13 fantastic museums to visit in New York City, USA
*affiliate links: find out how we are funded and why this helps us remain free to use.
New York spoils you for choice when it comes to fantastic museums. From exhibitions exploring American history, to innovative new galleries showcasing the best emerging artists, make sure you pack a few of these big hitters into your Big Apple itinerary.
1. American Museum of Natural History
If you're excited by science, nature and er, T-Rexes, the American Museum of Natural History should be your first point of call. Get up close to some of the world's most fascinating butterflies in The Butterfly Conservatory. You can also enjoy a space show at the Hayden Planetarium, snap photos from the rooftop and take a self-guided tour behind the scenes of hit film Night at the Museum.
Address: Central Park West at 79th Street, NY 10024-5192
2. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
If you like a museum that's interactive and pushes the boundaries, head to MoMA, a favourite on the New York arts scene. Prepare to get philosophical as you pass eccentric exhibits and works that present everyday objects in a new light - it's sure to ignite the imagination.
Address: 11 W. 53rd St. Manhattan, NY 10019
3. Whitney Museum of American Art
Head to the foot of the Highline - NYC's freight rail 'sky garden' - and you'll find the recently opened Whitney Museum of American Art, an exciting collection of 20th century and contemporary art. It mostly celebrates living artists and provokes many a debate amongst visitors. Don't miss the signature Whitney Biennial, featuring both established and emerging artists.
Address: 99 Gansevoort St. Manhattan, NY 10014
4. Statue of Liberty Museum
You'll have to wait until 2019 to visit The Statue of Liberty Museum. But when it opens, the $70 million project will feature interactive displays, museum galleries and an immersive theatre illustrating America's immigration history. Its roof garden will also be a great place to take some snaps of Lady Liberty herself.
Address: Liberty Island, NY 10004
5. The Met Fifth Avenue
The Met first opened its doors in Central Park in 1880 and houses 5,000 years' worth of art from all corners and cultures of the world. It's not just paintings - discover everything from Chinese Opera costumes to Byzantine textiles. Check out sister site The Met Breuer for contemporary art, then swing by the Met Cloisters for its European gardens and architecture.
Address: Fifth Ave. at 82nd St. Manhattan, NY 10028
6. The Frick Collection
Not only does it boast a pretty location - in the Fifth Avenue Garden - The Frick Collection is one of New York's lesser-known museums for fine art. Founded by American industrialist Henry Frick, it presents more than 1,100 Renaissance and late 19th century paintings. Concerts and lectures feature too.
Address: 1 East 70th Street, Manhattan, NY 10021
7. Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling
If you're travelling with little ones, why not visit the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling - the first of its kind in Harlem. With storytelling sessions, art workshops and vibrant installations, it aims to nurture curiosity and creativity amongst little ones.
Address: 898 St Nicholas Ave, Harlem, NY 10032
8. New York Hall of Science
With children's workshops, a 3D theatre and even museum sleepovers, the NY Hall of Science is another great family attraction. With a focus on technology, engineering, maths and of course science, it features 45 permanent exhibits, educational events and scientific demos.
Address: 47-01 111th Street, Corona, Queens, NY 11368
9. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
This cylindrical building is one of New York's most impressive modern art museums. It's worth a visit for its spiral layout alone. Discover America's largest selection of Kandinsky paintings and works from the likes of Picasso and Miró. There's plenty in the way of quirky and avant-garde exhibits here.
Address: 1071 Fifth Ave, Manhattan, NY 10128
10. The Bronx Museum of the Arts
If you fancy going beyond the tourist trail, why not head to The Bronx Museum of the Arts in one of New York's most diverse neighbourhoods? African, Asian and African-American artists all feature in its collection. You'll find artists' workshops, film festivals and open mic events too.
Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456
11. The Bronx Children's Museum
The Bronx Children's Museum has been running mobile for some time now. But when it gains walls in the Bronx's historic POWERHOUSE building in 2018, it will offer a host of exhibitions and educational programs across themes such as community, natural resources, culture and art. It's close to the Yankee Stadium too if you fancy watching NY's famous baseball team.
Address: 1 E 150th Street, Bronx, NY 10451
12. Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor
If you fancy a trip to New York's southernmost borough, check out The Staten Island Museum, which recently opened a second location at Snug Harbor. The museum spans collections of art, natural science and history. So expect to find plenty of fossils and taxidermy, Paleo-Indian artefacts and interestingly, the largest cicada collection in the world.
Address: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301
13. Queens Museum of Art
Not only does it have a vibrant location in Flushing Meadows, The Queens Museum of Art also has a colourful history too. This art museum and education centre was originally constructed for the 1939 World's Fair and occupied by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Highlights today include historical photographs, a collection of Tiffany glass and a huge 3D map of New York.
Address: New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368
Whether you're into the arts, architecture, history or children's adventures, New York City is crammed full of fantastic museums, and nycgo.com is the online resource for planning how best to spend your time.
More about New York City
- Climate guide
- 5-day weather forecast
- Best time to visit
- Travel advice
- Deals & discounts
New York City by month
Explore holidays in the sun for less
- Beach holidays
- Family holidays
- City breaks
- Summer holidays
- Winter sun holidays
- Holiday offers
- Top travel brands
- Airlines & flights
- Discount hotels
- Airport parking deals
- British Airways
- easyJet holidays
- Love Holidays
Get your weekly fix of holiday inspiration from some of the world's best travel writers plus save on your next trip with the latest exclusive offers
We promise not to share your details