One of the things I really fell in love with about New York was the sheer number of museums and art galleries in the city. From the big and famous, to the tiny and totally obscure, there are so many museums to choose from all over the city. So, I’ve listed six of the coolest museums in NYC that I’d love to explore or re-visit on my next trip.
Cool Museums in NYC
American Museum of Natural History
Yes, it’s probably the most famous museum in the city – especially thanks to its starring role in Night at the Museum – but it’s still one of the coolest museums in New York. The American Museum of Natural History is a great one to start with.
Hall of Ocean Life at the Museum of Natural History
From one of the biggest museums in the city, to one of the smallest. Mmuseumm was, for a long time, one of NYC’s best kept secrets. It’s more well-known now, but this tiny museum in a freight elevator in Tribeca is still very much off the beaten path. Inside you’ll find a rather bizarre and utterly fascinating collection of random objects. Some are total junk, others have some cultural significance – like the shoe thrown at George W Bush in 2008.
Inside the Mmuseumm
Museum of the American Gangster
New York has been the setting of some of the most iconic movies (and video games) about gangsters and organised crime – but the reality is often far grittier. Head down to the Museum of the American Gangster in the East Village to learn more about the dark history of organised crime in New York and about some of the city’s most notorious gangsters.
Photo of Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde) at the Museum of the American Gangster
A non-profit community museum in Williamsburg, the City Reliquary looks like a little second hand shop from the outside. Inside, though, it’s a treasure-trove of New York City history. You’ll find a bizarre collection of city artefacts, from baseball memorabilia to old signs from some of New York’s most famous buildings.
The City Reliquary from the outside
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
This New York museum is situated on board an aircraft carrier (the Intrepid). Get an up-close look at a huge and varied collection of aircraft, tour the Submarine Growler for a first-hand look at life aboard a submarine, and head into the space shuttle pavilion for a look at the Enterprise. There are loads of interactive exhibits, so this is a great place to learn more about military history and science.
Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
The Tenement Museum
Love nosing through other peoples’ homes? The Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side is for you. It’s a five-storey tenement building dating from 1863, where you can explore restored apartments and interact with “residents” played by actors in costume. The museum brings to life the story of the immigrant experience in New York, and it’s a great way to get an idea of what life was like in the city between the 1860s and 1930s.
Know any more cool museums in NYC that need to be added to this list? Scroll down and leave me a comment!