Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in Midtown, houses one of the world’s most prestigious modern and contemporary art collections, with an extensive collection of modern paintings, sculptures, and installations. With elegantly displayed works by artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, and Warhol, and an active schedule of exhibitions, films, and educational programs, the MoMA continues to attract modern art enthusiasts as well as curious visitors seeking an edgy cultural experience. Here's everything you need to know about making the most of your visit to Manhattan's MoMA, including hours, location, and more:
A Floor-by-Floor Guide to MoMA's Top Attractions
The main building is a six-floor complex spilling over with special exhibitions and pieces from the permanent collection. Each floor is separated into galleries and hallways, with wide entrances that allow the rooms to flow into each other. Stairs, elevators, and escalators facilitate movement from level to level.
If you're a first-time visitor to MoMA in Manhattan, starting from the top floor and working your way down is probably your best option. The 4th and 5th floors contain some of the museum’s most famous works.
- 6th floor: This expansive space is reserved for special and/or temporary exhibitions.
- 5th floor: The 5th floor is divided into 14 galleries displaying paintings and sculptures by world-renowned artists, with works from the 1880s through 1940s. Grab a bite to eat at Terrace 5, a full-service café serving snacks, desserts, and wine. On this floor, you can see:
- The Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh
- Water Lilies, by Claude Monet
- The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dalí
- Dance (I), by Henri Matisse
- 4th Floor: Explore the galleries of the 4th floor and see more paintings, sculptures, and installations by famous modern artists with works from the 1940s through 1980. On this floor, you can see:
- Campbell’s Soup Cans, by Andy Warhol
- One, by Jackson Pollock
- Map, by Jasper Johns
- 3rd Floor: The 3rd floor holds a vast assortment of drawings, photographs, and architecture and design pieces. Also check out the floor’s special exhibitions, which explore current architecture projects and larger collections from the drawing and photography galleries.
- 2nd Floor: The 2nd floor is home to the museum’s media and contemporary (from 1980 on) art galleries, which feature large-scale pieces and installations. Also check out the print and illustrated books section and Café 2, a cafeteria-style eatery with pasta, chicken, and dessert dishes.
- 1st Floor/Lobby: With ticket counters, information centers, membership services, and audio equipment rentals, the 1st floor serves as the museum’s information hub. In nice weather, take a stroll through the outdoor Sculpture Garden, also located on this level. Afterwards, stop by The Modern, the MoMA’s sophisticated fine dining restaurant. A separate bar room, which serves smaller plates of The Modern’s French-American cuisine, complements the main room, which overlooks the Sculpture Garden. Enter on 53rd Street and enjoy the restaurant beyond museum hours.
MoMA hosts a wide variety of seasonal exhibitions (check out the current exhibitions at MoMA).
MoMA Location and Contact Information
MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Contact MoMA at 212-708-9400, or visit their website at www.moma.org.
Subway Directions to MoMA
- E/M to 5th Ave.–/53rd St.; B/D/F to 47th–50th Sts./Rockefeller Center
- Sat.–Thu. 10:30am–5:30pm; Fri. 10:30am–8pm
- Adults: $25
- Seniors (65 and over with ID): $18
- Students (full-time with current ID): $14
- Children (16 and under): Free
- Members: Free
To save a few bucks, visit MoMA on Friday evenings between 4pm and 8pm when admission is free. What’s the occasion? UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, sponsored by the clothing store. Come after 6pm to avoid the longest lines.
-- Updated by Elissa Garay