It’s the largest museum in New York City, and one of the largest in the world. Its art collection boasts over 2 million art works, from ancient to modern. And after you’re done exploring the hallways – head up to the rooftop for a great sunset view at their rooftop patio!
Established in 1870 and simply known as “The Met” these days, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Ave, New York NY) can be a great all-in-one spot to spend an afternoon wandering the halls – and catch a great view of the sun setting over Central Park in the evening.
Inside the museum itself, you won’t want to miss the ancient Greek and Roman sections, the American wing and the Egyptian area, containing a real-life Egyptian temple (the Temple of Dendur). There are also sections for modern art, photography, arms and armor, European paintings from the 13th century forward, Pre-Columbian artifacts, and art from Africa and Oceania.
The museum is so big (the building is a complex made up of several structures), it can feel overwhelming, so don’t expect to see it all in one day. If you don’t know where to start, the museum has several suggested itineraries: whether you want to spend half a day at The Met, have small children, just want to see the most popular highlights, or the celebrity hand-picked favorites.
Conveniently located on 5th Avenue, the museum overlooks Central Park. You wouldn’t know it from the enormous, stern-looking, classical-column facade, but up on the rooftop there is a cafe and patio that offers one of the best city sunset views in NYC.
On the fifth floor you’ll find the Rooftop Garden Café and Martini Bar. It’s seasonal, open Fridays and Saturdays from May through late fall (weather-permitting). It does close early, but it’s a perfect end to a day spent at the museum. There are often unique exhibitions on display throughout the garden (once it was giant sculptures of balloon animals, another time a bamboo maze).
Museum Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 10am – 5:30pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-9pm.
Rooftop Hours: (Seasonal) The Café is open daily from 10am-4:30pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-5:30pm. The Martini Bar is open Friday and Saturday only, 5:30pm-8pm.
Admission to the museum is by voluntary donation (recommended as $25 per person). You can skip the line-ups by purchasing express admission online, and get details on current exhibits at the official Metropolitan Museum of Art website.
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