- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Fodor's New York City 2014
Mobile AppDownload Fodor's City Guide App for FREE!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Review
If Manhattan held no other museum than the colossal Metropolitan Museum of Art, you could still occupy yourself for days roaming its labyrinthine corridors. The Metropolitan Museum has more than 2 million works of art representing 5,000 years of history, so it's a good idea to plan ahead; looking at everything here could take a week. Some of the highlights are listed below.
Before you begin exploring the museum, check the museum's floor plan, available at all entrances, for location of the major wings and collections. Pick up the "Today's Events" flier at the desk where you get your ticket. The museum offers gallery talks on a range of subjects; taking a tour with a staff curator can show you some of the collection's hidden secrets.
A major star of the museum is the Temple of Dendur (circa 15 BC), in a huge atrium to itself and with a moatlike pool of water to represent its original location near the Nile. The temple was commissioned by the Roman emperor Augustus to honor the goddess Isis and the sons of a Nubian chieftain. Egypt gave the temple as a gift to the U.S. in 1965; it would have been submerged after the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The Egyptian collection as a whole covers 4,000 years of history, with papyrus pages from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, stone sarcophagi inscribed with hieroglyphics, and tombs.
After several years of extensive renovations, the Met's revitalized American Wing (aka the New American Wing Galleries for Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts) reopened in early 2012 with 30,000 square feet of airy, skylit space to showcase—in themed and chronological order—one of the best and most extensive collections of American art in the country.
In late 2011, after an eight-year-long renovation, the Met reopened the Islamic galleries, a suite of 15 galleries housing one of the world's premier collections of Islamic art and one of the museum's most visually stunning collections. Now known as the "Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia," the collection comprises more than 12,000 works of art and traces the course of Islamic Civilization over a span of 13 centuries. Highlights include an 11-foot-high 14th-century mihrab, or prayer niche, decorated with glazed ceramic tiles; the recently restored Emperor's Carpet—a 16th-century Persian carpet that was presented to the Hapsburg Emperor Leopold I by Peter the Great of Russia; the Damascus Room—a Syrian Ottoman reception room decorated with poetic verses; and glass, ceramics, and metalwork from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, an Iran.
If you're hungry there are several options if you want to stay inside the museum to eat: The Petrie Court Café and Winebar ($$) at the back of the first-floor European Sculpture Court, has waiter service. The Great Hall Balcony Bar ($$) is on the second floor balcony overlooking the Great Hall—on Friday and Saturday, 4 pm to 8:30 pm waiters serve appetizers and cocktails accompanied by live classical music. The Roof Garden ($), open May–October, has fabulous views. There is also a cafeteria ($) on the ground floor.
In May 2014, the Costume Institute's galleries reopened after a two-year renovation with a newly designed 4,200-square-foot main gallery, an updated costume conservation laboratory, expanded study and storage facilities, and a new name—the Anna Wintour Costume Center. The refurbishment allows the Center to have exhibitions on view 10 months a year.
In late 2014, the Met concludes its two-year, $60 million renovation of the museum's plaza. The new European-style plaza includes additional public seating, a modernized fountain, new lighting, landscaping, and improved museum access.
- Address: 1000 5th Ave., at 82nd St. Upper East Side, New York, NY 10028-0198 | Map It
- Phone: 212/535–7710
- Cost: $25 suggested donation; $7 for audio guide
- Hours: Sun.–Thurs. 10 am –5:30 pm, Fri.–Sat. 10 am–9 pm
- Website: www.metmuseum.org
- Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St.
- Location: Upper East Side
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Last February 16 we were married in NYC, so this year we did a long weekend to celebrate our first anniversary.
We stayed at the Fifth Avenue Andaz by Hyatt, which is at 41st and Fifth Avenue facing the Read more
We have visited NYC a lot over the years on business and pleasure and love it. Read more
Looking to visit the NE section of the US this summer with our teen daughters & need advice on how to plan.
We're hoping to spend 3-4 days in Boston, NYC, & Washington DC while spending a few days Read more
· News & Features
This week, we covered top destinations for great family getaways—from Disney World to dinosaur spotting. ... Read more
Go on location in Görlitz, Germany, to the transporting set of director Wes Anderson's film... Read more
Kick off spring with some of this year's best events and hotel packages in Washington, D.C.... Read more