Free Admission and Discounted Admission at New York City Museums

Guggenheim Museum in New York City
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  • 01 of 09

    These NYC Museums Are Always Free

    Bronx Museum of the Arts
    ••• Bronx Museum of the Arts. Julienne Schaer/NYCgo

    With the cost of New York City museum admissions often hovering around $20, it can become very expensive to check out some of New York City's great museums -- especially if you want to scope out several different museums during your trip. Our list of Free and Pay What You Wish Days at New York City Museums makes it easy to save money with just a little planning. Beware: the free admission days at many New York City museums are quite popular, so try to arrive at the beginning if you want to beat the crowds.

    Check out these New York City museums and cultural institutions that offer free access every day that they are open -- confirm hours/days that they're open to avoid disappointment.

    • American Folk Art Museum
      Admission is free at the American Folk Art Museum where frequently changing exhibits focus on traditional and early American folk art including portraits, quilts, furniture and decorative arts, needle arts, weather vanes, whirligigs and more, as well as the creative...MORE expressions of self-taught artists.
      Address: 2 Lincoln Square 
    • The Bronx Museum of the Arts
      The flagship cultural institution of the Bronx, the Bronx Museum collects and celebrates the 20th century and contemporary art, with a particular emphasis on artists of African, Asian and Latin American ancestry and those with a connection to the Bronx.
      Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York
    • Goethe Institut
      Weekdays you can experience German language and culture exhibits for free at the Goethe Institut.
      Address: 72 Spring Street, 11th floor
    • Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology
      Admission to the museum displaying articles from the permanent collection, as well as changing exhibits on fashion, is always free.
      Address: Seventh Avenue at 27 Street
    • National Museum of the American Indian
      Admission to the sixteenth museum in the Smithsonian Institution is always free. Located in the Alexander Hamilton Customs House, the museum features changing exhibitions about Native cultures in the Western Hemisphere.
      Address: 1 Bowling Green, George Gustave Heye Center
    • Queens Botanical Garden
      Off-season visits to the Queens Botanical Garden are free daily (closed Mondays) from November through March.
      Address: 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY
    • Socrates Sculpture Park
      With free admission every day, year-round, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City is a great place to enjoy an ever-changing landscape of outdoor art exhibits against the backdrop of the city.
      Address: 32-01 Vernon Boulevard at Broadway, Long Island City (Queens), NY 11106
    • Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art
      Admission to the exhibitions at the Swiss Institute is always free -- it's open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-6.
      Address: 495 Broadway 3rd Floor
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  • 02 of 09

    New York City Museums With Suggested Admission

    American Museum Of Natural History
    ••• Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images

    These New York City museums allow you to use your discretion when paying admission. Of course, they rely on income from admission to present their collections and do their work, but you can pay what you can afford (or what you feel represents your visit to the museum) with the suggested admission policy. At most of these museums, the full-price admission price is posted, but you can tell the cashier how much you want to pay and they will admit you. Do note: you can't purchase tickets online for less than the suggested admission.

    • American Museum of Natural History
      The adult admission at the American Museum of Natural History is only a suggested donation, so you can make whatever contribution you see as appropriate to enter the museum (though you'll have to pay full price for planetarium shows, IMAX films, and special exhibits).
      Address: Central Park West at West 79th Street
    • Brooklyn Museum
      One of the oldest and largest art museums in the world, the Brooklyn Museum is housed in a...MORE beautiful Beaux-Arts building. The suggested admission is $12 to see not only the museum's permanent collection, but also a range of ever-changing exhibits that are often amazing.
      Address: 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
    • El Museo del Barrio
      Located in East Harlem, El Museo del Barrio collects and exhibits Caribbean, Latino, and Latin American art. The museum's suggested admission offers you the opportunity to explore both temporary exhibits, as well as displays from the museum's permanent collection.
      Address: 1230 Fifth Avenue (104th Street)
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art & The Cloisters
      You can pay what you can afford to see one of the greatest art museums in New York City.
      The Met - Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue
      The Cloisters - Address: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park
    • MoMA PS1
      PS1 exhibits contemporary art in a former Public School in Long Island City, Queens. Suggested admission donation, which gains you access to temporary exhibitions, as well as long-term exhibits at the museum. Admission is also free for MoMA ticket holders within 30 days.
      Address: 22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46th Ave., Long Island City
    • Museum of the City of New York
      The Museum of the City of New York features a permanent collection and changing exhibits about the history of this fascinating city. They suggest visitors pay and offer free admission to people who live or work above 103rd Street in East Harlem.
      Address: 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
    • Queens Museum
      The Queens Museum of Art collects and exhibits art reflecting the urban experience, with an emphasis on artists working and living in New York City and Queens. A suggested​ admission gives you a chance to see their most famous exhibit, The Panorama of the City of New York built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World's Fair.
      Address: New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
    • Sculpture Center
      Founded in 1928, the Sculpture Center collects and commissions contemporary sculpture and exhibits by emerging and established sculptors. A donation is suggested for admission to this Queens museum.
      Address: 4419 Purves Street, Long Island City, Queens
    • Staten Island Museum
      The Staten Island Museum prides itself on dynamic exhibits highlighting its multidisciplinary collection related to natural science, art, and history. Suggested admission.
      Address: 75 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island
    • The Studio Museum of Harlem
      The Studio Museum of Harlem asks for a suggested donation to see their exhibits which focus on the works of local, national and international artists of African descent.
      Address: 144 West 125th Street
    • Tibet House
      The Tibet House Cultural Center features exhibits of classical and contemporary Tibetan art, as well as art inspired by Tibetan culture. Admission is free, but there is a box to contribute your donation ($5 suggested).
      Address: 22 West 15th Street
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  • 03 of 09

