Black and white image of people walking through the exhibit inside of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

A renowned destination for art and culture lovers, New York City has a limitless variety of cultural institutions that are simply too big to digest in just one trip. For some ideas to start, we put together a shortlist of the best museums in New York City. These are the heavy-hitters that nobody, local or visitor, should miss.

The Met

Located right on Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest and best known fine art museums in the world. The collection includes over two million works spanning five thousand years, with pieces from all over the globe. Its textbook-worthy collection and magnificent program of rolling exhibitions make this a must-visit for all those who haven’t.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1000 5th Ave.


Right alongside The Met, the Museum of Modern Art is one of the most popular museums in New York City. An extraordinary program of rotating exhibitions tends attracts the biggest names in modern and contemporary art. MoMA also hosts exceptional film programs, performance series, and various creative events throughout the year. Plus, it’s home to iconic paintings like Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Dalí’s The Persistent Dream, and a triptych of Monet’s Water Lilies.

Museum of Modern Art. 11 W 53rd St.

The Guggenheim

This design staple is arguably as well known for its swirling Fifth Avenue facade as it is for its world-class art collection. The Guggenheim Foundation’s exhibition space holds a vast collection of works that preserve and interpret high-end modern and contemporary art.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 1071 5th Ave.

The Museum of Natural History

Located on the other side of Central Park from the Met, the American Museum of Natural History is one New York locals’ favorite cultural institutions. Stocked with dinosaur fossils, mind-opening exhibits, and the world-famous giant whale—it’s an excellent place to visit with the whole family.

The American Museum of Natural History. Central Park West & 79th St.

The National September 11th Memorial & Museum

This two-part cultural institution—part memorial, part museum—is a short walk from the Duane Street Hotel. The sobering waterfall memorial and museum have become a reflective point for visitors and locals alike to seek solace and pay their respects to the victims of the tragic day.

National September 11th Memorial & Museum. 180 Greenwich St.