The fastest way to pick up a foreign language is to surround yourself with it, and what better way to do so than with a self-guided tour at one of New York City’s famous museums? Self-guided museum tours allow you to explore specific exhibits or just hit the highlights at your own pace, and reading the English-language signs will help you improve your language skills. We recommend exploring two of the city’s most popular museums, the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History offers self-guided museum tours about everything from dinosaurs to outer space. We recommend the Highlights Tour, which introduces you to a little bit of everything that the museum has to offer. You could spend hours exploring each exhibit, but most people don’t have time for that, so the Highlights Tour includes the top must-see exhibits. The tour averages three hours, and you’ll see dinosaur fossils, ancient human tools, a giant sequoia tree, and even Lucy, one of the oldest human skeletons ever found. Another great museum tour option here is the Night at the Museum tour, which explores the real exhibits behind the characters in the popular movie series Night at the Museum. (If you haven’t seen it yet, we suggest watching it first, because watching movies can even help you learn a new language!)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Perhaps the most famous museum in the city is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, fondly referred to as the Met. The Met offers self-guided audio museum tours, which bring the added benefit of helping you to both learn and speak the language. Audio Guide players can be rented at each branch of the museum. Similar to the American Museum of Natural History, the Met offers a highlights tour that introduces you to classic centuries-old masterpieces and modern works from around the world. The amount of time the tour takes is up to you, but audio is available for 35 different works.