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Best Manhattan Museums Walking Tour (Self Guided), New York

New York is a fascinating city fit to satisfy everyone's interest. Among many other attractions, it is also home to the top-notch museums of art, architecture, photography, natural history, television, radio and technology. Take this self-guided tour to explore the most visited museums in Manhattan.
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Best Manhattan Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Best Manhattan Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » New York (See other walking tours in New York)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Hayden Planetarium
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
1
Museum of the City of New York

1) Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York is a repository of exhibits and an art gallery dedicated to the history and evolution of New York. It forms part of Manhattan’s Museum Mile and is housed in a Neo Georgian brick-and-limestone building constructed between 1928 and 1930 to the design by architect Joseph J. Freedlander. A new glass Pavilion Gallery was added to the complex in 2008.

Everything relevant to NYC is showcased here, including buildings, streets, sights, sounds, neighborhoods, people and cultures that give the city its colorful exuberance. Among the exhibits are drawings, paintings and prints of New York City, from the first Dutch settlements to the present. There are also special marine, military, fire and police collections dedicated to civic and armed services that were involved in the protection of the citizens and their property.

The museum has a comprehensive photograph display and a section devoted to the destroyed World Trade Center. There are also re-created rooms from the houses of prominent citizens. A rare object displayed at the museum is the chair of Sarah Repelje who was the first European child born in New Amsterdam that later became New York City. In addition to the historical exhibits and works of art, there is a fascinating multimedia portrait of the city that gives an overview of the people who shaped it in the course of history.

This is one of the few museums open on Mondays. Operation Hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

2) Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is equally renowned for both, its collection of contemporary art and the architectural splendor of its building. The core of the permanent exhibition forms the art collection gathered by its founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim, and his art adviser, German artist Hilda Rebay. In 1939, the two opened a museum housed in the rented premises at 24, East 54th Street.

Eventually, the number of exhibits outgrew the building and renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright was asked to design a suitable facility to accommodate the collection. This was the last of Wright’s major creations and took him 15 years to come up with the architectural concept of the building. The design was initially criticized for its appearance in the form of a ribbon curled around a cylinder-shaped base which in many's opinion did not synchronize with the box-like buildings located nearby. The new Guggenheim museum opened its doors in 1959, after both Guggenheim and Wright had passed away, to become one of the architectural marvels of New York City.

Among the modern and post modernist artists presented here are the likes of Pablo Picasso, Rudolf Bauer, Vincent van Gogh, Hilla Rebay, Paul Klee, Amadeo Modigliani and Fernand Leger. Alongside permanent display the museum also runs temporary exhibitions featuring innovative works of modern art. In addition to paintings there are modernist sculptures, rock displays, dollar displays and a range of other exhibits fit to fascinate lovers of Contemporary Art.

The museum is open Monday, Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 am - 5:30 pm; Tuesday, Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Metropolitan Museum of Art

3) Metropolitan Museum of Art (must see)

Popularly known as the “Met”, this repository boasts one of the largest artwork collections in the world, spanning from prehistoric times to the modern day. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of citizens among which were artists, financiers, businessmen and art collectors united by a common goal of bringing art to the people, and the exhibits here consist of both acquisitions and private donations from all over the world.

The museum forms a major part of the Museum Mile in Manhattan, and comprises as many as 19 departments with a total of more than 2 million artifacts. Among them are a large private collection donated by American banker Robert Lehman, one of the largest collections of musical instruments in the world, a collection of costumes and accessories by well-known designers, plus over 20,000 photographs. The Thomas J Watson library within the museum features a multitude of books related to the History of Art, exhibition catalogs and auction sale publications. The Met also has a branch at The Cloisters devoted to the Medieval European art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers free guided tours for visitors. A standalone attraction here is the roof garden offering a spectacular view of Central Park and New York City.

Why You Should Visit:
Thousands of masterpieces gathered within the space of two million square feet!
There's something for every art lover here, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, interest or familiarity.

Tip:
The best place for you to sit down, if tired, is the furniture storage area on the 2nd floor. It is quiet, elegant and has comfy, contemporary upholstered chairs.
To avoid exhaustion, consider splitting your visit into several sessions. Entry tickets allow multiple visits over a 3-day period, plus entry to some MET annexes elsewhere in NYC.

Operation Hours:
Sun-Thu: 10am-5:30pm; Fri-Sat: 10am-9 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Hayden Planetarium

4) Hayden Planetarium

The Hayden Planetarium is affiliated to the Rose Center for Earth and Space within the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The aim of this planetarium is to give the public a “lively and sincere appreciation of the magnitude of the universe and for the wonderful things that are daily occurring in the universe.”

