On the Fifth Avenue there are the most important museums in New York, (in fact it is nicknamed the Museum Mile) among these, the Guggenheim is immediately recognizable: it is the white one with the spiral shape. Already from the outside you will realize that you are in front of a masterpiece, a building in stark contrast to the museums that are close to it such as the Met or the MoMa.
- A bit of history
- How to visit the Guggenheim
- An icon of modern architecture: the spiral shape
- How the museum is structured
- How to get to the Guggenheim: lines, metro stations and walking
- Audio guides, camera and video camera
- Audioguide e Soundcloud
- The Museum App
- Can I take photos and videos?
- Museum opening hours and entrance rules
- Ticket prices
- Gallery Guides: What Are They?
- In which Passes is the ticket included?
- Where to eat?
- Shop al Museum
- Main store hours:
- Exhibition shop hours:
- Accommodations near the Guggenheim
- Cheap hotels
- 5 star hotel
A bit of history
The museum was born from the passion of Solomon Guggenheim for modern art, a passion that led him, once retired, to put aside his copper and silver mines to devote himself completely to collecting works of art. The first artist he came into contact with was Wassily Kandinsky from which he bought numerous canvases, after him it was the turn of Paul Klee and Marc Chagall. His collection began to be nourished and the need arose to find a venue that would host the works, not only that, a place that "promoted and educated people to art".
With this aim in mind, in 1937 the Solomon Guggenheim foundation was born, with the aim of creating a place dedicated to contemporary art; but it was in 1943, thanks to the mind of Frank Lloyd Wright, that the museum took on the form it has now.
How to visit the Guggenheim
An icon of modern architecture: the spiral shape
The architect wanted the museum to be itself a symbol that would stand the test of time, in fact the shape has different interpretations. The first, the most shared, is the spiral which indicates continuity, a "being" in constant change, as is art.
The other interpretation is that the museum looks like one ziggurat overturned, that is, a sacred mountain, popular in Mesopotamia, which united peoples to culture. In addition to the shape, a unique feature of this museum is the light that comes from the large glass dome that covers the Guggenheim.
The museum immediately became famous thanks to the works of Vasily Kandinsky e Piet Mondrian; since the opening the paintings of these two artists were exhibited and the museum distinguished itself for its modern collection. In addition to them, there are numerous works by Paul Klee e Pablo Picasso, then Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Claude Monet, Rene Magritte, Paul Gauguin, Italians Alberto Giacometti, Umberto Boccioni and many others.
How the museum is structured
Just as Frank Lloyd Wright wished, the Guggenheim was a constantly evolving "being" in its very form; in fact, the interior of the building has been enlarged many times, the most recent in the 4.000s when an eight-storey tower was added which houses (in its XNUMX square meters) the paintings from the permanent collection. The spiral ramp, on the other hand, gives space to temporary exhibitions.
The only drawback of the museum is that the lift is too small to contain the crowds of tourists that invade it daily, which is why the temporary exhibitions are organized from the bottom up even if the architect wanted the tourists to start their journey from 'tall.
The Guggenheim is a lively museum and organizes exhibitions that attract a large audience. Here are some notable exhibitions that have been held in the last period:
- “Visionaries: creating a modern Guggenheim”, a journey through 170 works from the collection by Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Pet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vasily Kandinsky.
- “Guggenheim Collection: Brancusi”, exhibition dedicated to the Romanian sculptor who changed the concept of modern sculpture.
- “Jackson Pollock: Exploring Alchemy”, an icon of abstract art for the first time on display in the United States since 1969.
- "Thannhauser Collection”, the famous German art dealer who played a fundamental role in the diffusion of modern art in the twentieth century.
- “America”, an all-gold toilet that could also be used by tourists (I swear).
Since the exhibitions change often, I recommend that you look on the official website to check for updates and news to better plan your visit.
How to get to the Guggenheim: lines, metro stations and walking
The Museum is located at 1071 Fifth Avenue (corner 89th St).
The metro lines you can take are 4, 5 and 6 which will drop you off at 86th St Station; from here it is only eight minutes on foot: you have to go north (towards Central Park) and go all the way until you come to skirt the park, then turn right on Fifth Avenue. After a few hundred meters you will immediately notice the Guggenheim!
Audio guides, camera and video camera
Audioguide e Soundcloud
Audio guides can be requested at the entrance to the information desk, there are different types, both for adults and those specifically for children. Soundcloud is an interesting tool to visit the museum: it is a platform from which you can download video and audio, a site created to give space to emerging musicians from all over the world who use it to share their songs.
