East Coast Travel

Visiting The Guggenheim: 6 Tips to Get the Most of Your Visit

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If you’ve ever been to New York City or you’re planning a trip soon, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of the Guggenheim. If you’re into museums, art, architecture, or anything by Frank Lloyd Wright – this is something you need to do. This New York mainstay is something that must actually be experienced. Words will only give you so much, but it’s unique structure and artworks on display will get you thinking and discussing what you see. 

I’ve been visiting NYC for years and this summer was my first trip! I know – I was slacking! But I’m happy to be sharing some info and tips with you now. 

Guggenheim Exterior
Across the Street

Located in the Museum Mile of the Upper East Side (at 5th & 89th), it’s a museum where you can spend about one half of your day without feeling completely overwhelmed with information and exhibits. As you climb up (or down) the ramp, you can see their temporary exhibition and as you go along there are small galleries off to the sides to check out as well. Since the exhibitions change regularly, your experience from visit to visit will probably change. I recommend checking out the website to get an idea if the current displays will be of interest to you.

Since it’s a unique experience, I’ve highlighted some tips that will help you get the most from your visit to The Guggenheim Museum. 

  • Go Early
    • We got there mid-afternoon and it was packed! Luckily, I already had my tickets secured before arrival and didn’t have to wait in any lines.
  • Start at the Top
    • Take the elevator to the top floor and go down from there. We started at the bottom and climbed up. However, while touring the building, we learned that most people start at the top and come down. Oops.
  • Get the Audio Guide
    • If you’re new to art or if you just want to know more about what’s on display from the people who know how to talk about art – get the audio guide.
  • Talk to the Gallery Guides
    • You’ll recognize them! They are staff members stationed throughout the museum wearing badges that say “Let’s Talk Art.” The human element can really enhance your art experience. They are around, but they aren’t intrusive as you look at the exhibition. 
  • Go to the Gift Shop
    • Even if you aren’t planning to buy souvenirs, their offerings are impressive. Prints, books, candles, blankets, and more – all inspired by their collection. I loved looking at all the neat stuff in both museum shops!
  • Expect the Unexpected
    • You’d expect to see some classic pieces of art in an art museum, right? You will see a FEW here. A FEW. The rest of the modern art may very well be new to you and something that you don’t expect. An exhibition of works by Robert Mapplethorpe was something I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. I went in with an open mind and was pleasantly surprised by his work. 

Related Posts: Like reading about my NYC travel experiences? Read more here!

Guggenheim INterior
Skylight from the first floor.

The cost to visit is $25 per adult, $18 for students/seniors, and children under 12 are free. Check the ‘Plan Your Visit’ page for details about upcoming discount opportunities, like Saturdays from 5-8pm when you can pay what you wish! Also, if you’re planning to visit more NYC attractions, consider the CityPass!

Save 43% or more on New York’s 6 best attractions with CityPASS. Shop Now!

I’m planning to probably wait for a few more NYC trips before I head back to the Guggenheim – I want to see what’s changed between now and then in the exhibits!

TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS: Have you ever been to the Guggenheim? Is it on your NYC itinerary? I want to know!


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