It’s safe to say that New York City has a lot of history, and the Big Apple is home to many memorable museum experiences, many of which focus on the culture, art, and historical significance of the city that never sleeps.
10 Best Museums in New York City
With so many museums in New York, it can be difficult to know which places to visit first and what to see at each museum. From iconic art galleries to world-famous historical exhibits, here are some of New York’s best museums.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not only the best museum in all of New York, but one of the best in the entire world. Boasting famous works of art by some of history’s greatest creative minds, you could spend an entire day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and still not see everything within its walls.
A history and museum in one, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s extensive art collection stretches from unearthed ruins of ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian societies to astonishing works of art from recent decades. Catering to the interests of all visitors, you can immerse yourself in Monet’s pastoral works, admire the ornate armor worn by Henry VIII, and touch an authentic Egyptian sarcophagus. It doesn’t get any better than that.
modern art museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art boasts an excellent collection of classical works of art, while the Museum of Modern Art specializes in contemporary art of all shapes and sizes. In particular, you can see works of art that are more conceptual or abstract in nature, such as works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Kahlo, and Dali.
In theory, MoMa’s focus on surreal, contemporary art might not be as appealing to many visitors as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s extensive archives. But for anyone planning to visit New York, it’s a museum worth seeing at least once.
American Museum of Natural History
Like many notable museums in New York, the American Museum of Natural History’s size should not be underestimated. Spanning over 40 galleries, this 1869 landmark of his chronicles the wonders of the natural world and details anthropological curiosities beyond imagination.
Throughout the museum, visitors will encounter incredible sights, including a giant Tyrannosaurus skeleton, a 94-foot statue of a blue whale, and pieces of a meteorite that crash-landed on Earth. Like MoMa and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can spend an entire day here and still not see everything there is to see.
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
On September 11, 2001, New York City suffered a devastating terrorist attack that caused the collapse of the World Trade Center and claimed approximately 3,000 lives. Today, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum stands proudly where the Twin Towers once stood, commemorating the 2001 attacks and his 1993 bombing that killed six people. We forever remember the victims involved.
At this sacred site, visitors can admire man-made waterfalls that highlight the structural foundation of each tower, and the names of all the victims are inscribed on the fountain walls. Inside, you’ll find a museum detailing the fateful events leading up to 9/11 and the incredible heroism shown by the first responders who assisted in the rescue efforts immediately after the building collapsed.
Whitney Museum of American Art
Since debuting in its new location in Lower Manhattan, the Whitney has done an excellent job of forging a new life as a premier museum destination. In contrast to most other museums in New York, the Whitney places particular emphasis on curating the work of contemporary American artists, his 20th century and his 21st century.
The Whitney Museum of American Art has a more modern collection than the Museum of Modern Art, showcasing a grand gallery of artists spanning multiple generations. The resulting archive provides an almost anthropological study of America’s progress, focusing on national interests by decade.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York’s Museum of Modern Art may steal the show, but that doesn’t mean the Brooklyn Museum isn’t a great place to visit in itself. One of his largest museums in New York City, its collection includes over 500,000 of his objects and includes acclaimed works of art such as works by Monet. doge’s palace and gilbert stuart Portrait of George Washington.
Like its Metropolitan Museum of Art counterpart, the Brooklyn Museum also has significant space to display artifacts of ancient Egyptian and African origin. It’s a vast museum where you can stop and wander, seeing everything from contemporary art to sarcophagi that are literally thousands of years old.
Morgan Library and Museum
A museum and research library rolled into one, the Morgan Library and Museum offers access to the private collection of books and art once owned by Gilded Age banker JP Morgan.
While museums may be primarily aimed at avid bibliophiles, the Morgan Library has items on display that will intrigue anyone who walks through the museum’s front doors. On site, visitors can admire works of art by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, three Gutenberg Bibles, and original manuscripts by Charles Dickens. Christmas carolNapoleon Bonaparte’s personal letters, and signed pieces by Beethoven, Mozart, and Verdi.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
With its unique 20th-century exterior, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is another treasured museum in New York City, rivaling famous locations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA. Inside the gallery, you’ll find artwork from a wide range of movements and historical periods, with a special emphasis on works from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
With an art collection that continues to grow over time, there’s so much to see inside the Guggenheim Museum that the entire building feels like an intricate work of art (which, of course, it is). As much as Frank Lloyd’s Wright architecture is an inspiration, the museum’s exhibits on Cézanne, Manet, Klee and Kandinsky shouldn’t be forgotten.
Museum of the City of New York
As one of the oldest cities in the United States, New York easily has one of the most extensive and storied histories in the nation. A testament to its checkered past, the Museum of the City of New York lets you learn about New York City’s rise from a vibrant New World colony to the metropolis of tomorrow.
The Museum of the City of New York caters to the interests of historians and art lovers alike, and houses many items specifically related to New York. Among the museum’s standout attractions are a chair that once belonged to Sarah Lapellier, the first European child born in the New World, and two furnished rooms from the mansion of New York billionaire John D. Rockefeller. And so on.
Spicescape While it doesn’t have as much historical significance as almost all the other museums on this list, it’s still a popular attraction for visitors to stop by at any time. It is an “edutainment” attraction that makes the main subject accessible and fun for everyone, and a museum dedicated to the history of international espionage.
Spyscape specifically blends traditional gallery walkthroughs with a more interactive format, giving visitors the opportunity to instantly judge their own spying abilities. Not only does the museum have permanent galleries focused on everything from World War II spies to modern-day cyberwarfare, but it also regularly features installations built around themes from history and pop culture. has been updated.
Richard Czajkowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and just about every movie that has ever existed, especially Star Wars.