The Museum of Modern Art, also known as the MoMA, is one of the most famous museums in the world for modern and contemporary art. You can view various well-known artworks here, including Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” Pablo Picasso’s “The Young Ladies of Avignon,” and Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans.” The MoMA is a must-see for art enthusiasts and easily one of the best museums in New York City.
Seeing as this museum is such a popular attraction, you might be wondering what the best way to buy tickets to the MoMA is. With several ticket options available, it really comes down to how you want to experience the museum. This guide on how to buy tickets to the MoMA will show you how to save money and time when visiting the MoMA.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City: The best way to buy tickets to the MoMA is online in advance here. These tickets allow you to skip the line and are refundable up to 24 hours in advance. If you want to visit the MoMA without the crowds, consider booking this exclusive before-opening-hours tour with a professional art historian instead.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the MoMA
Again, you have a few options for booking tickets to the MoMA. Rather than purchasing the first ticket you see, take the time to read through our recommendations below. The museum sees an average of 7 million visitors a year, so it’s best to have all the information first so you can find the ticket that suits your vacation. Start scrolling to find where to buy tickets for the MoMA!
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
It’s possible to just show up and purchase a MoMA ticket at the door, but we strongly advise against this. The line can get quite long, especially on weekends, and you aren’t guaranteed a ticket at the gate, as time slots often fill up quickly. So, unless you really want to queue up like a real New Yorker, consider one of the other options.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
The best way to buy Museum of Modern Art tickets is to reserve a time slot in advance online. You can purchase your MoMA tickets on its official website or through a third-party seller, such as GetYourGuide. We recommend the latter for a few reasons.
For one thing, the prices are exactly the same, but tickets for the Museum of Modern Art purchased through GetYourGuide are more flexible, allowing a full refund up to 24 hours before your visit. If you purchase tickets on the official website, the process takes more effort, as you can only get a refund by reaching out to the ticket office and explaining why you need to cancel.
Another benefit of GetYourGuide is the option to reserve your tickets and pay later. This is a great feature if you want to make sure you get a ticket but aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger on the price.
Your purchase includes an audio guide and a skip-the-line MoMA ticket. In other words, because you already have an entrance ticket to the Museum of Modern Art, you can jump straight to the security line.
3. Book a Guided Tour
Another fantastic option is to book a one-hour guided tour of the MoMA. You’ll not only get to see all the famous artworks, but also gain better insights into the artists and pieces through your professional art historian guide. A guided tour of the MoMA comes with several bonuses, including tickets to both locations and exclusive entrance before the public is allowed in – the ultimate skip-the-line ticket for the Museum of Modern Art! After the tour, you’ll have free time to explore all the MoMA has to offer on your own.
4. Purchase a Tourist Pass
With so much to see and do in New York City, it can be hard to organize a budget itinerary. If you’re trying to see and do as much as you can, consider purchasing a tourist pass. This can save you up to 40% on various popular attractions and experiences, such as the MoMA, One World Observatory, Big Bus Tours’ one-day classic tour, and a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island’s National Immigration Museum.
Two passes we recommend are the New York Pass and the Go City Explorer Pass. To find the best one for you, narrow down where you want to go and then pick the pass that covers the most of your itinerary.
Useful Information for Visiting the MoMA
What’s the Best Time to Visit the MoMA?
The best time to visit the Museum of Modern Art is a weekday during the low tourist season from September to November or March to May. This way, you won’t run into crowds of families on summer vacation. Contrary to what your gut might tell you, the best time of day to visit is actually the afternoon, as the museum sees most of its visitors in the morning. The first Friday of each month is also particularly busy, as this is when the museum offers free tickets to locals.
What Are the MoMA Hours of Operation?
There are two MoMA locations in New York: the main one in Midtown Manhattan and MoMA PS1 in Queens. The MoMA in Midtown opens at 10:30 a.m. every day, closing at 5:30 p.m. Sunday to Friday and at 7 p.m. on Saturday. MoMA PS1 is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday but opens at noon the rest of the week, closing at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday and at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Both the MoMA and MoMA PS1 are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
How Do You Get to the MoMA?
Manhattan is so dense that it’s best not to drive yourself to the MoMA – unless you want to drive yourself crazy with traffic and parking. Public transit is the best way to get there. The MoMA is just a few blocks away from Central Park and Rockefeller Center, with plenty of bus stops nearby. The Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street metro stop is also less than a block away from the MoMA.
If you book a Go City Explorer Pass or New York Pass, you can also take advantage of the hop-on-hop-off Big Bus Tour to transport you to and from the museum!
How Do MoMA and MoMA PS1 Tickets Work?
The Museum of Modern Art offers one general entrance ticket to the main location in Midtown. This ticket is for a reserved entry time, either the time of purchase (if you buy in person) or a time slot you select when booking online. If you do book online, simply pull up your ticket on your smartphone or print it out and bring it to the entrance. The ticket allows access to all exhibits and events in the building, along with an audio guide.
Tickets to MoMA PS1 work differently. Instead of one set price, the museum has suggested prices for different age groups. Essentially, you pay as you like! You can opt to pay the suggested price or donate whatever amount you want. If you already have a ticket to the MoMA, you can use it to enter MoMA PS1 for free within 14 days of your visit to the MoMA.
