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Entrance to MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art is an impressive New York City museum, housing a fine collection of the best modern art in the world. There is so much to see at MoMA, as it’s affectionately known, that it’s helpful to have a plan for your visit. Make the most of your trip by following my Museum of Modern Art Visitor tips.

1) Timing is Everything
First things first, know when to go.   Many New York City museums are closed on Mondays, but MoMA is open daily from 10:30am-5:30pm. However, on Fridays MoMA is open until 8pm as they host Free Fridays. This is a great time to visit to save money, but keep in mind the museum is much more crowded during this time. Arrive right at 4pm to miss the heaviest crowds.

2) Check It at the Door
Why carry around a burdensome coat when you can check it at the door for free? You can also check your bag and any shopping items you may have compiled while browsing the shops in New York City.

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The Starry Night, Van Gogh

3) Take the Audio Tour
The audio tours are included with the price of admission, so they’re absolutely free to visitors. Opt to take the audio tour to gain a wealth of additional insight into the art pieces and exhibits on display. There’s also a series of audio segments geared towards kids that make museum-going more interactive and entertaining.

4) Grab a Map
It seems simple enough, but you’ll want to grab a museum map to navigate MoMA efficiently. If you’re a planner like me, download and print one ahead of time and map out your route. Bonus: There are free gallery talks at MoMA offered daily at 11:30am and 1:30pm. Topics change frequently, so you can always have a new experience. Space is limited, so be sure to arrive 15 minutes early to join the group. Groups meet in the galleries noted on the museum schedule.

Girl with a Mandolin, Picasso

Girl with a Mandolin, Picasso

5) Go Straight Up
When it comes to touring MoMA, keep the Paula Abdul “Straight Up” in mind. Why? Because you’ll remember my recommendation to head “straight up” to the top floor and work your way down through the collections. The most popular galleries—Painting and Sculpture—are located on the fifth floor. Gaze at Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” before taking in famed pieces from Picasso, Monet, Cezanne, Pollock, Warhol and more.

Bonus: Save time to peruse the Museum of Modern Art gift shop. It’s a haven for art-lovers as it features an array of art-related products, from handbags to posters to books. The MoMA Design Store, located across the street, is also worth a look.

Put these Museum of Modern Art visitor tips to the test on your next New York City vacation.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting New York City to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.