Located in the US Customs House, the George Gustav Heye Center in New York is a branch of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian established to promote knowledge and understanding of indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere.
This museum, one of only a few in New York that offer free admission, opened in 1994 followed by two other locations: Suitland, Maryland and the National Mall in Washington DC. It was the first museum committed to the conservation of Native American culture.
The permanent collection held at the National Museum of the American Indian consists of over 800,000 items of historical and cultural significance for all major tribes and cultures throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. In addition to the artefacts on view, the museum houses an impressive audio-visual collection, including over 90,000 historical and contemporary archives including photographs, paper folios and recordings.
For an in-depth experience, visitors can plan to spend four hours viewing the museum galleries. Visitors can also take advantage of a number of public programs including gallery talks and Native American storytelling, dance exhibitions, musical performances, films, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.
It is also well worth the visit to the museum just to see the architectural details of the historic Customs House that houses the collection.
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: National Museum of the American IndianFee: No
May differ on holidays
- 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
Address: 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004, USA
Phone: (212) 514-3700
Official Website: National Museum of the American Indian
Ratedout of 5
This is an amazing museum. It is completely free and you have to go through a bag check. The staff were all really friendly and one talked to me about what happened during the summer of 1779 in Long Island. There's an activity area for interactive exhibits as well as videos going over history. One thing that stuck out to me was the amount of places to sit. There were seating areas all over the place. So this is also a very good place to relax.
Erik Zhou - 4 days ago
Free entrance and wonderful interaction with the exhibits. Great place for a historical class trip for any ages. Also the decorated for Day of the dead, Halloween is a great time to visit. My two great nieces loved it.
Debra Rapoport - 25 days ago
This is a fantastic, and free, museum that explores both the past and present presence and contributions of indigenous peoples in the United States with a specific focus on this within the region. The building that the museum is in is absolutely stunning and the exhibits are wonderfully done, nuanced, and very well put together. Overall a great museum to do if maybe you have time to spend before you board the ferry to the Statue of Liberty Some reviews have mentioned security being overly harsh but I did not have that experience. The national archive has a branch in this building and as such there are your standard federal building security procedures. Just be polite and do as they say and you'll have no issue.
Spencer Owen - 4 months ago
The staff was really friendly and the museum is free the have a Nice little gift shop. The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The center features contemporary and historical exhibits of art and artifacts by and about Native Americans. It 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.
Rzx - 3 months ago
Truly blown away by all the rich history that’s been preserved here. I had a great time and learned so much. Definitely make this museum one of your Manhattan destinations.
Maya Parmeter - 13 days ago
Accommodations near National Museum of the American Indian:
|Subway Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|4 or 5||Bowling Green||1 minute|
|R||Whitehall Street||3 minutes|
|1||South Ferry||4 minutes|
|J||Broad Street||6 minutes|
|2 or 3||Wall Street||8 minutes|
How to get to National Museum of the American Indian by Subway
Take the 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green which exits right in front of the museum or take the R train to Whitehall Street and follow it north to the museum on your left or take the 1 train to South Ferry, turn left onto State Street, then right onto Bowling Green or take the J train to Broad Street, follow it south to Beaver Street and go right to Bowling Green or take the 2 or 3 train to Wall Street, walk south along William Street then right (west) on Beaver Street to the museum.
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