20 Best Museums in New York City

Are you planning a trip to the Big Apple and want to know which are the best museums in New York? In this post we are going to tell you about the museums that cannot be missed on your visit to New York, we will tell you what their main works are and we will inform you of their hours, prices and free visit days.

Dazzled by the neon lights and the great skyscrapers, you may overlook that New York is home to some of the best museums in the world. The city is home to hundreds of cultural institutions, non-profit galleries, art centers, exhibitions…

If you are planning on seeing a few New York Sites like the Statue of Liberty, the Top of the Rock, The Empire State Building and the Museums – Metropolitan, Natural History, MOMA and more, get the New York Pass to expedite your experience and save a lot of money.

So with such a wide range of possibilities, it’s easy not to know where to start. To shed a little light, here are the museums in New York that are almost mandatory to visit.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC

 

Although its official name is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Yorkers know this institution, located on one side of Central Park, as The Met. Opened in 1870, it is one of the most visited museums in the world, and for good reason: inside its spectacular building, treasures of art from all times and corners of the world await you, such as the Egyptian temple of Dendur.

Visiting the Met thoroughly in a single day is an impossible task: it is gigantic and contains more than two million works! So go through the web and decide what you most want to discover. And, if it is open, do not forget to go up to its terrace to contemplate the views of Central Park.

Must see at the met: However, some of the most famous pieces of art at the Met include The Death of Socrates (1787) by Jacques-Louis David, Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) by Emmanuel Leutze, Perseus with the Head of Medusa (1545) by Benvenuto Cellini, Venus Italica (1802) by Antonio Canova.

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Official Website: www.metmuseum.org

Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, United States.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) NYC
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York
Museum of Modern Art New York City
Museum of Modern Art in NYC

 

The MoMa, or Museum of Modern Art, is located on one of Midtown’s bustling streets and is New York’s epicenter of modern art. Although we associate it with emblematic paintings by artists such as van Gogh or Picasso and the works of Andy Warhol, in 2019 the museum reopened after an ambitious expansion and redistribution, and now its collections are much more unpredictable and surprising. Enjoy the classics, admire works you didn’t know and don’t forget to stop by the MoMa Store, an art store on a par with one of the best museums in New York.

Must see at the met: The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh, The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali, Les Demoiselles D’avignon, Pablo Picasso, Water Lilies collection, Claude Monet, Campbell’s Soup Can, Andy Warhol.

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Official Website: www.moma.org

Address: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, United States.

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American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History New York
American Museum of Natural History NYC

 

Facing Central Park, just on the opposite side of the Met, is another of New York’s most impressive museums: the American Museum of Natural History. Creatures of all kinds rest in its gloomy rooms, from the life-size replica of a blue whale to the amazing dinosaur skeletons that populate the 4th floor of the museum. For space lovers, in a much brighter and more modern wing you will find the planetarium and the Earth and Space Center.

Must see at the met: Guy the gorilla, On the Origin of Species, The Birds of America, Hans Sloane’s nautilus shell, Great auk, Barbary lion skull, Charles Darwin’s pigeons, Moa bone fragment and skeleton.

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Official Website: www.amnh.org

Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, United States.

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9/11 Memorial & Museum

9/11 Memorial & Museum New York
9/11 Memorial & Museum NYC
9 11 Memorial & Museum in New York

 

The 9/11 Museum, located in the bowels of the World Trade Center where the foundations of the Twin Towers once rested, is one of the relatively recent additions to New York’s museums. And yet, it has already become an essential visit to understand what happened on that fateful September 11, 2001 and what impact the tragedy had on New Yorkers. An emotional visit that, if you can, we recommend you complement with the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, another moving and much less known museum dedicated to the same subject.

Must see at the met: The 9/11 Memorial Museum’s permanent collection is an unparalleled repository consisting of material evidence, first-person testimony, and historical records of response to February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 and the ongoing repercussions of these terrorist events.

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Official Website: www.911memorial.org

Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, United States.

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum NYC
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC

 

Even if you haven’t visited the Guggenheim museum yet, you will surely recognize its facade. The white, cylindrical building, one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces, is one of the most striking on 5th Avenue. Inside, several galleries await you, connected by a circular ramp as emblematic as the works of modern and contemporary art exhibited there.

