New York City’s Must-See Museums
New York City is a world-class destination when it comes to amazing museums, providing locals and tourists alike with some of the finest art, architecture, education, and interactive experiences in the entire world. Landmark buildings, iconic architecture, and historic artwork that you won't see anywhere else (literally) await your travel group on the bustling culture-filled streets of New York, but where do you start?
How about with any of these top-notch New York City Must-See Museum choices, all providing you with the absolute best museum experiences possible!
*Information in part from sister site, Group Tours.
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - Internationally renowned and nationally beloved, New York’s very own Guggenheim tops our list for New York City’s Must-See Museums. The Guggenheim is one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, a Fifth Avenue hotspot in the Upper East Side that was designed by none other than the fantastic Frank Lloyd Wright. This modern art museum features an architecturally significant spiral rotunda as well as an outstanding modern and contemporary art collection. Your travel group will get the chance to be a part of a daily public tour, happening each day at 2 pm and led by a highly knowledgeable educator.
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum - Group travelers in NYC looking for quality military education, history, and insight most certainly need to make a stop at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, one of the finest of its kind in the entire country. Intrepid is an American Military and Maritime History Museum that holds an impressive collection of museum ships at Pier 86, which is on 46th Street in NY’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. This west Manhattan flight museum actually sits on an aircraft carrier, giving it that unique and immersive quality that many other museums don’t have.
- Museum of Modern Art - Welcome to the Museum of Modern Art, otherwise known as MOMA. This highly popular NYC art museum is located in Midtown Manhattan, right along 53rd Street (in between 5th and 6th Avenue). MOMA is so popular because it features works from greats such as Van Gogh and Warhol plus a phenomenal sculpture garden, 2 cafes, and the award-winning Modern restaurant on site. This spot is spectacular for groups looking for the real deal, art-wise, and looking for an essentially New York City experience.
- Met Cloisters - In Upper Manhattan, your travel group will find a seriously unique, seriously gorgeous NYC must-see museum, The Cloisters. A branch of the MET, the Cloisters is a medieval architecture museum on Margaret Corbin Drive named after the European columns, or cloisters, in the center of the establishment. And that’s not the only European works of art you will see here, the Cloisters providing guests with European medieval art, architecture, sculpture, and decorative arts throughout the entire museum on a quite impressive scale.
- American Museum of Natural History - On par with the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History in New York's premier history museum with exhibits and galleries on nearly every facet of our natural history, a guaranteed hit for your travel group. Search the skies, look deep into the world of bacteria, time travel to the land of dinosaurs, and learn about human societies from around the world while here. Exhibits and collections span human and earth history from the prehistoric to our modern-day knowledge of our universe. See how life thrives in extreme conditions, learn about natural disasters, and more with circulating temporary exhibitions.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art - Commonly known as ‘The Met’, the highly popular Metropolitan Museum of Art was first founded in 1870 by a group of Americans returning from an inspiring trip to Paris. It was decided that the United States needed a national institution and artistic landmark comparable to the Louvre, thus the Met was established, furnishing artistic understanding, inspiring, and encouraging the development of creativity. The Met has been located in the same grand, neoclassical structure on 5th Avenue since 1880 and has added on several new complexes to its repertoire such as the Cloisters, a religious and traditional style collection of galleries.
- Museum at Eldridge Street - The Eldridge Street Synagogue was built in 1887 to accommodate the more than two million new Jewish New Yorkers who immigrated to the U.S. through Ellis Island, an especially educational and meaningful stop to make during your NYC group travel adventure. The synagogue and museum are located on Eldridge Street, just off of East Broadway, and are centrally located to many of Manhattan’s exciting attractions (although it predates most of them). The synagogue has been in continuous use since its opening although it, unfortunately, fell into disrepair during the Great Depression and WWII. After it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1996, efforts were made to dispel the gloom and age to revive the old synagogue to its former glory.
- 9/11 Museum and Memorial - The 9/11 Memorial Museum is located at the World Trade Center’s Foundation and serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of 9/11 events. Here your travel group will find 110,000 square feet of exhibition space within the archaeological heart of the Trade Center that extensively documents events, explores the continuing significance of, and tells personal stories from 9/11. This sobering educational opportunity is mostly frequented by those in their teenage years and older, but is absolutely open to anybody interested in learning.
- Museum of Chinese in America - This small interactive Chinatown museum makes an excellent educational stop while in the area, the perfect way to learn about the culture, the people, and the experience of Chinese Americans throughout history. Small but powerful, this museum gives guests a new perspective on New York, a history and heritage perhaps unexplained before. Chinatown is about much more than the tourist-based culinary and retail experiences, Chinatown is a vibrant community with a diverse heritage that brought entirely new ways of living in the city of New York. The museum itself was designed by architect Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.