Museum of Modern Art – tickets, prices, discounts, what to see

Image: Moma.org

The Museum of Modern Art (also known as MoMA) is the world’s foremost collection of modern and contemporary art.

Located in New York, MoMA is filled with paintings by Van Goghs, Warhols, and Picassos, which are sure to turn you into an art fan.

This article explains everything you need to know before buying tickets to the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

How to get to MoMA

Museum of Modern Art is in Midtown Manhattan.

Its address is MoMA, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019.

MoMA has a smaller branch almost 5 Km (3 Miles) away in Queens called MoMA PS1, which does not have permanent exhibits.

If you are already in midtown Manhattan, fire up Google Map and start walking towards MoMA.

The art museum is a short distance from many of the tourist attractions in Manhattan.

Top of the Rock to MoMA: 6 mins walk
Grand Central terminal to MoMA: 6 mins walk
St Patrick’s Cathedral: 4 mins walk

If you are further away, we recommend you take one of the public transport options to get to MoMA.

The best mode of transport in New York’s traffic is the subway.

You can ride E or M line to Fifth Avenue and 53rd street station. From this station MoMA is a quick four minutes walk.

Train B/D/F/M to 47-50 streets Rockefeller Center station will also get you closer to your destination. Once you step out of the station, a brisk five minutes walk will get you to the Art Museum.

B/D/E trains to 7 Avenue Station also connect to MoMA, which is just 0.3 Kms (0.2 Miles) away from the station.

F train to 57th Street Station gets you within a five minutes walk to Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Parking near MoMA

If you plan to drive to MoMA, you can park your car in one of the two parking lots near the Museum.

ICON Parking is on 1330 Sixth Avenue with entrances between Fifth and Sixth aves. It costs $35 for up to four hours.

The 1345 Garage is on 101-41 W. 54 St. Between Sixth and Seventh Aves. It costs $24 for up to four hours.

You must validate the parking tickets in the Museum lobby.


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MoMA opening hours

The Museum of Modern Art opens at 10.30 am and closes at 5:30 pm, every day of the week.

On Fridays, to accommodate the crowd, MoMA remains open till 8 pm.

MoMA is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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Best time to visit MoMA

MoMA gets almost 3 Million visitors annually and an average of 8000 visitors every day.

The best time to visit the Museum of Modern Art is between 11.30 am and 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5.30 pm.

During these two time intervals, both the crowd and the waiting period are minimum.

Unlike other Museums, MoMA remains busy throughout the week and doesn’t get a surge of visitors on weekends.

The best way to avoid the crowd at MoMA’s ticket counters is by buying ‘Skip The Line’ tickets online.

Mondays are for members only.

Many tourists in New York end up asking, ‘MOMA or The Met’? Check out this article on MOMA vs The Met and decide for yourself.


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How long does MoMA take?

If you love art and prefer to get into the details, you will need three to four hours to explore what’s on display at MoMA, New York.

Some visitors are known to complete their tour in 45 to 60 minutes.

Tourists who have been to art museums multiple times say that art fatigue sets in after approximately 2 hours of roaming around.

There are three restaurants in the Museum, and if you take a break, you re-energize and extend your stay.


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MoMA Free Friday

MoMA Free Friday starts every Friday at 5.30 pm and lasts till 9 pm.

However, it isn’t easy to get into MoMA for free – you may have to wait in a queue for 30-45 mins before you get a chance to enter the Museum.

MoMA free entry is a dream come true for art lovers on tight budgets and that’s why it always sees long lines. Image: Moma.org

If you arrive at the Museum on a Friday after 6 pm, you can avoid some of the waiting.

But then, you will only have two hours to explore the whole Museum.

The queue for UNIQLO Free Friday tickets begins at the Museum’s 54 Street entrance.

This is the MoMA free Friday ticket that gets you inside. Image: Shinya Suzuki

Apart from the Free Friday nights, Museum of Modern Art also offers free entry to children under 16.


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MoMA discounts

At the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, kids below 16 years get the most significant discount – they get in for free.

