Museums get a bad rep for no reason. Even the word museum tends to bore people, and often functions as a Tumblr date idea that no one wants to try anymore.
Now, forget the museum branding, and focus on their raison d’etre: highlighting the history, science, and art of the whole world – all distilled into one experience that you can witness for the cost of chewing gum. Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, does it?
And when you’re in NYC, missing out on visiting a museum is the sin you just don’t want to commit!
NYC offers some of the best museums in the world. From history to art, sculpture and photography – there’s something for everyone! If you’re a visiting NYC and looking to explore it’s museums, we’ve got you covered.
The classic Metropolitan Museum of Art has to be the first museum stop for any newbie to NYC. This museum has permanent collection so huge that’s impossible to see at once.
This is the kind of place that’s worth a second visit, or third, just to fully witness all it has to offer. Some of our favorites are the Oceania section (totem poles, indigenous animal carvings), the Japanese Garden, the Medieval Section, and the Temple of Dendur (serene watering pools, ancient mummies).
If you happen to be visiting anytime soon this Summer, make sure to find your way to the top roof deck for a fantastic view of Central Park and the city. When you’re exhausted and worn out after watching so much art all day – unwind in the Cocktail Bar inside!
Be sure to check out our handy guide to visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Museum of Modern Art is the ideal weekend afternoon museum, because it’s not too large to tackle, yet the space is still bright and airy.
Visitors usually flock to the Dali surrealist paintings, Claude Monet’s Water Lily painting, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Campbell soup label exhibit.
This museum is also known for its bar and dining room. We recommend going to the Modern Dining room if you get the chance. The food here absolutely delicious!
One of the largest museums in America, the Brooklyn Museum Of Art has around 1.5 million pieces of artwork. The museum displays American decorative arts and a range of American sculptures and paintings, with related items from the Native American and Spanish Colonial holdings.
Apart from the absolutely stunning exhibitions, you’ll also get to take in literary readings, view film screenings, and see live music performances. The first floor features Infinite Blue, a unique collection showcasing the color blue in numerous varieties with contemporary works as well as ancient ones.
After exploring this collection, proceed to the 2nd floor for a look at Asian art. Then, move on upwards to a fine collection of Egyptian art. You won’t be left quenching for more art after this visit!
Elephants! Dinosaurs! Whales! This is the Natural History Museum, where you can indulge in your ultimate jungle fantasy without any inhibitions. It’s a thrill-a-minute, taking you on a global journey deep down into the sea, up mountains and through jungles. You can even explore outer space at the planetarium nearby. Basically, this is as close as you can get to real-life Jumanji – except there’s more adventure, more thrill and more creativity!
Mansion/Museum spaces are always a delight to visit because they’re able to highlight art and beautiful architecture in one memorable experience. The Frick is a visually stunning mansion on the Upper East Side. Think of the Jacquemart Andre museum/mansion in Paris. That’s the vibe of The Frick.
The building was originally designed by one of the world’s most successful industrialists: Henry Clay Frick.
Inside, the museum is decorated lavishly with art and period furniture pieces. There’s a beautiful open air Garden Court close to the main entrance, with greenery, a fountain and skylight. The place is so gorgeous, it has hosted a bunch fashion shows during NYFW. The rest of the house is equally stunning as well, but visitors are not allowed to take pictures.
Despite the somewhat pricey admission, we really recommend visiting the Frick!
To preserve cherish its history, NYC’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s museum showcases exhibits that celebrate the future, past and present of the subway. Here, you get to see everything from artifacts from previous decades, educational exhibits on the subway’s creation, and art installations.
This is perhaps the most important part of NYC’s infrastructure, as the subway system connects all 5 boroughs through its network of subterranean tunnels.
You’ll find inside an extra gift shop in Grand Central Station with a few small pieces you can see while passing through, but the museum itself is a brief subway ride away in Brooklyn.
The Museum Of Sex has become renowned as one of the best museums in NYC for its uncompromising, fun look at a taboo subject.
The entrance to this museum will greet you with a range of accessories, tools and books that all pertain to the same subject mentioned in the Museum’s name. The things you’ll get to see here are tasteful yet titillating. For anyone aged 18 and over, there’s a whole world to explore in the museum.
You’ll find here a balance between more sensationalized, explicit subjects (like, the Jump For Joy exhibit that comprises inflated breasts you can bounce on), as well as some deeper meaning exhibits that explore the art, history and nature of sex. Simply visiting the gift shop alone is an exciting enough activity!
The museum also has one of the best bars in the neighborhood. When you’re tired from a day of browsing the museum, this is the place to grab a beer, tea or coffee before proceeding with your Museum exploration.
The Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) was established in 1923, with a mission is to present, collect and preserve objects related to the original history and culture of NYC. The museum boasts a huge collection of unusual items, such as a display of graffiti art and writings from the 1970s, man’s suit worn to George Washington’s Inaugural Ball, no less than 412 glass negatives by famous photographer Jacob Riis, a complete room of Duncan Phyfe furniture, and several of Eugene O’Neill’s handwritten manuscripts.
“I’ve always been a ‘jack of all trades’ kind of person. I consider myself to be a true generalist, and a bit of an autodidact with constant thirst for knowledge. Growing up, I was always that one kid in the room that took all the toys apart and spent the next couple hours figuring out how to put them back together again. This reverse-engineering, logical and structured mindset has always been the central core of my personality…until I met Mirsada, and was introduced to ART!
Art became this puzzle that couldn’t simply solve by breaking it down and put back together again. Mirsada taught me to embrace art for all it’s intrinsic values. I soon realized that artists expressed themselves directly through their work. I learned that true masters of art are even able to convey all their thoughts, emotions, experiences, aspirations, and even their souls to those that bear witness to their work.
Currently, I work in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors at some of the largest hospital systems in NYC. I also write for my Personal Finance blog, Simoners.com
In a city so immersed in art culture, I’m soaking it in each and everyday in a self-indulgent pursuit to understand art in all forms.”
— Isaiah Simon
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