New York City is known as an expensive city; however, it can be equally generous to its residents and tourists alike. Many premier museums and galleries offer free entry or pay-what-you-wish options. This admission list is your ticket to some of the world’s most famous institutions.
NYC Museums That Are Always Free
While all of New York museums are fun and exciting to visit, these world-class attractions offer free admission all of the time:
2 Lincoln Square / This museum features 18th and 19th century paintings, sculptures, quilts, and other works from self-taught artists.
Central Park West & 79th St / This museum houses over 32 million artifacts and specimens. It’s been one of the world’s most prominent cultural institutions since its inception in 1869. Pieces focus on the natural world, the universe, and human cultures.
200 Eastern Parkway / This museum offers a diverse and creative selection of works in its unique collection. Whether Egyptian masterpieces, European paintings, decorative arts, period rooms, contemporary art, or African art, it has something for every art enthusiast of any age.
99 Margaret Corbin Drive / The Cloisters is a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is devoted to medieval Europe and art from the 12th-15th century. Housing over 2,000 works of art, the building and its gardens in northern Manhattan are pieces of art themselves.
1000 5th Avenue / Also known as the Met, it is the largest art museum in the United States. It houses over two million works in its permanent collection among 17 different departments including contemporary art, paintings, sculptures, and more.
5 Other Free Museums:
- National Museum of the American Indian – Smithsonian Institution, Financial District
- New York City Police Museum, Financial District
- Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows
- Staten Island Museum, St. George
- Water Front Museum, Red Hook
Weekly Calendar of Free Days/Hours
- Yeshiva University Museum, (5-8 pm—also on Wed), Jewish art and culture, Union Square
- Museum at Eldridge Street, Jewish American history, Lower East Side
- 9/11 Memorial Museum, (5-8 pm), Financial District
- China Institute, (6-8 pm), Financial District
- Wave Hill (9 am – noon), Riverdale, Bronx
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Heights
- Museum of Jewish Heritage, (4-8 pm), north of Battery Park
- New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Park
- Queens Botanical Garden, (3-6 pm, April to October), Downtown Flushing
- Van Cortlandt House Museum, Fieldston, Bronx
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum, (3-5 pm), Crown Heights
- Museum of Arts and Design, (6-9 pm), Hell’s Kitchen
- Museum of Chinese in America, SoHo, Little Italy
- New Museum of Contemporary Art, (7-9 pm), Lower East Side
- Japan Society, (6-9 pm), Midtown East
- Museum of the Moving Image, (4-8 pm), Astoria
- Museum of Modern Art, (4-8 pm), Midtown West
- New York Historical Society, (6-8 pm), Upper West Side
- New York Aquarium, (3pm to closing), Coney Island
- New York Hall of Science, (2-5 pm, September to June), Flushing Meadows
- Rubin Museum of Art, (7-10 pm), Chelsea
- Whitney Museum of American Art, (6-9 pm), West Village
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What are your favorite museums in NYC?
[Featured Image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr, Metropolitan Museum of Art]