Although it is one of the best museums in New York, it is smaller than some of its peers. We recommend you check the website first to see what is on display at that time, because if new collections are being installed and some parts are closed, sometimes the visit is too short.

Must see at the met: Edgar Degas,Spanish Dance, douard Manet,Before the Mirror, Pablo Picasso,Woman Ironing, Henri Rousseau,The Football Players, Paul Czanne,Bibmus, Lee Ufan,Relatum (formerly language), Paul Gauguin,In the Vanilla Grove, Man and Horse, Georges Seurat,Farm Women at Work.

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Official Website: www.guggenheim.org

Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, United States.

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Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

 

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a floating museum: a large part of its collections can be found on the famous aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, which is as much a protagonist of the visit as the interior collections and the helicopters and planes from all eras that dot its decks.

In addition to this veteran ship, on the Intrepid you can tour the Growler submarine and see a British Airways Concorde plane or the space shuttle Enterprise.

One of the best museums in New York for lovers of aviation, space and naval history.

Must see at the met: One of the ones you can’t miss is the Growler Submarine, the Concorde and the Space Shuttle Pavilion.

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Official Website: www.intrepidmuseum.org

Address: Pier 86, W 46th St, New York, NY 10036, United States.

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Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Museum of American Art
Whitney Museum of American Art New York
Whitney Museum of American Art in NY

 

The Whitney Museum of American Art, known to New Yorkers as The Whitney, is a museum focused on 20th and 21st century American art.

This museum was founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vandelbilt Whitney because the Metropolitan Museum rejected her proposal to exhibit her huge collection. The millionaire sculptress opted for the construction of a new museum in 1966 that would allow her to exhibit her collection of more than 500 works. The architectural direction was led by the Hungarian architect Marcel Breuer.

Dedicated fundamentally to contemporary art, the museum is divided into 5 floors, of which the fifth is dedicated to the permanent exhibition, while the other 3 intermediate floors house temporary exhibitions. In the permanent exhibition we can enjoy an extensive collection of paintings by the American painter Edward Hopper, famous above all for his portraits of loneliness in contemporary American life.

Although for much of its history it shared space with other of the best museums in New York on the Upper East Side, a few years ago it moved to the Meatpacking District (right next to the High Line), to a modern building designed by Renzo Piano.

And, in addition to the wonderful collections, it has another irresistible attraction: terraces with great views of the city and the Hudson River.

Must see at the met: Marsden Hartley, Painting, Number 5, 1914–15, George Bellows, Dempsey and Firpo, 1924, Alexander Calder, Calder’s Circus, 1926–31, Joseph Stella, The Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on an Old Theme, 1939, George Tooker, The Subway, 1950, Edward Hopper, A Woman in the Sun, 1961.

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Official Website: whitney.org

Address: 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014, United States.

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Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum in New York
Brooklyn Museum NY

 

The Brooklyn Museum is, obviously, located in the neighborhood of Brooklyn and has an area of ​​52,000 m2. In terms of size, it is the third largest museum in the city. Its nearly one and a half million pieces make it an essential on my list of museums to visit in New York.

Founded in 1895 and designed by McKim, Mead and White, it was built with the idea of being the largest museum in the world. This Fine Arts building welcomes more than 500,000 people each year.

It is important to highlight two key elements of its collection: its collection of antiques and its collection of American art. As for the collection of antiquities, we can find objects of African, Oceanic or Japanese art, but if it stands out for something, it is the collection of objects from ancient Egypt with a chronology that covers nearly 3000 years.

The American art that you will see in the museum comprises a fairly complete representation, starting with the Colonial period. It includes artists such as Mark Rothko, Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer, Edgar Degas, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Max Weber.

Must see at the met: The museum is well known for its expansive collections of Egyptian and African art, in addition to 17th-, 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts throughout a wide range of schools.

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Official Website: www.brooklynmuseum.org

Address: 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238, United States.

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Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex
Museum of Sex New York
Museum of Sex in NY

 

This museum is one of the newest in New York (2002). It is not only about showing objects that allude to sex from simple eroticism. On the contrary, sex is seen from a cultural perspective and all its pieces highlight its history, evolution and importance.

