New York tourism would not be complete without mention of New York City's vast array of cultural highlights.
Considered to be among the best in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply The Met, is a shining example that stands out amidst New York art museums. Opening in 1872, The Met still stands in its original location along the eastern edge of Central Park, on Fifth Avenue, and, together with other New York City art museums, make up the Museum Mile. The Met is unparalled among New York art museums, and is a recommended highlight within a New York tourism destination---not to mention a great way to spend part or all of the day.
The Met building itself is a work of art, and its Grand Hall upon entrance is magnificent. A long staircase ascends up from The Grand Hall, and leads to countless galleries containing countless works of art. The original Gothic-Revival-style building has seen extensive enhancements and additions throughout the years, and the various additions, beginning as early as 1888, now encompass the entire original structure. The present facade and entrance structure along Fifth Avenue were completed in 1926.
Beginning with three private European collections totaling 174 paintings, the current collections at The Met are massive, and include works from classic Greek to post-1900 Modern Era and everything in-between. Various mediums include, but are not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, and musical instruments. There's even a special permanent collection of arms and armor as developed throughout human history. In its entirety, The Met's permanent collection boasts over two million objects spanning seven centuries. Special exhibitions are on display for varying lengths of time.
A supplemental part of The Met known as "The Cloisters" is located in Fort Tryon Park on the northern end of Manhattan, and includes medieval European works of art and architecture. The Cloisters complex itself is an historic landmark, and, as such, does have limited handicapped accessibility. Admission to The Cloisters is included with admission price to The Met, and is a quick cab or bus ride or leisurely walk.
Like most other New York City art museums, the Met offers various guided tours and gallery walks, and most are complimentary with paid admission. Tours and walks are available in several languages during scheduled times of the week, and can be booked in advance. Special concerts, lectures, and children's educational programs are offered as well. The Met, as most other New York art museums, is easily accessible by foot, bus, taxi, or subway, and is handicapped-accessible. It closes Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.
If you visit only one among the many New York City art museums, make it The Metropolitan Museum of Art---a cultural star player in all of New York tourism.