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On Your New York Vacation, Visit Museums, Art Galleries and Famous Churches

When planning a New York City vacation, get excited to discover some of the best museums in the world.

Here’s a tip if you are planning a visit to the public museums or New York art galleries, which are operated by the city, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park.

You will be pleased to know that public museums will accept humble donations for an entrance fee (and this is good if you are on a tight budget), although there is a pricey suggested entrance fee.

Make sure to ask when purchasing your ticket.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York Vacation Museum of Modern Art
Visti the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park

On the other hand, private museums and New York art galleries, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum can be very expensive.

New York Vacation The Met
Gallery Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art

There are hundreds of small galleries for you to visit on your New York vacation which are spread throughout the city.

Many museums and galleries in New York City are closed on Mondays, so check online or with your hotel before heading out to a museum.

New York Vacation the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art beside Central Park has grand collections of the finest art in the world.

New York Vacations Metropolitan Museum of Art Lobby
Grand Architecture in the Lobby of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Plan to visit The Met on your New York vacation because here you will find fantastic collections of American artwork, European paintings such as Rembrandts and Vermeers, Egyptian art, European sculpture, medieval and Renaissance art, antiquities from around the ancient world including Asian art and much more.

Guggenheim Museum

A few blocks away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the Guggenheim Museum, which seems to be more famous for its architecture than its art collection. The shots of the lobby were used in the film “The International”.

New York Vacation Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

If you enjoy unique New York architecture, it is worth checking out the spiralling galleries and their art exhibits.

Guggenheim Museum Architecture

New York Vacation Guggenheim Museum ArchitectureNew York Vacation Guggenheim Museum Interior
The Interior Lobby of the Guggenheim featured in the movie The International

Guggenheim Museum Interior Views

New York Vacation Guggenheim Museum Skylight Dome
Guggenheim Museum Glass Dome

More New York Art Museums

Whitney Museum of American Art

At 945 Madison Avenue, is the Whitney Museum of American Art with a collection of contemporary American art.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

In Midtown Manhattan, the Museum of Modern Art holds the largest collection of modern art in the world. This art gallery is so large that you may want to plan multiple visits on your New York vacation to see all of the works on display, such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Brooklyn Museum of Art

The Brooklyn Museum of Art in Prospect Park is the second largest New York art museum with excellent collections of 19th-century American art, Egyptian art, Assyrian reliefs, and art from Africa and Oceania, and so many other things. If you enjoy museums, this is well worth a visit to Brooklyn.

Explore the Museums of Nature, Science and Transit on Your New York Vacation

American Museum of Natural History

For adults and children alike, be sure to visit the American Museum of Natural History which is a stunning place to discover science on your New York City vacation.

New York Vacation Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History in New York City

Here you will also find the Hayden Planetarium with amazing astronomy exhibits, as well as many rare and beautiful mineral and gems, anthropology halls, and one of the largest dinosaur skeletons collections in the world.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air Space Museum near Times Square occupies a pier on the Hudson River with the aircraft carrier Intrepid docked there and featuring some incredible air and space craft.

Transit Museum

The New York Transit Museum is another great place to visit on your New York City vacation and take both the big and the little kids. Located in an abandoned station in Brooklyn, the old subway cars and the museum are a real must.

Discover the Statue of Liberty Museum

Not only is the Statue of Liberty a beautiful work of art and a masterpiece, it also has a museum with detailed information about its history.

New York Vacation Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

If you take a cruise over to the island on your New York vacation, visit the exhibit inside the monument. It is located on the second floor of the pedestal.

New York Vacation Statue of Liberty 2nd Floor Museum
Statue of Liberty Museum on the Second Level

New York Vacation Statue of Liberty Museum
Entrance to the Statue of Liberty Museum

Full scale replicas of the Statue’s face and foot are displayed to give you an idea of how this huge and beautiful statue was constructed.

New York Vacation Statue of Liberty Museum FootNew York Vacation Museum Face
The Statie of Liberty Museum presents Information on How the Statue was Built

If you want to visit the crown of the Statue, make sure to book at least 3 months in advance. Also be prepared for airport type of security screening when entering inside the Statue of Liberty.

New York Vacation Sculpture of Eifel Tower
One of Several Statues on Statue of Liberty Island – This one features Alexandre Gustave Eiffel holding the Eiffel Tower in his Hand

Visit the Medieval Cloisters of Upper Manhattan

Do visit the Cloisters, operated by the Metropolitan, located in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan featuring a collection of medieval art from five medieval French cloisters including other various monastic sites in southern France in its stunning gardens.

Stop In at Local Breweries in New York

Beer tasting is one of the many great New York City attractions. Plan a beer tasting visit to the local breweries on your New York vacation.

The Brooklyn Brewery, Chelsea Brewing Company and the Heartland Brewery are well worth a visit.

