Metropolitan Museum of Art
What we love…
- The largest museum in America, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or MET as it's lovingly called) is one of New York's best attractions. This beauty is located on the Upper East Side across from Central Park and is rival to some of the worlds best museums such as the Louvre.
- The collection at the MET is incredible, as is the space the museum is curated in. Each gallery is perfectly laid out to highlight the best paintings, sculpture, Egyptian and Assyrian artifacts, photography, and a ton of modern art. During the warmer months you can head up to the rooftop where you'll find an amazing garden, cafe, installation art pieces and a killer view of the city. The rooftop is a fantastic way to end your museum trip or if you need a break in the middle of your visit to rest your feet.
- The costume institute is by far our favorite department of the MET. It houses more than 35, 000 costumes from the 15th century right up to today's current fashion stars. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have a permanent collection of costume on display, instead they hold two shows a year featuring pieces from their vast collection. One of the most popular fashion exhibits held at the MET was Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2011 which highlighted McQueen's best pieces and most influential pieces. Recently the less successful Punk: Chaos to Couture looked at punk style and how fashion influenced the music and vice versa. Costume lovers should also make a b-line to the gift and book shop to snap up a huge selection of beautiful hardcover books with detailed shots of rare designer costume and fashion.
- As with many other world-class museums the Metropolitan Museum of Art is so large that you won't be able to see everything in just one day, so don't even try. Our advice, check out which special exhibits are showing before you arrive, and narrow down a few wings that are must sees on your list. If you try to plan too much you'll end up rushing through everything to cram it all in, and you won't take in even half of what you see. Show up early to avoid the lunch time crowds, and if you can swing it avoid the weekends when it's a literally a mob scene. Grab a map, and passes for any special exhibits you plan on seeing and head straight for the areas on your list. You'll get a stamp for re-entry, so if you finish everything on your list early, take a break across the street in Central Park and refuel with a bite to eat. Head back in and explore any other areas that didn't make the cut the first time around, or simply forgo the map altogether and explore.
- Although the museum is pay-what-you-can the suggested donation is $25 per person, or $12 if you're a student. You are free to decline the donation if you're on a strict budget, but if you can afford to pay something you should—after all a world-class museum can't stay world-class without a little help.