you want to call this glimmering pinnacle of Art Deco architecture NYC’s most eye-popping skyscraper. Triangle-shaped windows in its crown are lined with lights, creating a beautiful effect come nighttime. Oozing a moneyed

  1. 405 Lexington Ave, at 44th St
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar

  • Price band: 4/4

Perched on top of one of the world's finest museums is one of the city's finest vantage points—from both a sight and cultural perspective. During the warm months, vistors can sip a beverage while taking in spectacular views of Central park, with the city's tony skyline beyond. Vying for the

  1. 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St
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Cuxa Cloister

Cuxa Cloister Photograph: Courtesy Metropolita

The Cloisters

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
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RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections. A path winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived from the Middle Ages. (It was built less than

  1. Fort Tryon Park, 99 Margaret Corbin Dr
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Photograph: Joanna Ebenstein

"The Art of Mourning"

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Not for the faint of heart, this macabre exhibit definitely doesn’t shy away from the issue of death and dying. Guests get a cultural look at how the inevitable fate was handled from the 18th to 20th centuries. Channel ghosts at the spirit photo booth and gawk at surreal grieving paraphernalia

  1. Morbid Anatomy Museum 424A Third Ave, at 7th St, 11215
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Thu Dec 4
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New Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Price band: 2/4
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RECOMMENDED: New Museum of Contemporary Art The first new art museum ever constructed from the ground up below 14th Street, the aptly named New Museum marks a major contribution to the continuing revitalization of downtown Manhattan. The bold seven-story building, designed by the cutting-edge Tokyo

  1. 235 Bowery, at Prince St
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9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial Time Out

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Years of planning went into this monument, which opened on the tenth anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks. Called “Reflecting Absence,” the design by architect Michael Arad features two reflecting pools that sit within the footprint of each of the Twin Towers. The water elements are surrounded by

  1. Enter at Liberty Street and Greenwich Street
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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

Museum of the Moving Image

  • Price band: 2/4
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RECOMMENDED: Museum of the Moving Image Only 15 minutes from midtown, the Museum of the Moving Image is one of the city’s most dynamic institutions. Rubbing elbows with Kaufman Astoria Studios, it includes a three-story extension that features a state-of-the-art 267-seat cinema and expanded

  1. 36-01 35th Ave, at 37th St, 11106
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Discovery Times Square

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
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The Discovery Channel is one of the sponsors of this new large-scale exhibition center, which will offer limited-edition runs of exhibits from across the globe. The 60,000-square-foot space is housed in the former New York Times building, and includes a learning center, a space for special events

  1. 226 W 44th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
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Wendy Connett

Brooklyn Museum

  • Price band: 2/4
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RECOMMENDED: Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn’s premier institution is a less-crowded alternative to Manhattan’s bigger-name spaces. Among the museum’s many assets is a 4,000-piece Egyptian collection, which includes a gilded-ebony statue of Amenhotep III and, on the ceiling, a large-scale rendering

  1. 200 Eastern Pkwy, at Washington Ave
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Kathleen McCarthy

International Center of Photography

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The library at the International Center of Photography—a major photographic resource—houses back issues of photography magazines, and thousands of biographical and photographic files. Founded in the 1960s as the International Fund for Concerned Photography, ICP has work by photojournalists

  1. 1133 Sixth Ave, at 43rd St
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Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex (MoSex)

  • Price band: 2/4

RECOMMENDED: Museum of Sex (MoSex) Situated in the former Tenderloin district, which bumped-and-grinded with dance halls and brothels in the 1800s, MoSex explores the subject within a cultural context—but that doesn’t mean some content won’t shock the more buttoned-up visitor. On the ground

  1. 233 Fifth Ave, at 27th St
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2010 Getty Images, Neilson Barnard

The Frick Collection

  • Price band: 2/4
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The opulent residence that houses a private collection of great masters (from the 14th through the 19th centuries) was originally built for industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The firm of Carrère & Hastings designed the 1914 structure in an 18th-century European style, with a beautiful interior court

  1. 1 E 70th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves
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New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society Photograph: Alex Strada

New-York Historical Society

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
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RECOMMENDED: New-York Historical Society New York’s oldest museum, founded in 1804, was one of America’s first cultural and educational institutions. Instead of the niche perspective on NYC’s past that some of our favorite attractions offer, this institution gives a comprehensive look at the

  1. 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts
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Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York

