Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the greatest art museums in the world is located next to Central Park, right in the heart of the Big Apple. As of today, the display of the Met comprises more than 2 million exhibits. The permanent collection features artworks from Antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures by all famous European masters and the finest collection of American and contemporary art. An affiliate of the museum, the Met Cloisters showcases a vast collection of artworks, architecture and artifacts from the Medieval Europe, most of which were presented to the museum by John Rockefeller, Jr. In 2016 a second museum of contemporary art branch was inaugurated and called the Met Breuer.

The collection of the museum, opened in the 1870s by a group of businessmen and art lovers, is based on three private collections, which are 174 artworks of European painting. The present day neo-Gothic building by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Mould became home to the museum in 1880. The venue started to gain its fame in the early 20th century: in 1907 the museum purchased a work by Auguste Renoir that soon was accompanied by a set of other works by great Impressionists and post-Impressionists. The museum is particularly proud of hosting the masterpieces by Johannes Vermeer, as from 40 of his works, five ended up in that collection. The Met also showcases a gorgeous array of engravings and cubism works, including some 30 masterpieces created by Pablo Picasso. The museum also presents works by various renowned photographers.

Met's collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts is considered to be one of the most comprehensive in the world. One of the most iconic Egyptian exhibits here is probably the Temple of Dendur. That is an entire temple erected in honor of Osiris and Isis by Egypt's Roman prefect, Gaius Petronius and commissioned by Emperor Augustus in around 15 BC some 50 km from the modern Aswan. After the construction of Aswan Dam started in 1963 it became clear that the temple is located in the areas likely to be flooded. So the temple was given to the US by the Government of Egypt as a sign of gratitude for support and cooperation in saving of a number of historic monuments endangered by the construction of the dam.

Armory and arms section of the Metropolitan features different ages and cultures, while the Africa, Oceania and America arts section is the unrivalled winner in terms of the diversity of materials the exhibits are made of – from precious metals to porcupine spikes. Asia Arts section holds more than 35,000 exhibits and is maybe the most complete inside the US. Middle Eastern hall is another treasury to pop in, as it has a lot of unique artifacts. Meanwhile the Costume Institute, world famous for its annual Met Gala, has some 35,000 costumes and accessories!

When planning a visit to the Metropolitan, be ready to allocate at least a whole day. This place is fantastic, you would like to come back for sure and don’t forget to take a picture on the roof terrace! And don't be afraid of a huge line of visitors – the entrance check is quite fast and you will be able to get in quickly even with no advanced booking. The ticket office offer maps and audio guides in different languages. In case you get a little tired from rushing from one cultural masterpiece to another there are always nice cafes to have a rest and a snack at. It is allowed to make photos without flashlight and without pods, no video is allowed.

Address: 1000 5th Ave
Opening hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 10 am – 5.30 pm, Fri, Sat 10 am – 9 pm; closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May; you can buy tickets online or at a desk, general admission is around $25 for adults, tickets include exhibitions and are valid for three consecutive days at The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters; water in plastic bottles may be brought, other food or drink is not allowed; only pencils may be used in the galleries, not pens or markers; sketching (in pencil only) is permitted in all the permanent collection galleries; musical instruments, luggage, carry-on bags and oversize backpacks are not allowed.
How to reach: subway 86th St (4, 5, 6, 6 express); buses M1, M2, M3, M4, M79, M86-SBS.