Art is for everyone — or is it? In New York City, ticket prices for some museums and institutions are raising eyebrows. Last week, the Whitney Museum of American Art announced admission hikes for the first time since 2016, bringing general entry tickets from $25 to $30 and senior and student tickets from $18 to $24. The move, which the Whitney attributed to various factors including inflation, makes the museum one of the priciest in the city, right up there with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which also raised its general admission fee to $30 last summer. (At The Met, however, New York State residents can pay what they wish, and students and senior tickets are $17 and $22, respectively.)

Naturally, we were wondering what other popular NYC museums are charging these days. We rounded up the most expensive institutions below, based on general admission prices listed on their websites at the time of publication.

This may come as no surprise, but the museums with the steepest tickets are all located in Manhattan; notably, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Queens Museum, and the Staten Island Museum are completely free. So is the Brooklyn Museum, but that’s not immediately obvious on its website, where it’s easy to miss that the $16 listed amount is a “suggested contribution.” (Not to mention that special exhibitions cost $25.)

There are other caveats. Most of the institutions listed below offer free admission for kids; the Frick Collection, for instance, started offering free youth admission (ages 10–17) this spring. But at the American Museum of Natural History — arguably one of the most attractive destinations for young dinosaur lovers — tickets for children ages three to 12 will set you back $16 per child if you’re not a resident of New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut (if you are, it’s a pay-as-you-wish admission policy).

Note that three pricier museums were deliberately left out of our list based on the fact that admission to these spaces includes access to experiential activities, guided tours, or other perks: the Museum of Sex ($36 for a “basic” ticket); the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($36 general admission), and Manhattan’s Tenement Museum ($30 general admission)

Without further ado, below are the most expensive museums in New York City. Some of them offer pay-what-you-wish time slots, free days, or discounted entry for veterans, SNAP/EBT cardholders, members, and other individuals; we suggest checking these institutions’ official websites for the most up-to-date information. Alternatively, you can find a list of New York museums that offer free admission in this report, and remember that you can visit many art galleries, public artworks, open studios, and MFA shows for free.

  • Whitney Museum of American Art
    $30 general admission ($24 for seniors and students; $18 for visitors with disabilities)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    $30 general admission (pay-what-you-wish for New York State residents and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut students; $17 for all other students and $22 for out-of-town seniors)
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
    $29 general admission ($23 for young adults, seniors, and college students; $17 for youth ages 7–12)
  • American Museum of Natural History
    $28 general admission (pay-what-you-wish for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents; $22 for all other students and seniors; $16 for kids ages 3–12)
  • Guggenheim Museum
    $25 general admission ($18 for students, seniors, and visitors with disabilities)
  • Museum of Modern Art
    $25 general admission ($18 for seniors and visitors with disabilities; $14 for students)
  • Neue Galerie
    $25 general admission ($16 for seniors; $12 for students, educators, and visitors with disabilities)
  • The Frick Collection
    $22 general admission ($17 for seniors and visitors with disabilities; $12 for students)
  • Morgan Library & Museum
    $22 general admission ($14 for seniors; $13 for students and visitors with disabilities)
  • Rubin Museum
    $19 general admission ($14 for seniors, students, and visitors with disabilities)
  • New Museum
    $18 general admission ($15 for students, visitors with disabilities, and seniors)
  • International Center of Photography
    $18 general admission ($14 for seniors and visitors with disabilities; $12 for students)
  • Jewish Museum
    $18 general admission ($12 for seniors and $8 for students)

Valentina Di Liscia is the News Editor at Hyperallergic. Originally from Argentina, she studied at the University of Chicago and is currently working on her MA at Hunter College, where she received the...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Do none of these museums offer free or reduced admission fees for educators or military veterans?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *