New York, a city that is known for its vibrant art and culture scene, makes it a global epicentre for artistic expression and historical preservation. From its lively streets to an array of museums, each is a testament to human creativity and heritage.
These cultural gems draw millions of visitors annually, providing a rich tapestry of experiences that celebrate the artistic evolution of humanity. Whether your interests lie in art, history, science, or more niche subjects, you'll find an institution to satisfy your curiosity.
From renowned museums showcasing classical masterpieces to contemporary art centers pushing the boundaries of creativity, we've thoughtfully curated a list of the city's most popular museums.
Come along as we journey through time, culture, and artistic innovation, exploring the must-visit museums that capture the essence of New York City.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Opened in 1880 and situated on Central Park, this iconic New York institution contains 5,000 years of art—from prehistory to the latest in contemporary works—under one roof. That's range, folks. Its unparalleled collection comprises more than two million objects, including Old Master paintings, the Ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur, and the museum’s famed period rooms.
Among the Met's greatest collections are the works presented in its galleries of 19th- and early-20th-century European paintings and sculpture. In Gallery 825 are 10 works by Vincent van Gogh, with another seven next door in Gallery 822.
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum
Swelling out towards the city of Manhattan, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was the last major project designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright between 1943 and 1959, six months after his death, making it one of his longest works in creation along with one of his most popular projects The Guggenheim is an inverted ziggurat shape that took years to build. Among the delays were redesigns of the building and the onset of World War II.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is arguably the most important building of Wright's late career. A monument to modernism, the unique architecture of the space, with its spiral ramp riding to a domed skylight, continues to thrill visitors and provide a unique forum for the presentation of contemporary art.
Museum of Modern Art
Set in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the grandiosity of MoMA is deceptive. The museum spans 630,000 square feet, housing spaces for exhibitions, film screenings, public programming, education, and scholarly research. It’s a known quantity, with the crowds to prove it. The museum reopened in the fall of 2019 with an addition of more than 40,000 square feet of gallery space. The museum is filled with modern and contemporary art—from Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night to cutting-edge photography, film, and fashion.
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum is a non-profit educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world's fastest jets, and a guided missile submarine. Explore history, science, and service at the Intrepid Museum. Walk the decks of the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark, and see 28 aircraft, including the world’s fastest military jet.
Get an up-close look at the space shuttle Enterprise and British Airways Concorde, and enter Growler, the only guided missile submarine open to the public. The museum also features the Exploreum, a fully interactive exhibit space where you can climb into a real Bell 47 helicopter and land a space shuttle.