MOMA Free Friday Admission

Updated: 7 abril 2024

Sometimes as we're leading a tour around Manhattan, one or more of our guests will have questions about saving money on tickets to the Museum of Modern Art.

That's why we created this helpful guide to provide information about planning a trip to the Museum of Modern Art, including tickets, free Fridays and other deals, the best times to visit, and tours. 

See our post about other museums in NYC, including those that are free to visit.

Free Friday Hours

Every first Friday of the month from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the MOMA is open for Free Fridays.

Tickets for UNIQLO NYC Nights offer free entry to New York City residents but must be reserved in advance (up to two adults), and are subject to availability and proof of residency.

Tickets are released one week before each event.

In addition to access to the exhibits, there is also a DJ playing music and a pop-up bar serving beer and cocktails.

Ticket Prices

  • Adults $30
  • Seniors $22 (age 65+ with ID)
  • Visitors with disabilities $18 (free ticket for caregiver)
  • Students $17 (Full-time with valid student ID)
  • Children 16 and under are free
  • Active US Military personnel are free
  • Purchase or learn more.

Each ticket includes access to MoMA PS1 (a MoMA annex museum in Queens), film screenings, and special exhibits.

Entrance to the Museum of Modern Art

If you download their app, you’ll also have the option to enjoy free audio tours explaining the history and significance of many exhibits.

If you buy your ticket online, you’ll have the opportunity to skip the line at the museum entrance.

According to many reviewers, this is a great way to avoid waiting in line if you decide to come during a busy time of day.

If you need to cancel your trip, Museum of Modern Art tickets can be fully refunded up to 24 hours before your visit.


This section will cover all of the different ways you can save money on tickets to the Museum of Modern Art.

There are several deals available on admission to the museum, so you should definitely check these deals before you make your purchase. 

Tourist Attraction Passes

Several different tourist attraction passes include tickets to the Museum of Modern Art.

These passes bundle popular tours and attractions and can save 50% or more on general admission prices.

They also allow you to skip the ticket lines at many locations (including MOMA).

Some other popular attractions included with these passes are:

  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Empire State Buildings, Top of the Rock, or One World Observatory
  • Madame Tussauds
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry  
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you want to learn more about this opportunity, make sure to read our post covering New York tourist passes

Student Deals

Students who are enrolled full-time at specific universities are entitled to one free ticket when they present their college ID.

  • Columbia University
  • Cooper Union
  • The New School
  • Pratt Institute
  • School of Visual Arts
  • The Juilliard School
  • New York University
  • CUNY/SUNY Schools

Even if you don’t go to one of these colleges, all full-time students receive $11 off general admission. 

Military Deals

Active duty members of the US Military are entitled to one free ticket with a valid military ID.

Families of US Military members will also be granted admission if they have dependent cards.

In order to receive free admission, please bring the appropriate identification to the information desk at the Museum of Modern Art.

Additional Deals

  • Check Groupon from time to time offers a great deal of 2-for-1 entry. So it’s only $25 for two people.
  • Some MoMA guided tours include admission for free.
  • Senior citizens receive a deal of $7 off general admission.
  • Groups of 10 or more visitors can get tickets at lower rates.
    • $20/Adults | $16/Seniors | $12/Students | $9/Kids
  • Admission to MoMA PS1 is free for all NYC residents. Fees for everyone else are suggested ticket prices.
  • Staff at other museums who have valid ID will receive free admission for themselves and one guest.
  • There is currently no AAA deal on MoMA tickets.

Membership Benefits

Members always get free admission to MoMA. Annual membership prices start at $65 per person.

If you’ve already purchased a ticket to the Museum of Modern Art, it can be used to get a deal on your membership.

This is a great option for anyone who lives in New York and plans to visit the museum often.  


This section will help you to plan a trip to the Museum of Modern Art.

In addition to details about the hours and best times to visit, we will also offer information on how to get here, how much time to spend at the museum, and security requirements.

Atrium of MoMA

Hours of Operation

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 have different hours. Depending on when you choose to visit, the hours of operation may vary.

It’s also worth noting that there are usually some events taking place throughout the year, including the Summergarden music series at MoMA and Summer warm-up at MoMA PS1.

