All the FREE museums in New York and when to visit them

When and how can you visit the museums of NY free? In a city with astronomical prices, you will be surprised to discover that there are countless museums that are free or for just a few dollars.

It is worth taking advantage of it and, to help you choose, we have compiled all the free museums in new york on this list.

5 districts7 days a week, and a thousand and one ideas! Which one will you start with?

The most famous museums (and hidden gems). Here you have The 10 best museums in New York. And, if you prefer to discover some not so typical jewel, take note of these lesser known museums.

Free days New York museums Met-1

Free museums in New York and when to visit them


Ticket types for New York museums

First of all, let's see what types of tickets do you offer the museums of New York.

In some cases, admission is always free. But, in others, you will see that the inputs are something called pay what you wish either suggested admission.

Free or Pay What you wish?

  • Free admission It means that the entrance is always free. In the museum there are usually piggy banks, in case you want to make a donation.
  • pay what you wish it means that the museum does not have a fixed price, but you donate the amount you want, either $2 or $20.
    You just have to indicate at the box office how many tickets do you want and how much will you pay total.
    Most New York museums are pay what you wish For a few hours a week, so that everyone has the opportunity to visit them regardless of budget.
  • Recommended admission is similar to pay what you wish with only one difference: they tell you an indicative pricebut you can pay the amount you create, even if it is much less.
    The museums with recommended admission They don't always point it out clearly, but they do their best to get you to buy the ticket on the web and pay the full price.
    But, if you want to pay a different amount, you just have to go through the box officeDon't be ashamed!

How much to pay in the free museums of New York

AND how much should you pay in museums with suggested entrance or pay what you wish?

Although there is no magic number, a standard amount is between $5 and $10 per person. But, if you leave less, no one will ask you to account.

Consider how much you can pay and, above all, What value does the visit have for you?.

🌟 What to do for free in New York. Free museums are one of the many ways to save in the city. here are others free ideas in the Big Apple!

All the free museums in New York

Keep this list safe to consult it during your tripbecause in it we collect all the museums that are always or someday free.

Do not forget check the information on the official website of the museum that interests you, as conditions change often. If the hours of any have changed, leave us a comment and we will update it as soon as possible! 🙂

Museums that are always free

Here you have the New York museums that are free Every day of the week.

Although they all offer free entry to the main collectionthey may charge a supplement to visit a temporary exhibition.


Museums That Are Always Pay What You Wish

The following museums have always recommended admission either pay what you wish. When you visit their websites, pay attention to the fine print.

Some encourage you to buy the advance entry paying the full price, but, somewhere on the web, they indicate that the entry is suggested. That is, you can go to the ticket office and pay whatever you want.

Keep in mind that, in some of these museums, there are Temporary exhibitions for which you do have to pay admission. But the permanent collections are always at will.

Guide to Harlem Mass Gospel and Architecture Studio Museum

Free museums in New York according to the day of the week

The museums that we collect in this list are paid, but one day a week they open their doors for free or offer entry pay what you wish.

As we mentioned in the previous section, read carefully the official website of each museum, since many times information about free admission It is somewhat hidden and, in addition, the hours can vary.

Free museums in New York on Mondays

Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden NY

Free New York Museums on Wednesdays

  • bronx zoo (Zoo-Bronx). Pay what you wish all day. You must book in advance on the web.
  • New York Aquarium (Aquarium – Brooklyn). Pay what you wish from 3 pm You must book in advance on the web.
  • Staten Island Zoo (Zoo-Staten Island). Free from 2 pm

Free museums in New York on Thursdays

Free museums in New York on Fridays

Free days New York museums Moma
The MoMa museum is free on Friday afternoons

Free museums in New York on the first Friday of the month

  • new gallery (German Art – Upper Manhattan). Free from 5 to 8 pm Children under 12 are not allowed in free hours.
  • Noguchi Museum (Art – Queens). Free all day. You have to book on the web two weeks before.

Free New York Museums on Saturdays

  • Guggenheim Museum (Art – Upper Manhattan). Pay what you wish from 6 to 8 pm You have to reserve on the web.
  • The Jewish Museum (Arts and Culture – Upper Manhattan). Free all day.

Free museums in winter

Entry with New York tourist cards

If you buy any of the New York tourist cardsyou can visit most of the city's museums for free.

In the New York museums that usually require a fee, such as the Whitney, the Guggenheim or the 9/11 Museum, on open days long queues tend to form and sometimes sell out.

If you feel like visiting them whenever you want and enjoying the exhibitions calmly, you can do so with a card. Here we tell you more about each one:

🌟 What is the best New York tourist card? To help you choose, here is our comparison, with the prices and operation of each one.

World Trade Center Guide: The 9/11 Museum, or 9/11 Museum

Buy tickets for the most famous museums

If you do not coincide with the day of free admission, or if you prefer to avoid the crowds and visit them when you feel like it, here you can buy tickets for the most important museums in New York.

The Guggenheim museum is free on Saturday afternoons

Frequent questions

Is the New York Museum of Natural History free?

No. A few years ago, it was pay what you wish. But, nowadays, you have to buy the ticket at normal price (Residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut can still pay the will.)

Is the Met free?

No. Like the Natural History Museum, it used to have a pay-what-you-wish entrance. But right now you have to pay full admission except if you are a New York resident (they check).

Can you visit MoMa for free?

Before, MoMa was free for everyone on Friday afternoons, but not anymore. Right now, it's a promotion valid for New York residents only, so you'll have to buy ticket you visit it when you visit it.

Tell us, did you take the opportunity to visit any of the free museums in New York during your trip? What is your favorite?

New York guide updated May 2023.

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