6 of the Coolest Museums in New York City

Coolest Museums in New York

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 New York’s coolest museums that I’d love to explore or re-visit on my next trip.

If you fancy heading to a few of NYC’s biggest attractions on your trip, you can’t go wrong with a New York CityPASS. It’s a ticket booklet giving you access to six of New York’s biggest and best attractions at a 42% discount against the normal individual prices. A great way to save some money and see as much of the city as possible.

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 one of the attractions on the CityPASS card and it’s a great one to start with.

coolest museums in new york

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.

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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

City Reliquary

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.

coolest museums in new york

The City Reliquary from the outside

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Another CityPASS museum, this one 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.

coolest museums in new york

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 museums in New York that need to be added to this list? Scroll down and leave me a comment!  

Looking for somewhere to stay in NYC? Check out this guide to the best luxury hotels in Manhattan for some top tips.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with CityPASS. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

About Emily Luxton

An award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. Seeking out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more as she attempts to get to know the world. Lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury!

One Comment

  1. Oh I want to visit New York so bad.. eversince watching gossip girl LOL.
    It has so many cool museums…these all sound interesting. And I want to visit MOMA too!

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