Here's how to use a library card to get free access to the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and many more.

By Andrea Romano
July 17, 2018
Travel + Leisure Staff

There’s literally never been a better time to get a New York City Library card.

Besides having free access to millions of books, New York Public Library cardholders can now use their cards to reserve a Culture Pass, which grants them free entry to dozens of cultural institutions around the city. The program is also available to cardholders for the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Library.

Sascha Kilmer/Getty Images

The Guggenheim, the Whitney, and dozens more prominent New York cultural institutions (the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and MoMA PS1 ...) are partnering with the libraries to design a program that will offer more access to the city’s wide array of cultural sites and activities.

“We are committed to giving back to the community and to making art more accessible to all New Yorkers,” Adam Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum, said in a statement to the New York Times.

Library cardholders can log on to the Culture Pass website and use their library card number and pin to make reservations — some of the institutions even allow cardholders to bring guests.

However, there are some restrictions. According to the Culture Pass FAQs, you can only reserve one pass per cultural institution per year and you can only have two active reservations per library card. But with so many places to go in the city, you’re unlikely to run out of things to do.

How to sign up for a library card: You can first apply online, and then bring appropriate ID to a branch to get your card. After that, you can see all the activities you now have access to through Culture Pass.