The brainchild of architects Trowbridge and Livingston, the Hayden Planetarium opened its doors for the first time in 1935. Its construction was funded by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and in particular by a wealthy banker, Charles Hayden (hence the name). In 1997, the original structure was demolished and replaced with a new one, designed by James Polshek, housing both the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, opened in the year 2000.

The top half of the planetarium has a customized Zeiss Mark IX projector with a digital dome projector system. The system shows a 3D image of the universe based on real time images sent by a Silicon Graphics Supercomputer. In the lower half, visitors follow the Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn cosmic pathway to learn about the beginning of time and space by experiencing the Big Bang and other stages of the evolution of the universe through multisensory special effects.

This major family attraction is both educational and entertaining, and as such, should be on everyone’s to do list. General admission allows access to the permanent exhibits; a Super Saver ticket includes all special exhibits, giant screen 3D and 2D films, and the Hayden Planetarium space show.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
American Museum of Natural History

5) American Museum of Natural History (must see)

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. The complex comprises 27 interconnected buildings sitting on the park-like grounds across the street from Central Park, holding 45 permanent exhibition halls, plus a planetarium and a library – one of the finest in the world, and containing over 32 million specimens of plants, humans, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts. Although vast – 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m²) – the available space allows only for a small fraction of the artifacts to be displayed at any given time.

Originally, the museum was housed in a Victorian Gothic edifice designed by Calvert Vaux and J Wrey Mould in 1877. Later, the South Range building, neo-Romanesque in style and clad in rusticated brownstone, was added, created by J Cleveland Cady.

From the date of its institution, the AMNH has made cutting-edge anthropological and natural history information available to the general public. Its well known permanent exhibits include Hall of the Saurischian Dinosaurs, Hall of the Ornithischian Dinosaurs, halls dedicated to ocean life, biodiversity, minerals, African mammals, artifacts of the Native American people and the events in 13 billion years of cosmic evolution. The museum averages about five million visits per year and offers daily guided tours to the visitors led by volunteers; private tours are also available.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the largest and finest museums on Earth!

Tip:
There are various special exhibits that you have to pay for additionally, so be sure to do your homework on what you want to see in advance.
Also, consider eating before going (the on-site food is expensive and not that great).

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5:45pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

6) Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (must see)

Well known as the most influential museum of modern art in the world, this museum is a storehouse of the finest Western modern masterpieces. It also has an impressive library with over 300,000 books.

In 1929, three wealthy ladies rented a space in the Heckscher Building in 5th Avenue and established the first Museum of Modern Art in New York. Later, the husband of one of them, Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller, donated land and funds to build the present MoMA, and her sons commissioned landscape architect Philip Johnson to redesign the area around the museum, creating the Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in honor of their mother.

Today, the museum collection spans the period from 1880 until the present, featuring pieces of architecture and sculpture (including a much valued Goat sculpture by Picasso in the patio), drawings, paintings, photography, prints, and electronic media depictions. Among the presented artists are the great modernists like Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso. The Museum also holds temporary exhibits showcasing innovative styles and revolutionary art expressions.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the finest collections of modern art in the world! Outside, in the garden, you can lose yourself and escape the noise and bustle of the big city.

Tip:
Make sure to visit the MoMA design store across the street which has an amazing array of interesting and innovative industrial design products.

Operation Hours:
Sat-Thu: 10:30am-5:30pm; Fri: 10:30am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in New York, New York

Create Your Own Walk in New York

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Best of Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
George Washington's New York

George Washington's New York

While not really a New York fan himself, George Washington held the city in high esteem, calling it “a post of infinite importance,” and is even credited with coining the term “New Yorker”. The scene of some of Washington’s greatest military trials and political triumphs, NYC is a home to several important sites associated with his life and career, such as Fraunces Tavern, Bowling Green,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
NYC Greenwich Village Walk

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The tree-lined streets of Greenwich Village with its cafes, bars and restaurants, jazz clubs and Off-Broadway theaters amid the brownstones will enthuse you as a visitor. Writers and poets, artists and radicals, runaway socialites, and others seeking freedom from conventional lifestyles have long flocked to this spot, lit most famously by the counterculture figures of the 1950s and '60s: Jack...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Midtown Manhattan Walking Tour

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Midtown Manhattan is the largest commercial, entertainment, and media center of the United States. The area is a home to some of NYC's most iconic landmarks, such as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Grand Central Station, as well as the world-famous Rockefeller Center and Times Square. Follow this self guided walk to explore Midtown Manhattan!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
NYC Top Religious Sites Walking Tour

NYC Top Religious Sites Walking Tour

New York City is often defined by the word “skyscraper.” However, other than high-risers, the city is also famous for the variety of beautiful places of worship renowned for their architecture splendor. Take this self-guided walking tour to explore the top religious sites of New York.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 Km or 4.3 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles

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