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Why New York Is a Paradise for Museum-Hoppers

March 31, 2023 By CityPASS

New York City is a cultural melting pot that houses some of the world's best museums. There are a whopping 83 different New York museums across the five boroughs, and it can be overwhelming to narrow down the choices.

So if you're a museum hopper planning a trip to the Big Apple, you may want to check out our list of can't-miss museums. But first, let's talk about what exactly makes New York's museum scene so vibrant.

New York's Museum Scene Explained: Why It's the Best in the Country

There are a couple of reasons why museum-goers flock to New York City over any other destination in the world. The options are endless, from large-scale, world-renowned museums to small niche or regional museums.

Home to Some of the World's Largest and Most Renowned Museums

If you are looking for a major museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or The Met, is one of the biggest in the world. It is also one of the most popular and influential museums in America. With over two million items on display, it would take much more than just one visit to see everything.

The collection covers over 5,000 years of history from around the world, and includes a substantial section on contemporary American art.

Another well-known museum is the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. The only museum in America dedicated solely to design, it offers a comprehensive collection of historical and modern design pieces across 30 centuries.

History and Architecture of Buildings Attract More Than Just Museum Lovers

New York's vibrant history dates back hundreds of years. As a result, the architecture of the buildings in the city is unique. The design tells a story spanning centuries and represents a variety of styles. Many museum visitors come just to see the buildings, let alone the exhibits inside.

For history buffs, the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side offers a glimpse into the history of immigration, and you can experience what it was like for the people in New York during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Another architectural marvel is the National Museum of the American Indian. This building was a customs house in the early 1900s. It's a Beaux-Arts-style building composed of detailed sculptures and an impressive structural design. The Morgan Library & Museum and the Brooklyn Museum are also architectural masterpieces.

Can't-Miss New York Museums

Of course, you will only be able to visit some of New York's museums in a single day, or even whole week, in the city. No matter your interests, whether you want to see art from the Renaissance or look at fossils and crystals from all over the globe, you can discover these sights and more in the best museums in New York.

9/11 Memorial & Museum

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is built on the site where the Twin Towers once stood. At the museum, you can experience the historical event by seeing artifacts and audio and video recordings from the day. Then you can explore the "before 9/11" and "after 9/11" sections, which show the building's influence on many lives, as well as the aftermath of the attacks.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

If you're interested in art history, you must visit the world-famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It's one of the largest art museums in New York. It has a collection of artworks that include many great works from around the world.

All forms of media are on display here, including photographs, paintings, sculptures, films, and even installations. In addition, the MoMA has collections of well-known artists you grew up learning about, including Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Dali, Warhol, and many more. After you peruse the art, you can shop at the museum's store, where you can find many books and reproductions of all your favorite art pieces.

Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum is a New York City landmark showcasing the architect Frank Lloyd Wright's final project. The building is made of circular concrete with a ramp that spirals up to each floor where the artworks are displayed.

American Museum of Natural History

Across from Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History has one of the world's largest collections of artifacts of any natural history museum. This museum is a great place to take children, as there is much to see that they can appreciate.

With this museum experience, you can see dinosaur skeletons and even mummies from Egypt. The Hall of Ocean Life has a blue whale model and other marine life exhibits. If you like space, the Hayden Planetarium offers a breathtaking view of stars, planets, and galaxies.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum is a maritime museum dedicated to the USS Intrepid. Located on the Hudson River, you can browse the aircraft carrier, the space shuttle, the submarine, and the Concorde. In addition, you can get up close and familiar with military decks and crafts and learn about some of the aircraft carrier’s legacy.

Check Out All of New York City's Most Popular Museum Exhibitions

New York is a museum lover's paradise. With New York CityPASS® tickets you can get discounted admission to the American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and Guggenheim Museum. With New York C3® tickets or New York C-All® tickets you can get discounted admission to those museums as well as The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Click here to decide which option is right for you!

New York City Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in New York City, we recommend finding lodging near New York City's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Header Image ©AMNH/D. Finnin

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