The Steele Maiden: Visitor's Guide to NYC MuseumsOne of the things I love most about living in New York is that access to some of the world’s best art and culture is just a subway ride away. But for those who live here – it’s often taken for granted. And for those from out of town – it can often be overwhelming. So to help, I’m sharing my tips for visiting the best of NYC Museums.  Bookmark it for your next visit and feel free to ask me any questions I may not have answered! 

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Best fit for: Those with an appreciation for the classics, history-lovers and my top pick if you’re in town and can only make it to one museum. The Egyptian Room with it’s floor to ceiling windows overlooking Central Park is one of my favorite places in the city.

Time Needed: 3 Hours

Insider Tip: The ticket price is only suggested, so if you need to pay less you can. And in the Summer, the rooftop bar offers unparalleled views of Central Park and downtown.

2. The Guggenheim Museum

Best fit for: Minimalists. Frank Lloyd Wright’s towering display of modern architecture is almost enough even without the art inside.

Time Needed: 1 Hour

Insider Tip: On Saturday’s from 5:45 – 7:45PM admission is ‘pay what you want’

3. The Whitney

Best fit for: The In-crowd. The Whitney tends to have rotating exhibits (like the Jeff Koons retrospective) that create city-wide buzz.

Time Needed: 2 Hours

Insider Tip: The Whitney is currently preparing to re-locate to the far trendier Meatpacking District with the grand opening slated for May.

4. The Museum of the City of New York 

Best fit for: New York Lovers. Current exhibits spotlight topics such as the history of activism in the city, the rise of hip hop in New York, and clothing & jewelry from New York’s Gilded Age.

Time Needed: 1 Hour

5. American Museum of Natural History

Best fit for: Nature and Science lover and a great spot for families.

Time Needed: 3 Hours

Insider Tip: If you’ve got a kid that wants to live out their ‘Night at the Museum’ fantasy – their sleepover options are a dream come true.

6. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Best fit for: Pop-culture hounds (past exhibits include Tim Burton and currently Bjork) and my best pick for a date spot.

Time Needed: 3 Hours

Insider Tip: They screen movies in a private theater here where you can catch everything from cult classics to current independent/foreign films to early American cinema.

7. New Museum

Best fit for: The avant-garde. From performance art to digital exhibitions – what you find here is never run of the mill.

Time Needed: 1 Hour

8. Museum of the Moving Image

Best fit for: Movie/TV lovers and city dwellers looking to step out of their routine (the museum is located in Astoria, Queens, a short subway ride from midtown Manhattan). Current exhibits include a Mad Men retrospective.

Time Needed: 2 Hours

9. The Cloisters

Best fit for: Europhiles and anyone looking for an escape from the city (the Cloisters are like a hidden castle that sits at the highest tip of Manhattan in and houses centuries old religious & architectural remnants.

Time Needed: 3 Hours

Insider Tip: Admission is free with a ticket stub from the Met, so start your day there and then take the train up and spend the afternoon at the Cloisters. The Fall is arguably the prettiest time to visit as it offers sweeping views of colorful trees across the Hudson River.

10. Brooklyn Museum

Best fit for: Those looking for a less crowded alternative to the Met or MoMA.

Time Needed: 2 Hours

Insider Tip: Target hosts ‘First Saturdays’ at the start of each month, with free admission from 5-11PM, plus food, music and scheduled events.