7 Museums You Must See When Visiting New York

Metropolitan Museum in NYC

The museums in New York are awesome places to experience the city’s world-renowned culture and art. NYC’s museums consist of millions of works of art, and you can explore exhibitions from ancient Greek and Roman sculptures to modern contemporary pieces.

The museums also hold special events throughout the year, including lectures, films, concerts, and outdoor festivals.

In this post, we’ll explore seven museums you must see when visiting New York. Let’s start with a better understanding of what you can expect to see and experience at each:

1. Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn museum exterior view

The Brooklyn Museum has a rich and varied collection of artwork from around the world. It includes photographs of Coney Island, Egyptian mummies, and local Williamsburg murals.

These Brooklyn Museums are ideal destinations for those exploring art from different cultures and eras. Browse through the stunning ancient artifacts collection or participate in one of their exciting educational programs.

Whether a family outing or an individual exploration, the Brooklyn Museum offers something for everyone! 

2. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum in New York - internal view to ceiling

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a masterpiece by starchitect “Frank Lloyd Wright.” Entrepreneur, philanthropist founded it, and art collector Solomon R. Guggenheim in 1939 and has since become a highly respected mecca for modern and contemporary art from around the globe.

It is the epicenter of iconic works by some of history’s greatest artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Klee, Willem de Kooning, Louis Bourgeois, Mark Rothko, and many more.

The museum also showcases innovative exhibitions of emerging contemporary artists throughout the year.

3. National September 11 Museum and Memorandum

9/11 reflective pool memorial in NYC

The world will never forget the heart-broken incident of 9/11. It is located at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan and features two large reflecting pools within the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood.

A plaza surrounds each pool with a list of every person killed in this incident. Undoubtedly, it was a huge loss for America that can never be forgotten. But if you visit, you must visit this place in the memories of innocent people.

4. Neue Galerie

The Neue Galerie focuses on the works of early twentieth-century German and Austrian art. The museum is home to over 500 paintings and sculptures. It comprises decorative objects ranging from furniture, ceramics, silver, jewelry, and glassware.

Its permanent collection includes a variety of masterpieces, such as Gustav Klimt’s 1907 portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Along with its permanent collection, the museum also hosts numerous special exhibitions throughout the year. 

5. American Museum of Natural History

Natural history museum in NYC inside view of giant whale

The American Museum of Natural History is home to several impressive sculptures and exhibits. Visitors can marvel at the giant T-Rex replica, a full-size Blue Whale sculpture, and an incredible display showcasing the culture of Cuba.

All these pieces will leave you in awe as you explore the museum’s galleries. Besides, all these sculptures give you feel of reality, and you forget everything when you enter this museum.

6. New Museum

The New Museum has cultural questions of our time and provides space for progressive art.

It is a hub for innovative and provocative art that engages with today’s issues. Through exhibitions, educational programs, public events, research initiatives, and digital platforms, the New Museum provides a platform for artists to explore complex topics in new ways and share their ideas directly with audiences.

The museum’s commitment to cultivating creative dialogue between contemporary artists and the wider public continues to move us forward.

7.  The Met Cloisters

internal courtyard of the Cloisters in NYC

The Met Cloisters museum is a great destination for those interested in learning more about medieval European art and architecture.

It houses an extensive collection of Romanesque and Gothic art and artifacts from other medieval periods, such as the Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical eras.

The Met Cloisters also feature gardens inspired by medieval monasteries and temples, giving visitors a glimpse into what life was like during this period.

Planning a Trip to New York?

You may also want to check out more area guides from our Explore My City series, including:

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