Students with a valid student ID get an $11 reduction on the adult ticket price of $25 and pay only $14 for entry.

Seniors 65 years and above get a $7 discount on the adult ticket price.

To score a discount at MoMA, visitors can also check out the New York PassNew York Explorer PassThe Sightseeing Pass, etc. 

These discount passes help you save more than 45% of your attraction ticket cost during your New York holiday. 


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MoMA tickets

There are two ways to experience the MoMA New York – you can book a self-guided tour or a two-hour guided family tour

In this section, we explain everything about MoMA tickets.

MoMA tickets are timed

When you book your tickets, you must select a timeslot. 

The slots start from 10.30 am (when the Museum opens) and are available every 30 minutes, till 4.30 pm.

You must be in the line at least 15 minutes before the time mentioned on your ticket. 

Buying tickets online is better

When you visit the most exquisite art museum in the world, you must stand in two lines – at the ticket counter to purchase your tickets and the security check. 

If you buy your Modern Art Museum tickets online, much in advance, you can skip the long lines at the ticket counter and quickly go through the security.


Image: Makeupmuseum.org

Depending on the day and season, this saves you 15 to 45 minutes of waiting time.

No need to take printouts

All MoMA tickets are smartphone tickets, and as soon as you make the purchase, they get emailed to you.

On the day of your visit, you can show the ticket in your email, on your smartphone, and walk in.

Skip-the-line MoMA ticket

This self-guided tour ticket gets you to access both the permanent collection and the regularly rotating temporary exhibitions.

With this ticket, you also get two things for free – MoMA’s audio guide and access to MoMA PS1.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (17 to 64 years): $25
Seniors ticket (65+ years): $18
Student ticket (with student ID): $14
Child ticket (up to 16 years): Free entry


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Guided tour of MoMA for families

Image: Moma.org

If you plan to visit New York’s Museum of Modern Art with your kids, look no further than this tour customized for kids. 

Families avoid the long admission line and step in to admire the world-famous paintings, sculptures, etc. 

A local art expert is with you for two hours, guiding you all through, after which you are free to explore by yourself. 

Cost of ticket: $300 for a family of four


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What to see in Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art, New York holds some of the most famous art by artists such as Picasso, Cezanne, Dali, Gauguin, Monet, Van Gogh, and more.

MoMA’s collection covers six floors. And it is quite a daunting task for a visitor to explore all of it during a single visit.

Worry not, for we present below MoMA’s highlights –

The Starry Night

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. Image: Moma.org

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh is one of the stars of MoMA’s collection.

Van Gogh painted this from his single room in a mental asylum.

The turbulent sky in the painting is supposed to depict his internal turmoil.

He painted this scene from his East-facing window 21 times, and that’s why there are many versions of ‘Starry Night.’

Drowning Girl

Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein speaks for itself and takes you back to your comic-loving days.

Thick lines, bold colors, and dots with speech bubble gives painting a printed look.

This painting is as modern as modern art gets.

The Persistence of Memory

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali is a classic work of Surrealism based on time.

The landscape shows melting watches, ants, and fleshy objects depicting decay.

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso. Image: Moma.org

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso was originally named ‘Brothel of Avignon’, and depicts five nude female prostitutes in Barcelona.

This painting didn’t create waves during Picasso’s time but is now a significant hit at MoMA.

Campbell’s soup cans

Campbell’s soup cans by Andy Warhol is one of the most excellent examples of Pop Art.

Warhol believed that art should be for everyone, and that’s what this piece of art aims to do.

The exhibit includes images of 32 varieties of soup offered by the Campbell’s, a must-have in all American households.

One, Number 31, 1950

One, Number 31, 1950 by Jackson Pollock is a ‘drip’ technique masterpiece and one of the artist’s largest paintings.

The painting depicts streams of energy in tan, blue, and grey lashed through black and white.

Dance

Dance by Henri Matisse captures the joy and rhythm of dance presented by mythical dancers in a timeless landscape.

The liveliness which the painting radiates is hard to miss.

Gold Marilyn Monroe

Andy Warhol painted Gold Marilyn Monroe in 1962 when the world-famous actress died.

