New York's Top Museums Walking Tour, New York (Self Guided)

New York is an amazing city, that offers something for everyone. It is home to top-notch museums of art, architecture, photography, natural history, television, radio and technology. Take this tour to explore the most visited museums in New York City.
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New York's Top Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: New York's Top Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » New York (See other walking tours in New York)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 km
Author: doris
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 the city. Everything relevant to New York City is showcased at the museum, including its buildings, streets, sights, sounds, neighborhoods, people and cultures that give the city its colorful exuberance.

The Museum of the City of New York forms part of Manhattan’s museum mile and is housed in a Neo Georgian style brick and limestone building. The design was by architect, Joseph J. Freedlander and was constructed between 1928 and 1930. A new glass Pavilion Gallery was added to the old building in 2008.

Exhibits at the museum include drawings, paintings and prints of New York City, from the first Dutch settlements till 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 collection of the city of New York 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 found 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.

The Museum of the city of New York is one of the few museums that stay open on Mondays. In addition to historical exhibits and works of art, it offers visitors a fascinating multimedia portrait of the city that gives an overview of the people who shaped it in the course of history.

Operation Hours: Monday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 8.30 pm; Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

2) Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is well known not only for its collection of contemporary art but also for the architectural splendor of its building. The museum has a vast collection of permanent modern art collections and always runs temporary exhibitions featuring innovative and interesting modern art displays.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum houses the art collection of its founder and his art adviser, German artist Hilda Rebay. In 1939, they opened the first museum displaying works of art in rented premises located in 24, East Fifty- Fourth Street. The number of exhibits outgrew the building and renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright was asked to design a suitable structure to house the collections. This was the last of Wright’s major plans and it took 15 years before he could create the architectural concept of the building. The design was criticized at first because it did not synchronize with the box like buildings located nearby. The appearance of the structure is like a ribbon curled around a cylinder shaped base. The museum opened in 1959 after the deaths of Guggenheim and Wright. Today, it has become one of the architectural icons of New York City.

The museum features works of modern and post modernist artists including Picasso, Rudolf Bauer, Vincent van Gogh, Hilla Rebay, Paul Klee, Amadeo Modigliani and Fernand Leger. There are also modernist sculptures, rock displays, dollar displays and a range of exhibits to fascinate lovers of Contemporary Art.

Operation Hours: Monday - Wednesday: 10 am - 5.45 pm; Friday - Sunday: 10 am - 5.45 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Metropolitan Museum of Art

3) Metropolitan Museum of Art (must see)

Popularly known as the‘Met’, this museum has one of the largest art collections in the world. The exhibits consist of collections acquisitions and donations from collectors and benefactors with a common goal to bring art to the American people.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a repository of artwork from all over the world and from every age in history. It has collections from prehistoric ages to recent times. It was founded in 1870 by a group of citizens including artists, financiers, businessmen and art collectors. The museum occupies the major part of the Museum Mile in Manhattan. The nineteen departments at the Met are repositories of over 2 million exhibits. It also has a large private collection of 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 and over 20,000 photographs. The Thomas J Watson library within the museum has a collection of books related to the History of Art, exhibition catalogs and auction sale publications. The Met also has a branch museum at The Cloisters, devoted to medieval European art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers free guided tours for visitors. The roof garden offers a spectacular view of Central Park and New York City.

Why You Should Visit:
Thousands of masterpieces throughout two million square feet of exhibition space!
There's something for everyone here, no matter nationality, ethnicity, interest or familiarity.

The best place to sit when you're tired is on the 2nd-floor furniture storage area. It's quiet, elegant and has comfy, contemporary upholstered chairs.
To avoid exhaustion, maybe split your visit over 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
Hayden Planetarium

4) Hayden Planetarium

The Hayden Planetarium is one part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The aim of the 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.’

Architects Trowbridge and Livingston designed the Hayden Planetarium and it opened its doors in 1935. The construction was funded by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and a wealthy banker, Charles Hayden. The original structure was demolished in 1997 and a new structure 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.
Sight description based on wikipedia
American Museum of Natural History

5) American Museum of Natural History (must see)

The American Museum of Natural History (abbreviated as AMNH), located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in New York City is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. From the date of its institution, the American Museum of Natural History has made cutting-edge anthropological and natural history information available to the public. Calvert Vaux and J Wrey Mould designed the first structure in 1877 in Victorian Gothic style. Later the South Range building by J Cleveland Cady in neo-Romanesque style clad in rusticated brownstone was added.

Located in park-like grounds across the street from Central Park, the museum complex contains 27 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library, one of the finest in the world. The museum collections contain over 32 million specimens of plants, humans, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time, and occupies 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m2). Well known permanent exhibits include Hall of the Saurischian Dinosaurs, that 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 has a full-time scientific staff of 225, sponsors over 120 special field expeditions each year, and averages about five million visits annually. The museum offers daily guided tours by volunteers around the many exhibits and arranges private tours for visitors.

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

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

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5:45pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sony Wonder Technology Lab

6) Sony Wonder Technology Lab

This technology and entertainment museum offers an interactive trip through the world of media for visitors of all ages. It forms part of the Sony Tower that was formerly the AT&T building.

The Sony Wonder Technology Lab occupies four floors of the Sony Tower. It replaced Wonderquest, a previous technological museum by AT&T. The Lab has a 73 seat high definition theater that can be rented separately for events and shows. It is a popular place of visit for parents and children A Sony robot provides entertainment to children waiting in the long queues that wait to enter the lab.

