12 Best Museums in New York to Explore


New York, the largest and most populous city of America, is best known for the magnificently built buildings, dazzling skyscrapers, historic monuments and is well reputed to have the title of “urban jungle.” New York is a city that never sleeps. A person of every race and language can be found here. Its also the global center for the financial services industry along with other industries like media, entertainment, law, and advertisement.

The city is also home to some of the most fascinating museums. These museums are proof of many historic stories. We curated this list of best museums in New York to explore.

Best Museums in New York City

Here is the list of museums in New York City:

1. MoMA PS1

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MoMA PS1 previously known as Contemporary Art Center is renowned as one of the largest and oldest non-profit art centers in the United States. It focuses entirely on contemporary art. Its located in Long Island City.


A collection of 200,000 pieces of art is under the museum’s permanent care. The wide collection ranges from Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman photographs to paintings from painters like Francis Bacon. Various exhibits are also hosted here which feature 3D visualizations.

2. Met Cloisters

Met Cloisters
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Met Cloisters is a museum in Manhattan that is dedicated to only art, the architecture of medieval Europe. This museum is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The museum consists of over 2000 artworks and artifacts from Medieval Europe. You can also try the audio guide which contains the history of the Cloisters. The galleries are based on chaples. Met Cloisters also has its small store where you can purchase gifts and souvenirs.

3. Jewish Museum

Jewish Museum
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Jewish Museum is a hub representing art and Jewish culture. It also contains contemporary art. It is located in New York’s famous Museum Mile. This museum was founded in 1904 and was the first institution of its kind in the US. It has over 30,000 works of art and ceremonial objects which are more than 4000 years old.


The artworks were a private collection and were restricted to the public until 1947. Many famous exhibitions are also held here.

4. Children’s Museum

Children's Museum
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There is many children’s museum in NYC, but the most popular one is the one in Manhattan. With a mission to guide future generations to become the best of themselves, Children’s Museum is a five-storeyed building that encloses total fun for your child. Many programs are hosted here.

Apart from children related exhibits, the museum also hosts family workshops which teach parents about molding their wards into better future generations.

5. 9/11 Museum

9/11 Museums in New York
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This is a must-visit for anyone in America. It is built in the memory of the infamous 9/11 attacks. It is built to pay homage to 3000 victims of the attack. A permanent collection of more than 40,000 still images, 300 moving images and 3,500 oral recordings can be is hosted here.

Apart from that, artworks, textiles, books, and manuscripts can also be found here. You can make use of paid guides if you are short of time.

6. International Center of Photography

International Center of Photography
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The International Center of Photography is a museum that is dedicated to photography. It was started in 1974 by Cornell Capa. The museum hosts a diverse selection of works from top photographers. A must visit place for any photo enthusiast. The Internationa Center of Photography is also in possession of the International Center of Photography school.

It is currently the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography. The museum’s mission is to “keep the legacy of concerned photography alive.”

7. American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History
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American Museum of Natural History is dedicated to present your nature in a different way. It is quite vast and probably the best natural museum you can find.

There are many must-see things such as the Chinese Wedding chair, Colossal Olmec Head, The Reticulated Python, Tyrannosaurus Rex’s skeleton and much more. You will be amazed at the things you get to see here.

8. Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum
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Tenement Museum or The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a historic apartment styled house which housed about 15000 immigrants from 20 nations. A family of ten or more used to live in a small area of 325 square feet.

The purpose of the museum is to make you feel lucky about your present situation however it might be. It depicts the struggle of the immigrants that resided here. The building is kept in the same way as it was before.

9. American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum museums in New York
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Founded in 1961, this institute has been one of the leading institutions for traditional and contemporary American folk art. It has a collection of more than 8000 works of art. The museum is free for the public. Every art lover should visit this place.

The contributing artists are mostly self-taught, which makes the craftwork even more intriguing and pleasurable to look at.

10. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
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This is an international museum that collects and exhibits works of contemporary art in NYC and other places under its foundation. It was opened in 1959. The centre of attraction is the museum’s architecture. The museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Works of artists like Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, and Joan Miro, etc are hosted here. Apart from paintings and drawings, modern sculptures are also well maintained.

11. Whitney Museum of American art

Whitney Museum of American art
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One of the major museums of New York City, Whitney Museum of American art was opened in 2015. Whitney Museum is named for Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The distinction of Whiney museum is that it focuses on the works of currently living modern artists.

It hosts over 21,000 works by more than 3000 artists. Some must-see paintings are Marsden Hartley’s Number 5, George Bellows’ Dempsey and Firpo, etc.

12. The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection museums in New York
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The Frick Collection is a museum that houses a private collection of great artists from the 14th to 19th centuries. It is free to the public. this museum hosts European paintings, sculptures and decorative crafts and artworks from the Renaissance. It also hosts special exhibitions.

The place was originally built for industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The place is a must-visit museum in New York for anyone be it an art lover or not.

Read More, List of best museums around the world

NYC is a hub of world-class museums especially art museums. These are some of the many great museums that one must not miss seeing. Hope this list of museums in New York will help you in exploring the historic side of NYC. Do tell us in the comment section about your experiences.