The total collection of the “MoSex” exceeds 20 thousand objects. They highlight photographs, magazines, works of art, inflatable dolls, costumes and other types of clothing. It has a conventional and multimedia library with which research is undertaken.

You will also find a sex object shop and the renowned inflatable house made only for adults, a place in the style of the inflatable castles of parties and fairs.

Must see at the met: From fine art to historical ephemera to film, the Museum of Sex preserves an ever-growing collection of sexually related objects that would otherwise be destroyed and discarded due to their sexual content.

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Official Website: www.museumofsex.com

Address: 233 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016, United States.

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Queens Museum of Art

Queens Museum of Art
Queens Museum of Art in New York

 

More than 10 thousand items of great historical value for New York are exhibited in the modern Queens Museum of Art, a building built for the first fair held in New York in 1939.

Here you will see the Tiffany glass collection and the model of the city of New York with its 895 thousand pieces, which is the main attraction of the museum and the best architectural model in the world.

You will also find more than 6,000 historical items that were exhibited at the 1939 and 1964 fairs, both held in the city.

Must see at the met: Works by Salvador Dalí, Mark Dion, Andrew Moore’s photographs from Robert Moses and the Modern City (a collection of 20th century photographs from the 1964 World’s Fair Kodak Pavilion), Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, Panorama of the City of New York,Relief Map of the New York City Water Supply System, World’s Fair Visual Storage and Gallery.

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Official Website: queensmuseum.org

Address: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Building, Queens, NY 11368, United States.

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The Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York Photos
The Museum of the City of New York Picture

 

The Museum of the City of New York traces through various exhibitions the urban life of the Great Apple and its consecration as one of the most influential metropolises in the world. The museum is housed in a 1932 Georgian-Colonial style building in South East Harlem.

The museum has four floors where paintings, toys, photographs and many other objects and recreations that describe the history of New York and the lives of different generations of New Yorkers are exhibited. In addition, in the museum you will find videos, interactive panels and a lot of audiovisual material. It was founded in 1923 as a private non-profit organization.

Must see at the met: Paintings, drawings, prints, including over 3000 by Currier and Ives, and photographs featuring New York City and its residents, as well as costumes, decorative objects and furniture, antique toys – ship models, rare books and manuscripts, marine and military collections, police and fire collections, and a theater collection which documents the golden age of Broadway theater. There are also dioramas about the city’s history as well as its physical environment.

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Official Website: www.mcny.org

Address: 1220 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029, United States.

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The Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum New York
The Tenement Museum Sight

 

The Tenement Museum is a historical museum that shows how the first immigrants lived in New York.

The different visits offered by the museum cover different apartments and their surroundings. The area where it is located, the Lower East Side, was the first destination for immigration for more than 200 years. Although the museum’s reception is located at 108 Orchard Street, the main exhibition building is 97 Orchard Street. It is estimated that this building welcomed more than 7, 000 immigrants in the period from 1863 to 1935. Inside the building you will find several restored apartments in which you will learn the stories, you will see objects of the time and you will become fond of the families that lived in them.

Must see at the met: The museum’s exhibits and programs include restored period room apartments and shops open daily for public tours, depicting the lives of immigrants who lived at 97 Orchard Street between 1869 and 1935 and 103 Orchard Street from the 1950s to the 1980s. The museum’s tours place the immigrants’ lives in the broader context of American history.

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Official Website: www.tenement.org

Address: 103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, United States.

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New York Historical Society

New York Historical Society
New York Historical Society Museum
New York Historical Society Museum Photo
New York Historical Society Buy Ticket
New York Historical Society Museum Price

 

In this museum you will learn about the history and culture of New York through 1,600,000 exhibits for adults and children.

You’ll be able to see ancient artifacts such as arrowheads dating back to the 16th century, the door of the first of the fire trucks that arrived at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, and a model of Lincoln’s head. There are documents, photographs, sculptures, paintings and other records of the city’s evolution. You’ll also see the 435 surviving watercolors from Audubon for Birds of America, the Tiffany lamp exhibit, and more.