Interesting rooms inside the lab include the image lab where children are encouraged to play with pictures and the audio lab where children can manipulate sounds in a music piece. In one room children can play with medical instruments, perform surgeries and go down a mock esophagus. There is also an option where children can work with other kids to produce an entertainment show. In the room devoted to the Sony Playstation, children can sit at monitors and play games, make a movie or play with music.

Children between the ages of 8 and 14 will get an education through entertainment at this unique museum dedicated to media and technology.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm;
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

7) 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 space in the Heckscher Building in 5th avenue and established the first Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Later, the husband of Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller, one of the ladies, donated the land and gave the funds to build the present structure. Her sons commissioned landscape architect Philip Johnson to redesign the area around the museum as the Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in honor of their mother.

Today, the museum has the largest collection of artwork from the year 1880 to the present. It has works of architecture and sculpture (including a valuable sculpture of a goat by Picasso in the patio), drawings, paintings, photography, prints, and electronic media depictions. Works of great modernist masters like Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso are displayed in its vast halls.

The Museum of Modern Art also holds temporary exhibitions of innovative art styles and showcases some of the most revolutionary art expressions of our time.

Why You Should Visit:
Perhaps the finest collections of modern art in the world! And outside, in the gardens, you can lose yourself and escape the noise and bustle of the city.

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

Create Your Own Walk in New York

Creating your own self-guided walk in New York is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Shopping Tour in New York City

Shopping Tour in New York City

New York is considered to be a shopper's paradise. It features some of the best shopping centers in the world. Each of these places, like Manhattan Mall, Brook Shopping Center or Rockefeller Center offers a unique style with one-of-a-kind shops. Take this tour to explore the most famous shopping centers in New York City.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Brooklyn New York Walking Tour

Brooklyn New York Walking Tour

Brooklyn, one of New York City’s 5 boroughs, occupies the western tip of Long Island and is connected to neighboring Manhattan via the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The area is known primarily these days for its ethnic diversity; it also abounds in a variety of recreational, cultural and historic attractions. The most notable landmarks include Park Slope, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden,...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
The Best of New York's Lower Manhattan

The Best of New York's Lower Manhattan

Lower (aka Downtown) Manhattan is a cluster of attractions. Following the September 11 attacks and ensued reconstruction of the area, the skyline of Lower Manhattan has been transformed and dominated by the newly-built One World Trade Center. The site of the former World Trade Center now holds The 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Lower Manhattan contains many other historic buildings, such as the old...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Orientation Tour in New York City's Midtown Manhattan

Orientation Tour in New York City's Midtown Manhattan

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 Building, as well as the world-famous Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square. Check out this orientation walk and explore Midtown, NY for yourself!

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 km
Religious Buildings Walking Tour, New York

Religious Buildings Walking Tour, New York

New York is often defined by the word skyscraper. But this city also offers a beautiful collection of religious buildings. Each of these buildings feature spectacular architecture and design. Take this walking tour to explore the most famous religious buildings in New York.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.7 km
New York's Central Park Walking Tour

New York's Central Park Walking Tour

It is the first public park built in America, and the most famous park in the world today. Enjoy a great relaxing time, surrounded by natural beauty, gazing upon numerous man-made wonders - fountains, monuments, sculptures, bridges and arches. Central Park offers over 50 delightful attractions. Take this walking tour to explore the beauties of the Central Park.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 km

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in New York for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best New York has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting New York's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the New York CityPASS, New York Pass, NY Sightseeing Pass, or New York City Explorer Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple NYC's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving your precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of New York hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: JW Marriott Essex House New York, Moderne Hotel, The Manhattan Club.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as New York, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of New York typically costs somewhere between US$30 and US$125 per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of New York City in comfort listening in the headsets to prerecorded commentary in a variety of foreign languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the three interconnecting routes as often as you like. The tickets are valid for one, two, three, four or five days and can be upgraded to include a night tour as well.

- Hop a ferry from Manhattan to visit two of New York's most iconic sights - the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This 4-hour journey is an absolute must for those in the city for the first time as it allows visitors to follow in the footsteps of millions of migrants who reached this way the U.S shore up until the mid 1950s in pursuit of the American dream.

- Take the Wall Street tour created by a former investment banker and walk behind the scenes of something as quintessentially American as NYC financial district to see where billions of dollars change hands every day, making America what it is.

- Explore the home base of two of New York City’s most colorful ethnic communities that gave this fascinating metropolis much of its flavor. Embark on a guided tour of Little Italy and Chinatown to explore the popular restaurants and shops, discover the hidden gems and learn the stories surrounding these and other locations retold by an expert local guide.

- Spare a couple of hours in the morning or afternoon to pedal your way through the beautiful Central Park in NYC on a fun and educational bike tour to observe the park's most famous attractions, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the landmarks en route from a knowledgeable group leader.

- Take a big bite out of the Big Apple on a half-day food tour of Brooklyn, the newly-emerged culinary center of New York and the national food epicenter. Come and see where the dining trends of today's America are born out of the old ethnic traditions and dispersed further afield. Quench your appetite for a diverse and cutting edge food scene while touring one of New York City's coolest and tastiest boroughs.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in New York City, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Niagara Falls, Philadelphia and Lancaster County, or Hamptons on Long Island. For as little as circa US$170 to US$530 per person you will get a chance to discover the beauty and the awesome might of the roaring waterfall, take a daring boat ride behind its curtain, or drive through the beautiful countryside to the home of the Amish people known for their plain living and resistance to modern technologies, or enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of a big city in a quaint 300-year-old seaside village, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in New York City and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle (or even boat, whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.