On Soundcloud there are recorded explanations of the exhibitions, guides for children, meetings with architects and painters and profiles dedicated to the artists housed in the museum. You will need to register (for free) on the site in order to access.
The Museum App
Another type of audio guide is theGuggenheim App which can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play with the free Wi-Fi connection. The languages available are: English, French, German, Spanish and Spanish.
Can I take photos and videos?
Photos and videos at the Guggenheim can be taken as long as they are used for personal use only. It is forbidden to do them in the galleries and in the rooms where the prohibition signs are posted, it is also forbidden to use a tripod and pole for the camera and video camera.
Museum opening hours and entrance rules
The Guggenheim is open Thursday to Monday from 11:00 to 18:00. During the holidays the museum is closed for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Every Saturday from 16:00 to 18:00 you can access the museum with the formula "Pay what you wish", That is, you can enter with a free offer. For free bids, the recommended minimum is $ 10.
In order to enter the museum, all visitors over 12 years old must show one proof of vaccination. In addition, all those over 2 years old will have to wear the mask in the internal rooms.
The ticket must be booked with a date and time of your visit. These are the prices:
- Adults $ 25
- Students and over 65s $ 18
- Children under 12 free
- Free Museum Members
The last tickets are issued half an hour before the museum closes.
Look for your skip-the-line tickets to the Guggenheim
Gallery Guides: What Are They?
They are scattered around the museum and are dressed in black but are recognizable by the colored scarf and badge they wear around their neck: it says “Lets' Talk Art“. Guides speak almost all languages and can come to the aid of visitors. They are real guardian angels, and their purpose is to bring visitors as close as possible to art, through personal dialogue and continuous assistance.
In which Passes is the ticket included?
There are New York Passes in which admission to museums is included and this will allow you to save money and discover attractions that were not included in the tour. Let's see in which Passes the ticket for the Museum is included:
- New York Pass
- New York CityPASS
- Go City New York Explorer Pass
- Sightseeing Pass Day
- Sightseeing Pass Flex
If you want to better understand how much you save by purchasing Passes and which attractions are included, read the article about which pass for New York is worthwhile.
Note: those who want to access the museum using a New York Pass will not have to book their visit but when they arrive at the museum entrance they will be assigned the first available entrance.
Where to eat?
To eat, you can choose to stay inside the Museum, the Café Rebay the third floor offers drinks and sandwiches for a light snack while enjoying the beautiful views of Central Park.
Do you want to go out? There are many Italian restaurants near the Guggenheim, one with excellent reviews being Paola's (1295 Madison Ave), if you are looking for Greek cuisine go by Three Guys (1232 Madison Avenue). Bluestone Lane (2 E 90th St) is a coffee shop that also prepares sandwiches and quick lunches, located just two minutes from the museum. The last one I recommend is Sarabeth's (1295 Madison Ave) a restaurant offering typical American cuisine.
If you want to know more about restaurants in the Big Apple (if you are a cheesecake lover or want to eat the best burger in town, for example), check out our tips on where to eat in New York.
Shop al Museum
The Guggenheim Store collects objects of various kinds, books, obviously the posters of the works of the Museum, accessories for children and for the home. There are creations born from the hands of young designers (such as vases or costume jewelery) and eccentric clothing items to give absolutely as gifts, such as ties with Kandinsky or Pollock prints.
Main store hours:
- Monday 11: 00 - 18: 00
- Closed on Tuesdays
- Closed on Wednesday
- Thursday 11: 00 - 18: 00
- Friday 11: 00 - 18: 00
- Saturday 11:00 - 18:00
- Sunday 11:00 - 18:00
Exhibition shop hours:
This store is currently closed.
Accommodations near the Guggenheim
The Franklin Hotel (164 E 87th St) is a three star hotel near 86th St metro station, it has a classic and hospitable style. Always very close to the museum you will find theHotel Wales (1295 Madison Ave) with roof garden where you can have breakfast and enjoy the view of Central Park.
5 star hotel
Ten minutes from the stop there The Mark (25 E 77th St), a refined hotel in Art Deco style, otherwise, about a quarter of an hour away, The Surrey (20 E 76th St), modern style luxury hotel.
Haven't I convinced you completely? Are you looking for a B&B? Is it the vacation of your dreams and you don't want to spare any expense? Do you want to find more characteristic places? Are you considering taking an apartment? Don't have a clue where to go? No problem, every wish can be fulfilled. Read our guide on where to sleep in New York to get an idea of the neighborhoods and recommended accommodations.
I have nothing more to tell you, indeed yes: have a nice visit to the Guggenheim!