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Best Budget-Friendly Museums in NYC

Living in New York City is expensive–there’s no other way to put it. Sometimes, it feels as if it costs money just to go outside. And when you’re a broke college student, it’s hard to enjoy this great city in all of its glory when the impending bank statements are bound to be devastating. Going to a museum is the perfect way to spend a day, and as a student, there are many low-cost opportunities. Here is a list of free (or pay what you wish) museums in the city:

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

This museum, which is a dedicated tribute to the lives lost on 9/11/2001, offers free admission to the public on Mondays from 3:30-5:00 PM. Online reservations are available starting at 7:00 AM every Monday. To reserve tickets, select Free Admission Mondays here

The Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238

This museum, which is currently home to the popular Christian Dior exhibit, is free of charge for those 19-years-old or younger. For those 20 and up, the museum is pay what you wish with a minimum of $1.00. To reserve tickets, select General Admission here

The Frick Collection

945 Madison Ave

This museum showcases the art collected by Henry Clay Frick in the late-1800s and early-1900s. They offer pay what you wish admission on Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 PM. You can reserve your ticket here.

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art 

26 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013

This museum is a collection of art dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ artists and the issues surrounding LGBTQ+ themes. The museum has been closed due to the ongoing pandemic, however, they plan to reopen on 2/4/22. They offer free admission to the public with a recommended donation. You can find more info about the museum here

The Museum at FIT

227 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001

This museum is home to an extensive collection of historical clothing pieces and artwork designed by students at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It is entirely free for the public to visit. For more information about visiting, check out their website here

The Museum of Jewish Heritage

36 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280

This museum is a Holocaust tribute with numerous memorial exhibits. They offer free admission every Thursday from 4:00-8:00 PM. You can reserve your ticket here, by choosing a Thursday ticket and changing the time dropdown to 4:00.

The Museum of the City of New York

1220 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

This museum hosts exhibits that showcase the culture and history of New York City. It offers free admission to those 19 years old or younger. Students with ID who are older than 19 can enter at a discounted price of $14. For more information about visiting, check out their website here

The National Museum of the American Indian

1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004

This Smithsonian museum, which houses Native American art and artifacts, is free to the public. Reservations are not needed–simply enter the museum according to entrance requirements that can be found here.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128 This museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and houses hundreds of original pieces of artwork. They offer pay what you wish admission on Saturdays from 4:00-6:00 PM. You can reserve your tickets here.

Lucie is currently a freshman majoring in Film & Screen Studies at Pace University in New York City. She was formerly Editor-in-Chief of The Uproar (2020-21), an award-winning online publication based in Pittsburgh, PA.
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