Metropolitan Museum of Art Tours

This post compares and reviews the various options you have for a Metropolitan Museum of Art Tour, including guided and audio tours.  The Met is filled with exhibitions which focus on significant cultural history. These installations are frequently switched out, allowing you to experience something entirely different with each individual visit. Considering how often they change things up, it might be a little difficult to prepare your own self-guided tour. Due to this and other factors, we recommend taking a guided tour of the Met.


Independent Tours

Private/Group Tours

Self-Guided Audio Tours

Official Museum Tours

Night Tours

Deals and Discounts


 

 


Skip-the-Line Ticket Prices

With these tickets, you’ll have all-day, skip-the-line access to The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters. These prices are only recommended, as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, like Free Tours by Foot, does not charge entrance fees, but works on a recommended donation basis.  If you’re running low on cash, it’s entirely possible to visit the Met without paying a dime. That being said, we recommend donating at least a few bucks if you can afford to do so.

  • $25 for Adults | $17 for Seniors | $12 for Students | Children under 12 free (with Adults)
  • More info or to book skip-the-line ticket.
[Starting March 2018, there will be an admission fee for non New York state residents. Though children under 12 will still be free with Adults. Tickets will be valid for three consecutive days allowing plenty of time to see all the artwork.]

Believe it or not, there are several tour options at this museum. In fact, there are so many opportunities that it might be difficult to choose the trip that best fits your expectations. With that in mind, we’ve decided to provide a comparison of every major Metropolitan Museum of Art tour available. Some of these tours are included with the price of admission, but others can cost anywhere from $25-$50 on average. Whether you’re on a budget or you just want the best possible experience, chances are that one of these activities will fit into your schedule.


Official Museum Tours

The Met provides several free guided tours every day of the week. Most of their tours are fairly basic, but they also provide a variety of walking tours focused on specific exhibitions. Since they cycle through the art they have on display, some of the guided journeys they offer are subject to change. Each tour is free with the price of admission, so you won’t have to pay for anything more than the cost of entrance into the museum.

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

As you can probably imagine, most of the reviews for these tours are very favorable. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has received a 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor, and there are only two negative reviews related to guided tours of the museum. Hundreds of visitors agree that their highlights tour is quite excellent, providing a plethora of information about their installations. These tours are especially popular among groups with families, couples and friends.

Before you choose which tour to take, it’s a good idea to think about the types of exhibits that would interest you the most. Although there are museum highlights tours available, many of the museum tours offered by the Met and other companies are focused on one specific topic. The Metropolitan Museum of Art includes pieces from several different periods in human history, and chances are that you’ll find at least one display with intriguing artwork. With that in mind, here are some of the most popular free tours offered at this fantastic museum.

Frequent Guided Tours

The Met provides hour-long guided tours every 15 minutes throughout the day from 10:15 AM to 4 PM. You do not require tickets or reservations to enjoy the following opportunities.

Museum Highlights

Discover some of the most significant pieces in their collection. Get a nice cross section of artwork from several different cultures over the course of this 60 minute trip throughout the Met. This tour runs almost every hour from 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM and even runs at night on certain weekends. This tour is also offered in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Italian and Portuguese.

American Art

Visit the American Wing and see their collection of historically important artwork. This area of the museum includes significant paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and architectural spaces. Take a journey through our country’s past and see what life was like for early Americans. This tour typically runs every weekend between 11:45 AM – 1:45 PM. Unfortunately, it is currently only offered in English.

Modern and Contemporary Art

See the extensive collection of modern and contemporary art on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Learn all about the history of major artistic movements that have taken place in the 20th and 21st century. Discover how modern art lead to the free and creative postmodern movement and beyond! This tour is available every weekday at 3:15 PM and every weekend at 11:15 AM. You can also enjoy this trip through the museum in French on Tuesday.

Impressionism & Post Impressionism

Uncover the origins of Impressionism and see how it flourished thanks to the creative genius of such artists as Monet, Degas and Renoir. Once you have experienced many of the elements that made this artistic movement so unique, your tour guide will show you how it went on to inspire the minds of Van Gogh and Gauguin. This tour is offered every weekday at 12:30 PM and also on Saturday at 12:15 PM.

Arts of China

Experience over 5,000 years of Chinese artwork and culture. Discover traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting as you walk through the history of this civilization. This journey also includes a closer look at jades, bronzes, ceramics, sculptures and decorative arts. This tour is offered Tuesday – Friday at 12 PM.


Skip-the-Line Ticket Prices

With these tickets, you’ll have all-day access to The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters.

