UYC’s Guide: 5 Upper Manhattan Museums You Won’t Want To Miss

With the first documented visit by a European in 1524, it’s an understatement to say that New York City is filled with rich history. The City’s depth of museums alone could consume a visit with over 80 spread across the five boroughs – 60 on the island of Manhattan alone.   From the classic to the quirky, visiting any of the best museums in NYC is a perfect way to enhance any “Big Apple” experience. Museum Mile gets the majority of the attention, but there are numerous gems in Northern Manhattan.  Here are our top five picks:


The Cloisters Museum

Celebrating 75 years, the Cloisters Museum, located in Fort Tryon Park, is a gorgeous gallery devoted to art and architecture of the medieval period of Europe. This Manhattan art museum is a branch of the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art and includes approximately 2,000 pieces of art. Even the buildings themselves were designed to resemble the style of that time which just adds to the incredible experience that you get from a visit to The Cloisters.  (Read our full review here.)

The Dyckman Farmhouse

The Dyckman Farmhouse is perfect for museum-goers that love the history of Manhattan itself. It’s the last remaining Dutch colonial farmhouse in the borough, built by William Dyckman all the way back around 1784. This beautiful piece of property holds the honor of being named a National Historic Landmark in 1967. Open from Friday-Sunday 11am-5pm, the farmhouse offers $1 self-guided tours for adults, and children under 10 are always free. What other attractions in New York City can you visit for a buck?


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El Museo del Barrio

New York’s Latino cultural institution established in 1969, El Museo del Barrio, celebrates the artistic scene of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. Starting modestly in a public school classroom by artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz, El Museo has grown since then and offers a wide range of collections and exhibitions, the entire collection containing a total of around 8,500 pieces. The Museo del Barrio is a dynamic museum that should not be overlooked when visiting New York’s Museum Mile.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

For jazz lovers, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is a gold mine because it is 100% dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Harlem’s rich jazz history. There are weekly programs held at the museum such as the “Harlem Speaks” lecture series and the “Jazz for Curious Listeners” sessions that allow people interested in jazz to listen and learn about rare jazz recordings. If you want to get involved with the museum there are plenty of events, free courses, and other meet-ups you can attend.


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Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem was the first museum in the United States devoted to African American contemporary art, founded back in 1968. Not only is this a special museum, it also has special offerings of studio space available for three emerging artists each year of African descent in their Artists-In-Residence program. Today it contains approximately 2,000 works, many of which were created by artists in the museum’s Artist-in-Residence program.

What is your favorite museum in Upper Manhattan? Let us know in the comments below. 


About the Author: This is a guest post written by Sovereign Associates Real Estate.  Located in Upper Manhattan, Sovereign Associates is more than a licensed real estate broker, they’re neighbors! With over 20 years of experience in all of Upper Manhattan’s fantastic neighborhoods, let Sovereign’s team find you the perfect place to live. 




10 Comments on “UYC’s Guide: 5 Upper Manhattan Museums You Won’t Want To Miss

  1. The Dyckman farmhouse is definitely on my radar; I came across it recently on a site about historic houses in NYC, and I intend to make it there for sure this fall or winter. The Morris-Jumel Mansion looks really interesting too:

    And if you don’t confine yourself to Manhattan, there are also some historic house / museums in the other boroughs as well — including the Bronx, which is as easy as Washington Heights for someone like me to get to from UES . . .
    Harvey (H-Bomb’s Worldwide Karaoke) recently posted..Country no. 28 on the World Karaoke Tour: meeting new comrades in RussiaMy Profile

    • So true! We’re going to be featuring some gems in outer-boroughs soon, stay tuned!;-)

    • We so enjoyed collaborating with you on this great article! Very much looking forward to future projects, thanks!:-)

    • The tourist traps are good too, but these are a great way to explore upper manhattan neighborhoods that really have so much flavor and energy!

      • 100% agree! These are the gems that most tourists don’t know about, but really speak to what NYC is all about. The National Jazz Museum is an all time favorite of mine! Great list overall :)

        • Thanks Victoria! A quick ride uptown on the train can open up a whole new world of museums!;-)

    • Aww, Maria, you sure know how to make a girl’s day EXTRA special! Thank you!:-)