The charm of New York lies not only in the futuristic skyscrapers or in the wild nightlife, but also in a cultural ferment which has always characterized one of the most fascinating cities in the USA: New York is teeming with museums and cultural institutions, how can you enjoy them without spending too much? Exist free museums in New York? Of course they exist, let's see what they are!
First of all we need to make a distinction: those always free and those who do not charge admission on certain days or particular periods (or rely on pay what you will). If you happen to be in New York on certain days you might have the opportunity to enjoy a nice museum without spending money. We see both types.
Please note:: in principle, at the present time, the free days are no longer contemplated in most museums, as admissions must be booked in advance due to the pandemic. My advice is to check on the official websites (indicated below) if the free tickets are still current or not and if the free museums have remained so.
- New York Museums Free: institutions always accessible for free
- Free museums in New York on specific days or periods
- First Friday of the month
- Discounted admissions to the most important museums
New York Museums Free: institutions always accessible for free
- African Burial Ground Memorial Site 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007. A place dedicated to the many African Americans buried between 1690 and 1794.
- BRIC House 647 Fulton St, New York, NY 11217. Museum dedicated primarily to contemporary art.
- The Bronx Museum of the Arts 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456. Bronx museum specializing in contemporary art from different cultures.
- Federal Hall National Memorial 26 Wall St, New York, NY 10005. Here on Wall Street, George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States. This place was the seat of the first Congress and the first Supreme Court.
- The Federal Reserve Bank 44 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038. The museum dedicated to the central bank of the United States of America.
- General Grant National Memorial W 122nd St & Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10027. The final resting place of President Ulysses Simpson Grant and his wife Julia. It is the largest mausoleum in North America.
- The Harbor Defense Museum 230 Sheridan Loop, Brooklyn, NY 11252. The place to be for those who want to learn more about the fortifications that the Americans built during the first half of the XNUMXth century.
- Hamilton Grange 414 W 141st St, New York, NY 10031. The country home of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington's right hand man.
- The Hispanic Society of America 613 W 155th St, New York, NY 10032. Museum and Library of the Hispanic-American Society.
- Irish Hunger Memorial Vesey St, New York, NY 10004. Beautiful garden built to raise awareness of the Irish famine of 1845-1852.
- Leslie–Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013. Museo di arte gay e lesbica.
- Museum of American Illustration 128 E. 63rd St. (63 / Lexington), New York, NY 10065. Museum of the Society of American Illustrators.
- Museum of Biblical Art 1865 Broadway (Bway / 61), New York, NY 10023. The Museum of Biblical Art celebrates Bible-inspired art and its cultural heritage in Jewish and Christian traditions.
- The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology Seventh Ave. at 27th St. (7 Av/27 St), New York, NY 10001. Uno dei musei più fashion e trendy di New York.
- National Museum of the American Indian 1 Bowling Green (Bowling Green / Whitehall St), New York, NY 10004. Institution dedicated to Native Americans and their art and history.
- The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018. The Great Library of New York, a way of culture that opens up on the horizon. We also talked about it in our article entirely dedicated to the New York Public Library.
- New York Transit Museum Annex & Store, Main Concourse, Grand Central Terminal (42 / Vanderbilt), New York, NY 10017. For those who want to learn more about New York's transportation history.
- Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy. (Floral Park — Little Neck Pkwy / 73 Rd), Queens, NY 11004. In an area left free from urbanization you can admire historic rural buildings, greenhouses, livestock, agricultural vehicles, tools, fields, vineyards.
- Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America 58 Park Ave. (Park / 37), New York, 58 Park Ave. (Park / 37). The leading Nordic culture center in the United States, with a wide range of culture programs and initiatives from countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
- Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (park and botanical garden only) 1000 Richmond Terr. (Richmond Terr / Tysen St), Staten Island, NY 10301. A place where history, architecture, visual art, theater, dance, music and environmental sciences meet and offer fascinating experiences for all ages
- Socrates Sculpture Park Queens, NY 11106. An interesting location to admire outdoor installations by the most promising artists.
- Soldiers and Sailors Monument Riverside Park, 89th street, Riverside Drive, New York, NY. The Upper West Side commemorates the fallen of the American Civil War.
- Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace 28 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003. The place where President Theodore Roosevelt was born and raised, the only one in history to be born in Manhattan.
Free museums in New York on specific days or periods
- Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue 12 Eldridge St. (Eldridge / Division) New York, NY 10002. The well restored Eldridge Street Synagogue dates back to the XNUMXth century. An example of refined architecture, it has hosted waves of immigrant Jews and is today a brilliant center of cultural activities and exhibitions (guided tours are also possible).
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden 1000 Washington Ave. (Prospect Heights — Washington Av / Eastern Pkwy) Brooklyn, NY 11225. In the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, you can admire over 52 acres of natural beauty and more than 10000 plants from around the world.
- Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Ave. (Madison / 36) Manhattan, NY 10016. The museum, born from the passion for the arts of one of the greatest New York businessmen (JP Morgan), houses rare books, manuscripts and paintings, as well as interesting performances in its concert hall.
- Wave Hill 675 W. 252nd St. (Riverdale – 252 St / Independence Av) Bronx, NY 10471. A truly unique public garden full of surprises. If you happen to pass by the Bronx don't miss it.
- Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust 36 Battery Pl. (Battery Pl / 1 Pl) New York, NY 10280. The museum allows you to retrace the history of the Holocaust through the testimonies of those who lived it.
- New York Botanical Garden 2900 Southern Blvd. (Bedford Park — Southern Blvd./Bronx Park Rd.) Bronx, NY 10458. The Big Apple Botanical Garden, over 250 acres with more than a million plants from all over the world.
- Staten Island Zoo 614 Broadway (Broadway / Colonial Ct) Staten Island, NY 10310. Not a particularly large museum (known as “the biggest little zoo”) but famous for its reptile house and snakes.
- Museum of Arts and Design 2 Columbus Circle (59 St / 8 Av) New York, NY 10019. Although it started out as a museum dedicated to crafts, the Museum of Arts and Design later enriched its catalog with examples of architecture and fashion .
- New Museum 235 Bowery (Bowery / Stanton) New York, NY 10002. The museum, with its stacked box building, is a true symbol of contemporary art in New York.
- Museum of Chinese in America 215 Center St. (Center / Grand) New York, NY 10013. Learn more about the history of the Chinese in America.
- The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA 11 W. 53rd St. (53 St / 5 Av) New York, NY 10019. Yes, even the MoMA, one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world, allows free entry, even if only from 4 to 8 in the afternoon on Friday.
- New York Aquarium 602 Surf Ave. (Coney Island – Surf Av / W 8 St) New York, NY 11224. The Coney Island Aquarium, with its famous giant Pacific octopus, can be a truly beautiful experience for visitors.
- Historic Richmond Town 441 Clarke Ave. (Clarke Av / Arthur Kill Rd) Staten Island, NY 10306. The place you would never expect to find, especially in New York. An entirely rebuilt village to experience colonial life firsthand
- Whitney Museum of American Art: from 19pm to 22pm you can buy a ticket in modality Pay What You Wish. In the linked article you will find more information.
First Friday of the month
- Children's Museum of Manhattan, The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St. (83 / Bway) New York, NY 10024. This children's museum is ideal for those traveling with the family.
- Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. (5 Av / 89 St), New York, NY 10128. Here is the other symbol of contemporary art in New York, the Guggenheim, the most futuristic museum in the city, which houses some of the rarest masterpieces of contemporary art. The pay what you will is active from 5:45 am to 7:45 pm. Take advantage of it!
- The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St. (70 St / 5 Av) New York, NY 10021. Here, lovers of pictorial art can enjoy masterpieces by Monet and Renoir, or enjoy magnificent concerts of European classical music. On Sundays you can take advantage of the pay what you wish option from 11am to 13pm.
Discounted admissions to the most important museums
Not all museums are included in this list, you may have noticed that a true icon of art and culture such as the MET. At the same time, other great museums will only allow you to enter for free if you are lucky enough to be in New York on certain days.
If you don't come on the right days, what is the cheapest solution to visit them? There are several ways to save; the best way is to take one of the available New York Passes, which allow you to access various attractions, including of course i New York museums.