National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian
4
About
The New York branch of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian serves as an exhibition and education facility in New York City. Exhibitions and public programs explore the diversity of the Native peoples of the Americas and the strength and continuity of their cultures from the earliest times to the present. Public programs present Native people from North, Central, and South America. Program participants share first-person accounts of their heritage and experiences. The museum is located on the first two floors of the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in lower Manhattan. The museum is open seven days a week. Admission is free.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Downtown Manhattan (Downtown)
How to get there
  • Whitehall St – South Ferry • 1 min walk
  • Bowling Green • 2 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Stephanie D
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    NY's Tribute to Native Peoples, Past and Present
    This free museum houses part of the Smithsonian collection inside the historic Alexander Hamilton US Customs House. It's a beautiful building worthy of a visit. The Native New York exhibit is a wonderful journey through the past and present for Native people across the state. The museum offers a lot of contemporary content, emphasizing that Native people are very much still here - across art, the military, science and more. The gift shop offers authentic wares whose purchases support Native communities and creditors. I wish I had more time to explore. I also want to catch the brief walking tour which includes content on the building history.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 5 August 2023
  • Hedia A
    United Kingdom546 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great to visit
    Very interesting well.organised and great customer service while visiting. The museum is situated on the first floor. Great sections with amazing interactive features great for children to see too. This is free entry will need at least 45 mins to visit and ho through all sections . You can also get tea and cake at the end if needed. Restrooms very clean too .
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 24 August 2023
  • Jack
    Old Bethpage, New York803 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible Museum!
    I went to the National Museum of the American Indian on Indigenous Peoples Day which was very cool. The museum showcases artifacts from the Native Americans of North and South America. It was so cool and because it was Indigenous People’s Day, there were Native Americans teaching about their culture, in the main hall. Overall, I highly recommend this museum! It was incredible!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 November 2023
  • sfuhere
    788 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing building
    Spent a couple of hours here on Thanksgiving day - was pleased to see it was open. Free entry. The building used to be a Custom House and is very impressive indeed. Check out the murals on the top of the oval main hall. Also the old elevators. The cafe is worth a visit - the Mexican hot chocolate was delicious. I was pretty tired so I think some of the exhibits went over my head but it’s certainly worth a look.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 November 2023
  • Andrew M
    Chichester, United Kingdom906 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Museum about Native Americans
    Enter through support style security as this building processes federal programs, such as Global Entry. Once inside, head for the revelatory to the 2 floor to start your tour. interesting links to past New York and native Americans.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 27 November 2023
  • Jemlnlx
    Bronx, New York4,766 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great FREE museum...lots of great information.
    Great experience here at the museum. There isn't much to complain about this FREE museum. No advance reservations required. You can enter onto the main first floor or the lower floor and must go through a security checkpoint: a walkthrough metal detector. There are lots of interesting exhibits throughout the museum. The main section covers the native american tribes throughout the north, central and south americas. Lots of great information and exhibits there. There is also another area that covers the native american history throughout New York state specifically...covering Niagara Falls, Manhattan, The Bronx and Long Island. Downstairs has a great interactive exhibit area. Although everyone could appreciate this area, I could see how kids would gravitate toward this area. Lots of interesting and relatable information here. The main rotunda area (along with one of the museum wings) is undergoing some renovations at this time. Huge gift shop with lots of items...clothes, jewelry, food and tons of trinkets. Also a cafe area with beverages and some food items. Easy public transportation...right in front of the Bowling Green (4/5) train station. Parking, as expected, is tough in the area. A bit easier on weekends (particularly on Sundays) where parking restrictions are NOT in effect.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 January 2024
  • carolynd
    Brightwaters, New York13 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unwelcoming museum with great exhibits
    Wonderfully well curated exhibits in a gorgeous building. However, the museum is very unwelcoming. To enter, one is required to go through a TSA type security check. We had to remove our belts and shoes and go through a metal detector. ( We could keep our shoes on.) Ok, that wasn’t so bad. But, there is no coat check. It is January in New York! Everyone has heavy coats, hats and gloves. And the exhibition rooms are overheated. I tried to leave my coat on a bench while I looked at an adjacent exhibit. Nope. I was told I had to have it with me at all times. It made for a pretty miserable visit. I would have been happy to pay to check my coat like many museums do.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 January 2024
  • Farwriter
    London, United Kingdom97 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting
    Interesting museum housed in the former US Custom House. The museum shop is in what was the cashier's office and has beautiful ornate grilles and doors weaving through it. Beautiful domed ceiling in the main hall, painted with scenes of significant ships from America's history. One of the galleries was closed when I visited but there is still plenty to see and entry is free, which is unusual! One gallery looks at general American Indian history and another gallery displays various artistic and cultural artefacts from indigenous groups throughout the American continent. So much to take in and absorb, and it was not an area I knew anything about before visiting so it was definitely worth a visit.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 22 February 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles808 reviews
Excellent
347
Very good
313
Average
104
Poor
32
Terrible
12

