7 Must-See Museums in New York City and How to Visit
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Seventeen acres of gallery space.
Paintings by the world's most famous artists hang at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as sculptures, Egyptian antiquities, Islamic art, medieval armor, fashion, and much more. You can go on your own, of course, but with its size, it's helpful to book a tour, allowing you to relax while a guide makes sure you don't miss the highlights. For special access, opt for a VIP tour.
American Museum of Natural History
Everything from dinosaurs to the solar system.
A planetarium, a library, and nearly 50 exhibition halls make up the American Museum of Natural History, known for its displays of fossils, animals, plants, and cultural artifacts. Purchase a ticket in advance to go on your own, or book a tour with a guide to receive insider information about the museum's many treasures.
National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
A place of remembrance and tribute.
Pay your respects to the victims of the tragic September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, located at the site of the World Trade Center. The memorial is free to enter, but the museum has an entry fee. Go on your own by booking admission in advance, or take a 9/11 Memorial tour with a guide who can share insight about that harrowing day.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
A master class in contemporary art.
Considered one of the world's most influential organizations for contemporary art, New York's Museum of Modern Art features must-sees from Pollock, Picasso, and Warhol. Book a skip-the-line ticket to this Midtown Manhattan favorite and avoid a long wait, or opt for a city sightseeing pass that includes admission to several attractions. For a VIP experience, an early morning tour allows you to visit before the public arrives.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Set inside a World War II-era aircraft carrier on the Hudson River.
Located on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is dedicated to American maritime and military history. In addition to the Intrepid, a submarine, space shuttle, and supersonic plane are also on display. Book admission in advance to avoid waiting in the ticket line.
Whitney Museum of American Art
Innovative pieces by today’s visionaries.
The Whitney has long laid claim to works by emerging American artists, alongside classics by the likes of Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keeffe. Set between the High Line and the Hudson River, the museum also offers terraces overlooking the city skyline. Skip the line for ample time at this Meatpacking District gem, and take advantage of free daily tours—no reservation necessary.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Contemporary gems, housed in a work of art.
With a knack for the avant garde, the Guggenheim showcases 20th-century art in a surreal architectural setting, its permanent collection decorated with such names as Brancusi, Picasso, Kandinsky, and Degas. Admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s Upper East Side masterpiece from Fifth Avenue, then walk through its soaring atrium to join a guided tour, offered daily at 2pm and included with admission.