New York attractions: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A complete guide to the Met: find ticketing information and current exhibits. Plus: The best things to do nearby.

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Occupying an 11.5 acre footprint, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened in 1880, is impressive in terms both of quality and scale. However, this iconic New York attraction is surprisingly easy to negotiate, particularly if you come early on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Hang out in an Egyptian temple, gawk at period costumes and take pictures on the gorgeous rooftop garden, showcasing views of Central Park and the city skyline.


  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The impressive facade that characterizes the Met’s beautiful Fifth Avenue exterior was actually not part of the building’s original look: The museum was conceived by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould as a small, red-bricked building in the neo-Gothic style, complete with a steel-and-glass roof. As the museum’s collection expanded, so did its physical presence: In 1895, Richard Morris Hunt designed the splendid Beaux Arts entry wing, which runs along Fifth Avenue.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The entry wing and the Great Hall were opened to the public in 1902, much to the delight of New Yorkers. The Evening Post called it “the only public building in recent years which approaches in dignity and grandeur the museums of the old world.” The various additions to the museum’s facade now completely surround the original structure—the Met is now housed within a 2-million-square-foot building—but you can still peep parts of the original structure from the inside.

  • Photographer: Hyla Skopitz/The Photograph Studio

    Each year, the museum selects a different artist to design a installation for its gorgeous Iris and Gerald B. Cantor Roof Garden. This year’s pick has already become a new favorite: The minute you step into Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City (through Nov 4), your perception of the world around you completely changes. Built with a stainless-steel frame, transparent acrylic floors and mirrored panels, the sculpture reflects the Central Park landscape, the roof terrace and the sky, offering the viewer a kaleidoscope of unique and unusual perspectives.

  • Photograph: Evan Y. Lee

    As the expansion of the Met continued and the museum acquired more collections, Thomas P.F. Hoving, who was appointed director in 1967, decided to add six new wings to the museum with the help of architecture firm Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. This expansion, completed in 1990, included the Roof Garden. The Met Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar also provides an unbeatable place to enjoy an alfresco cocktail after wandering through galleries.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The Met’s first-floor Arms and Armor Gallery houses a staggering collection of armor from all around the world, including an impressive European section. That gallery comprises fantastic armor from the late Middle Ages, complete with chain mail, full horses’ armor, axes and swords.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The museum’s collection of Medieval and Byzantine Art is kept in the Main Building. There, take a moment to inspect a wrought-iron choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid. Installed in the Spanish church’s central nave in 1763, the grand piece was likely crafted by artisan Rafal Amezúa. Nearby, beautiful book covers, tabernacles and elaborate scriptures capture the work of dedicated monasteries. You’ll also find fantastic examples of stained glass and intricate tapestries here.

  • Photograph: The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Brooks Walker

    In the ground floor’s north wing sits the collection of Egyptian art and the glass-walled atrium housing the stunning Temple of Dendur, moved en masse from its original Nile-side setting and now overlooking a reflective pool.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The Met offers a whole other world to those who venture a train ride farther uptown: The serene and mystical Cloisters museum and gardens overlooks the Hudson river and is nestled in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. It opened to the public in 1938, and contains an extensive collection of medieval art and architecture.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The Cloisters was originally a museum of medieval art and architecture assembled by George Grey Barnard; the Met acquired the collection in 1925 with funds provided by John D. Rockefeller. The building itself incorporates architectural elements of five medieval cloisters in France—architect Charles Collens built around the original structure in order to display approximately 3,000 works of art from medieval Europe, dating from between the 9th and 16th centuries.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The galleries at the Cloisters are organized by date, moving from the Romanesque through the Gothic periods. Don’t miss the celebrated “Unicorn Tapestries,” as well as illuminated manuscripts, stained-glass windows, sculptures, enamels and metalworks.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The collection at the Cloisters keeps growing, in part due to an endowment left by Rockefeller and other philanthropists. The Cloisters’ chapels and exhibition halls contain more than 5,000 works of art, and visitors can admire masterpieces such as mid-13th-century a stone Virgin from the Strasbourg Cathedral in France, as well as an elaborately carved ivory cross from the 12th century, originating from the English abbey of Bury St. Edmunds.

  • Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    In addition to beautiful artwork, the Cloisters also features enchanting gardens nestled among its medieval structures. Many of the gardens—specifically, the Bonnefont Herb Garden—are planted according to horticultural information found in sources such as recovered medieval treaties, tapestries and garden documents. Rockefeller purchased 700 acres right across the Hudson River, in New Jersey, in order to ensure that the views from the museum would always be clear. The Cloisters remains a serene and lovely escape from the hustle of New York City.

Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The impressive facade that characterizes the Met’s beautiful Fifth Avenue exterior was actually not part of the building’s original look: The museum was conceived by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould as a small, red-bricked building in the neo-Gothic style, complete with a steel-and-glass roof. As the museum’s collection expanded, so did its physical presence: In 1895, Richard Morris Hunt designed the splendid Beaux Arts entry wing, which runs along Fifth Avenue.

Metropolitan Museum of Art venue and ticketing information

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Occupying 13 acres of Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened in 1880, is impressive in terms both of quality and scale. Added in 1895 by McKim, Mead and White, the neoclassical facade is daunting. However, the museum is surprisingly easy to negotiate, particularly if you come

  1. 1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St
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Current exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Amie Siegel, Provenance

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
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  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Mon Sep 22 - Sun Jan 4
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  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Mon Sep 22 - Sun Dec 7
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  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Mon Sep 22 - Mon Nov 3
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  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Fri Sep 26 - Wed Dec 31
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Museums and attractions near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Central Park

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  • Free
  1. 59th St to 110th St between Fifth and Eighth Aves
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Central Park Zoo

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  1. Southeast corner of Central Park (enter at Fifth Ave at 64th St)
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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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  1. 1071 Fifth Ave at 89th St
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Whitney Museum of American Art

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  1. 945 Madison Ave at 75th St
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Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

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  1. 2 E 91st St at Fifth Ave
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The Frick Collection

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  1. 1 E 70th St between Fifth and Madison Aves
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Museum of the City of New York

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  1. 1220 Fifth Ave between 103rd and 104th Sts
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Restaurants near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The NoMad

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
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  1. 1170 Broadway, at 28th St
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Eleven Madison Park

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  • Price band: 4/4
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  1. 11 Madison Ave, at 24th St, 10010
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Keens Steakhouse

  • Price band: 4/4
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  1. 72 W 36th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10018
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élan

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  1. 43 East 20th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South, 10003
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Bars near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Roof at Park South

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  1. 125 E 27th St , between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave, 10016
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Rum House

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  1. 228 W 47th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 10036
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The NoMad Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  1. 10 W 28th St, between Fifth Ave and Broadway, 10001
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Empire Hotel Rooftop

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  1. 44 W 63rd St, between Broadway and Columbus Ave
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Hotels near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Surrey

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
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  1. 20 E 76th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10021
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The Pierre

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  1. 2 E 61st St, at Fifth Ave, 10065
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The Carlyle

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  1. 35 E 76th St, between Madison and Park Aves, 10021
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  1. East 81 Street,by 2nd Avenue, 28
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Shopping near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  1. Orrefors Kosta Boda Showroom 200 Lexington Ave, between 32nd and 33rd Sts, 10016
  2. Mon Sep 22 - Wed Sep 24
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Lord & Taylor

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  1. 424 Fifth Ave, between 38th and 39th Sts
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  1. 119 W 57th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 12th floor, suite 1201
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HomeGoods

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  1. 795 Columbus Ave, at 99th St , 10025
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