We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Washington DC Museums vs NYC

Which Washington DC hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Florida
Level Contributor
4 posts
21 reviews
Save Topic
Washington DC Museums vs NYC

If you had your choice between going to the Guggenheim or Museum of Metropolitan Art in NYC vs the many art and history museums in DC, which would you choose?

We would like to take our children to see american history portraits in addition to some famous great European works of Art.

We will be in NYC and DC from the 29th of December to January 6th. Yes...I am ready and prepared for the cold weather.

I also thought that there was one large history museum that was closed for renovations in DC?

Thanks for your help

Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
12,143 posts
139 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

Personally, I think it's hard to compare the museums. Each has its own personality and each is worth seeing. It's been years since I've been to the Guggenheim but one thing I liked about it was its spiral design--somehow it made seeing the collection easy. I believe it's been remodeled recently. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is huge--you would be hard pressed to see it in a day. BTW, one place in NYC, The Frick Collection, has that famous Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington.

The museum that is closed for 2 years as it undergoes renovation is the American History museum. To learn more about the Smithsonians--www.si.edu One advantage to the Smithsonians--they are free.

My suggestion would be to plan on seeing some museums in both cities. Enjoy your stay!

Washington, DC
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
2,159 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

Pricewise, you can't beat DC. All the Smithsonian museums are free, compared to the private ones in NYC. (I knew artworks were expensive, but I didn't know viewing them could be as well!).

The NMAH is closed for renovations, but several of their most popular exhibits have opened in temporary quarters at the National Air & Space Museum (in itself a great place to visit and a fascinating place for your kids).

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
3,212 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

You don't mention the ages of your children or whether they are young art lovers. That could have some impact on how much they might enjoy the museums you mention. Personally, like SueFee, as a young child (who was dragged to every museum in every city we visited) I also remember enjoying the design of the Guggenheim so I'd probably put in a vote for that if you are only choosing one museum in New York.

Since the museums are free in DC, you will have the liberty to leave after a short time if the kids aren't enjoying it or if they've seen one or two exhibits that are of interest. Also, depending on their ages and interest, I'd recommend the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. Those tend to be very kid-friendly.

In addition, I haven't seen any of the exhibits yet, but the American Indian Museum has a great cafe. It's a bit pricey (like all museum fare) but has a wonderful assortment of very tasty foods.

Enjoy your trip!

Florida
Level Contributor
4 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

Thanks so much for all of your input. My childrens ages are 8, 19, and 21.

I do agree that the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York would be quite large to see in one day. I originally was thinking about going to the Guggenheim especially since I am a Chicago native and have seen so much of Frank Lloyd Wrights buildings.

It was also great to know that some exhibits have been moved to the Natl. Air and Space Museum since we definitely were planning on attending that one.

Thanks again.

Oklahoma City...
Destination Expert
for Oklahoma City
Level Contributor
1,964 posts
127 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

For more information and a better idea of what is available there, go to the NYC forum ( tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g60763-i5-New_York… ) to ask about the museums there. Be specific about what it is you are wanting to see and you will get answers every bit as good as the ones here.

I've recently been to both cities and visited several museums in both. Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA) in NYC is another good choice and not as overwhelming as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA). The choices in NYC are many, as they are in DC. In DC I went to many of the museums and the coleections of art are definitely impressive.

Which city has better museums? You really can't compare museums with one another, regardless of the city they may be in. Some are larger and some smaller. Some charge admission, some are free and some ask for voluntary donations. But all are usually unique and have something worth seeing. It's all a matter of timing. And I would have to say there are museums in both cities that one should definitely visit.

So, like someone else suggested, plan on going to several museums in each city and you will NOT be disappointed.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
14,658 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

Here is a GREAT thread from the NYC Forum:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k595450-… New_York_City_New_York.html

And do check the searchable Events Calendars at the Go City Kids websites for both NYC and DC; amongst other things, you'll find compilatiions of museum events of special interest to families -- much easier than trawling through the websites of multiple museums :-)

http://www.gocitykids.com/?area=197

http://www.gocitykids.com/?area=193

Florida
Level Contributor
4 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

With our trip being planned between New Years Eve and January 6th, and not knowing what the weather will be like, this gives us a few different options. We have 3 full days in NYC and 3 full days in D.C.

I have written down our wish list, hours of operation and we will go from there.

We will either go to the Guggenheim or the MOMA in NYC and/or will do the Phillips Collection in DC.

We were also going to visit the Supreme Court Bldg and the Library of Congress. Our one daughter is a first year law student and I was disappointed that the Supreme Court was not hearing arguments during that first week of January. We would also like to visit the Natl. Archives, National Portrait Gallery, Natl Museum of American Art and Fords Theatre.

Then on to the White House, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Natl. Air and Space Museum.

There is just too much to see and do in 3 full days in D.C.

Strategically, I will have to look at location, etc. and try to get the most out of our stay.

Thanks again for all your input and I hope we don't freeze and get snowbound. We have been in Florida for 12 years and I think our blood has thinned.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
3,212 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

Ambitious itinerary! Good luck! Be sure to report back after your trip.

Oklahoma City...
Destination Expert
for Oklahoma City
Level Contributor
1,964 posts
127 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

Are you going to a performance at Ford's theater? The reason I ask is back in March the theater was closed to visitors because of a show that night. We did get to visit the house where Lincoln died - including the room he was in when he finally succumbed to the gunshot.

While in NYC if you have to choose between the Guggenheim and MOMA, go to MOMA. More to see there.

Good choices for DC, but a very busy schedule. You may have to trim it some. Check the Smithsonian websites to see the hours of operation for each of the museums you are wanting to visit.

Are you planning to tour the White House? Do you already have passes? If not you may not be able to get in. It will depend on the day of the week, the weather and how many people show up that morning.

Personally, I would not go to the Air and Space Museum on the Mall. It was very disappointing when I visited. I understand a lot of the better exhibits have been moved to the location near Dulles.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/museum/udvarhazy/

Anyway, sounds like you have the beginnings of a good trip. Have fun!

Florida
Level Contributor
4 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Washington DC Museums vs NYC

We live right near Pensacola in Florida so we have a great Naval Air Museum that we have visited many times.

I think my only reason to go to the one in DC is to see anything from the Wright Brothers and our space exploration. Other than that, it could be a quick trip to look at a few exhibits and on to the next museum. (Has any of that moved to the one by Dulles?)

Thanks again for you input.