Your Complete Guide to New York City's Free Museums

Find out what days and times to visit all of the best museums in the city for almost nothing

Think a New York City museum visit is beyond your budget? Fear not: some of the best are free. And don't overlook those that offer free or pay-as-you-wish admission (even as little as a dollar or a dime). Even some of the paid museums, with admission prices of $25 or higher, offer certain days and hours where that same $1 bill will buy you a ticket. Before you give up on seeing that Picasso or Josef Alber exhibit, check out the list below for the best museums that you can visit for little or no money.

Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum

Completely free. All the time.

The big names might ask for at least a donation to get in but you can enjoy several exciting museums around the city for nothing at all, every day. The American Folk Art Museum sits on 65th St. and Columbus Ave., just a few blocks up from Columbus Circle. There, you can see the exhibition "Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic," featuring works by self-taught artists from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Head north on the D or B train to the Bronx Museum, the borough's free admission museum. Current exhibitions include "Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect" and "Angel Otero: Elegies." They also regularly host Moth StorySLAMs and other events, such as dance performances, film festivals and food events.

BRIC House, located a few blocks north of Barclays Center, is currently focusing on art from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas, as well as Katie Shima's wall relief sculptures, called "What time is it there?"

American Museum of Natural History. Photo: Ingfbruno

Pay-what-you-wish, when you wish

The American Museum of Natural History, on Central Park West, explores the nature of the world, its life and the whole universe for the almost-free price of your chosen donation (just don't use the electronic kiosks; those will charge you full price). Current exhibitions include Unseen Oceans, Our Senses, a Butterfly Conservatory and more. Dark Universe is a film, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson in the museum's planet-shaped theater, that explores the monumental scientific discoveries that have created our current model of the universe (it's an upcharge but worth it).

Grey Art Gallery

Downtown at Washington Square Park, NYU's Grey Art Gallery is showing Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal and is preparing the exhibition, Landscapes after Ruskin: Redefining the Sublime, opening on April 17. It's closed in between exhibitions but is always admission by donation.

Across the river at the Eastern Parkway stop of the 2 and 3 trains, the Brooklyn Museum presents another giant collection of fantastic art and a regular schedule of events. Definitely check out David Bowie is, the new exhibit that features handwritten lyrics sheets, original costumes and more until July 15.

The Queens Museum, across from the zoo in Corona Park, also boasts a large and varied collection of art. Opening on April 8 is Mel Chin: All Over the Place, an exploration of four decades of the artist's work that will also display art in Times Square and at the Broadway-Lafayette subway station.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo: Upstateherd

Paid museums for (almost) free

Here is your guide to the free or pay-what-you-wish days and hours of the other New York City museums worth visiting.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is probably one of the first names you think of when planning a museum visit in New York City. Its unfortunate new admissions policy means that out-of-state visitors must pay $25 (adult price; valid for 3 consecutive days) to explore its massive collection. New York residents can provide some form of ID to continue to get in for whatever tiny donation you choose to give. Inside, you'll find famous pieces by Van Gogh and Noguchi, in addition to numerous hidden gems. You can spend hours in Visible Storage, alone. And check out Thomas Cole's Journey, a new exhibition marking the two hundredth anniversary of his first Atlantic crossing.

The Noguchi Museum, in Long Island City, is free on the first Friday of every month (10am-5pm). It displays "the world's largest and most extensive collection of Noguchi's sculptures, drawings, models, and designs," including pieces handpicked by the artist.

On 70th St. and Central Park East, the Frick Collection offers pay-what-you-wish admission every Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm and free admission every first Friday from 6pm to 9pm. See Zurbarán's Jacob and His Twelve Sons until April 22.


The building that is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is worth seeing, in itself. But to get into the museum on a budget, head there on any Saturday evening when the price is up to you from 5:45 (go early, there will be a line) to 7:45pm.

The Museum of Modern Art presents quite a journey into the world of contemporary artists. It's free every Friday, 4-8pm. Its other location, MoMA PS1, is always free for NYC residents and pay-what-you-wish for everyone else.

The New-York Historical Society is New York City's oldest museum and holds the history of the city within its walls. It's also filled with treasures like Thomas Cole's Course of Empire and the Gallery of Tiffany Lamps. It's pay-what-you-wish every Friday from 6pm to 8pm.

The New Museum displays a variety of contemporary art at its location just a block north of Houston Street. Check out Songs for Sabotage, a multimedia exploration of the connections between images and cultures. The museum is pay-what-you-wish every Thursday, 7-9pm.

Rubin Museum

At the Rubin Museum, the theme of 2018 is "The Future." The museum is exploring many different perspectives and visions of the future throughout the year. Every Friday, from 6pm to 10pm, admission is free.

At the top of Bleecker Street, the gorgeous Whitney Museum of Art features exhibitions such as Between the Waters and An Incomplete History of Protest. Pay what you wish on Fridays from 7pm to 10pm, unless you're under 18, in which case you're always free (that is, until you turn 18).

Finally, head to Queens on a Friday between 4pm and 8pm for free admission to the Museum of the Moving Image. There, you can enjoy the Jim Henson Exhibition, A Decade of Game Design, The GIF Elevator and more.

Tom Twardzik is a travel writer for the Journiest. He also covers music, film, TV and gaming for Popdust and contributes financial tips to Paypath. Read more on his page and follow him on Twitter.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.



A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.


Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.


Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.


Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.


You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.


Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.

What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!


Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.