New York State Museum, Albany

4.6
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.
Create an itinerary including New York State Museum
map
New York State Museum Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
882 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It's probably impossible for me to be impartial in any review of this museum--I've been going since I was in elementary school, and am now 46. I have whiled away many an afternoon among the exhibits, ...  more »
  • We took visitors from Ohio here on a really cold day around New Year's. The suggested donation is $5 pp or $10 per family. The exhibit regarding 9/11 is really awesome. We really all were touched by t...  more »
  • While I didn't thinit was very scary, I very much enjoyed the stories about the haunted peoplewho are often sighted around the building. Worth the admission fee to see the splendor this architectual w...  more »
Google
  • Visited the museum for the first time since I was in elementary school. It was cool then but now - Wow! There are so many exhibits and some are so big. Wandering through is an adventure in itself. Great for adults and kids (there were lots there today and they were loving it).
  • A very well presented museum with a wide range of exhibits relevant to the State of NY. It covers the history of the state, including Native American times, and the natural features of the state, such as the Adirondack State Park. There are extensive exhibits about the development of New York City, and also a special section covering the events of 9/11.
  • There are a million cool things to see here. A little bit of art, a little bit of Natural History. A little bit of local history, a section on the Holocaust, a section on 911, and amazing display of Native American longhouses and arts. One of my favorite parts is the collection of mineral specimens. You can easily spend 5 or 6 hours here if you want to look at everything. If you're only going to come for a day make sure you don't miss seeing the Mastodon skeleton. My main complaint though is that they close the museum shop well before 5. We saw them kick out a kid who came in at 4:50 wanting to look around at some of the souvenirs. He cried. This broke my heart and I don't understand why they couldn't just stay open for a few minutes for the family that wanted to look around. Overall I highly recommend.
  • I found a number of exhibits that attracted my attention. Birds of New York added to my bird knowledge. Sadly, keeping a bird dusted and colorful must be difficult, a taxidermy challenge that the museum has yet to master. A few species had been removed from displays without notice given. So one searches the display case fruitlessly. And why does the museum source bird photographs from the Wikipedia when there's plenty of highly skilled photographers in New York State? I found myself missing the all bird art museum, the Yawkey Woodson in Wausau, Wisconsin because dead birds cannot stir the spirit the way living birds or birds in art can. Adding wildlife art will enliven this space many fold. I was excited to learn about two hundred portraits of New York commercial leader given to the museum. However, these hang to add interest to historical exhibits. I wanted to see all as paintings by painters, one after another. In general, I found the museum trying to be a geology textbook, showing insights I can look up at a library.
  • A great place to learn about the many different things that make NYS a great place to livè work and retire. Plan on several hours and return trip, especially if you have children or grandchildren. We've spent many wonderful hour there with our children and are not taking their children.

Plan your trip to Albany

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Albany

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Albany by other users

4 days in Albany BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in New York State BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, teens, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in New York State BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in New York State, Gettysburg & Washington DC BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Hudson River Valley BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Hudson River Valley BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Hudson River Valley BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Albany BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, kids, popular PREFERENCES: February, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in New York State BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans