A Guide to Visiting MoMa - Before, During, and After the Museum

Fri, Jan 20, 2017

New York City is a hub for history, art, and culture. One of the best places to get a dose of all three is the Museum of Modern Art – also known as MoMa.

MoMa, located in Midtown, has been a staple of the Manhattan art scene since it opened in 1929. It is known for featuring modern and contemporary art, unlike the city’s other major art museum – the Metropolitan Museum of Art – which features more classical works. So, if you prefer eccentric and unique art, MoMa is the museum for you!

MoMa Lobby


MoMa is open 7 days a week from 10:30 am to 5:50 pm (8 pm on Fridays).  Below are the current admission prices:

  • Adults: $25
  • Seniors: $18
  • Students: $14
  • Children under 16: Free

The best time to visit depends on your personal preference. If you are looking to save money, go on a Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm, when the museum has free entry (though we recommend making a small donation!). If you want to avoid the crowd, try visiting on Friday afternoons. Most people will be waiting until 4pm to get the free entry, so the hours leading up to this time are pretty quiet. Other busy days to avoid are holidays, school vacations, and rainy days. Sunny days usually have the lowest crowd levels!

Getting There


Great news for out-of-towners – MoMa is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, not far from Penn Station, Grand Central or Port Authority; on a nice day you could easily walk from any of them! The museum is also nearby a few subway stations. Take the M to the Fifth Ave / 53rd Street station and it’s a short walk to the museum.

A note for those who prefer driving: this is one of the busiest areas of Manhattan, so it will be nearly impossible to find street parking…and expect any nearby garages to be pricier than average!

The Museum

Once you get to the museum, and pay for your ticket, you have a big decision to make – where do you go first?! Well, what kind of art are you most interested in? Even if you have all day, you won’t be able to see everything MoMa has to offer. You’ll have to pick and choose.

MoMa’s seven curatorial departments are as follows:

  • Architecture & Design
  • Drawings
  • Film
  • Media & Performance Art
  • Painting & Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Prints & Illustrated Books

Additionally, the museum is always featuring a variety of limited time exhibitions, events, and performances. How you spend your day depends on what areas and artwork sound the most intriguing to you – but here are some of our suggestions:

Starry Night This painting by Vincent Van Gogh is the MoMa’s most popular work, and is one of the most famous pieces of art in the world.

Campbell’s Soup Cans – Andy Warhol’s pop art is featured right here in New York. This is one of his most recognizable pieces.

Sculpture Garden – This outdoor art exhibit features various sculptures by artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and more. You’ll also appreciate the fresh air.

The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel This limited time exhibit showcases the history of photography spanning over 150 years. It will be gone forever after May 7!

The Persistence of Memory – Salvador Dali’s famous painting – a Surrealist work featuring melting clocks – is a must see for any lover of art or symbolism.

Modern Mondays – If you’re visiting on a Monday, be sure to check out MoMa’s ongoing ‘Modern Monday’ feature. During ‘Modern Monday’ artists present a film and then interact with guests. It’s excellent way to get into the mind of an artist.

Of course, this is just a speck of what the Museum of Modern Art has to offer. Check out their website to see what else you might like to check out during your trip. We suggest seeing as much as possible!

Still not sure which direction to take? MoMa offers various audio tours for those who’d rather be guided through the museum. There’s a kid-friendly tour, an “If You Only Have An Hour” option, visual descriptions for the seeing-impaired, plus a variety of collection-based audio tours. Plus, you’ll learn a ton, too!

MoMa Design Store

If you’re looking to bring something home from your trip to the city, we definitely recommend stopping at the MoMa Design Store. This isn’t a typical museum souvenir shop. At the MoMa Design Store, you can purchase (or just browse through) uncommon modern housewares along with art prints, artistic children’s toys, and much more. It’s the perfect place to buy unconventional gifts for loved ones…and yourself, of course.

After the Museum


As mentioned, the Museum of Modern Art is located in one of the busiest areas of New York City. Lucky for you, this means that when you’re done at the museum, there are tons of other things to do. (You weren’t going to just go home now, were you?!)

For those looking to do some more “tourist-y” activities, you’re in the right place. Here are some of the many nearby spots for sightseeing:

  • Rockefeller Center – the Christmas tree may be gone for the season, but there are still lots of reasons to visit Rockefeller center. The ice skating rink is still open (through mid-April) or try the ‘Top of the Rock’ observation deck for breathtaking views of the city.
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral – The beautiful architecture of this NYC landmark is a must-see for people of all faiths.
  • Radio City Music Hall – Check out a show or take a backstage tour at the legendary Radio City Music Hall.
  • Central Park – The Museum of Modern Art is just a few short blocks from the southern entrances of the world’s most famous park.
  • Fifth Avenue Shopping – Who doesn’t love shopping? Nearby Fifth Avenue is stacked with high-end boutiques, department stores, and other cool shops.
  • Times Square – The ultimate tourist location. Here you can catch a Broadway show, do some shopping, or grab a bite at one of the area’s dozens of restaurants.

Yup, it’s safe to say that you have a very busy day ahead of you.

Still not sure how to spend the rest of your time in the city? This will help you narrow it down. From January 17 to February 5, the city is hosting NYC Attraction Week. Along with the Museum of Modern Art, various other local museums and NYC sights are offering 2-for-1 tickets. Check out some of the cool places offering this discount below:

  • Big Bus Tours
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
  • One World Observatory 
  • Carnegie Hall Tours
  • Empire State Building Experience
  • Plus dozens of other attractions throughout the five boroughs.

As a proud partner, Circle Line is offering Buy One Get One Free adult reserved tickets on our Liberty, Landmark and Best of NYC cruises. We invite you to participate and take advantage of this great deal by using code AWW17 at checkout from January 5th to February 5th, 2017. Follow the link for more information and to book your cruise.

Reserve Your BOGO Ticket Today

Tags: Things To Do In NYC