Metropolitan Museum of Art

Visiting the Big Apple and love your art? There’s one museum you cannot afford to miss and that’s the legendary ‘Met’, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s the largest museum of its kind in the world, and has more than two million works on display, making it one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Instantly recognisable from the outside by its huge steps and towering columns, this museum has appeared in many films and television shows. Located on the edge of Central Park on the Upper East Side, the Metropolitan Museum of Art couldn’t be in a better location. Just seeing it is worth the journey, but just wait until you step inside!

Incredible architecture

From the moment you go through those huge doors, you’ll be blown away by the museum’s majesty and beauty. Its iconic lobby is vast and filled with light. From the carved stone arches to its grand pillars, it’s hard not to just stop and stare for a few minutes. Don’t worry, it affects everyone like that the first time! You might even recognise the lobby from coverage of the star-studded annual Met Gala, which raises money for the museum’s costumes institute.

From furniture to paintings and sculpture to ancient mummies, the Met exhibitions include artwork from across the continents and through the ages. Take your time as you browse the beautiful Temple of Dendur, a structure from ancient Egyptian times. Be sure to grab an audio headset for a guided tour of world famous artwork by masters such as Monet, Picasso, and Matisse.

See the Metropolitan Museum’s wonderful Egyptian mascot

Take the time to check out William the Hippo too, the unofficial mascot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. William dates back to ancient Egypt and was acquired by the Met in 1917. He’s made his home there for the past 100 years, and has been adopted by New Yorkers as their own. He’s big, he’s bright blue, and the whole family will love reading about William’s story and how he got his name. And no, we’re not telling you here, you’ll have to go to the Met for yourself and find out!

To really make the most of your day, it’s worth choosing two or three exhibits, such as the European Painting gallery or the American Wing, before you arrive. With so much to explore it’s impossible to take it all in during one visit, so concentrate on a few areas and browse in detail. Then come back for another visit. And another. And another!

An ideal day out for the whole family

Children will love the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York just as much as adults. The museum is committed to engaging children in the magic of art, and inspiring them to create their own. There are often family tours, children’s events, and classes for the young ones. Children will especially love the huge Ancient Egypt exhibition as it’s often such a popular topic in school.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also has a fantastic shop with books, gifts, clothes, and souvenirs. There’s a great range of books and toys for children in the Met’s shop as well.

Lots of cafés and bars in the museum

Before you leave, go up to the rooftop and take in the incredible views across Central Park and Manhattan. Serving cocktails and snacks during the warmer months, the rooftop bar is the perfect place to relax. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a restaurant and plenty of cafés dotted around the building for those times when you need to refuel. Get a bite to eat in the American Wing Café, and sit surrounded by sculptures. If it’s just a caffeine boost you need them head to Flora Coffee or the Great Hall Balcony Café and Bar.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is right next to Central Park, perfect for a picnic after your visit. A stroll and a snack in the sunshine will re-energise you for the rest of the day’s explorations and you can even visit the American Museum of Natural History which is right across the park opposite the Met!