Museum Mile in the Upper East Side of Manhattan is home to several of the world’s truly great museums, many of which are near popular Manhattan luxury apartments. There’s obviously no shortage of cultural institutions in the neighborhood, but this list is a fine place to start. These are our top five museums in the Upper East Side.
#1 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Where to begin? The Metropolitan Museum of Art has 17 curatorial departments, each of them worth visiting. The Met is the largest art museum in the country, and though the layout is easy enough to navigate, it’s still very possible to get lost, but in the best way possible. A good place to begin your day exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art is in the popular Arms & Armor gallery. The gallery’s collection represents cultural items from ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, dynastic Egypt, Africa, Oceania, the Americas and the ancient Near East. The Metropolitan Museum of Art hours are Sunday-Thursday: 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m, Friday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m-9:00 p.m. Admission to the Met is a recommended donation.
#2 Frick Collection
Though smaller than many other museums, the Frick Collection hosts such high quality European Old Master and 19th Century masterpieces that it easily makes the list of top five museums in the Upper East Side. The Frick Collection is housed in the opulent residence formerly known as the Henry Clay Frick House. Along with the paintings, the Frick Collection galleries include works of French, Italian and English Furniture, Chinese porcelains and Limoges enamels. Free audio-guides are available, and are highly recommended for those who wish to learn about the fantastic art on display. Frick Collection hours are Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. & Sunday: 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Admission fees are $20 (adult), $15 (seniors) and $10 (students). On Sundays, pay what you wish from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm.
#3 The Whitney Museum of American Art
The Whitney Museum of American Art is the preeminent institution dedicated to art of the United States. This innovative museum easily makes our list of top five museums in the Upper East Side, and could even be considered among the best in the city. The museum location itself is a striking work of art. The Breuer Building was complete in 1966, and the Whitney will make its home there until its new Meatpacking District location opens in 2015. Current exhibitions include Hopper Drawing, the first major museum exhibition that focuses on the creative process and work of Edward Hopper. Whitney Museum hours are Wednesday & Thursday: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m, Friday: 1:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m, and Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Admission is $20 (adult), $16 (ages 19-25, f/t students & seniors) and free for 18 and under.
#4 The Guggenheim
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the Upper East Side is worth visiting if only to check out the architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. Aside from being a significant architectural icon of the 20th century, the Guggenheim also exhibits a renowned collection of contemporary, early Modern, Post-Impressionist and Impressionist art. Inside the Guggenheim, visitors navigate the galleries through a unique central spiral ramp. Current exhibits at the Guggenheim in the Upper East Side include the James Turrell exhibition, his first ever in a New York museum. The artist is known for his explorations of light, perception, color and space. The Guggenheim hours are Sunday-Wednesday & Friday: 10:00 a.m.-5:45 p.m., & Saturday 10:00 a.m.-7:45 p.m. Museum admission is $22 (adult), $18 (students & seniors) and free for children 12 and under. On Saturdays, pay what you wish from 5:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m.
#5 Neue Galerie
Neue Galerie probably has the most narrow field of art on our list of top five museums in the Upper East Side, but this collection is truly special. Neue Gallery is devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art. Neue Gallery, which translates to New Gallery, opened its doors in 2001 and competes against some of the best museums in the city. In 2006, Neue Galerie founder Ronald S. Lauder purchased Gustav Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer for $135 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at that time. Neue Galerie hours are Thursday-Monday: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Admission is $20 (adult) & $10 (student and senior). The first Friday of each month is open to the public for free from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Not in the Upper East Side? Check out our museum and gallery guides for the Financial District, SoHo, Chelsea and the Villages. Want to relocate to the Upper East Side? Take a look at these luxury apartments.