    New York City Museums With Free Admission on Monday

    USA, New York, Interior
    ••• Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

    While many museums are closed on Mondays, these ones are open and offer free and pay-what-you-wish options for admission on Mondays.

    • Museum at Eldridge Street Visitors to the Museum at Eldridge Street have the opportunity to learn about the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, its history and architecture, as well as the story of the Jewish immigrants who worshiped there. 
      Address: 12 Eldridge Street
    • Yeshiva University Museum Admission is free on Mondays (open from 5-8 p.m.) to the YUMuseum, where you can explore exhibits that celebrate Jewish intellectual and artistic achievements.
      Address: 15 West 16th Street
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  • 04 of 09

    New York City Museums With Free Admission on Tuesday

    Manhattan, Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, 36th Street, Mr. Morgan's Library
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    • Brooklyn Botanical Garden
      Enjoy the beautiful gardens, conservatory, and exhibitions at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for free every Tuesday. (Admission is also free every weekday from mid-November through February)
      Address: 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
    • China Institute
      Access to the China Institute galleries is free from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays. The galleries feature changing exhibits about Chinese art and culture.
      Address: 125 East 65th Street
    • McKim Rooms at the Morgan Library & Museum
      From 3-5 p.m. on Tuesdays, visitors can access the McKim Rooms, which include Piermont Morgan's library, study, and the rotunda, for free.
      Address: 225 Madison Avenue
    • Staten Island Museum
      Admission is free on Tuesdays during certain times at the Staten Island Museum which has exhibits exploring history, art, and natural science.
      Address: 75 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island, NY
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  • 05 of 09

    New York City Museums With Free Admission on Wednesday

    New York City, New York State, United States of America
    ••• Travel Ink/Getty Images
    • Bronx Zoo
      Admission by donation gets you into the Wildlife Conservation Society's flagship Bronx Zoo all day on Wednesday.
      Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY
    • Museum of Jewish Heritage
      Admission is free on Wednesdays from during specific hours at the Museum of Jewish Heritage which focuses on Jewish history, life and culture before, during and after the Holocaust.
      Address: 36 Battery Place
    • New York Botanical Garden
      Free admission on Wednesdays covers access to the NYBG grounds only.
      Address: Bronx River Parkway and Fordham Road, Bronx, NY
    • Queens Botanical Garden
      Enjoy free admission to the Queens Botanical Garden on Wednesdays during certain hours.
      Address: 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY
    • Staten Island Zoo
      Visit the Staten Island Zoo for free on Wednesday afternoons during specific hours. Parking is always free too!
      Address: 614 Broadway, Staten Islan
    • Yeshiva University Museum Admission is free on Wednesdays during specific hours to the YUMuseum, where you can explore exhibits that...MORE celebrate Jewish intellectual and artistic achievements.
      Address: 15 West 16th Street
    • Van Cortlandt House Museum
      Built in 1748, the Van Cortlandt House was part of the family's 1,000-acre estate. Visitors will enjoy visiting the house and seeing its impressive furniture collection for free on Wednesdays.
      Address: Van Cortlandt Park (Broadway at West 246th Street), the Bronx
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  • 06 of 09

    New York City Museums With Free Admission on Thursday

    Facade detail of New Museum of Contemporary Art.
    ••• Lonely Planet/Getty Images
    • Children's Museum of the Arts
      If you're looking for free arts-oriented fun for the kids, check out the Children's Museum of the Arts on Thursdays during specific hours, when admission is pay-what-you-wish. There are lots of hands-on activities for children of all ages.
      Address: 103 Charlton Street
    • China Institute
      Access to the China Institute galleries is free specific hours on Thursdays. The galleries feature changing exhibits about Chinese art and culture.
      Address: 125 East 65th Street
    • The Jewish Museum
      Visit this Museum Mile institution dedicated to preserving and sharing Jewish culture and tradition for free on Thursdays during specific hours.
      Address: 1109 5th Ave at 92nd St 
    • Museum of Arts and Design
      Pay-what-you-wish during specific times on Thursday nights at this Columbus Circle museum that explores design and offers you the chance to watch artists at work.
      Address: 2 Columbus Circle
    • Museum of Chinese in the Americas
      Admission is free all day on Thursdays to this Chinatown...MORE museum dedicated to Chinese American history.
      Address: 215 Centre Street
    • New Museum
      Visit the New Museum for free during certain hours on Thursdays to experience their contemporary art exhibitions.
      Address: 235 Bowery
    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    New York City Museums With Free Admission on Friday