  • Price band: 1/4
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RECOMMENDED: Museum of the City of New York Located at the northern end of Museum Mile, this institution contains a wealth of city history and includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, military and naval uniforms, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, ship models and rare books. The extensive toy

  1. 1220 Fifth Ave, between 103rd and 104th Sts
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Museum of Arts & Design

  • Price band: 2/4
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Originally designed in 1964 by Radio City Music Hall architect Edward Durell Stone to house the Gallery of Modern Art, 2 Columbus Circle (nicknamed the "Lollipop Building" because of the Candyland-like columns that lined its base) was a windowless monolith that had sat empty since 1998. After an

  1. 2 Columbus Circle, at Broadway, 10019
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Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Photograph: Wendy Connett

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

  • Price band: 3/4

This educational museum is located on an aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid, and docked at Pier 86. Highlights include a restored fleet of jets, a helicopter flown in World War II, a mess hall decorated to look as it would have in 1969 and other interactive exhibits. But the crown jewel is the

  1. Pier 86, Twelfth Ave, at 46th St, 10036
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The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

  • Free

The Fashion Institute of Technology owns one of the largest and most impressive collections of clothing, textiles and accessories in the world, including some 50,000 costumes and fabrics dating from the 5th century to the present. Overseen by fashion historian Valerie Steele, the museum showcases a

  1. Seventh Ave, at 27th St
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New York Transit Museum

  • Price band: 1/4
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RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions Other archives may offer broader perspectives on city history, but we love the Transit Museum because it goes deep into one essential element of New York life: the public transit system. Opened in 1976 in a former IND subway station, the museum displays

  1. Boerum Pl, at Schermerhorn St, 11201
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Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

  • Price band: 2/4
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Founded in 1897 by the Hewitt sisters, granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper, the only museum in the U.S. solely dedicated to design (both historic and modern) has been part of the Smithsonian since the 1960s. The museum hosts periodic interactive family programs that allow children to

  1. 2 E 91st St, at Fifth Ave
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MoMA PS1

  • Price band: 2/4

RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions Housed in a distinctive Romanesque Revival building (a former public school), PS1 mounts cutting-edge shows and hosts an acclaimed international studio program. Artwork crops up in every corner, from the stairwells to the roof. PS1 became an affiliate of

  1. 22-25 Jackson Ave, at 46th Ave
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Rubin Museum

Rubin Museum Wendy Connett

The Rubin Museum of Art

  • Price band: 2/4
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Opened in 2004, this six-story museum (once home to Barneys New York) houses Donald and Shelley Rubin’s impressive collection of Himalayan art and artifacts, as well as large-scale temporary exhibitions.

  1. 150 W 17th St, at Seventh Ave, 10011
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The Morgan Library & Museum

This Madison Avenue institution began as the private library of financier J. Pierpont Morgan and is his artistic gift to the city. Building on the collection Morgan amassed in his lifetime, the museum houses first-rate works on paper, including drawings by Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Picasso;

  1. 225 Madison Ave, at 36th St
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Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
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This fascinating museum—actually a series of restored tenement apartments at 97 Orchard Street—is accessible only by guided tour. Tickets are sold at the visitors’ center at 108 Orchard Street; tours often sell out, so it’s wise to book ahead. Costumed "residents" give glimpses into the

  1. 103 Orchard St, between Broome and Delancey Sts
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Virtual Surgery at Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Courtesy of Sony Wonder Technology Lab

Virtual Surgery at Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Courtesy of Sony Wonder Technology Lab

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

  • Free

Young techies can revel in this midtown spot's hands-on activity stations. One of our favorites is the Dance Motion Capture exhibit; kids stand in front of the camera and do their best booty shake and hand jive. Then, they choose an avatar and watch as the character performs their unique moves.

  1. 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
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Bronx Museum of the Arts

  • Price band: 1/4
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  • Free

Founded in 1971 and featuring more than 800 works, this multicultural art museum shines a spotlight on 20th- and 21st-century artists who are either Bronx-based or of African, Asian or Latino ancestry. The museum sporadically offers family programming.

  1. 1040 Grand Concourse, at 165th St
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Photograph: Jin Lee

9/11 Memorial Museum

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is a testament not only to the inner strength of New Yorkers but also to the idea that a great city that can still stand strong. It's a tough institution to visit, hardly what one could call fun, but with the right kind of eyes, it's a truly beautiful and moving tribute to

  1. 200 Liberty St, at West St, 10006
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