National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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
Neighborhood: Downtown Manhattan (Downtown)
How to get there
  • Whitehall St – South Ferry • 1 min walk
  • Bowling Green • 2 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers 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
    Traveled solo
    Written August 5, 2023
  • Hedia A
    United Kingdom863 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
    Traveled solo
    Written August 24, 2023
  • Jack
    Old Bethpage, New York2,339 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
    Traveled with family
    Written November 19, 2023
  • sfuhere
    800 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 23, 2023
  • Andrew M
    Chichester, United Kingdom919 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
    Traveled with family
    Written November 27, 2023
  • Jemlnlx
    Bronx, New York5,399 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
    Traveled solo
    Written January 13, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 23, 2024
  • Farwriter
    London, United Kingdom134 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
    Traveled solo
    Written February 22, 2024
  • abroadwithashley
    Minneapolis, Minnesota1,724 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great for Local Context
    Significantly smaller than the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, but we're still glad we visited this NY museum as well. Since tickets are free, it's a great deal in the city. Our favorite piece was in the rotating exhibit on level one (we didn't see anyone else down there, so make sure not to miss it!). Level two had a lot of representation of tribes throughout the Americas, but at a very surface level. They did a great job, however, of digging into the NY tribes.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 27, 2024
  • J9janny
    Buffalo, New York5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Smithsonian museum!
    This is a fantastic place! The building alone ( former Customs House) is an architectural treasure. We spent much more than an hour here- perhaps others that spent less time missed some of the galleries? It has a fantastic collection of artifacts from indigenous people. It also tells the stories of the Native American Iron Workers that built much of NYC. There is an interactive room downstairs all about Native American foods, and products influenced by indigenous people. We loved this museum- it is part of the treasured Smithsonian Museums in our country. Be sure to check out the amazing architecture and paintings in the rotunda. Outstanding on all levels.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 26, 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 wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles813 reviews
Excellent
350
Very good
315
Average
104
Poor
32
Terrible
12

Tia
London, UK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
The best experience from the security to the staff and the exhibitions!

I highly recommend visiting there is so much to do!
Written June 8, 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.

J9janny
Buffalo, NY5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
This is a fantastic place! The building alone ( former Customs House) is an architectural treasure. We spent much more than an hour here- perhaps others that spent less time missed some of the galleries? It has a fantastic collection of artifacts from indigenous people. It also tells the stories of the Native American Iron Workers that built much of NYC. There is an interactive room downstairs all about Native American foods, and products influenced by indigenous people. We loved this museum- it is part of the treasured Smithsonian Museums in our country. Be sure to check out the amazing architecture and paintings in the rotunda. Outstanding on all levels.
Written May 26, 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.

abroadwithashley
Minneapolis, MN1,724 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Significantly smaller than the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, but we're still glad we visited this NY museum as well. Since tickets are free, it's a great deal in the city. Our favorite piece was in the rotating exhibit on level one (we didn't see anyone else down there, so make sure not to miss it!). Level two had a lot of representation of tribes throughout the Americas, but at a very surface level. They did a great job, however, of digging into the NY tribes.
Written March 27, 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.

Bioteacher67
Oakville, Canada436 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
This is a lovely museum. Free to enter as it is a Smithsonian. It’s in the Old Customs House which is a gorgeous building, the architecture and rotunda ceiling are worth the visit by themselves. The museum has lots of interactive components, and a free audio tour using your phone. Lots of great artifacts to see and an excellent children’s section for them to explore. I highly recommend it.
Written March 20, 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.

Patty
Margate, FL658 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Solo
This is a cute small museum, in a great location and is free! So come and enjoy a little of history in maybe one hour! Perfect if you are around the city just stop by and check in.
Written March 11, 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.

Farwriter
London, UK134 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 February 22, 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 January 23, 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, NY5,399 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 January 13, 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, UK919 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 November 27, 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
uk800 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 November 23, 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: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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