3 Ways to See Top New York City Museums for Less

New York has outstanding museums, but those admissions prices can really add up fast. With a little extra planning, you can visit New York City museums for less and save big bucks.

1. Visit During Free or Pay-As-You-Wish Time Periods

Many museums offer the option to pay less than full admission at certain times during the week, often thanks to outside sponsorship.

For pay-as-you-wish, just hand the cashier whatever you are willing to pay and you’re free to go in and enjoy. Free and pay-as-you-wish time periods are very popular times to visit so you will likely encounter larger-than-normal crowds and maybe even a long line to get in. The cost savings, however, are probably worth it.

Museums with Free Time Periods:

  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): Fridays, 4 – 8 p.m.
  • New Museum: Thursdays, 7 - 9 pm
  • The Jewish Museum: Saturdays, 11 am - 5:45 pm
  • El Museo del Barrio: Third Saturday of every month, 11 am to 6 pm
  • Neue Galerie: First Friday of every month, 6 - 8 pm

Museums with Pay-As-You-Wish Time Periods:

2. Pay Less than "Suggested"

Most tourists don’t notice that some museums list their prices as “Suggested Admission”. What does this mean? Basically, it’s pay-as-you-wish all the time. You can pay whatever you feel is reasonable to enter the museum.

Whatever you do choose to pay goes toward the worthwhile cause of supporting the museum, but the full suggested price is not required for entrance. This option is not heavily advertised and the cashier will gladly accept the full amount.

The following museums have suggested admission prices:

3. Museums on Us® by Bank of America

If you have a Bank of America card, you can take advantage the Museums on Us® program. On the first full weekend of every month, the following museums are free if you can show a Bank of America card. Have a photo ID on hand too.

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