Museum Mile without Met: a Day in the Upper East Side

New York, USA

6 places

Ася Горбачева

One says Museum Mile and you immediately think – Metropolitan, but the Fifth is packed with museums, that you need more than a day to visit. To make the most of it, split the museum area into several strategic zones. Our route features alternative museums (contemporary art and the 19th century) and no Metropolitan.

The Frick Collection

This museum used to be a private house of Henry Clay Frick, NYC steel magnate and philanthropist. So, a bonus to a huge collection of European art, furniture and sculptures of the 19th century, will be a live picture of the life of rich Americans a century ago.


E.A.T. store and cafe was opened by Eli Zabar back in 1973. He has other stores with a 50-year history. Their sandwiches can be pricey but you pay for the vibe of an authentic NYC deli with its light, hustle and warm welcome. If the place is packed, get a take away picnic basket (you can buy it here) with sandwiches or platters – a vegetarian or a meat one. The cheapest option will be a couple of salads from the deli (olives are must try) to eat in the park. Don't forget about their famous bread – it's delicious.

Guggenheim Museum

Your visit starts already when spotting this Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural creation – an impressive cylindrical building. Inside it's a long spiral ramp with the major exhibition space sliding up to the sixth floor.
Now the collection features over 6,000 works, including Picasso, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Kandinsky. Admission is $18.

National Academy Museum

Across the road from Guggenheim, there is a small National Academy Museum in the 89th Street. It is home to works by not that well known American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries and is not crowded at all – a great chance to relax in the company of American impressionists, realists, the Ashcan school artists, fauvists and photorealists.

Linda Horn Antiques

Its interior and prices rather remind of a museum – it is like a huge abandoned palace-warehouse – the 19th century furniture, rare wood, vintage sculptures, a 100,000-dollar chest of drawers. It's all about luxury and elegance – two major Upper East Side properties.

Ciao Bella Gelato

The Italo-American family establishment was opened in the 1980s and is still super popular. Try their Blood Orange or Belgian Chocolate. You can find the place by a blue sign on a redbrick building. Compared to its busy Grand Central location, this venue is so quiet. You can eat indoors or take a couple of scoops out.


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