All the free museums days in NYC you should know about

From uptown to downtown and Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens, we’ve got all the free museum days in New York City

In many major cities around the world, museums are government funded, which means entry is free. Alas, this is not the case with New York City’s museums. Institutions like MoMA and the Guggenheim charge hefty admissions, and while the Metropolitan Museum of Art used to be pay what you wish for everyone, that policy is restricted now to New York State residents. Still, there are plenty of museums that are free or have free days. And there still museums with pay what you wish admission, if not every day, then on certain days weekly or monthly. You just have to know who offers what. To figure that out, check our guide to the best free museums and discount hours at NYC’s museums.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best museums in NYC

1
Photograph: Courtesy the American Folk Art Museum
Museums, Art and design
American Folk Art Museum
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AFAM has the best collection of folk, visionary and outsider art in the country. The best part? Getting in is free.
Always Free
icon-location-pin Upper West Side
2
Museums, Special interest
Asia Society
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With the exception of summer months when you have to pay admission, visiting the Asia Society on it’s free day is a great way to kick off the weekend.
Friday, 6–9pm, Labor Day through June
icon-location-pin Lenox Hill
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3
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Museums, Art and design
Bronx Museum of the Arts
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One of NYC’s more underrated institutions, the Bronx Museum is worth a visit not only because it’s free, but also because it’s located on the borough’s historic Grand Concourse.
Always free
icon-location-pin The Bronx
4
first friday
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Art
Brooklyn Museum
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The Brooklyn Museum's free First Saturdays isn’t just for looking at art. It’s also a evening of food, drinks, performances, music and dancing.
First Saturday of every month, 5–11pm
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6
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Museums, Special interest
El Museo del Barrio
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From pre-Colombian artifacts to contemporary installations, El Museo covers the waterfront on Latino and Hispanic art. Taking advantage of its free day only makes a visit that much better.
Pay what you wish, third Saturday of every month, all day
icon-location-pin East Harlem
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7
Frick Museum
2010 Getty Images, Neilson Barnard
Museums, Art and design
The Frick Collection
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The Frick Collection’s free night is a relatively recent policy, so by all means, jump at the chance to see NYC’s greatest collection of Old Masters next to the Met’s.

First Friday of every month, 6–9pm
icon-location-pin Lenox Hill
8
Photograph: David Heald, © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2017
Museums, Art and design
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
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There’s nothing quite like seeing an exhibition in the Guggenheim’s breathaking rotunda designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Check out his handiwork, and all the great art in at on a evening when admission is discounted at a rate of your choosing.
Pay what you wish, Saturday, 5:45-7:45pm
icon-location-pin Upper East Side
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9
The Jewish Museum
Museums, History
The Jewish Museum
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The Jewish Museum is free on Shabbos during regular hours! Go see its exhibits of contemporary art and its collection of Judaica.
Saturday, free all day
icon-location-pin Central Park
10
Photograph: Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Art
The Met Breuer
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Okay, The Met Breuer is a great place to visit for contemporary and modern art, but unless you’re a New York State resident you’re out of when it comes to getting in at a discount. The same applies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And even if you are a New York State resident, you’ll still need to show one of the following as proof:
-New York State driver’s license
-New York State identification card
-IDNYC
-Current bill or statement with a New York State address
-Student ID
-New York library card
Other than that, have a great time. 
Pay what you wish at ticket counter for New York State residents
icon-location-pin Lenox Hill
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11
Photograph: Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Museums, Art and design
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Like it's branch The Met Breuer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s pay what you wish policy applies to New York State residents only. But hey, it's the greatest museum in the world, right? Remeber, even if if you live in New York State, you’ll need one of the following as proof:
-New York State driver’s license
-New York State identification card
-IDNYC
-Current bill or statement with a New York State address
-Student ID
-New York library card
Pay what you wish at ticket counter for New York State residents
icon-location-pin Central Park
12
Museums, History
The Morgan Library & Museum
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Famous drawings—by Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Picasso—and famous manuscripts—by Dickens, Poe, Twain, Steinbeck—are all part of the Morgan’s collection. Why not go see it for free?
Friday, 7–9pm
icon-location-pin Murray Hill
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13
Museum of Arts & Design
Museums, Art and design
Museum of Arts & Design
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Couple your night taking in the latest and coolest offerings in contemprary craft and design with dining or shopping at the nearby Time Warner Center. Or just take a stroll around Columbus Circle after leaving the museum.
Pay what you wish, Thursday, 6pm–9pm
icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen
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15
National Museum of the American Indian
Museums, Natural history
National Museum of the American Indian
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This museum is offically a branch of the NMAI in Washington D.C. and thus offically an extension of the Smithsonian Institute—which is why it’s free (well, not entirely; your taxes pay for it). If you’re down in FiDi, check out its superb holdings of Native American artifacts.
Always Free
icon-location-pin Financial District
16
Neue Galerie
Photograph: Courtesy Hulya Kolabas
Art
Neue Galerie New York
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Klimt’s dazzling gold-flecked 1907 portrait is known as the “Viennese Mona Lisa” and is reason enough to visit the Neue Galerie, especially for free. It’s also worth the wait on line, which, unfortunately, is unavoidable
First Friday of every month, 6–8pm
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18
Museums, Art and design
Queens Museum
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Unlike The Met, the Queens Museum is still pay what you wish for everyone, everyday. Even so, it’s suggested donation—$8, seniors and students $4—is pretty damn cheap. So go: The Panorama of the City Of New York awaits you.
Everyday is pay what you wish
icon-location-pin Queens
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