One of the most famous museums in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) lives up to the hype. It is one of my favorite museums anywhere in the world. Easily accessed via Central Park (it is near the Guggenheim), you can see mummies to Picassos and everything in between. You can spend hours just wandering. Much like other large museums, I recommend looking at the map, select what you must see and go from there.
The best time to go is when the Met has their annual fashion exhibit up. Every year, the Met partners up with Vogue and fashion design houses for a particular theme. When I went last year, the theme was religion and fashion. Let me tell you, it was breathtaking! The photos don’t do it justice. The clothes, including some on loan from the Vatican, where so detailed it was hard to fathom the work that went into their creation. The annual exhibit run from spring to summer, so if you are in the city, please check it out! I cannot wait to see what this year entails!
Here, you can see some of the most famous works in art history. My favorite is Degas’ Little Dancer (which may or may not be the real one-seems Degas and his associates had a cottage industry with this and it was only discovered recently that ones thought to the originals were, in fact, not). My favorite artist is Jackson Pollack and the Met has my favorite piece, Autumn Rhythm. I could sit in front of it for hours.
Other famous works include ones by Van Gogh and the famous, Washington Crossing the Delaware, which is massive! They also have an Egyptian wing and a home designed in a colonial style. You can find armor worn by the Tudors and Stradivarius instruments. Fun fact, they have someone on staff to play these instruments! They are meant to be played and their value actually declines if they are not, so an expert goes around periodically and will play the various stringed instruments on display.
The Met is by far the best value of content of any of the big museums and worth every penny! I highly encourage you to visit. You will not regret it. As with everything, buy in advance to bypass the long lines. The neighborhood is beautiful and if you’re hungry, there are plenty of food stalls outside. So grab a pretzel and enjoy the beautiful surroundings on the steps!