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New-York Historical Society Museum & Library

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 170 Central Park West, at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York City, NY 10024
Phone Number:
+1 212-873-3400
10:00 - 18:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 11:00 - 17:00
Tue - Thu 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 10:00 - 20:00
Sat 10:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

A trip to New York wouldn't be complete without a visit to the New-York...

A trip to New York wouldn't be complete without a visit to the New-York Historical Society with its four centuries of history and art - plus the only Children's History Museum in the area. It hits the spot for anyone craving an offbeat (and often surprising) bite of the city's culture easily digested in an hour or two. Quirky, smart, immersive and across the street from beautiful Central Park, it offers a rich taste of the city.

The New-York Historical Society boasts a hip new vibe.

You know the city - now hear the stories. Witness New York's rise from remote outpost to city at the center of the world in our 18-minute panoramic film experience, New York Story, in surround-sound on a 75-foot screen. Then travel through time in visionary exhibitions and an entire floor of children's galleries that show why this city has always captivated hearts and minds.

"We were absolutely blown away by the film which manages to convey more about New York and its history than one could imagine ever being crammed into 18 minutes." - CL, New York NY

History will break free from the textbooks and jump into your life!


"The Art of Al Hirschfeld" (May 22 - October 12, 2015)

"Picasso's Le Tricorne" (May 29 - Ongoing)

"Art as Activism" (June 26 - September 13, 2015)

"Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein" (Through October 25, 2015)

Hungry for more? Experience the casual elegance of Caffe Storico which offers tasty Italian fare, then explore the Museum Store for unique New York City gifts and exhibition-related merchandise.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 531 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 262
  • 148
    Very good
  • 47
  • 18
  • 20
Definitely worth a visit

I went to specifically see the Muhammad Ali & "Tattooed NYC" exhibits, which were both worth the visit. We also wandered around some other exhibits which were equally as... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
New York City, New York
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531 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 495: English reviews
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
68 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

very convenient. lovely building. clean. clean bathrooms. The movie was not available the late afternoon we were there. the exhibits were actually good but did not hold much interest for me so my low rating reflects that. Of note is the bronze statues of Hamilton and Burr facing each other were excellent and spared us a trip to NJ.

Thank sonnienegroso
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
95 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I went to specifically see the Muhammad Ali & "Tattooed NYC" exhibits, which were both worth the visit. We also wandered around some other exhibits which were equally as worthwhile. The other thing that is great about this museum is that it is really manageable when it comes to size and the number of hours it takes to see the... More 

Thank MyThoughts_10
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We were disappointed with this museum. NYC has such a rich history, yet this museum doesn't seem to touch much of it. Small section on toy trains, small section on George Washington 1st President when inauguration was in NY, and a short film highlighting slavery as how the city was built. A Jewish exhibit focused on Jewish people in Cincinnati... More 

Thank ATLtravelers2
Marybeth I, Public Relations Manager at New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, responded to this review

We're sorry to hear your visit to the New-York Historical Society didn't live up to your expectations. The Museum aims to cover both the history of New York City as well as the nation, and our rotating exhibitions look to showcase highlights from our vast collection of historically significant objects and artwork. While "The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture... More 

Wilton, Connecticut
Level Contributor
218 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Wonderful small museum. Great exhibits no rushing . Great exhibits... Jewish history very well done.., toys from the past....The Resturant was divine and delicious

Thank achristine13
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

One of the current exhibits at New-York Historical Society is the history of tattoos in Manhattan, but a visit any time is worthwhile--always surprising, creative and educational, for both adults and kids. Across from Museum of Natural History and opposite Central Park. Pay what you wish after six on Fridays. Don't overlook it!

Thank 48hrw
Manchester, Connecticut
Level Contributor
271 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Located in the Upper West Side, this is New York’s oldest museum, founded in 1804 where cultural and educational experiences await you. This museum gives you a detailed perspective on NYC’s past. Exhibits are varied and cover all aspects of city life. The permanent exhibits on the fourth floor offer a glimpse of urban living, including vintage toys, furniture and... More 

Thank Adventure Diva
Westbury, New York
Level Contributor
101 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a wonderful museum. If you have never visited, start with the wonderful 18 minute film. Very interesting and very moving. The special exhibits are typically terrific. Also, they have a very fine selection of New York memorabilia. This is an excellent stop for New Yorkers and visitors to the cityl. Tip: Friday night is pay what you wish... More 

Thank BillE48864
New Jersey
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have been to this museum a few times. Right next to the Museum of Natural history and west side of Central Park. Today I saw the 18 min movie of the history of NY, made me proud to be part of the people of NY. The toy/train exhibit was was very well done with visuals on screens that made... More 

Thank eastcoasttransplant
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Galleries were great; my favorite was the Collector's Choice art gallery. The paintings, particularly Thomas Cole's The Course of Empire, were amazing, as were the Muhammed Ali photographs. The Jewish America exhibit was excellent as well, however I would have liked to have been able to read more of the "stories" on the walls. The old toy collection was fascinating... More 

Thank emcleanxc
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It was interesting to see aspects of New York's history and artifacts displayed. It is not a large museum, but that suits me since I am not a big museum person. Plus there is a 30 minute film about the history of NY that gives you a rest and a chance to learn in between the exploring..

Thank Paul S

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Staying in Upper West Side

Neighbourhood Profile
Upper West Side
Nestled between Central Park and the Hudson River, the Upper West Side offers iconic architecture and a quiet, residential respite from the buzzing energy of downtown. Along Central Park West are many of the city’s most iconic apartment buildings, as well as the American Museum of Natural History, which has been welcoming visitors to its historic exhibit halls for over 140 years. Culture fans will love Lincoln Center, home to some of the world’s best opera, dance, film, and theatre performances, all centrally located around a beautiful fountain. Spanning the entire length of the Upper West Side, Riverside Park is ideal for a long, leisurely stroll in a quiet green space.
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