How Much Do Tickets for the MoMA Cost?
Tickets for the Museum of Modern Art are the same price on the official website and GetYourGuide, though GetYourGuide offers more flexibility on your booking. Tickets for children 16 and under are free, and tickets for ages 17-64 cost $25. Seniors (ages 65 and up) and those with disabilities can purchase a discounted ticket for $18. Both U.S. and international students with a valid ID can purchase a ticket for $14.
New York City residents can receive free admission on the first Friday of every month from 4 to 8 p.m. Free tickets are also available for active military personnel.
Here are some prices for other ticket and tour options:
- Tickets for a one-hour guided tour of the MoMA start at $99 per person, regardless of age.
- The price of a Go City Explorer Pass depends on how many attractions you want to bundle. The starting price for two attractions is $71 for adults and $61 for children ages 3-12. If you purchase an Explorer Pass for your family, remember that kids (16 and younger) can enter the MoMA for free, so you may want to pick a pass with one less attraction for children to save some coin.
- The New York Pass price depends on how many days you want it to be valid instead of the attractions. The starting price for a one-day New York Pass is $130 for adults and $98 for children ages 3-12.
What Are the Best Hotels Near the MoMA?
New York City is huge and infamous for its wild traffic. The best way to avoid busy subways and packed roads is to stay close to the MoMA in Midtown Manhattan. It’s a good idea to stay in this area anyway, as the museum is within walking distance of some of the city’s top attractions, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Empire State Building, and the boutique shops of Fifth Avenue.
For an excellent hotel on Fifth Avenue, check out The Sherry-Netherland. This five-star hotel has a luxuriously rustic motif and offers room service, a fitness center, and on-site parking. It’s also only a 10-minute walk from the MoMA and Rockefeller Center.
Another fantastic choice near the MoMA is The Michelangelo. This pet-friendly hotel features a chic, modern interior and an ideal location, being just a five-minute walk from Times Square and the MoMA.
If you’re looking to ball out on a bougie New York City stay, we recommend The Whitby Hotel. This five-star hotel boasts luxurious amenities, including breakfast, an airport shuttle, on-site parking, and a bar.
What’s the Security Process at the MoMA?
Seeing as the MoMA is full of art worth hundreds of millions of dollars, it makes sense that it has a tight security process. Every visitor has to go through a bag check before entering the museum. To breeze through security, make sure you don’t have any of these items on you when you visit the MoMA:
- Outside food and drinks
- Rolling bags
- Floral arrangements
- Recreational scooters and skateboards
- Any items (including umbrellas) larger than 11 by 17 by 5 inches
- Glass containers, aerosol cans, and liquids other than water
- Weapons and hazardous materials
What Is Visiting the MoMA With a Disability Like?
The MoMA is an extremely accessible attraction for those with disabilities. Not only do guests with disabilities receive a discounted ticket, but any caregiver accompanying them can enter for free.
The building itself is completely wheelchair accessible and has power-assist entrance doors. Motorized wheelchairs are permitted inside, and the museum offers free wheelchairs.
The museum also offers Art inSight, a program that allows guests with vision impairments to listen to extensive descriptions of the art from specially trained lecturers. To learn more about the MoMA’s special programs, tours, and accessibility, click here.
FAQs: Facts About the MoMA
What Is the MoMA?
The Museum of Modern Art, or the MoMA, is a contemporary and modern art museum in the Midtown Manhattan area of New York City.
When Did the MoMA Open?
The MoMA officially opened its doors for its first exhibition on Nov. 7, 1929, in a rented space of the Heckscher Building. The building it uses today opened on May 10, 1939.
What’s the Difference Between the MoMA and MoMA PS1?
There are two MoMAs, but the one in Midtown Manhattan is the original. The biggest difference between the two is that the MoMA focuses on famous artworks, while MoMA PS1 focuses on new art forms and artists.
Can My MoMA Ticket Get Me Any Discounts?
Yes, several restaurants and parking garages give 10%-20% off when you show your same-day ticket to the MoMA. To see a complete list of restaurants and parking garages that offer discounts, click here.
How Many Artworks Are at the MoMA?
There are roughly 200,000 paintings, drawings, and sketches at the MoMA. Its collection also includes 30,000 films and over 1.5 million film stills.
Does the MoMA Have a Dress Code?
Yes, the MoMA enforces a business-casual dress code.
Who Built the MoMA?
Lillie P. Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller created the MoMA in 1929, along with original trustees A. Conger Goodyear, Paul J. Sachs, Frank Crowninshield, and Josephine B. Crane. Bliss, Sullivan, and Rockefeller came up with the concept as a way to move away from the traditional conservative museums of the time. Architects Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone designed the flagship building, which opened in 1939 and was redesigned by architect Yoshio Taniguchi for the 2004 reopening.
Well, now you have all the information you’ll need for a relaxing and fun day touring the MoMA. Whether you’re planning a long vacation or a weekend trip to NYC, we hope you enjoy your visit to the Big Apple!
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