MoMA Hours

  • Open 7 days a week (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Sun - Fri: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Sat: 10:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Open until 8 pm on the first Friday of every month
  • From July to August, the garden is open for free on select nights for the music series Summergarden

MoMA PS1 Hours

  • Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri: 12 pm - 6 pm
  • Sat: 12:00 pm - 8 pm
  • Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day

Best Times to Visit

The Museum of Modern Art can get somewhat busy on most days, but there are times when you can avoid the crowds.

As you can see below, on a typical weekday you can expect the museum to be less crowded from 10:30 am - 12 pm and then again from 3 pm - 5:30 pm.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest weekdays.

On weekends, Saturdays are quite busy, go before 12 pm or after 5 pm, and it won't be too crowded.

On Saturdays, the museum is open until 7 pm, so arrive around 4:30/5 pm until closing to avoid crowds.

If you want to steer clear of the crowds, purchase a skip-the-line ticket. This ticket will get you inside right away, maximizing the time you will have in this world-class museum.

Many reviewers indicate that this is a great way to avoid long waits.

TIP: You can actually take a before-or-after-hours group tour which ensures entry at a time when no other visitors are allowed inside the museum.

Check our tours section for more information. 

How Much Time to Spend

Most visitors should plan on spending at least 2 ½ hours at MoMA.

Quicker visits can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on what you want to see at the museum.

According to the reviews, many people seemed to feel that skip-the-line tickets saved them time waiting for a ticket.

Others reported short or no lines at all, but it all depends on when you go to the museum.

We recommend getting the skip-the-line ticket just to make sure that you won’t have to wait very long.

Check our ticket information section above for more details. 

How to Get Here

MoMA is located in midtown Manhattan at 11 West 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. We recommend using the subway to get here.

  • E or M line to Fifth Avenue/53th Street station. 
  • B/D/F/M trains to 47-50th Streets/Rockefeller Center station. 
  • B/D/E trains to 7th Avenue station. 
  • F train to 57th Street station. 
  • Use this link to Google Maps to get exact directions to MoMA from your point of departure.

Be sure to read our post about using the NYC subway to help you navigate around the city easily.

TIP: The Museum of Modern Art is also located just a few blocks from several hop-on-hop-off bus stops.

New York Bus Tours

Security Information

When it comes to security, MoMA has some very simple and basic rules.

Items up to 11" x 15" x 5” are allowed inside, but larger items up to 14" x 22" x 9” must be checked by security.

All bags can and most likely will be inspected before entering the building.

Anything that is not allowed may be left for free in the coat-check room, but items larger than their maximum cannot be held there.

If you have bags that are too large to be accepted by the checkroom, you can find nearby places to leave your bags inexpensively for a few hours.

See our post on where to store luggage in New York City. There are many options.

You can bring your camera, smartphone, and other camera devices inside, but no video recording is permitted.  

Still photography is allowed in some galleries and exhibits, but not all of them. Photos cannot be used for monetary gain in any way, shape, or form.

Strollers are permitted at the Museum of Modern Art, but they are not allowed on the escalators.

You can use elevators, however.  Also, strollers may be restricted in some galleries.


This section will cover the different kinds of tours you can take at MoMA.

We will include information about audio tours, group tours, and guided tours.

Some of these services are free, but others will cost a bit extra.

Viator VIP Tour

If you’re looking for an early bird tour, Viator actually offers a service called Mornings at MoMA.

This is very similar to the before-hours group tour offered directly by MoMA.

But, the advantage of this option is that you won’t have to gather 10 people for the outing and can instead pay for individual tickets.

Over the course of an hour, you’ll see and learn about some of the most beloved modern art in their collection before the museum even opens.

  • $79 per person
  • Tour begins at 9:30 am.
  • Fees include the price of admission.
  • Groups are limited to 25 people.
  • Not currently available.

Reviews for Mornings at MoMA are very positive, and Viator has received an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars for this tour (read reviews here).

Visitors really appreciate the opportunity to see the Museum of Modern Art before it opens and receive a private guided tour.

Many customers suggest that this is the best way to experience the museum and that it is well worth the cost. 

Picasso painting in MoMA

Audio Tours

The Museum of Modern Art provides audio tours for several of its exhibitions and galleries.

Although they do offer audio devices at the museum, the easiest way to take advantage of these free tours is simply to download the MoMA app onto your smartphone and bring it with you. 

Some of these tours are aimed at children, giving parents an additional guide to help ensure that their kids have a good time. Be sure to read our Things to Do with Kids in NYC post.

Other audio guides focus on visitors who have a limited amount of time to spend at the museum.

