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Guggenheim Museum New York Guide

This sculptural building, besides being an architectural symbol of New York, houses some of the most important works of art in the world, such as those of Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso. Welcome!

Nuria Rozas

Nuria Rozas

10 min read

Guggenheim Museum New York Guide

The Guggenheim | ©Reno Laithienne

If you dare to walk the spiral ramp of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, you will discover one of the architectural highlights of the 20th century. This institution, which has become a must-see stop in front of Central Park, is able to unite art, design, architecture and gastronomy. Yes, gastronomy too!

If you are already convinced to get on board this icon of design and contemporary art, and want to be dazzled by the impressive works of Van Gogh, Kandinski or Picasso, among others, I recommend you to buy your tickets online and in advance to save time and money. Take note!

The best option
Guggenheim Museum Tickets (Skip the Line)

Skip the lines to get priority admission to the Guggenheim Museum

Don't waste a minute and enjoy a more intimate experience by visiting the museum with a guide every day at 2PM.

From $ 25 at Hellotickets

With this option you will be paying for your priority access to the Guggenheim Museum, where you will be able to contemplate thousands of works of modern art without wasting a second.

What's the advantage? You save endless queues at the museum door and just enjoy the Big Apple. If you do not know what to spend the rest of your time in the city of skyscrapers, here is the definitive guide on the 33 things to do in New York.

Admission includes:

  • Direct access to the temporary exhibitions (no queues or waiting).
  • Guided tours led by educators every day at 2 pm. A tour of the museum that will help you contextualize the galleries through the eyes of an expert.
  • Attendance at lectures by artists and art critics from around the world.
  • Art classes for teenagers and adults.

Also, if you enjoy strolling outdoors, this priority admission includes a 20-minute guided tour of the Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue, an area that is filled with cultural institutions and museum gems packed into just over a mile.

Recommended if... you do not have much time to visit New York or do not want to waste time in the insufferable queues that form every day to visit the iconic Guggenheim.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

It is best to visit this museum in the morning so you don't miss the interesting guided tour included in the price at 2pm.

How much tickets to the Guggenheim Museum cost

Inside the Guggenheim| ©David Emrich
Inside the Guggenheim| ©David Emrich

The most recommended, as I said, is to buy the priority ticket from 23 €. The good thing? Your reservation will be confirmed immediately and you will also be able, in case you have a setback, to cancel it for free so you can book without risk or worry.

Avoid this trip becoming your worst nightmare if you get here without tickets and have to go through the ticket office. It is one of the most popular museums in the Big Apple, so the queue is usually quite long, so long that it can go around the building, especially in high season(June, July and August and the Christmas months) and early in the morning (opens at 11 am).

A curiosity! When the Guggenheim Museum opened its doors in 1959, 62 years ago, the cost of admission was only 50 cents, which is equivalent to less than one euro.

Take advantage of discounts for seniors and students

However, if in your case, you are one of those who prefer to go on your own and do not mind wasting the morning or afternoon in a queue because you have enough time, see below the groups that have access to a reduced rate:

  • Seniors over 65 years old,
  • People with disabilities
  • Students, who must prove it with the corresponding university card.
  • Children under 12 years of age can pass free of charge. Yes, you read that right: free! Therefore, this plan is very economical if you want to travel as a family and with small children.

How to get free admission to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City

Inside the Guggenheim| ©Heyminhy S
Inside the Guggenheim| ©Heyminhy S

The thrifty ones are in luck too! One Saturday a month, the foundation allows visitors free admission to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, an initiative sponsored by Macallan. However, due to capacity restrictions and the high demand for these passes, this option is quite insecure. For this reason, and so that you do not run out of your ticket, I suggest you to buy it in time at Hellotickets.

The good thing about New York is that the cultural offer is immense and there are options for all budgets. Some of them are very, very cheap. Do not miss this article about the best museums in New York. Remember, also, that on Saturdays from 4pm to 6pm, the Guggenheim Museum allows visitors to enter through a donation, with which you yourself decide what you want to pay.

If you are worried about your budget when visiting New York museums, you should know that some, such as the MoMA, also offer free slots at certain times of the week and that tourist passes (see here for the best tourist card in New York) are also a good way to save money.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

I recommend you to buy your ticket well in advance as there is usually a high demand, so don't miss out on visiting this temple of art!

Are tickets to the Guggenheim Museum included in any of the city's sightseeing passes?

The Guggenheim| ©Thomas Eidsvold
The Guggenheim| ©Thomas Eidsvold

Yes, being such a touristy city and with so many cultural wonders to visit, if you do not want to miss any of them, you can choose to buy the New York City Pass, which will serve to enter the Guggenheim Museum because it has tickets included in its price.

From my point of view, it is a very good idea to buy this pass when you have several days (at least 9) because you will forget about the crowds and queues. So you only have to worry about enjoying yourself. You won't even need the travel guide because the main attractions are included in the price and, in addition, you will save money and time.

I recommend it if you are going to be at least a week in New York and want to visit the main monuments without having to wait in long lines or spend too much budget.

Where the Guggenheim Museum is and how to get there:

The Guggenheim's interior staircase| ©Nicholas Ceglia
The Guggenheim's interior staircase| ©Nicholas Ceglia

The Guggenheim New York is located on 5th Avenue in New York, between 88th and 89th Streets.

Despite being one of the largest cities in the world, New York City is perfectly connected by public transportation. To get to the Guggenheim Museum you can take the New York subway lines 4, 5 or 6. You can also use the M1, M2, M3 or M4 bus lines.

