Visit The American Museum Of Natural History: Info, Tickets, Tips
The American Museum of Natural History in New York, also called the American Museum of Natural History (often abbreviated as AMNH ) is one of the largest museums in New York. In its galleries, you can enjoy several permanent exhibitions devoted to fossils, biodiversity or the origins of man and civilization. Just like the MET Museum and the MoMA, (Museum of Modern Art), this museum is one of the must-see cultural sites in the city.
What I particularly like about this museum is that it is very accessible to families. Young and old alike can contemplate impressive dinosaur skeletons, discover stuffed animals, or even touch real fragments of meteorites. If you want to visit the New York Museum of Natural History, here is an overview of everything that awaits you there, and above all all the information you will need.
Why Visit The American Museum Of Natural History In New York?
Since its creation in 1869, the AMNH has always attracted many locals and tourists. This is due to the fact that public exhibitions began to be held in this building as early as 1871. The collections quickly expanded and the construction of a building entirely dedicated to them was launched in 1874. This new museum was inaugurated 3 years later, in 1877, by the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes.
Over time, the New York Museum of Natural History continued to expand, including the construction of a planetarium and an auditorium. Its famous arch-shaped facade was completed in 1936. Today, more than 5 million visitors come each year to admire all its exhibitions.
In total, more than 32 million specimens and objects are exhibited or preserved in this museum, and its collections of fossils and insects are among the largest in the world.
More than just a museum, the AMNH also hosts a research center as well as a team of more than 200 expert researchers in many fields, such as anthropology, astronomy, paleontology and mineralogy.
American Museum Of Natural History Prices
For your visit, you can of course choose to make your own circuit in the museum. Circuits oriented around specific themes are also available, and you can for example choose the circuit dedicated to space, to dinosaurs, or even a visit which will make you discover all the most emblematic pieces of the museum. This is in my opinion the best way to visit the AMNH.
|Category||Standard Ticket||Standard ticket + 1 temporary exhibition||Standard ticket + all temporary exhibitions|
|Adult||26 €||32 €||37 €|
|Senior (+ 65 years old) & students (on proof)||21 €||25 €||29 €|
|Child (4-12 years old)||15 €||19 €||23 €|
Temporary exhibitions vary quite regularly, if you want to know which exhibitions are going on during your trip to New York, you can go to the ticket booking site.
Currently (January 2023) you can experience Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker, about the life of an Australian sea lion, Sharks or Worlds Beyond Earth at the Rose Centre.
You can also opt for guided tours in English or French. Visits in French are not scheduled every day: it will therefore be necessary to check the program in advance on the official website of the museum. If you really want to know more, be able to ask questions and talk to someone who knows a lot about it, I have a good plan for you: a 2.5-hour guided tour with a specialist in the history of the art at the price of 110 € per person. He will approach the visits in a different way and will give you several anecdotes and give you advice throughout the visit.
As the museum is extremely popular, queues can be long. It is strongly advised to book your tickets in advance. Also note that the museum is included in some of the New York passes. Thanks to them, you can even take advantage of a skip-the-line ticket, so you don’t have to wait at the entrance.
If you want to discover New York, these City Passes will also give you the opportunity to access many other places in the city, and to visit most of its most symbolic places.
Have you thought about the tourist pass?
For a first visit to New York, I strongly advise you to opt for the New York CityPASS. This is New York’s most affordable pass that includes the essentials, including the American Museum of Natural History and the Empire State Building. You will then have to make a few choices between:
- Statue of Liberty OR Hudson River Cruise
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
- Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum
This tourist pass is really great and its price is really very advantageous since it costs around 130 € per adult and 110 € for children.
Must-sees At The American Museum Of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is very large (45 rooms and 5 floors) and often you will have to choose between the different halls of the museum and only target the essentials.
THE CULLMAN HALL OF THE UNIVERSE
So let’s start this tour in a very specific order: from the basement to the top floor and in the basement, you will find the Cullman Hall of the Universe. He is dedicated to galaxies and the entire universe. Here is exhibited the largest meteorite found in the United States, which weighs more than 15 tons : one of the many must-sees you will find in the museum.
Milstein Hall Of Ocean Life
Then let’s move on to the ground floor, the famous American first floor, where you will discover the most famous blue whale in the world in the Milstein Hall of ocean life. It is suspended from the ceiling, which makes it really impressive.
More than 750 sea creatures are present in this exhibition which allows you to discover the secrets buried in the depths of the oceans.
Akeley Hall Of African Mammals & Birds Of The World
We then arrive at the first floor of the museum, which, we recall, is actually 5. Here you will find the Akeley Hall of African Mammals & Birds of the World which houses a unique exhibition of animals from the African continent and birds from around the world..
