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New York State Museum, Albany

4.6
#1 of 59 in Things to do in Albany
Must see · Natural History Museum · History Museum
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Get a state-oriented perspective on everything from the natural world to human history and habitation at New York State Museum. Established in 1836 as the State Geological and Natural History Survey, it opened to the public in 1845. The vast first floor houses permanent and temporary exhibits. Metropolis Hall is devoted to New York City and allows you to visit Harlem in the 1920s, see a subway car, visit the 9/11 exhibit and examine a recreated Chinatown herbalist store. Stop by the Birds of New York display and the Native Peoples of New York exhibit, which focuses on the prehistoric and historic culture of the region. From here, you can head to the fourth floor and ride an antique carousel. To find out how to plan a trip to Albany, use our trip itinerary maker.
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New York State Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,104 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Large, clean, very nice museum. Covers the history of New York State including growth of NY City, fire trucks, minerals of New York, forests, an exhibit devoted to 9/11, and much more. Cost: no... 
    Large, clean, very nice museum. Covers the history of New York State including growth of NY City, fire trucks, minerals of New York, forests, an exhibit devoted to 9/11, and much more. Cost: no...  more »
  • Free museum (they request a donation). The had part of the Sesame Street set, 9/11 artifacts (and a moving video), minerals, and an assortment of other displays. 
    Free museum (they request a donation). The had part of the Sesame Street set, 9/11 artifacts (and a moving video), minerals, and an assortment of other displays.  more »
Google
  • What a gem. It's actually quite massive - we were there for a couple of hours and only got to see half. Maybe even less. The 9/11 exhibit is detailed and quite emotional- I couldn't even take any pictures. There are exhibits on various eras that are detailed and well documented. Even if you don't want to read so much, they are wonderfully well put together. You don't have to follow any chronology, but it's set up so that you can if you want to. Really well thought out and lets you really appreciate our state. Note: its free to visit. We did not have to reserve time slots online either. The people at the front desk are super helpful. Outside, there are some wonderful memorials as well, and the space is lovely, you can sit and reflect for a few minutes.
  • I came here this past weekend for the first time. I was shocked that the admission was for free and that they only suggest giving a small donation ($5 for individual and $10 for a couple). This museum is absolutely fantastic. The place is clean, including the bathrooms and the displays are so well maintained. Some of the exhibits were closed as well as the gift shop, but I saw a good amount of displays while I was there. The one exhibit that stood out and really hit close to home since I am from Brooklyn, NY was the World Trade Center exhibit. I don't think anyone can look at those displays and not want to shed a tear about what had happened on 9/11/2001. They have some really interesting pieces, including the original flag that was on top of one of the towers. I also really enjoyed the Birds of New York exhibit. I never realized we have so many feathered friends flying all around us. Overall, this is a great museum for any age and a wonderful look into the history of New York State. I will definitely come back again!

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