Dia:Beacon is a museum of contemporary art on the outskirts of NYC (1h30 by train), it’s very worth visiting, especially because it’s not an ordinary museum. So, if you’re not the type of person who loves cultural programs, you will still enjoy the experience. The tour begins at Grand Central Terminal, the train ticket (MTA Metro-North Tickets) can be purchased at the ticket booths in the main hall or any full-service ticket vending machine, you don’t have to book it in advance, just buy it when you get there, the train leaves frequently.
By the way: When I say the tour “begins” at the station is because this terminal is very old and famous, the world’s largest train station, considering the number of platforms. Several movie scenes have been recorded there, so catching a train at this place is already an attraction.
There is the option of buying the round trip ticket + museum entrance, and I suggest you do that because the price is reduced. If you have doubts about the purchase, just confirm with the attendant your final destination, the Beacon Train Station (which is the museum one), and say that you want the roundtrip ticket already with the museum’s entrance. It’s also possible to go by car or bus, but the train is cooler, right? The trip is beautiful because the train goes bordering the Hudson River, and it’s comfortable. I suggest you to leave NYC in the morning to enjoy your day better, and also have some reinforced breakfast because the museum has only one coffee shop and it’s in the outside area.
When I went with my friends – on a sunny spring Sunday -, there was a market happening right in the station exit, it was a local fair with regional products called Beacon Farmers’ Market. We had lunch there before going to the museum. The market only happens on Sunday (and during the winter has another location), so if you visit the museum on any other day, you’ll only have the option of eating at the official coffee shop. Of course, you can always bring your food, but be aware that you can not get into the museum with food, you’ll have to leave it with your purse in one of the lockers.
Dia:Beacon is not so close to the station, you have to walk for 5 minutes to get there, there are signs indicating the right way. The museum is located inside a HUGE shed (a former Nabisco box printing factory), there are several galleries with different exhibitions, some of them are temporary. The policy to take pictures is a little boring; it’s only allowed in some galleries and for personal use, you can’t use flash (agreed!) or film, and is not permitted to photography the temporary exhibitions at all. In short, stay cool and don’t get in there taking a thousand of pictures, they will tell you to stop (there are several security guards inside), do it carefully, and if someone tells you that you can’t photograph that particular exhibition, just apologize and store the camera/cell phone.
The museum has an underground area with more exhibits, this floor has no natural light as the rest of the building, and it’s also a little empty. I didn’t stay there for too long, I particularly liked more the ground floor. Around the shed there are some beautiful gardens, all very green and well maintained, some of them has sound installations, the side doors give you access to these areas. It is always good to check the official website to know the days and hours of operation because that information varies depending on the month and holidays, and you don’t want to miss the trip.
How much? General admission costs $15, senior and students pay $12, children under 12 years old is free. Students from a few universities have free admission as well. Buying the One-Day Getaway ticket you pay reduced admission and get a discount on the train ticket, it’s a good deal.
When? The operation hours vary, change seasonally.
Where? 3 Beekman Street, Beacon – NY, USA
The prices presented here are from September of 2017 and the currency is American Dollar