Farwriter
London, UK97 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
Interesting museum housed in the former US Custom House. The museum shop is in what was the cashier's office and has beautiful ornate grilles and doors weaving through it. Beautiful domed ceiling in the main hall, painted with scenes of significant ships from America's history. One of the galleries was closed when I visited but there is still plenty to see and entry is free, which is unusual! One gallery looks at general American Indian history and another gallery displays various artistic and cultural artefacts from indigenous groups throughout the American continent. So much to take in and absorb, and it was not an area I knew anything about before visiting so it was definitely worth a visit.
Written 22 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

carolynd
Brightwaters, NY13 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Wonderfully well curated exhibits in a gorgeous building. However, the museum is very unwelcoming. To enter, one is required to go through a TSA type security check. We had to remove our belts and shoes and go through a metal detector. ( We could keep our shoes on.) Ok, that wasn’t so bad. But, there is no coat check. It is January in New York! Everyone has heavy coats, hats and gloves. And the exhibition rooms are overheated. I tried to leave my coat on a bench while I looked at an adjacent exhibit. Nope. I was told I had to have it with me at all times. It made for a pretty miserable visit. I would have been happy to pay to check my coat like many museums do.
Written 23 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jemlnlx
Bronx, NY4,766 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
Great experience here at the museum.

There isn't much to complain about this FREE museum. No advance reservations required.

You can enter onto the main first floor or the lower floor and must go through a security checkpoint: a walkthrough metal detector.

There are lots of interesting exhibits throughout the museum. The main section covers the native american tribes throughout the north, central and south americas. Lots of great information and exhibits there.

There is also another area that covers the native american history throughout New York state specifically...covering Niagara Falls, Manhattan, The Bronx and Long Island.

Downstairs has a great interactive exhibit area. Although everyone could appreciate this area, I could see how kids would gravitate toward this area. Lots of interesting and relatable information here.

The main rotunda area (along with one of the museum wings) is undergoing some renovations at this time.

Huge gift shop with lots of items...clothes, jewelry, food and tons of trinkets. Also a cafe area with beverages and some food items.

Easy public transportation...right in front of the Bowling Green (4/5) train station. Parking, as expected, is tough in the area. A bit easier on weekends (particularly on Sundays) where parking restrictions are NOT in effect.
Written 13 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew M
Chichester, UK906 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Enter through support style security as this building processes federal programs, such as Global Entry. Once inside, head for the revelatory to the 2 floor to start your tour. interesting links to past New York and native Americans.
Written 27 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sfuhere
uk788 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Spent a couple of hours here on Thanksgiving day - was pleased to see it was open. Free entry. The building used to be a Custom House and is very impressive indeed. Check out the murals on the top of the oval main hall. Also the old elevators. The cafe is worth a visit - the Mexican hot chocolate was delicious. I was pretty tired so I think some of the exhibits went over my head but it’s certainly worth a look.
Written 23 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack
Old Bethpage, NY803 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
I went to the National Museum of the American Indian on Indigenous Peoples Day which was very cool. The museum showcases artifacts from the Native Americans of North and South America. It was so cool and because it was Indigenous People’s Day, there were Native Americans teaching about their culture, in the main hall. Overall, I highly recommend this museum! It was incredible!
Written 19 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hedia A
United Kingdom546 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
Very interesting well.organised and great customer service while visiting.
The museum is situated on the first floor.
Great sections with amazing interactive features great for children to see too.
This is free entry will need at least 45 mins to visit and ho through all sections .
You can also get tea and cake at the end if needed.
Restrooms very clean too .
Written 24 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie D
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
This free museum houses part of the Smithsonian collection inside the historic Alexander Hamilton US Customs House. It's a beautiful building worthy of a visit. The Native New York exhibit is a wonderful journey through the past and present for Native people across the state. The museum offers a lot of contemporary content, emphasizing that Native people are very much still here - across art, the military, science and more. The gift shop offers authentic wares whose purchases support Native communities and creditors. I wish I had more time to explore. I also want to catch the brief walking tour which includes content on the building history.
Written 6 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris M
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Excellent. Information is presented in easy to understand displays. Can be enjoyed by all ages. Small museum that can be seen in a couple of hours.
Written 30 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

StephenCross
Dublin, Ireland18,476 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
The national museum to the native Indians is an amazing building with fantastic exhibits. Very colourful. Need at least 2 hours to visit. Recommended.
Written 25 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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National Museum of the American Indian (New York City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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