More Museums and New York City Attractions to visit on your New York Vacation

  • Madame Tussauds
  • New York Public Library
  • Gracie Mansion
  • Federal Hall
  • Castle Clinton
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Museum of Sex
  • Frick Collection
  • Paley Center for Media
  • National Academy of Design
  • Fraunces Tavern
  • New-York Historical Society
  • New York Hall of Science
  • Neue Galerie New York

New York Architecture in Lower Manhattan

The architecture in New York City is spectacular. Many structures embody a blend of European design and North American modernism, while other buildings simply have their own unique personality and style.

New York architecture deserves to be called New York Art and here is a variety of styles from various parts of NYC.

New York Vacation Beekman Towers
The Beekham Towes on the Left of the Brooklyn Bridge

New York Vacation Manhattan Whitehall Building
The Whitehall Building in Lower Manhattan

New York Vacation Woolworth Building
The Woolworth Building in New York City

New York Vacation Beaver Building and Trump Building
William Beaver House – on the right is the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street

New York Vacation Guardian Life Building
Guardian Life Insurance Building downtown Manhattan

New York Vacation Municipal BuildingNew York Vacation NYC Municipal Building
New York City Municipal Building and Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse

New York Architecture in Upper Manhattan

Upper Manhattan has its share of skyscrapters but it also features grand and famous residences.

New York Vacation Hearst Tower View
Hearst Tower Front View in New York City

New York Vacation Hearst Tower
Hearst Tower Side View

New York Vacation The Dakota
The Famous Dakota Apartments where John Lennon was murdered outside

New York Vacation The Ansonia
The Ansonia at 2109 Broadway, between 73rd and 74th Streets

New York Vacation The Beresford
The Beresford Apartments at 211 Central Park West, New York City

New York Vacation Time Warner Center
Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle

New York Vacation The AlexandriaNew York Vacation Upper West Side Brownstones
The Kenilworth Building (left photo) and Classic Upper West Side Brownstones

New York Vacation The Alexandria
The Alexandria near The Ansonia at Broadway, between 73rd and 74th Streets

Famous Churches to Visit on Your New York Vacation

I have to admit that my original plans for a New York vacation did not include visiting churches until taking the Hop On – Hop Off Bus Tours of NYC. It was on one of these tours that I learned about the magnificent churches in New York City and their historical significance in the world.

New York architecture is absolutely spectacular, and some of best New York art can be attributed to the splendid churches in this wonderful city.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Constructed and renovated over a period of time from 1858 to 1931, this beautifully decorated neo-Gothic church was declared as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Built of brick, covered in marble, the site of the church takes up a whole city block and features a stunning rose window, and stained glass windows designed by artists from France; England, and Boston, Massachusetts.

This famous cathedral is one of the unique New York City attractions and has been featured in films and movies. It is located at 14 E 51st St., New York, near the Rockefeller Center.

Trinity Church

Another marvelous example of New York architecture is the lovely historic Gothic revival church with impressive bronze doors, a tower featuring 23 bells and 281-foot (86 m) spire and cross.

Also known as Trinity Wall Street, the church is located at 79 Broadway, Lower Manhattan, only three blocks away from World Trade Center Ground Zero.

It was originally built in 1696-98 and the first site of King’s College, but the structure has been rebuilt three times.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine – Truly Worth Visiting on Your New York Vacation

This is the world’s largest cathedral.

Designed in 1888, it has experienced many radical style changes. First because of the interruption of the two World Wars, and more recently due to a large fire on December 18, 2001 which caused its closure for repairs until its reopening in November 2008.

New York Vacation Cathedral of St John the Divine
Cathedral of Saint John the Divine – The World’s Largest Cathedral

Originally it was designed as Byzantine-Romanesque but after 1909, the architectural plan was changed to a Gothic revival design.

New York Vacation Fountain of Peace
Fountain of Peace – Garden of Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City, the cathedral offers guided tours to view the beautiful architecture and the Peace Fountain in the adjoining gardens.

Abyssinian Baptist Church

Located on West 138th Street in Harlem in Gothic and Tudor style architecture with stained glass windows and marble furnishings, this is one of the most famous churches in Harlem and exhibits great New York architecture. The Abyssinian Baptist Church is a center of great religious music especially Harlem gospel music.

Due to limited space, the church is unable to accommodate all the tourists that line up for the Sunday church services and some visitors get disappointed.

If you wish to attend a service, plan well in advance.

Check here for more handy tips on your New York vacation:

  1. New York City Hotels and the best neighbourhoods to stay in
  2. New York City Tours including unique events and NYC attractions
  3. New York Holidays with great music, performing arts and Broadway shows
  4. Flights to New York provides information about NYC airports New York City transportation
  5. Discover Nature on Your New York Vacations provides information about beatiful parks in New York City

Use these tools to plan well for an exciting New York vacation.

Getting Around on Your New York Vacation

New York Vacation Manhattan Skyline
Manhattan Skyline from the Statue of Liberty Island

Getting to the islands and the various ports around Manhattan is easy with so many boat and water taxi services available for your New York vacation.

A convenient way of getting around to many of the museums, New York art galleries and New York City churches is by purchasing a travel pass for the hop-on hop-off Double Decker buses which provide New York City tours in various locations of Manhattan.

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