Must see at the met: Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection, “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli, The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming, Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, Confronting Hate 1937–1952.

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Official Website: www.nyhistory.org

Address: 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, United States.

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The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection Museum
The Frick Collection Museum New York

 

An “unknown” jewel, or at least a museum that is not usually included among the essentials of the city, but that without a doubt should be. The Frick Collection grants visitors the wonderful privilege of letting them sit back and simply enjoy looking at the works of the old masters. With a palatial grandeur, the 61-room mansion with its Rococo and Renaissance furnishings almost magically allows you to isolate yourself from the din of the city in its formal and serene intimacy. This museum is one of the best in New York, there is no other remotely comparable to it in the city.

Must see at the met: Included in the collection are Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s masterpiece The Progress of Love, three paintings by Johannes Vermeer including Mistress and Maid, two paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael including Quay at Amsterdam, and Piero della Francesca’s St. John the Evangelist.

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Official Website: www.frick.org

Address: 1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021, United States.

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Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds Museum
Madame Tussauds New York

 

The best thing about the museum is the spectacular welcome of the Opening Night Party, a large room decorated as if it were a party, where you can see and be photographed with the most fashionable celebrities. Continuing the visit, you will pass through thematic rooms where you will meet presidents of the United States, musicians, athletes, ideological and military leaders, and other famous personalities. The high point comes when meeting with Obama in the Oval Office, the photo is surprisingly real! If you like strong emotions, you can enter the “Scream” corridor where wax figures mingle with real actors.

Must see at the met: MARVEL Hall of Heroes, Sit in the Oval Office, Warner Bros. Icons of Horror, Join the Ghostbusters, Face Off with King Kong, Guest Star on the Tonight Show.

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Official Website: www.madametussauds.com/new-york

Address: 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036, United States.

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The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan Library & Museum New York
The Morgan Library & Museum Photo
The Morgan Library & Museum Price

 

The Morgan Library & Museum is, without a doubt, the best museum in New York when it comes to combining art and history. It is made up of several buildings, including a 19th-century Italianate house, and contains around 350,000 items. These range from paintings by Renaissance masters to centuries-old manuscripts and decorative objects.

The facade of the main building is guarded by two marble lionesses, while the main interior of the library features a rotunda adorned with ceiling murals. This has led to the more than 100-year-old museum being named a National Historic Landmark.

Among the collection are drawings by da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, as well as works by CĂŠzanne, van Gogh, Rembrandt and Renoir. You can also find liturgical items from ancient Egypt and medieval Europe, such as a 12th-century Eucharistic vessel depicting scenes from the New and Old Testaments.

There is so much to see here that you will find something that interests you, such as musical manuscripts and scores by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Mozart. One of the most acclaimed parts of the collection is a small sample of illuminated manuscripts dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. Children get in free, which can be a plus when adding it to the list of museums in New York that you must see.

Must see at the met: Among the more famous manuscripts are the Morgan Bible, Morgan Beatus, Hours of Catherine of Cleves, Farnese Hours, Morgan Black Hours, and Codex Glazier. The Morgan contains a large collection of incunabula, prints, and drawings of European artists, namely Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough, DĂźrer, and Picasso.

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Official Website: www.themorgan.org

Address: 225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, United States.

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Jewish Museum

Jewish Museum in New York
Jewish Museum New York City
Jewish Museum NY

 

Museum dedicated to Jewish culture and the Holocaust. The horrors suffered by the Jews during the great massacre perpetrated by the Nazis before and during World War II are described. There are the remains of what was the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz. The museum has more than 25 thousand articles that expose the history of the Jews and the annihilation of millions of them in the Holocaust, one of the greatest horrors that the human species has experienced.

You will see films, documentaries, photographs and objects related to those events. The exhibition is chronologically separated as follows: the war against the Jews, the life of the Jews and the Jews of the renewal. You can also see testimonials from some refugees and survivors. The museum will present a traveling exhibition about the Auschwitz Nazi camp between May 2019 and January 2020.

Must see at the met: The museum has nearly 30,000 objects including paintings, sculptures, archaeological artifacts, Jewish ceremonial art and many other pieces important to the preservation of Jewish history and culture. Artists included in the museum’s collection include James Tissot, Marc Chagall, George Segal, Eleanor Antin and Deborah Kass.

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Official Website: thejewishmuseum.org

Address: 1109 5th Ave &, E 92nd St, New York, 10128, United States.

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National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian
National Museum of the American Indian New York
National Museum of the American Indian NYC
National Museum of the American Indian in New York

 

Museum founded by a law of the United States Congress in 1989. There you will learn about the life, language and traditions of the indigenous peoples of the American continent. It has more than a million pieces of all kinds of everyday objects and the crafts they made. It is a very educational visit where you will learn about the system of social organization used by the Indians, what their clothing, vessels, necklaces, rites, Mayan censers and much more were like. You can hold craft workshops, see concerts and listen to children’s stories.

Must see at the met: The National Museum of the American Indian is home to the collection of the former Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The collection includes more than 800,000 objects, as well as a photographic archive of 125,000 images. It is divided into the following areas: Amazon; Andes; Arctic/Subarctic; California/Great Basin; Contemporary Art; Mesoamerican/Caribbean; Northwest Coast; Patagonia; Plains/Plateau; Woodlands.

Buy Tickets Online: Free of Charge.

Official Website: americanindian.si.edu

Address: 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004, United States.

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Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image in New York
Museum of the Moving Image in NYC

 

Museum opened in 1977 in the former headquarters of Paramount Pictures. It is a must for those who like to know about cinema, television and other audiovisual media. You will learn about the history and techniques used in this type of media, in permanent and temporary exhibitions.

There are 130,000 objects between stages of production, promotional materials, magazines, costumes and furniture for movie theaters. You could participate or witness debates between professionals about, for example, which are the most classic movies of all time.

Must see at the met: Behind the Screen, The Jim Henson Exhibition, Tut’s Fever Movie Palace, Creatures from the Land of Thra Exhibition, Drop-in Studio Sessions.

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Official Website: movingimage.us

Address: 36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106, United States.

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New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum
New York Transit Museum Photo
New York Transit Museum Buy Ticket

 

One of the most interesting museums in New York that shows what the city was like in the 19th century. It opened for the first time on July 4, 1976 to expose the versatility in its means of transportation. You will see the history of New York transportation through trains, locomotives, wagons, old buses, models and tickets. You will also find the beginnings of the construction of the city’s subway, including data on the workers and the execution time.

Must see at the met: BMT Q CAR NUMBER 1612C (1908, REBUILT 1938), BRT BROOKLYN UNION ELEVATED CAR NUMBER 1407 (1907), IRT R-15 CAR NUMBER 6239 (1950), IRT R-12 CAR NUMBER 5760 (1948), R-11 PROTOTYPE / R-34 CAR NUMBER 8013 (1949), IRT R-17 CAR NUMBER 6609 (1955), IND R-1 ‘CITY-CAR’ NUMBER 100 (1930), Bus Number 3100 (1956), Bus No.236 (1980).

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Official Website: www.nytransitmuseum.org

Address: 99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States.

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Conclusion

For several centuries in a row, the history of New York has greedily fed on the cultural heritage of many peoples living in America. That is why there are so many museums in the city, which present African, Indian and other ethnic expositions. They can be called repositories of the history of entire civilizations that developed not only on the continent, but also in corners of the globe far from America. Architectural monuments were also created by more than one generation, not only Americans, but also immigrants who contributed to their unique style.

It is easy to find and book online any tickets, find any guide and individual trip in New York City nowdays. There are many tours, go to еру site below and find the attraction, even you don’t see it right now.

In addition to the famous skyscrapers in New York, there are buildings with a slight European accent, some of which are now historical museums.

The history of the “Big Apple” is fraught with a lot of interesting facts: the opening of the subway, the construction of libraries, the construction of skyscrapers. Therefore, the city has museums that will tell you about these and other important moments in full, revealing to you the unknown sides of this or that event in the life of the metropolis.

Fascinating “natural museums” deserve special attention: in New York there are as many as three zoos and two large botanical gardens. You can walk for hours along the green alleys, designed to be a relaxation zone for residents and guests of the metropolis, tired of the frantic pace of the big city.

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