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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, nyc, new york
Photograph: ShutterstockSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum

NYC Museum Memberships

Get an NYC museum membership to enjoy these cultural institutions all year long

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New York city has some of the best museums in the world, hands down. From renowned art museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Guggenheim to niche and quirky museums, you can spend hours exploring and learning about art, history, science and more. But all that cultural learning can add up. While there are many free museum days in NYC, the freedom and flexibility of a museum membership will allow you to visit these institutions for free any time, without the crowds, as well as additional perks. There are some amazing free museums too, but donations are always encouraged. So what’s the best NYC museum membership? Here are some memberships that are worth the investment, so you can reap the cultural rewards of frequent visits and support important city institutions.

These museums are among the best things to do in NYC. From The Met’s ancient treasures to MoMA’s modern collections to the in-depth look at the immigrant experience at the Tenement Museum to the dinos and scientific explorations at the American Museum of Natural History, there’s so much to learn. All these museums deserve repeat visits, so locals and frequent visitors can certainly benefit from getting memberships. Whether you’re an art fanatic or a history buff, consider these NYC museum memberships (they make great gifts too).

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to museums in NYC

NYC Museum Memberships

  • Museums
  • History
  • Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

The permanent collection here includes all sorts of quirky ephemera like old postcards, a vintage subway turnstile and glasses that once held seltzer water. Get a membership and support this utterly unique New York institution so quirky, it has a shrine to burlesque complete with vintage pasties.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Upper East Side
  • price 3 of 4

Aside from a stunning building, the permanent collection here includes works by Picasso, Cezanne, Manet and the largest selection of Kandinsky paintings to be permanently shown in America. Admission is steep, so a membership will definitely pay for itself.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design

In addition to the usual, a Whitney membership nets you private viewings of exhibitions when the museum is closed on Saturday nights. There’s also a discount program with discounts off more than 50 high-end Upper East Side and Meatpacking District restaurants, boutiques, wine sellers and more.

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  • Museums
  • History
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

With numerous tours to take, a membership with free admission to most tours and reduced entry to the Museum at Eldridge Street, the Abrons Art Center and the Merchant’s House Museum pays for itself.

  • Museums
  • Soho

A membership here buys you access to MoCCA’s library during museum hours (the plebs can only sully the pages on Sundays). With more than 1,000 volumes, it’s a small price for hours of graphic immersion.

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