$25 for Adults | $17 for Seniors | $12 for Students | Children under 12 free (with Adults)

 


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Specialty Walking Tours

In addition to the official tours offered by the museum themselves, you can also take a guided trip through the Met with one of the following tour companies. Ticket prices will be a bit more expensive at about $50 on average, but these options can also be a lot more convenient. Whether you want to make sure that you won’t miss anything important or you hope to see a side of the artwork that few get the opportunity to experience, these walking tours can be an excellent alternative to the standard fare offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 


Walks of New York

This is one of the most notable and highly rated tour companies in NYC. They provide a variety of different trips around the city, including this notable journey through the Met. Discover centuries of artistic history with the help of a professional and friendly guide. Their guided walking tours are intended to give you a good look at most of the significant exhibits that the museum has to offer over the course of either 2 or 3 hours. Group sizes for these excursions tend to be small, so it’s an excellent option for anyone who wants to avoid large crowds.

With an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, it’s clear that Walks of New York has impressed quite a few people. Reviews for their Metropolitan Museum of Art tour are equally excellent, as they have yet to receive even one negative comment. Dozens of guests suggest that this is a great way to see the Met, stating that their tour guides are very knowledgeable. Due to the smaller group sizes, this exploration of the museum was especially popular among couples and visitors who brought a friend along for the experience.

Tour Information

Best of the Met

  • A two-hour trip exploring some of the most important exhibits in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • $39 for Adults | $31 for Children (age 4-12) | Children 4 and under FREE
  • More info and to book.

Extended Met

  • A three-hour trip which goes into greater detail and reveals even more of the Met.
  • $49 for Adults | $39 for Children (age 4-12) | Children 4 and under FREE
  • More info and to book.

 


Museum Hack

If you’re looking for a different point of view, this tour company can help. Rather than just giving you a cross section of the typical exhibits you’ll discover at the Met, Museum Hack provides trips focused on a side of artistic history that few get the opportunity to explore. Learn about some of the important artwork that doesn’t often get a lot of love from visitors by taking one of these alternative walking tours. Although this is definitely not your average museum tour, most guests seem to appreciate their experience.

 

 

Museum Hack has received an overall rating of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and their reviews are generally very favorable. As a matter of fact, they have yet to receive any negative ratings for their Metropolitan Museum of Art tours. Reviews indicate that these guided tours are perfect for anyone who is either new to the Met or to art in general, as their guides do their best to make the experience fun for everyone. As with their competitors, these excursions were most popular with couples and guests who brought a friend.

Tour Information

The Un-Highlights Tour

  • Discover the history of art from an entirely different perspective
  • $59 for General Admission | $49 for Students
  • More info and to book.

The Badass Bitches Tour

  • Learn about all of the women who have contributed to installations in the Met
  • $59 for General Admission

The Big Gay Met Tour

  • Find out which artists lead a different life while on a trip that even the New York Times recommends!
  • $59 for General Admission

 


Shady Ladies Tour

Much like their competitors, this tour company offers a completely different look at the artistic history on display in the Met. Rather than focusing on the typical highlights, professor Andrew Lear will guide you around one of the most impressive museums in the world while informing you about the impact that women have had on art history. Discover several notable artists have been inspired by eroticism and the female form with the help of a highly educated and professional tour guide. Ticket prices fall in line with most of the other options on our list.

With an overall 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor, it’s safe to say that the Shady Ladies tour is a very respectable service. Believe it or not, this company has yet to receive even one negative review from their customers. A majority of visitors felt that this experience was both fun and informative, revealing a different side of the artwork you will find at the Met. Even those who weren’t entirely impressed with their trip felt that this was a good tour for anyone who isn’t familiar with art history. This museum tour is very popular with guests who bring their friends along for the journey.

Ticket Prices

  • $59 for Adults | $49 for Seniors | $35 for Students/Met members
  • Tours run mostly on weekends.
  • More info or to book.

 


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Private Tours of the Met

The following options are perfect for anyone who wants a less crowded journey through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. VIP and private tours give guides the opportunity to focus more on individual guests and their questions. Some companies also offer trips through the Met either before or after closing, giving visitors the opportunity to see several exhibits without any distractions. At an average price of $90-$150, ticket prices are definitely more expensive than your typical walking tour. The cost of these excursions might be too high for some audiences, but others will definitely appreciate the unique experience.

A guided walking tour at The Met Cloisters

 


Free Tours By Foot

Believe it or not, we actually offer a private tour of the Met! Over the course of two hours, our guides will help you discover as much of this museum as possible. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the exhibits on display, allow us to tell some of the most interesting stories behind the artwork you will see in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These walking tours are available only to groups of 6 or more, but prices are typically much more affordable than you will find with some of the other companies on this list.

We have an overall 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. Reviews for our services are very positive, and we have yet to receive even one negative comment about our tour of the Met. Various visitors have indicated that their trip around this museum was fantastic and their tour guides were very informative. Some guests were also appreciative of the stories they learned about how certain exhibits were acquired. This trip was highly rated by customers who brought either family or friends.

Ticket Prices

  • $10 per person (in addition to the cost of admission)
  • Must be joined by at least 6 guests
  • Click here for more information on booking a private tours.

 


Empty Met Tour

Whether you want a more personal experience or you just don’t like large crowds, this private walking tour will definitely be a hit. Clocking in at only 90 minutes, the EmptyMet tour is much shorter than some of the other options out there, but you’ll also have a much easier time getting to each exhibit. Your guide will have no need to raise their voice in order to be heard, ensuring a more calm and serene journey through the museum. Although ticket prices are expensive, customers indicate that this is a fairly unique trip which you won’t soon forget.

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art during an EmptyMet tour

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers their own EmptyMet tours, but they are only available as private tours for one flat price. For $2,500, you and up to 25 guests can experience this tour through the eyes of their professional tour guides. Unfortunately, most visitors cannot afford the flat fee requested by the Met, so it’s a lot easier to pay for your own ticket individually. 

Almost everyone who took the EmptyMet tour was very pleased with their adventures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a matter of fact, this walking tour has received only one negative review. Every other reviewer suggested that this event exceeded every expectation, and some even indicated that this would be an excellent option for anyone who has an anxiety disorder. Most visitors feel that their guides are very friendly and knowledgeable. Even those who weren’t necessarily happy about the short length of the tour admitted that they had a wonderful time.

Ticket Prices

 


Museum Hack

In addition to their offbeat tours, this company also provides a VIP trip through the Met. Guides will show you some of the secret nooks and crannies that you won’t necessarily get to see on the average museum tour. Customize your experience by asking your tour guide to visit some of the exhibits that interest you the most. This VIP tour specializes in smaller group sizes, making it perfect for anyone who wants to avoid large crowds. Unfortunately, it does take place during operating hours, but they offer a glass of wine to calm your nerves.

Reviews for the VIP Met tour from Museum Hack are extremely positive, and a wide majority of customers have seen fit to give it a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. One guest stated that this trip exceeded their expectations while providing a new perspective of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Many visitors were impressed with their tour guides, suggesting that they were very entertaining and offered a lot of valuable information about the installations in the Met. Couples and guests who brought their friends were the most likely groups to leave a positive review.

Ticket Prices

$89 per person | Group sizes limited to between 8-12 people

 


Curious Minds Tours

Although a lot of Met tours are focused on providing a fun and informative experience for adults, it can be difficult to find a trip curated for family audiences. With that in mind, this company offers a private family tour around the Metropolitan Museum of Art at a very reasonable price. This 2-hour excursion will reveal some of the most important highlights of the museum, providing a fun and educational look at over 5,000 years of artistic history. Group sizes are limited to 8, ensuring a private and personal journey through the Met.

Curious Minds has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor, and every single review for their private family tour is extremely positive. Visitors describe this as an awesome experience that is worth the price of admission. Parents indicated that the tour guides offered by this company managed to hold the attention of their children, even while talking about somewhat dense topics. Reviewers typically felt that their guides were not only very intelligent but also enthusiastic about art. Needless to say, this is a very popular museum tour for family audiences.

Ticket Prices

$79 per person | Limit of 8 family members

 


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Tourist Passes

If visiting the Met is just one of the activities you have planned for your trip to New York, consider one of the following combo passes. Each of them provides access to several different attractions – including the Metropolitan Museum of Art! A tourist pass allows you to save money on every ticket you purchase by paying one flat fee for all of them. This is an excellent option for anyone planning at least a week long vacation in the Big Apple.

Tourist Passes that include admission to the Met 

  • Explorer Pass – Choose between 3, 5, 7 or 10 different attractions in NYC.
  • Sightseeing Pass – You can choose from choose a 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 day pass.
  • Freestyle Pass – Enjoy a 72-hour bus ticket along with 3, 5 or 7 additional activities.
  • FlexPass offers the option to purchase 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 attractions.
  • CityPASS – See six different sites – including the Met – over the course of 9 days!
  • New York Pass – Gain access to 80 popular attractions for anywhere from one day to an entire week!

For more detailed information on these passes, see our comparison of New York City Attraction Passes.

 


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Self-Guided + Audio Tours

If you’re considering a self-guided tour throughout the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all you need to do is purchase tickets. The Met provides an audio guide for anyone who might be interested in this endeavor. The audio guide includes over 3,000 different clips about various works of art that you will find in this museum. All you need to do is download the app to your smartphone. If you do not have a smartphone, you can get an audio guide player at the museum with a fairly low rental fee. Most visitors have a smartphone, and it is advised to bring one along for this purpose.

Reviews for this audio guide are very positive. Most visitors have given it a 5 star rating, indicating that the information included is incredibly helpful. Although some have suggested that improvements can be made, even they were likely to give this app a good review. Some visitors even said that they would be coming back at a later date to spend a full day with just the audio guide. Although this smartphone app was most popular among couples, it was also very highly rated by guests who either went alone or brought their friends and family.

Rental Fees

  • $7 per person | $6 for Museum members
  • $5 for Children under 12
  • $6 per person (groups of 14 or fewer)
  • $4 per person (groups of 15 or more)
     

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