Because the choices are stunning, this list focuses on the top 10 not-to-be-missed world-class museums that will take locals and visitors from a sculpture garden in Midtown Manhattan, to a sleepover beside a 94-foot blue whale or a dinosaur to scaling the heights of modern art inside an avant-garde building that will change how you see art forever. Spanning history, arts, culture and entertainment, New York City's institutions educate and inspire. And sometimes, through sheer size and scope, they can overwhelm even the most enthusiastic traveler.
That’s why we have narrowed it down to our top 10 places for viewing, exploring and experiencing the best the city has to offer. All of the museums are accessible via the iron horse, known as the New York City subway.
While the offerings are dazzling, the costs can be too. Consider purchasing any of several city passes now available, but be sure they include attractions, museums you absolutely want to see. Visit NYCGO for information on passes that can help manage costs and suggest manageable itineraries for the museum minded.
Should you arrive in mid-June, join New York City's biggest block party, the Museum Mile Festival so you can walk the Mile on Fifth Avenue between 82nd Street and 105th Street while visiting seven of New York City’s finest cultural institutions, which are open free to the public throughout the evening. Most of the seven are right on this list: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Neue Galerie New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; The Jewish Museum; Museum of the City of New York; and El Museo del Barrio, the others are waiting for you.