The painting shows Warhol’s glamorous side and is an altarpiece in Andy’s Pop Art church of celebrity.

The Sleeping Gypsy

Image: Moma.org

In The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau, a gypsy sleeps even as a lion tries to smell her.

Henri is known as an outsider who impressed the insiders with his talent, which is visible in this painting.

Henri had tried to sell the painting to the Mayor of his hometown, Laval but had failed.

Self-portrait with cropped hair

Self-portrait with Cropped hair by Frida Kahlo is known for its gender-bending quality.

The painting shows Frida challenging the stereotype surrounding women and at the same time filling her ex-husband’s position.

Grandcamp, Evening

When Grandcamp, Evening by Georges-Pierre Seurat is viewed from a distance, the dots appear as a seamlessly blended scene.

However, on close observation one notices that the artist has used lots of dots of different colours to make this painting.

This artwork is an example of Seurat’s expertise in the pointillism technique.

Outdoor Sculpture Garden

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller designed this sculpture garden as a tribute to the founders of the MoMA.

It is the perfect spot to stop for a break, even as you explore the rest of the Museum.

It holds artworks by Picasso, Anthony Caro, and many others, while marble slabs, fountains and flower beds, etc., provide relief.


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MoMA audio guide

The Museum of Modern Art offers a free audio guide to all the visitors.

The audio guide is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

There are numerous tours you can choose, each following a different path within the Museum.

Some are kid-friendly, while some others are for visitors with less time on their hands.

With around 100 tour options, visitors almost always end up finding what they want.


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MoMA map

Spread over six floors and divided into various zones, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is as intricate as the artworks it hosts.

It is important not to get lost and not miss out on the masterpieces.

If you have booked a guided tour of MoMA, you don’t need to know the museum’s layout. 

But if you are going to be on your own, we suggest you pick up the free map and layout plan as soon as you enter the museum. 

Besides the layout, you also get a handy guide to the masterpieces inside and where to find them. 

Besides the exhibits, MoMA’s map will also help you spot visitor services such as restrooms, cafes, souvenir shops, visitor assistance booths, etc.


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MoMA restaurants

If you take regular breaks, you can see more of MoMA.

If visitors want to stop for food and drinks, they have three options –

The Modern

The Modern is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant on the first floor offering excellent lunch and dinner.

From Monday to Saturday, the restaurant serves lunch from 11.30 am to 2 pm.

From Monday to Thursday, they serve dinner from 5 pm to 9 pm, and on Friday and Saturday, service continues till 10 pm.

The Modern restaurant also has a bar, which is open from 11.30 am to 10 pm every day, except on Sunday when it closes early at 3 pm.

Café 2

The newly renovated cafe offers a family-friendly environment with Italian dishes, wine, and beer with a casual Espresso Bar.

From Saturday to Thursday, Cafe 2 is open from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Friday it is open till 7.30 pm.

Terrace 5

Terrace 5 is on the sixth floor of the Jerry Speyer and Katherine Farley Building and serves a seasonal menu with desserts and drinks.

From Saturday to Thursday, Terrace 5 is open from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Friday, it stays open till 7.30 pm.

Popular attractions in New York

# Empire State Building
# Statue of Liberty
# Metropolitan Museum of Art
# One World Observatory
# Top of the Rock
# 9/11 Memorial and Museum
# Intrepid Museum
# Guggenheim Museum
# Bronx Zoo
# Central Park Zoo
# Queens Zoo
# Prospect Park Zoo
# New York Botanical Garden
# American Museum of Natural History
# Edge Hudson Yards
# Vessel Hudson Yards
# Museum of Ice Cream
# New York Helicopter tour
# BlueMan New York
# New York Dinner Cruise

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Uplabdhi Kamboj: She believes that the world is full of must-see places and must-do adventures, and has a never-ending list of places she wants to visit. Driven by a passion for the outdoors, she connects better with nature, and wildlife more than Museums and monuments. Favorite Cities: Cape Town, Kathmandu, Hanoi, Reykjavik, Vienna

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