Wondering where to see free art in New York City? Taking on the museum circuit can be expensive, especially in a city like New York. But knowing the right information, you can get a whole lot of free art during your visit to the art capital of the US. You’ll also need a break after paying for a hotel in New York. Nearly every art museum offers a day, or a few hours on one day a week when they allow visitors to enter either for free or by paying their own price. Read more to find out when and where to see free art New York City.

Guggenheim Museum


The Guggenheim is arguably as impressive from the outside as it is on the inside. Housed in a cavernous 1959 Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building, the Guggenheim Museum is among the 20th century’s most important architectural landmarks. The museum’s expansive rotunda houses special exhibitions, while the smaller galleries to the side are devoted to the Guggenheim’s renowned permanent collection. The substantial works were collected by Solomon Guggenheim and his niece, Peggy, and include Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art. Saturday from 5:45–7:45pm is when you’ll pay what you wish. Go early because the line will wrap around the building outside.

When to get in free: Pay what you wish: Saturday: 5:45–7:45pm
More information: The Guggenheim Museum http://www.guggenheim.org/
Location:  1071 Fifth Avenue

The Whitney Museum of American Art


Situated in a stunning new building designed by Renzo Piano between the High Line and the Hudson River, the Whitney has a vastly its increased exhibition space. The museum describes itself as the ‘preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, presenting the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists.’ The Whitney has the finest holding of twentieth-century American art in the world and featured the first museum retrospectives of Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and Cindy Sherman. Regular entry is $22 but come on Friday evening between 7-9:30pm and you can pay what you wish.

When to get in free: Pay what you wish Fridays, 7–9:30 pm
More information: The Whitney Museum of American Art http://whitney.org/
Location: 99 Gansevoort Street New York, NY 10014

The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection is housed in the former home of Henry Clay Frick, the 19th-century industrialist, and features an outstanding collection of artwork spanning from the 15th to 19th centuries. The eight galleries showcase the works he collected with his fortune in this gorgeous mansion along 5th Avenue, beside Central Park. Highlights include the Living Room with the Titians, El Greco, and Han’s Holbein the Younger. Be sure to pick up the free handset to hear the audio commentary for selected works. Regular price is $20, but visiting on Sunday from 11am to 1pm will get you in at the price of your choice.

When to get in free: On Sundays, pay what you wish from 11am – 1 pm.
More information: The Frick Collection http://www.frick.org/
Location: 1 East 70th Street (between Fifth and Madison Avenues)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)


The Met is one of the world’s top museums without question. That doesn’t mean you have to visit, but rather that its collection is enormous and spans much of ancient and modern human history. It introduces the observer to various time periods and schools of art from cultures spanning the world. From medieval body armor, to modernist photography, to Surrealism, to Islamic Art, to musical instruments, to Impressionism, to American decorative Art, there is a little bit (and sometimes a lot) for everyone. There are no explicit instructions telling you that The Met has pay-as-you-wish pricing, but its fees are listed as recommended. When you reach the ticket booth, you have to tell them the price you will pay and they’ll print you up a ticket whether you tell them you want a free ticket, a two dollar ticket, or want to pay the recommended $25.

Free Entry: Pay what you wish anytime  More information: The Metropolitan Museum of Art http://www.metmuseum.org/
Location: 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)


To see one of the world’s greatest collections of modern art for free, you’ll have to head to MoMA’s midtown Manhattan location on Friday evening between 4-8pm. But be warned; it is popular. To avoid an excessively long line, come at around 6pm. But understand that to see this collection, from Warhol to Picasso to Van Gogh in detail, you’ll want more than two hours. MoMA is considered the most influential museum of modern art in the world. The collection includes works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist’s books, film and electronic media. Some of it is pretty out there, so come with an open mind.

When to get in free: Pay what you wish Friday 4-8pm
More information: http://www.moma.org/
Location:  11 West 53 Street

Sleeping in the City that Never Sleeps

To see all this great free art, you’ll need to get a hotel in New York City. There are plenty to choose from, in all price ranges. New York accommodation can be founds nearby all these great works of art. Of course staying the night isn’t pay what you wish, but you can score some pretty good deals if you pick the right time period and book in advance. New York hotels are some of the world’s best, so choose wisely.

*Please understand that it costs millions of dollars each year to administer a world-class art museum like the ones listed above. If you have the means to contribute at least part of the price of a ticket, please do. You’ll be helping to ensure this art can remain affordable for those who need it most.
●Runaway Juno Media is running #cityAdventures campaign with Marriott International! We’re going to explore 12 iconic cities around the world with 12 different themed articles.
●This awesome New York City piece was written by Stephen Bugno of Bohemian Traveler.
●Photo: Natx33, Carla Rodríguez, Paul Gorbould

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