    The Museum Of Modern Art also known as MOMA
    ••• Dosfotos/Getty Images
    • Asia Society and Museum
      Free Admission on Fridays during certain hours (does not apply July 1 - Labor Day)
      Address: 725 Park Ave. at 70th St.
    • Brooklyn Botanical Garden
      Seniors can enjoy free admission on Fridays at the BBG.
      Address: 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
    • Children's Museum of Manhattan
      On the first Friday of every month, admission to CMoM is free certain hours.
      Address: 212 West 83rd Street
    • Historic Richmond Town
      A living history museum located on 100 acres over four sites on Staten Island, access to Historic Richmond Town is free on Fridays for specific hours.
      Address: 441 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island
    • International Center for Photography
      Admission to the frequently changing photography exhibitions is available with your voluntary contribution on Fridays during specific times.
      Address: 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd St.
    • Japan Society Gallery
      Explore the Japan Society Gallery for free on Friday evenings.
      Address: 333 East 47th Street
    • McKim Rooms at the Morgan Library & Museum
      On...MORE Friday nights, it's free to visit Piermont Morgan's library, study and the rotunda.
      Address: 225 Madison Avenue
    • Museum of Arts and Design
      Pay-what-you-wish certain hours on Friday nights at this Columbus Circle museum that explores design and even has artists you can observe working in studios at the museum.
      Address: 2 Columbus Circle 
    • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
      Free Admission on Uniglo Fridays during specific hours gives you access to see the MoMa's impressive collections and exhibits, which normally cost to enter.
      Address: 11 West 53 Street
    • Museum of the Moving Image
      Visiting the galleries of this museum dedicated to all things film is free on Fridays during certain times, but it does not include film screenings.
      Address: 35 Avenue at 36 Street, ​Astori
    • Neue Galerie
      During certain times on the first Friday of every month, visitors can experience the Neue Galerie's collection of German and Austrian art.
      Address: 1048 Fifth Avenue 
    • New York Aquarium
      Admission on Friday afternoons during certain times is by donation at this Coney Island aquarium.
      Address: Surf Avenue and West 8th Street, Brooklyn
    • New York Hall of Science
      If you don't mind some crowds, join the free admission fun at NYSci on Fridays during specific hours (except in July & August).
      Address: 47-01 111th Street Queens, NY
    • New-York Historical Society
      Pay-What-You-Wish on Friday evenings, to visit the New-York Historical Society's exhibits that explore the history and culture of New York City and the United States.
      Address: 170 Central Park West (76th/77th Street)
    • Noguchi Museum
      Pay-what-you-wish on the first Friday of every month to see this museum founded and designed by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi.
      Address: 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard), Long Island City
    • Rubin Museum of Art
      Admission is free for all visitors on Friday nights at this museum dedicated to the art of the Himalayas.
      Address: 150 West 17 St.
    • Whitney Museum of American Art
      Pay-what-you-wish on Fridays nights to visit the Whitney, which displays 20th century and contemporary American art.
      Address: 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
    • Yeshiva University Museum Admission is free on Fridays to the YUMuseum, where you can explore exhibits that celebrate Jewish intellectual and artistic achievements.
      Address: 15 West 16th Street
    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    New York City Museums With Free Admission on Saturday

    Guggenheim Museum in New York City
    ••• Luis Davilla/Getty Images
    • Brooklyn Botanical Garden
      Arrive at the BBG on Saturdays between specific hours and admission is free, unless there is a special public program happening.
      Address: 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
    • First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
      Evening admission on the first Saturday of every month is free. Includes most exhibits, music, and movie screenings.
      Address: 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn
    • El Museo del Barrio
      On the third Saturday of every month, admission is free to this museum dedicated to the art of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures.
      Address: 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street)
    • Guggenheim Museum
      Pay what you wish on Saturdays evenings/
      Address: 1071 5th Avenue at 89th Street
    • The Jewish Museum
      Enjoy free admission on Saturdays
      Address: 1109 Fifth Avenue (92nd Street)
    • New York Botanical Garden
      Explore the grounds at the NYBG for free if you arrive during specific hours on Saturdays
      Address: Bronx River Parkway and Fordham Road, Bronx
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    New York City Museums With Free Admission on Sunday

    The Frick Collection courtyard garden.
    ••• Dan Herrick/Getty Images
    • The Frick Collection
      On Sundays, visit Henry Clay Frick's Fifth Avenue mansion and art collection and pay-what-you-wish during certain times.
      Address: 1 East 70th Street
    • McKim Rooms at the Morgan Library & Museum
      During certain hours on Sundays, you can see the most famous rooms (including Piermont Morgan's library, study, and the rotunda) at the Morgan Library & Museum for free.
      Address: 225 Madison Avenue
    • New York Hall of Science
      General admission to the museum is free on Sundays during certain hours (except in July & August).
      Address: 47-01 111th Street Queens, NY
    • Queens Botanical Garden
      There's no charge to visit the QBG on Sundays during specific hours.
      Address: 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY
    • The Studio Museum of Harlem
      See the works of local, national and international artists of African descent at the Studio Museum of Harlem for free on Sundays.
      Address: 144 West 125th Street