Museum of Modern Art

Museum in Midtown

Image by Athanasios Gioumpasis Getty Images

Superstar of the modern-art scene, MoMA's galleries scintillate with heavyweights: Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Pollock and Bourgeois. Since its founding in 1929, the museum has amassed almost 200,000 artworks, documenting the emerging creative ideas and movements of the late 19th century through to those that dominate today. For art buffs, it's Valhalla. For the uninitiated, it's a thrilling crash course in all that is beautiful and addictive about art.

MoMA's permanent collection spans four levels, with prints, illustrated books and the unmissable Contemporary Galleries on level 2; architecture, design, drawings and photography on level 3; and painting and sculpture on levels 4 and 5. Many of the big hitters are on these last two levels, so tackle the museum from the top down. Must-sees include Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Cézanne's The Bather, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy, not to mention iconic American works like Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans and Gold Marilyn Monroe, Lichtenstein's equally poptastic Girl with Ball, and Hopper's haunting House by the Railroad.

When gallery fatigue sets in, recharge in MoMA's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, dotted with works by dexterous greats like Matisse, Miró and Picasso.

Another 50,000 sq ft of gallery space will be added in an expansion and redesign to be completed in 2019.