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MET New York Guide

If you want to travel back in time and discover the treasures of ancient Egypt, Rome, Africa and much more, enjoy the largest museum in the U.S. You will travel around the world in one day!

Nuria Rozas

Nuria Rozas

9 min read

MET New York Guide

Entrance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City | ©Patxi Moraleda

The MET is undoubtedly one of the best museums in New York: you will travel the five continents in a single day. It's easy to be transported back in time with its collection of works of art from over 5,000 years of history, spanning all cultures and eras.

You'll immerse yourself in ancient Egypt through the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, commissioned by Emperor Augustus and dating back to 15 B.C. It's the oldest building in New York! You can also see a collection of costumes from different eras and take a selfie from its spectacular terrace, overlooking Central Park and the skyscrapers of the city.

In this article I explain how to get discounted tickets, the best works inside the museum and all the tricks you should know to make the most of your visit and not miss anything along the way. Read on!

Buy your ticket in advance to the MET Museum

Inside the MET| ©Raul Alejandro Rodriguez
Inside the MET| ©Raul Alejandro Rodriguez

Currently, the MET requires all visitors to book online before arriving at the museum. So to avoid unnecessary hassles and queues, I suggest that it is best to buy your tickets in advance. You will be able to visit the museum at your own pace and without rushing. This pass also includes all the free public guided tours, which are available in 10 languages, including Spanish!

The wisest thing to do is to buy your ticket online and in advance, due to the high demand for this temple of art. It is one of the most visited places in the Big Apple along with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, so you could run out of it for the day you want.

This Hellotickets ticket includes the public guided tour that takes place daily in the museum. So the experience is more elevated and you can learn in depth the history of the works of art, the legend of the Egyptian temple and the secrets it hides, some of which I tell you here. Although not all of them because it would lose the magic.

What is included in this ticket

  • Entrance to the three MET museums for three consecutive days to get rid of the cultural monkey.
  • Public guided tours in Spanish.
  • Free cancellation in case your plans change and you have any unforeseen circumstances.

Buy tickets for the MET

The other two MET museums: the Breuer and the Cloister

View from inside the MET Cloister| ©Bill Melville-Rea
View from inside the MET Cloister| ©Bill Melville-Rea

With this pass, you can visit for three consecutive days the three sites that make up the MET Museum: the main one, The Met on Fifth Avenue; The MET Breuer, specializing in modern and contemporary art, and The Met Cloisters, my favorite.

The latter, housed in a medieval-style monastery, specializes in European medieval art and architecture, and it's magical! Did you know that it was built between 1934 and 1938 by transporting stone by stone six French abbeys and a monastery in a village in Segovia?

A curiosity! Look at its orchards and gardens: the plants and trees are the same as you would have found in a medieval abbey. Here everything is cared for in detail. In addition, it is located in Fort Tryon Park, a wonderful green lung full of trails overlooking the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge, which is still a little discovered corner of New York.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

The Cloisters is ideal for spring, summer and fall strolls surrounded by peace and quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of New York - you'll find some very naughty squirrels!

Access the MET and save with New York City Tourist Cards

New York CityPASS Tourist Card| ©USA Welcome
New York CityPASS Tourist Card| ©USA Welcome

The MET Museum is a must-see attraction in New York and is included in the New York CityPASS, New York Pass, Explorer Pass and New York Sightseeing Pass. These are passes that allow you to choose a la carte the attractions you want to visit at a fixed price.

Are you thinking about purchasing one of these options for the MET? In this article I tell you everything you need to know to choose the best tourist card in New York.

How to get tickets to the MET at the box office

Purchase method to get tickets to the MET| ©Christin Hume
Purchase method to get tickets to the MET| ©Christin Hume

Don't forget that the MET Museum does not currently allow box office purchases, and all visitors must make an online reservation before arriving at the institution. Hurry because they sell out easily!

Box Office Prices

Museum pricing for tourists and visitors from outside New York State:

  • Adults: 21,70€.
  • Seniors over 65: 14,70€.
  • Students: €10
  • Members and sponsors: free admission
  • Children under 12 years old: free admission

Nuria's Traveller Tip

Don't leave the MET without discovering its impressive terrace on the fifth floor. On Fridays and Saturdays it closes later, so it's ideal for watching the sunset from above.

Opening hours of the MET Museum in New York

View of the mezzanine and ceiling of the lobby of the MET in New York.| ©Albyn Davis
View of the mezzanine and ceiling of the lobby of the MET in New York.| ©Albyn Davis
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm
  • Wednesday: closed
  • Like all other New York museums, closed on December 25, January 1 and ThanksgivingDay.

Winter Hours

If you visit New York in winter, the Metropolitan Museum of New York closes quite early during the week (at 5 pm). So my advice is to get up early and take advantage of the day to get lost in its many rooms and, if you have time to spare, in the green lung of the Big Apple, Central Park.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

Pay attention to the flowers that decorate the Great Hall of the MET. The museum is a pioneer in floral art and has the Dutch expert Remco Van Vliet, who creates five floral arrangements every week. Pure life!