Of course, you will also find other very interesting rooms on this floor such as The butterfly conservatory, a butterfly museum with more than 500 species, all under a giant veranda. It’s a really splendid sight not to be missed either.
Cute Hall Of Gems & Minerals
Let’s always stay on the first floor of the American Museum of Natural History to go to the Mignone Hall of Gems & Minerals. Here you will find one of the finest collections of precious and semi-precious stones, precisely 5,000 different stones from 98 different countries.
This room has only been open since spring 2021, and notably houses the famous Star of India, the largest sapphire in the world with 563 carats. This was discovered in Sri Lanka and is 2 billion years old.
Otherwise, you will also discover the Butterfly of Peace, a diamond butterfly that is surprising to say the least, since under a UV lamp, these become fluorescent, a real work of art.
The Fossil Halls
Let’s go directly to the 3rd stage to find the most famous rooms of the AMNH: the fossil rooms where you will find really impressive dinosaur skeletons. In order, you will first arrive in the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center which will introduce you to the history of these mysterious specimens that are the dinosaurs.
You will then continue your way in the Hall of Vertebrate Origins where you will learn a lot about the origin of the dinosaurs and in particular that these animals appeared about 500 million years ago.
Then discover the first skeletons in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs and the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs. It is also in this first room that you will find the fossil of the tyrannosaurus made famous by the Jurassic Park trilogy
Finally, end the visit to the top floor and the museum with the Hall of Primitive Mammals and the Hall of Advanced Mammals to discover other extinct species such as the mammoth, which is over 11,000 years old.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions are organized regularly. These generally take the form of interactive activities and may, for example, involve the showing of 3D films.
As a general rule, access to attend these temporary exhibitions is not included in the standard admission ticket, if you are interested in these exhibitions, you will have to choose the standard ticket + attractions. Each year, more than 150 films, workshops, conferences and public demonstrations are organized within the museum.
The Rooms And Themes Of The Amnh
I have therefore just presented a circuit in the American Museum of Natural History that you can follow during a first visit because it is impossible to see everything in detail at once. This course will take you 1h30 which I find more than enough, especially if you are accompanied by children.
If you have the opportunity to return to the American Museum of Natural History during a second trip to New York, in this case you can discover other halls:
- The Spitzer Hall of Human Origins which exhibits many bones dating from prehistoric times
- The Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals with its reproductions of animals in their natural habitat
- The Ross Hall of Meteorites where some particularly intriguing specimens are on display
- The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial which will give you a first glimpse of the dinosaur skeletons that await you on the upper floor
- The Hayden Big Bang Theater and the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater at the Rose Center, a panoramic cinema that invites you to the birth of the universe and an immersion in the heart of space
That’s far from all, but here’s a brief overview of what you might expect during a visit to the works of art of the American Museum of Natural History. Other permanent and temporary exhibitions of the museum cover all the following themes:
- Biodiversity and environment
- Miscellaneous birds, reptiles and amphibians
- Life and Earth Science and Astronomy
- Fossils and origins of Man and civilizations
Have you thought about booking your activities in New York?
Are you planning your trip and you still don’t know what to do in New York ? I advise you to get there as soon as possible because although the activities in the Big Apple are numerous, they are often very popular with tourists present throughout the year. Here you have come to the right place to book your tickets in advance. To you all the iconic places of the city like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock. Why not also try a helicopter flight over New York ?during a 15-minute circuit? I guarantee you unforgettable thrills. Finally discover New York art during guided tours in the most famous museums in the world in New York.
How To Get To The Amnh?
The address of the museum is: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, USA. The American Museum of Natural History in New York is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., excluding Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.
You will have several ways to get there, on foot or by metro. On foot it’s quite simple, I advise you to walk in Central Park until the exit of the park near the American Museum of Natural History. If you want my opinion, it’s the best way to make two stones at once!
By metro, you will have several possibilities depending on where you are. With lines B and C at the 81st St. stop and with line 1 at the West 79th St stop.
- Photos are allowed, but selfie sticks are prohibited.
- Backpacks and luggage must be left in the cloakroom. The deposit costs $2.
- Restaurants are available on several floors of the museum.
- The AMNH Explorer smartphone application ( Apple / Android version ) contains an interactive map and lots of very useful information on your tour through the museum.
- The museum being very popular, I strongly urge you to take your places as soon as possible in order to be sure of being able to go there during your stay. During heavy crowds, some tourists cannot visit the museum due to the fact that the maximum capacity has been reached. So, the good reflex to have is to book.
I hope this article has been helpful in planning your visit to the American Museum of Natural History, one of New York’s most important museums. It is even, in my opinion, THE most important museum.