Searching for museums in Midtown New York City can be very confusing. If you’re the type to get overwhelmed by options, we got you covered. We’ve selected five of the best museums in New York NY guaranteed to give you the culture you crave, and for a low price to boot.
Built-in 1959, the Guggenheim Museum itself is a marvel to appreciate. It has an inverted ziggurat design outside, but once you step inside, the spiraling walkway will amaze you. The Guggenheim portrays abstract, impressionist, and contemporary art from famous and lesser-known creators around the world.
You will see historical pioneers of art, like Hilma au Klint, who used bright colors and odd shapes to bring her magic to life. Their gift shop contains items that resemble the exhibit, like pillows, bags, hats, and more. The Museum of Modern Art11 West 53rd Street
The MoMA is one of midtown’s most popular attractions. Founded in the 1920s, it features a modern style, with open rooms, high ceilings, and simple, grey, white, and black walls. Exhibits range from paintings to photography, to documentaries, independent films, and performances. The MoMA presents provocative pieces that make you ask: is this art? They intend to challenge the current norms of “art” by exploring different modes of expression. When you’re done with the five floors of contemporary crafts, you can always snack outside in the MoMA’s side garden.
This monstrous museum is beautiful to look at, from the Beaux-Arts, Romanesque, and medieval-style architecture outside, to its grand halls and huge ceilings housing a plethora of abundant fossils. Children love this museum as it appeals to the imagination and curiosity. Here you’ll find exhibits on biology, ecology, astronomy, anthropology, among many others. Accompanying every exhibit are simple, detailed explanations as well. Only a suggested donation is required, making it an economical option for visitors.
Admittedly this museum is towards the southern tip of Manhattan, but it’s still worth a visit. This museum is part of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House, which lends some of its elegant architecture. The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to preserving several artifacts of native cultures from Alaska, through North and Central America, down to the Amazon River. It’s completely free of charge. The interior is simple, with each exhibit featuring clothing, tools, tapestries, pottery, and details on their usage and importance. In some rooms, you can hear native drums playing softly as you peruse. The environment is very calming. If you want to support, the gift store has plenty of cultural souvenirs for sale.
Our last midtown museum is the largest in the United States, and in 2018 it was the third most visited museum in the world! With 5,000 years of historical art, jewelry, statues, and paintings, ranging from Ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt to China and India, this museum has a smorgasbord of things to view. It will take more than one trip to consider everything this place has to offer. If you’d instead read, the Thomas J. Watson library has over a million art books and digital options for your viewing pleasure.
Any of these options are sure to scratch your museum itch, and they are centralized around Midtown NYC. If you love history and culture, you can even visit all of these museums in one day. But really, slow down, take your time and enjoy the art and history each location has to offer.