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American Museum of Natural History

Fast Facts

Location: Central Park Wes at 79th Street, New York City
Best Time to Visit: All round the year, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, when it remains closed
How to Reach:
Train: Easily accessible on train from North of New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, as well as from outside the New York City Metro Area
Bus: M79 Bus travels east/west on W. 79th Street across Central Park. Other buses that stop at the museum include M7, M10, M11, M86.
Subway: Take B or C to 81st Street. The 1 train stops at Broadway and West 79th Street. The Museum is only two blocks away.
Parking: Up to 1 hour: $15.21
Up to 2 hrs: $17.74
2-5 hrs: $ 26.1;8
5-10 hrs: $34.64
Max to close: $38.86
18.375% Extra Tax.
Nearest Airport: John. F. Kennedy International Airport

It is only in the seventeenth century, after the Europeans reached the land, that nation building and human civilization started in the US. However, history of America starts long before that. A number of indigenous tribes inhabited the land. In fact, American prehistory is one of the oldest in the world, and you need to take a look at the various fossils and prehistoric remains preserved at the expansive American Museum of Natural History to understand that. Not only does the museum record the various stages of development of human society, it also has a number of artifacts that traces the growth of our planet Earth long before the onset of life. This immense museum, which counts among the top attractions in New York, is located on the Upper West Side, Manhattan. It comprises 25 interconnected buildings that feature 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories and the famous library, American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest and most celebrated museums all over the world.

Built in 1869, AMNH was first housed in the old Arsenal building in Central Park. The first building which is now hidden from view by other buildings in the complex was established in 1874.

What to see

With more than 200 scientific staff and 100 special field expeditions' sponsors, the museum features more than 32 million specimens of which only a small portion can be displayed at any specified time:
  • The Art of the Diorama: Recreating Nature: The great habitat dioramas, created by eminent naturalists, artists, photographers, taxidermists and other museum personnel, are found here. With the opening of the Hall of North American Mammals in 1942, diorama art reached at its apex level.
  • Fossil Halls: Most of the valuable collections of mammalian and dinosaur fossils are kept concealed from public view. They are kept in numerous storage areas which are located deep within the museum complex. Among these many treasure troves, the most noteworthy storage facility is the 10-storey Frick Building, standing within an inner courtyard of the museum.
The great fossil collections that are open to the tourists occupy the entire 4th floor of the museum as well as a separate spectacular exhibit that is on permanent display in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. The 4th floor halls include the Hall of Vertebrate Origins, Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs, Hall of Primitive Mammals and Hall of Advanced Mammals.

Human Biology and Evolution: The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Hall of Human Origins on the 1st floor, previously known as the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution, was opened to the visitors on February 10, 2007. It was the only major display in the United States to portray a comprehensive investigation of human evolution. Apart from showcasing the life-size dioramas of our human predecessors, the hall also features replicas of ice age art, found in the Dordogne region of southwestern France.

Halls of Meteorites: The Hall of Meteorites houses some of the finest specimens in the world including Ahnichito, a 34 ton section of the 200 ton 'Cape York meteorite' which was found at the location of that same name in Greenland.

Halls of Minerals and Gems: The Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals is a huge room which exhibits hundreds of rare specimens, glowing under luminous spotlights. It is attached to the Morgan Memorial Hall of gems which features a variety of rare displays.

Rose Center and Planetarium: Originally known as Hayden Planetarium which was opened in 1935 and destroyed, was replaced in 2000 by the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space.

Special exhibitions

The museum organizes a number of exhibitions throughout the year. Some of them are “Lizards and Snakes: Alive!”, “The Horse” and so on. You can also watch the spellbinding Dinosaurs Alive! or mesmeric Sea Monsters at the state-of-the-art IMAX theater.


The Museum Food Court, located on the lower level, can accommodate up to 450 guests at a time. It is directly accessible from the Rose Center.


You will also enjoy the on site facility of shopping at the Natural History Museum, New York. The choices are the Museum Shop, the Planetarium Shop in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Satellite Shop in the Rose Center; Dinostore and More on the 4th floor; 77th Street kiosk, and the Butterfly Shop outside The Butterfly Conservatory.

Hotels near American Museum of Natural History

Starting from the luxury hotels, there are abundant standard budget and discount hotels near the American Museum of Natural History. They offer comfortable guestrooms along with complete range of dining and other facilities to meet the needs of leisure as well as business travelers.

Some of the popular hotels, located in the vicinity of the museum, include Amsterdam Inn, Columbus Studios Hostel, Excelsior Hotel, the Lucerne Hotel, Park 79.

Everyone will find something of interest at the American Museum of Natural History.

Related Links : For an authentic traveler's account of a visit to the American Museum of Natural History, click on this link. You will also get necessary travel tips. Take a look at some of the best collections of the American Museum of Natural History, by watching this video! You will understand why it is one of the top tourist attractions in New York. For another great view of the exhibits in the American Museum of Natural History, watch this video!

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