There are over 100 different audio tours to choose from, so chances are that you’ll find something which piques your interest and fits your needs.

Visit the MoMA audio page to choose an audio tour

Group Tours

In addition to its audio tours, the Museum of Modern Art also offers fully guided tours with professional art historians.

This service is only available to groups of 10 or more, but it’s an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about the art on display at MoMA.

There are three different group tours available:

60-Minute Tour

  • $50/Adults
  • $45/Seniors
  • $40/College Students
  • $28/Children
  • Fees include the price of admission
  • Minimum payment of $500 is required
  • Longer tours can be arranged for an additional fee

Before-Hours Tour

  • $90/Adults
  • $85/Seniors
  • $72/College Students
  • Fees include the price of admission
  • Minimum payment of $900 required
  • Starts at 9:30 am and lasts 1 hour
  • Longer tours can be arranged for an additional fee

After-Hours Tour

  • $110 per person
  • Fees include the price of admission
  • Minimum payment of $900 required
  • Starts at 5:30 pm (or closing time) and lasts 1 hour
  • Longer tours can be arranged for an additional fee

Needless to say, the before and after-hours tours represent a unique opportunity to avoid large crowds.

Both options will allow you to see the museum at a time when no other visitors are permitted inside the building.

Contact the MoMA Groups and Tours Department at (212) 708-9685 for information.


The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was the first institution anywhere in the United States to devote itself exclusively to modern art.

In 1928, a group of wealthy philanthropists, educators, and museum curators, including Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D. Rockefeller), collaborated to realize their shared vision of bringing Europe’s finest modern art to American audiences.

The museum’s first exhibition was held in 1929 at the Heckscher Building on the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th Street. 

MoMA Starry Night

The exhibit took up a modest six rooms on the 12th floor.

On display were paintings (on loan from other museums or private art collections) by the European Post-Impressionists Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Paul Cézanne.

Its second exhibit in 1930 showed off homegrown talent featuring modern works by 19 American artists. By 1939, MoMA was rapidly acquiring new pieces of art and growing in popularity.

MoMA's famous Pablo Picasso retrospective of 1939–40, earned them international prominence.

As the museum acquired more and more artwork, a larger space was needed, and the MoMA moved to its current site on West 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Over the decades, MoMA has held hundreds of exhibitions while growing its permanent collection of art from its first holdings in 1929 to the over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects they now own.

MoMA also owns approximately 22,000 films and four million film stills.

Its permanent collection is widely considered the most impressive and diverse assortment of modern art worldwide.

MoMA Marilyn

Highlights among the permanent collection are Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Time, and Andy Warhol’s Gold Marilyn Monroe.

In addition to all of their exhibitions, they also have a sculpture garden.

Installed and designed in 1953, it was dedicated to one of the museum’s founders – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.

Located on the site where her townhouse once stood, visitors are welcome to see the sculpture garden for free every morning.

They also have several special exhibitions going on at any one time which are always impeccably curated and often cutting-edge.

In addition to the main location, you might also want to visit MoMA PS1, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art.

They specialize in contemporary art, providing a space for new and emerging artists to show their work.

This museum is free to visit with admission to MoMA. For more details, check our ticket information section above.

Tips From Locals and Travelers

Even though we do our best to provide all the details you'll need to get the most out of your visit to the Museum of Modern Art, there's always a chance that we have forgotten something.

Thankfully, we have a New York City Travel Tips group on Facebook with over 230,000 members which can serve as an excellent back up for any questions you might still have.

Here are a few of the most helpful comments we were able to find:

This seems to be one of the most common questions that visitors have when it comes to MoMA and the Met, because both museums have Van Goghs, but they don't have the same paintings.

Even if everyone knew where each Van Gogh painting was located, there would still be confusion, because MoMA will sometimes loan their paintings to the Met.

That said, if you are looking for Starry Night, just remember that it is usually housed at the Museum of Modern Art.

If you're wondering whether you need to get tickets well in advance, most people indicate that it was not necessary in their case.

That doesn't mean you definitely won't need or want to get tickets beforehand, but it's very likely that you'll be able to get in even if you just walk in spontaneously.

If you're wondering how popular this museum is, the most important thing to note is that it's often compared to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In other words, this is one of the best museums in all of New York City, and it's definitely worth a visit; some even suggest it's better than the Met!

For additional useful advice and suggestions, make sure to read our New York City Travel Tips group on Facebook.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: abril 7th, 2024
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