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Lion Guides: Best Museums in NYC

Looking to take advantage of all the museums New York has to offer? Refer to our list of some of the city’s best museums. Think we’re missing something? Email us about it by sending your suggestions to



You get in for free and get to see works from the cool modern artists that the kids love so much, like Jackson Pollock and Monet. And it’s not just a highlight reel of paintings you’ve seen in books. Each floor of MoMA has its own feel, and will undoubtedly introduce you to artists you who’ve never heard of before but you inexplicably now love. They’ve got exhibits on everything from video games to furniture design, so there’s something there for all of your new NSOP friends.

The American Museum of Natural History

It’s got a giant whale replica twice the size of your house (and roughly 5000 times the size of your LLC single). What else do you need to know? Fine, it also has one of the world’s most extensive collections of dinosaur skeletons on display, amazing exhibits on animals from every continent, and a planetarium so cool it’s run by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Oh, and it’s suggested donation for students, so just nod politely when they tell you the price and then give them a dollar.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Lit Hum teacher may or may not take you here anyway, but it’s way better to see this museum at your own pace than be rushed through the Greek Wing. The Met has one of the largest collections of art in the world, and you could spend hours in each area of the museum soaking in all the exhibits. Arms and Armor is always a fun place to start with for new visitors who aren’t super into gazing at paintings or sculptures (yet), and the aforementioned Greek Wing will resonate even more after reading the Iliad. Which you totally did, right?

Like the Natural History Museum, the Met has a suggested donation, but show your Columbia ID at the door and they won’t even hassle you for that.

The Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum is probably one of the most interesting historical sites you can visit in New York (It is a National Historic Site after all.). The rest of the Lower East Side has gone to the gentrified hipster set, but once you step inside you’ll forget all about wanting Pommes Frites and that bar you have to rush to after you change your flannel. The museum itself at 97 Orchard St. is a preserved tenement where urban immigrants lived in insanely close quarters. They also provide walking tours of the area so you can see how a former family-owned business is probably an overpriced coffee shop. And then get some coffee. Go here for more information and tickets.

The Frick

Private collection of John D. Rockefeller’s homie turned into a museum. Its a beautiful mansion with some great art and some rotating exhibits. Some must see American artists lie within. Check their visiting hours here.

Museum of Sex

Exactly what it sounds like, the museum has everything from edible underwear advertisements to a wide variety of paintings, photos, and sculpture on the subject of sex. As long as you can get over the potential awkwardness, it’s an interesting visit. Plus, the gift shop is hilarious.

The Whitney

Love art, but want some more contemporary works than the Met has to offer? The Whitney Museum of Art has perhaps the best collection of twentieth-century American art in the world. We highly recommend checking out the Edward Hopper exhibit that is running until October 6th.

Newark Museum

There is almost no reason to ever travel to New Jersey (unless that’s where you grew up, in which case, go Devils!), and the Newark Museum is unlikely to convince you otherwise. However, the museum does have a nice Tibetan collection and “New Jersey’s first planetarium,” among other things, so if you love Tibetan art and want to maybe meet Cory Booker, you could do worse.


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