At the New York Transit Museum, visitors get a firsthand taste of the city’s history with vintage streetcars, historical photos, and rotating exhibits. Centrally located in a 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, the museum is popular with families for its hands-on, large-scale exhibits. The Basics
The New York Transit Museum, which opened in 1976, tells the story of the city's development through three permanent exhibits—on transit construction, fare collection, and the old trolley system. Visitors experience decommissioned subway cars—dating to 1907—and can interact with the old equipment. Try sitting behind the wheel of a former city bus or hopping through classic subway turnstiles.
To get the most of a visit to the transit museum, consider booking a Brooklyn bus tour. Hop-on hop-off tours tend to pass by the museum, so you can easily check out the exhibits. Free guided tours are offered on weekends, a great option if you want to learn more about New York's infrastructure.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The New York Transit Museum is a must for history enthusiasts.
- Kids and families enjoy the classic trains presented on actual subway tracks and the hands-on experience.
- The old subway station may have inconsistent climate control, so wear warm clothes.
Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the New York Transit Museum is most easily accessed by subway. Take the 2, 3, 4, or 5 train to the Borough Hall stop. Alternatively, take the R train to the Jay Street–MetroTech stop. Garage parking is also an option if you drive, though day rates can be pricey.
When to Get There
The New York Transit Museum is open Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm; it's closed on Mondays and most holidays. The museum is a great choice on a rainy day—and on blustery winter afternoons—as the museum's exhibits are indoors. Weekends are busiest, so consider a weekday visit.
Ride a Vintage Train
Around the holidays, the New York Transit Museum brings vintage subway cars back to life for a few days with Holiday Nostalgia Rides. Rides give visitors the chance to hop on classic subway trains and buses on set routes through Manhattan. The vintage fleet is in operation on a very limited schedule, in November and December, and offers a family-friendly experience that's all yours for the cost of a Metrocard swipe.