By the way, you should know that the museum is accessible to people with disabilities: it has an elevator and is wheelchair accessible, except in the High Gallery.

Hours to visit the Guggenheim Museum:

Detail of the Guggenheim| ©Nicholas Ceglia
Detail of the Guggenheim| ©Nicholas Ceglia

The Guggenheim Museum is open from Thursday to Tuesday from 11am to 6pm. My advice is that before you go, check the opening hours on the official website, as they may change. Be careful, because on Tuesdays and Wednesdays the museum is closed all day and some holidays (such as December 25) as well.

  • Monday: from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: closed
  • Thursday to Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Top works you can't miss at the Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim| ©Alex Eckermann
The Guggenheim| ©Alex Eckermann

Here is a list of the most iconic works of this museum:

  • 'Dining Room in the Garden', by Pierre Bonnard.
  • Mountains of Saint-Remy', by van Gogh.
  • The mural piece 'Painting', by Joan Miró.
  • 'Woman before the mirror', by Édouard Manet.
  • Composition 8' and 'Black Lines', by Wassily Kandinsky.
  • Red Lily Pads', by Alexander Calder.

The main focus of the Guggenheim Museum, which also has branches in Venice, Bilbao and soon in the city of Abu Dhabi, lies in the impressionist and expressionist art of great figures such as Van Gogh and Kandinsky, as well as modern and contemporary art.

As for its major paintings, its collections are most varied and spectacular. Get ready for this visual journey by the hand of Toulouse-Lautrec, Magritte, Chagall or Miró, among others.

As we have seen, there are works for all tastes. The museum combines permanent exhibitions with temporary exhibitions and the collection of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, famous for his large black and white images, especially of flowers and male nudes.

Exchange of works between Guggenheim Museums

One of the characteristics of the Guggenheim Foundation museums, which makes them unique and different, is that their exhibitions are changing, due to the exchange of paintings among their institutions. The foundation itself argues that this dynamism contributes to enriching the public's artistic perception and that you can visit more than once, so you don't get bored!

The Picasso Collection at the Guggenheim Museum

Are you a lover of Spanish painting? Then stay tuned because the Guggenheim in New York has one of the largest collections of Pablo Picasso, considered the most influential painter of the twentieth century.

Among them, the work "Woman with Yellow Hair" stands out, inspired by Marie-Thérèse, whom Picasso met when she was 17 years old and he was 45. Both began a very intense sentimental relationship, but they hid it from their environment for years, since she was very young and the artist from Malaga was married. Later, the genius made her his muse and bequeathed us portraits of great beauty like this one.

How much time you need to visit the Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim| ©Pipe A
The Guggenheim| ©Pipe A

You will need at least 2 hours to make the visit and walk through the six serpentine floors that rise towards the imposing glass dome where natural light penetrates. The best time to visit is usually, as is common in all tourist attractions, early or late in the day to avoid large crowds and full capacity.

Therefore, it is best to arrive early and plan your trip in advance. I personally prefer to spend two or three hours on a leisurely tour of the museum, rather than seeing the whole thing in an hour's time. However, this decision will depend on the time you have available.

Take advantage of the workshops for children

The museum has a variety of activities for younger visitors. For example, on the second Sunday of every month, the museum develops an interactive tour for families, which includes creative and hands-on activities in the galleries.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

The views from the top of the building are incredible. Don't forget to take a selfie on the sixth floor before leaving, you'll be the envy of your social networks!

When is the best time to visit the Guggenheim Museum?

The Guggenheim dome| ©Reno Laithienne
The Guggenheim dome| ©Reno Laithienne

Any time of the year is perfect to be seduced by the Guggenheim Museum in New York. However, visiting this enclave in winter is an ideal activity to take refuge from the cold and soak up its culture.

Christmas in New York is magical, who hasn't dreamed of saying goodbye to the year here? A perfect plan is to visit the museum in the morning and in the afternoon get lost in Central Park or the streets of the Big Apple watching the Christmas lights.

We can not forget the wonderful autumn and the dreamy postcards that Central Park leaves us with the leaves of the trees full of colors. A beautiful picture that we can photograph as soon as we leave the Guggenheim Museum.

On the other hand, the Guggenheim Museum is ideal in summer to get out of the sun and take a little shade, while enjoying the art. In conclusion, any month is a good time to visit this New York facility.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

In winter in New York it is very cold, however, in the museums it is very warm... My advice is to dress with many layers, as if you were an onion, you will be grateful!

A brief history of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City

The Guggenheim| ©Reno Laithienne
The Guggenheim| ©Reno Laithienne

This cylindrical building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and conceived as a "temple of the spirit" and of art. Unfortunately, Lloyd was unable to see the completion of his work, which was inaugurated in 1959, months after his death.

On this tour, you will immerse yourself in the avant-garde architecture of the 20th century and contemplate some of the most beautiful works of contemporary art. The Guggenheim building is constructed of 700 tons of steel and 198 square meters of concrete - almost nothing!

In 2019, the monumental building was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Did you know that it took this architectural genius almost 15 years and 700 sketches to create this marvel?

Where to eat near the Guggenheim Museum in New York City

Typical American menu| ©Oscar Nord
Typical American menu| ©Oscar Nord

Of course, if after a long morning strolling through the exhibition, in which you will have burned countless calories, you get hungry, I recommend that you make a stop to enjoy the quintessential American fast food: hot dogs and hamburgers and replenish your energy. I tell you all about it here: the 10 best places to eat in New York.

Enjoy your gastronomic and cultural experience!