The midtown east corridor is your gateway to all of the NYC attractions in the big apple, with so many cultural and artistic exhibits just a few minutes away! Our handy list of art galleries and museums in NYC includes such famous exhibitions and venues as MoMA, the American Museum of Natural History and the Met. While New York City museums are truly a wonder to behold when visiting Manhattan, they're also some of the most iconic to the city itself, offering up a healthy dose of both sightseeing splendor and education all rolled into an exciting afternoon itinerary. So whether you love science, history, or some other flavor of art and exhibition, there’s definitely something for you in Manhattan's museum scene. Check out our handy guide below to the best museums and art galleries NYC has to offer.
This 13-acre museum milestone of Central Park curates and presides over 5,000 years of art from everywhere in the world. As one of the largest museums in the world, this late 19th century neo-classical museum showcases art spanning from mummies of ancient times to avant garde fashion. Budget-conscious visitors should plan on visiting early on weekdays, paying what they wish and staying the day.
Address: 1000 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10028
Cross Street: at 82nd St
Hours: Mon–Thu, Sun 10am–5:30pm; Fri, Sat 10am–9pm.
Getting There: Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St
Cost: $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free, New York State residents and tri-state area students, pay what you wish
Upper East Side
Guggenheim’s collection of modern art is fused with its structure thanks to architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing yet controversial design. Opened in 1959 on Fifth Ave just across from Central Park months after his death, this inverted ziggernaut punctuates the space normally taken up by neighboring Upper East Side museums, utilizing geometric shapes and nature to create a gallery space that features art along a winding spiral. Take the elevator to the top and follow the slope down to reveal art at different angles.
Address: 1071 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10128
Cross Street: at 89th St
Hours: Sun–Wed, Fri 10am–5:45pm; Sat 10am–7:45pm.
Getting There: Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St
Cost: $25, seniors (65+) and students with valid ID $18, children under 12 free. Sat 5:45–7:45pm pay what you wish. $25, seniors and students with ID $18, members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult free. Sat 5:45–7:45pm pay what you wish
The MoMA hosts (what might be) the world’s finest collection of art from the 18th century through the present, so even a cursory afternoon spent wandering its halls yields priceless pieces by numerous reknowned artists who are heralded throughout history. At the height of tourist season, and especially around Christmas/late spring/late summer, this place is busy! If you really want to experience the museum and all it has to offer go on a weekday and purchase an all-inclusive ticket online ($25).
Address: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY, 10019
Cross Street: between Fifth and Sixth Aves
Hours: Mon–Thu, Sat, Sun 10:30am–5:30pm; Fri 10:30am–8pm.
Getting There: Subway: B, D, F, M to 47–50th Sts–Rockefeller Ctr; E, M to Fifth Ave–53rd St
Cost: $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. For discounts, order tickets in advance at moma.org. Fri 4–8pm free. Film tickets free with museum admission; screenings-only admission $12, seniors $10, students $8, children under 16 free.
Formerly found at a cleverly-designed building on Madison Avenue & 75th, the Whitney Museum now has a new home (as of 2015) in Lower Manhattan's Meatpacking District, at the base of the Highline on Ganesvoort Street. With 63,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor exhibition space, this museum is dedicated to the presentation of works by American artists. Its collection has roughly 15,000 pieces by almost 2,000 artists, including Edward Hopper (the museum holds his entire estate).
Address: 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY, 10014
Cross Street: between Tenth Ave and Washington St
Hours: Mon, Wed, Sun 10:30am–6pm; Thu–Sat 10:30am–10pm
Getting There: Subway: L to Eighth Ave (14th St); A, C, E to 14th St (Eighth Ave)
Cost: $25; seniors, students $18; 18 and under free
Lower East Side
The New Museum of Contemporary Art gets its illustrious name from The New School, where it opened in 1977. As an iconic museum in Soho in the ’80s and ’90s, it enjoyed the trappings of local fame until 2007 when it took over a seven-story building, designed by the modern Tokyo architectural firm Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA. With three main gallery levels, a theater, a café and roof terraces, this museum focuses on showcasing emerging but under-recognized artists.
Address: 235 Bowery, New York, NY, 10002
Cross Street: at Prince St
Hours: Wed, Fri–Sun 11am–6pm; Thu 11am–9pm
Getting There: Subway: J, Z to Bowery; 6 to Spring St
Cost: $16, seniors $14, students $10, children under 18 free. Thu 7–9pm pay as you wish with a suggested minimum of $2.
The Jewish Museum, located at the Warburg Mansion, mounts periodic exhibitions of modern and some contemporary art, featuring a significant collection of artworks emphasizing Judaica and the Jewish culture. A well-beloved children's exhibit can be found here, as well as a restaurant including an Uptown outpost of Russ & Daughters, the long-time favorite in the Lower East Side for all of the Kosher delicacies (such as lox, sable and whitefish) that Manhattan has become famous for.
Address: 1109 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10128
Cross Street: at 92nd St
Hours: Mon, Tue, Sat, Sun 11am–5:45pm; Thu 11am–8pm; Fri 11am–4pm
Getting There: Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St; 6 to 96th St
Cost: $15, seniors $12, students $7.50, visitors 18 and under free. Sat free. Thu 5–8pm pay what you wish.