How to get to the MET Museum

New York Subway| ©Jean-Marc Vernier
New York Subway| ©Jean-Marc Vernier

In New York the subway will be your best ally. Here are some basic tips to help you find your way around and get the most out of the Big Apple's fastest form of transportation.

From the east side of Manhattan: you can get to the MET by subwayon the 4, 5 or 6 lines to the 86th Street station, then walk three blocks west to Fifth Avenue. It's about a half-mile walk, which will take you about 10 minutes.

To get there by bus, take the M1, M2, M3 or M4 along Fifth Avenue (from the north of the city) to 82nd Street or along Madison Avenue (from the south of the city) to 83rd Street.

From the west side of Manhattan: take subway line 1 to 86th Street station and upon exiting, board the M86 bus which crosses Central Park to Fifth Avenue; or take subway line C, on the local track, to 81st Street station and upon exiting, board the M79 bus, which also crosses Central Park, to Fifth Avenue.

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

Top works of art not to miss at the MET Museum

Self-Portrait with Straw Hat. Vincent Van Gogh. Metropolitan Museum of New York.| ©Daniel Rozo
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat. Vincent Van Gogh. Metropolitan Museum of New York.| ©Daniel Rozo

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the best museums in the world and by far the largest in the U.S. To give you an idea of its immensity, I will tell you that the permanent collection alone occupies seventeen departments.

Here is a list of the 10 must-see works of art at the MET so you don't die trying to visit everything:

  • Self-Portrait with Straw Hat (1887), by Vincent van Gogh 2.
    1. The Death of Socrates (1787), by Jacques-Louis David
    1. Cow Skull: Red, White and Blue (1931), by Georgia O'Keeffe
    1. Sphinx of the Pharaoh Hatshepsut (1479-1458 B.C.)
    1. The Pond of Nympheas (1899), by Claude Monet
    1. Virgin and Child Enthroned and Saints (1504), by Raphael
    1. Portrait of Madame X (1883-1884), by John Singer Sargent
    1. Rhythm of Autumn (1950), by Jackson Pollock
    1. Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer (1653), by Rembrandt van Rijn
    1. The Dance Class (1874), by Edgar Degas

Did you know that...?

The MET Museum houses the oldest piano in the world, dating from 1720, which you can discover in its large collection of instruments with more than 5,000 objects!

The MET Gala: New York's biggest fashion event

Metropolitan Museum of Art| ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art| ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The most important annual event organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1948 is the MET Gala, the most elegant celebration of fashion in New York and that welcomes the most relevant celebrities of the scene. So much so that tickets can cost from 30,000 euros per person to 200,000 euros for a full table.

Although more than a gala is a charity party, since all the money raised goes to the Costume Institute, which is located within the museum. This department of the MET has more than eight thousand costumes from all eras, including spectacular dresses that have marked the history of such reputable houses as Versace and Chanel.

Can I see the MET with kids and will they get bored?

Egyptian Temple at the MET| ©Francisco Lozano Romero
Egyptian Temple at the MET| ©Francisco Lozano Romero

The MET Museum has created an original guide with the 10 favorite works for children and to visit the art center as a family.

What do children prefer to see? So many people have asked this question that the institution has gone straight to the source and asked dozens of children their opinion. Based on their answers and choices, they have put together this wonderful handbook with the works they like best.

In the top one, as expected, is the Egyptian temple, built by the Roman Emperor Augustus about two thousand years ago, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Children also love the knight's armor decorated with engravings of the sun, animals and mythological beings, as well as a garden recreated from a scholar's courtyard in China, with its rocks, water and seasonal plants and the statue of the Elephant god, a Hindu god, among others.

So now you know, if you visit New York with children this is a great option to spend a day with the family while the little ones also have fun.

Where to eat and drink near the MET

Views from Central Park| ©Steve Lange
Views from Central Park| ©Steve Lange

If the weather is warm and you want to feel like a real New Yorker, you can go for a picnic in Central Park- you'll feel like you're in an American movie! But where to buy food? Don't worry because you will find numerous cafes and supermarkets, such as Whole Foods Market, located at 10 Columbus Circle, which has a large buffet of salads, ready meals, burgers and, above all, delicious juices!

On the other hand, if you want to give yourself a gastronomic tribute after so much walking around the museum, my advice is to dine outdoors at the Trie Café at the Met Cloisters museum (remember that this gallery is also included with your ticket) where you will feel like a prince surrounded by quiet gardens and medieval architecture. The menu offers salads, sandwiches and desserts, which can be accompanied with a glass of wine, and the atmosphere is romantic and ideal for couples!

  • Location: At 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park.
  • Open from: April to October

Other museums you should visit in New York

Guggenheim Museum New York| ©Aglez the city guy
Guggenheim Museum New York| ©Aglez the city guy

If after visiting the MET you are left wanting more, don't worry, because art lovers in New York can spend weeks touring its museums. Some of them are very interesting. Here are some tips so you don't miss any of them:

Nuria's Traveller Tip

At The Cloister Museum they sometimes organize concerts and special events in the evening - imagine a dinner surrounded by nature, lights and music in a medieval setting!