There are dozens of museums in New York City. Some are more well-known or a lot bigger than others. Some are arts museums and others are history museums. In short, there is a museum for everybody. I have definitely not been to every museum and there are still few I really want to visit in the upcoming weeks, but I have been to what I think are the four biggest and most well-known museums in New York.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The Museum of Modern Art is located in Midtown Manhattan and it is actually a lot bigger than I thought it would be. They have many different exhibitions and art from many different artist, I spend two hours in the museum and I do not think I have seen everything. When I went here, it was not what I had expected. I assumed “modern” meant the art was from the last 50 years or so, but there were pieces from the nineteenth century. I thought there would be a lot more stuff from Andy Warhol, but the MoMA had only a few pieces on display. Overall, I did really like the Museum of Modern Art. It is not my favorite, but it is a must-see for everyone who likes art. Every Friday you can enter the museum for free between 4 pm and 8 pm. There is a long line outside to get in, but it moves quite fast, so there is no need to be super early, 30 minutes is fine.
American Museum of Natural History
This museum is completely different from the Museum of Modern Art. The American Museum of Natural History has so many exhibitions that it would take you over a week to see everything. The museum is located in the middle of the Upper West Side, on Central Park West. It is one of the largest museums in the world. You can find information on the natural world, human cultures and the universe. Right now, they have a really cool exhibition on dinosaurs. This museum is actually the background for the movie ‘Night at the Museum’, so when you visit the American Museum of Natural History, you might recognize it. You can visit the museum for free every day from 4:45 pm to 5:45 pm, but if you really want to see something, you will have to buy a ticket, because there is just so much to see.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (The Guggenheim)
Because of the amazing building which was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is hard to miss. On the Upper East Side on the Museum Mile you can find this art museum. The museum is basically a huge spiral staircase, except there are no actual stairs, so it is accessible for people in wheelchairs too. The Guggenheim is definitely my favorite art museum I have ever been to. They have a lot of modern and contemporary pieces from artist from all over the world. What I love is that most pieces are very colorful. They have photography and you can find pieces with the straightest lines you have ever seen or with perfect circles. The Guggenheim is not as big as the Museum of Modern Art or the American Museum of Natural History, it took me only about an hour to see everything, but that does not mean it is not worth visiting. I actually think that if you have only time to go to one museum, you should go to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. You can visit the museum for as much or as little as you like on Saturday from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm. Make sure you are there at least an hour early though, because the line goes all the way around the block and if you are not there before 54:45 pm, you will probably have to wait in line for a very long time.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
You can find The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park on the Museum Mile, only a few blocks down the street from The Guggenheim. If you have ever watched Gossip Girl, you will recognize the steps leading to the entrance, because that is where they always sit. The Met is the largest art museum in the United States and it is also one of the most visited art museum in the world. At The Met you can find exhibition on the Romans and Greek, the Aboriginals, the Egyptians and other nations, you can also find art from the Middle Ages and the Twentieth Century and they also have some photography. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is so big that I got lost a few times, because there are so many exhibitions and rooms. You could easily spend an entire day here, I was only there for two hours and I have definitely not seen everything. How much you want to pay to enter The Met is up to you. On Friday and Saturday afternoon you can get a drink at the rooftop garden if you are 21 or older. Even if you are not of age, it is worth paying a visit to the rooftop garden, because the view of Central Park is amazing.
These are the museums you have to visit if you are visiting New York City in my opinion. All four of them are known all over the world and are one of the reasons why New York is such a touristy city. The MoMA, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim and The Met are all special in their own way and even if you are not very into art, you will find something you like. You can find so many more museums in New York, but you cannot leave without visiting at least one of these four.