No trip to New York City is complete without taking advantage of the world-class museums on offer. This helpful guide outlines the 10 museums you can't afford to miss while visiting the Big Apple.Less
Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is often considered the best museum in NYC and it's not hard to see why. With more than 2 million pieces of art spanning 5,000+ years, The Met is the largest museum in the country and the fifth largest museum in the world. Averaging 6 million visitors per year, this is the most visited museum in New York City. If you only have time to visit one museum in NYC, this is the one. The link below highlights the Met's most notable art pieces.
Home to world-renowned paintings like Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, Claude Monet's Water Lilies and notable works by Warhol, Basquiat and Dali, it's no wonder why MoMA swells with locals and visitors alike most days of the week. The paintings are well curated and displayed in a modern and airy environment for an experience anyone can enjoy. Local's Tip: If your schedule allows, try visiting this museum during a weekday because weekends get very busy.
Welcoming 5 million visitors per year and spanning all aspect of the natural world, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is considered one of the greatest natural history museums in the world. Locals seem to agree that this is the best musuem in NYC for kids. Local's Tip: Don't miss the Hall of Ocean Life where you'll have an opportunity to see a life-size model of a 94-foot blue whale -- it's an experience you won't soon forget.
The iconic architectural feat that houses the Guggenheim Museum was Frank Lloyd Wright's most notable achievement. Unfortunately, Wright passed away six months before the museum opened to the public in 1959. Once inside, visitors slowly make their way up a spiral ramp to observe world-famous modern art in an airy and colossal space. The entire length of the ramp is equivalent to 1/4 mile walk and naturally passes through the exhibits on each floor.
NYC is full of historic places, perhaps none more well known that the moving 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which serves to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001. But fair warning, visiting this museum is an emotional experience. You'll need to descend down an escalator to reach the interior because it's located beneath ground level. The museum's layout is easy to navigate and the pace of the visit always feels rightfully slow, as visitors contemplate the gravity of that historic day.
Home to a remarkable collection of military vessels of the sea and sky, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City is a must-see for any military enthusiast or history buff. More than 1 million visitors per year explore the exciting collection at this beloved museum. Expect to find authentic WWII fighter planes, aircraft carriers, a submarine used during the Cold War, supersonic jet and the NASA space shuttle Enterprise.
The Morgan Library & Museum allows visitors to step inside the private library of J.P. Morgan. The library is equipped with three floors of metal-enclosed walnut bookshelves, chock full of rare books and important artifacts -- an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, handwritten score from Bach, and a plethora of books worth millions. J.P. Morgan's will instructed that his private library be open to the public after his death, a unique opportunity New Yorkers don't take for granted.
Since its founding in 1930, The Whitney Museum has served as a bastion for those that enjoy modern and contemporary American art. Recently relocated to the Meatpacking District, the museum covers 50,000 square feet (not including the 13,000 square feet of outdoor space) and offers visitors an opportunity to see impressive art from the likes of Basquiat, Georgia O’Keeffe and Richard Avedon. Local's Tip: Don't miss Alexander Calder’s Circus exhibit.
Dating back to 1904, New York City’s robust transportation system is considered one of the busiest and oldest in the world. Today, visitors can take a walk down memory lane by sitting inside vintage subway cars (each car displays humorous era-appropriate ads) parked in a decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn. The museum covers a century of subway history and allows visitors the opportunity to admire vintage walk signs and transit furniture while learning about transportation.
The New-York Historical Society was founded in 1804, making it the oldest museum in NYC. Located right next to Central Park, the museum houses a great amount of interesting art, furniture, documents and historic relics that focus on NYC’s unique history. Some of the fascinating artifacts include the calf brace worn by Franklin Roosevelt and original prints from James Audubon.