One of the world’s great art museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or simply, “The Met”) spans 5,000 years of culture and history from around the globe. More than 6 million visitors stroll the Met’s galleries each year, making it New York City's single most popular museum and attraction.
With more than 1.6 million square feet, the Met is not just the biggest museum in New York City, it’s also the largest one in the Western Hemisphere! On par with the other great museums of the world such as the Louvre in Paris, and the British Museum in London, the Met holds an abundance of treasures among its 2 million+ holdings.
Founded in 1870, the Met features masterworks from nearly all the world’s cultures. For example, you can look forward to discovering and learning about:
- Egyptian mummies
- Ancient Greek statuary
- 12th-century illustrated manuscripts
- Medieval suits of armor
- Impressionist masterpieces
- Contemporary photography
- Popular works by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Van Dyck and Titian
Temporary exhibitions are also presented regularly, with a new gallery installation by a contemporary artist being unveiled each spring.
Trip Tips: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met can be an exciting source of inspiration, insight and understanding. It has inspired millions to dream, discover and create. It's impossible to see everything the Metropolitan Museum of Art has to offer in just one visit or one day. If you're a first-time visitor, do some research beforehand so you can focus on specific areas of interest. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when planning your visit to this popular New York City attraction:
- Take one of the hour-long “Highlight” tours led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteer docents, or guides. They’re free with admission, and offered fives times each day.
- Navigating the massive building and mazelike galleries can feel overwhelming if you're unfamiliar with the layout. Be sure to pick up a museum map brochure, and don’t hesitate to ask the helpful docents for help.
- Plan on spending at least three hours in order to at least get a small taste of all the Met has to offer.
- Visit the Cantor Roof Garden (open May through late fall) for gorgeous panoramic views of Central Park and the New York skyline.
- Still photography for private use is permitted in permanent galleries; however, the use of flash photography and video cameras is prohibited.
- All backpacks and packages must be checked in at the coat check facilities. Water in plastic bottles can be brought into the museum, but food and other beverages are prohibited (but there are plenty of places to buy food inside). Pencils may be used in the galleries, but pens and markers are prohibited.