The Met vs Guggenheim – the Better Museum?

With over 94 art museums in New York State, tourists often need to pick the few they would like to visit.

Arriving at a decision becomes tricky when the contenders are among the top in their respective fields.

Regarding the Met vs. Guggenheim, tourists often feel torn between the two, wondering which museum is better and which one they should visit.

Needless to say, both the Met and Guggenheim are worth visiting and offer unique and exciting collections for art lovers; therefore, the best is to explore both.

However, it is understandable that some tourists might only have enough time to visit one; in this case, deciding between the two becomes difficult.

We will present a detailed and unbiased analysis of the Met vs. Guggenheim, considering numerous views and parameters to ensure you make the right choice.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Same or Different?

With numerous art museums coexisting in the city, tourists often wonder if the Met and Guggenheim are the same.

The simple answer is no.

Although the name highlights its dedication to the collection of modern art, the Met houses several significant and stunning art pieces from ancient to modern times.

The Guggenheim Museum is named after its forefather, the founding figure of the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation.

The American Businessman Solomon Robert Guggenheim, an avid art collector, laid down the museum’s foundation, dedicated to a modern and contemporary art collection.

On the other hand, the Guggenheim building is an art in itself.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Our Recommendation

We recommend you visit both the MET and Guggenheim for a complete experience. 

The Met and Guggenheim offer exclusive access to some of the world’s best modern and contemporary art pieces.

But if you must still choose one from the two, head to the Met to witness the best ancient and modern art forms.

On the other hand, if you want to admire the mindblowing architecture, in addition to the museum’s collection, Guggenheim is the place to be.

Read further to learn more about the different aspects that make one better than the other and make the best choice for you.

The Met vs. Guggenheim Tickets

Ticket prices are integral to deciding the attraction visitors wish to explore because New York attracts all sorts of tourists, including backpackers.

The Met ticket prices cost over twice as much as the Guggenheim, so in terms of affordability, the Guggenheim looks more approachable.

The Met ticket adult ticket costs $74 for guests above 15 years, and the Met Child ticket costs $64 for visitors between 2 and 14 years.

Infants under two years old enjoy free entry to the MET.

The Guggenheim ticket adult ticket costs $30 and $19 for students and senior citizens.

Children under 12 get free admission to the Guggenheim Museum.

Please note: Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult over 15 years old to avail of free admission into the Met.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Location

The Met and Guggenheim are located on Fifth Avenue, making them conveniently located for tourists and locals.

The Met stands for the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, which stands proudly at 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, United States.

On the other hand, the Guggenheim Museum refers to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum at 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, United States.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Opening Hours

The Met’s opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and from 10 am to 9 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

On Wednesdays, the Met remains closed.

The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum’s opening hours are from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm on all days of the week.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – the Museum with Better Features?

Having considered ticket prices, location, and opening hours, let us scrutinize the other aspects of the museums to pick out the best one.

To do so, let us intensify our research and consider integral factors like the art collection at both museums, their structure and appearance and more.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Modern Art Collection

The Met’s collection of modern art surpasses that of the Guggenheim Museum.

Its ancient and medieval art collection is equally commendable but comparable to the modern art collection at Guggenheim.

The Met’s permanent collection is the museum’s highlight, whereas the Guggenheim Museum mainly focuses on contemporary exhibitions.

With 80% to 90% of Guggenheim’s space being captured by the temporary collection, there are just a few works in the museum’s permanent collections.

Visitors can explore some conservative artworks from the late 20th century and early 21st century at the Guggenheim Museum.

The Met’s Fashion Costume Institute is the most explored collection in the Museum, and the Met Gala is another iconic part of the Met. 

At Guggenheim, you can see the works of artists Louise Burgeois, William Kentridge and James Turrell, among others.

However, there is no competition regarding the Modern Art Collection, as the Met is a clear winner.

In fact, it is safe to say that the Fashion Costume Institute’s collection alone is enough to beat the popularity of the modern art collection at the Guggenheim Museum.

The Met vs. Guggenheim- Overall Art Collection

The Met and Guggenheim house the best modern art collection in the city, and even though the Met wins in the case of modern art, let us see who wins in the overall category.

The Met focuses on ancient and medieval art forms and modern art forms.

Not only periods, but the Met’s overall art collection also includes pieces from seven continents worldwide, contributing to a significant increase in the collection.

The Overall Art Collection at Guggenheim has little to offer as the museum mainly focuses on temporary exhibitions.

As a result, new artists find a platform to showcase their talent and limit the collection by a significant margin.

The Met also seems to win this segment, as the Guggenheim Museum’s nearly 2,000 objects do not stand a chance in front of over one million pieces at the Met.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Structure and Appearance

The Met is the largest art museum in the United States, but its structure and appearance are less suitable than that of the Guggenheim when it comes to representing modern art.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim, later becoming an example to study the museum’s radical showcase of art exhibitions.

On the other hand, the Met’s structure and appearance are similar to many other prominent buildings in the city; therefore, it lacks individuality.

Considering the museums’ structure and outward appearance, Guggenheim is the clear winner.

So, if you wish to admire the new and unique architecture, Guggenheim is the place to be.

Its unique appearance and eye-catching architecture make it a great photo spot for your social media pictures and travel album.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Venue 

The Met is the winner yet again when comparing the venue. 

The Met’s astonishing structure and chic ambiance make it perfect for sophisticated events and celebrations.

The Met has served as the venue for one of the most prominent fashion events, the Met Gala.

For a regular visit, guests enjoy the beauty of the structure’s appearance, including the dining and drinking options.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a warm and hospitable atmosphere, which makes it an ideal place to spend the day exploring splendid artworks and delicious food.

The Guggenheim, on the other hand, could be better in terms of venue and atmosphere.

The Met vs Guggenheim – Visitors Experience

Visitors’ experience plays a vital role in the popularity of any attraction.

The Met and Guggenheim both attempt to ensure that the visitors have a good time exploring the museum.

However, guests generally like spending time at the Met apart from the collection because the museum has several dining and drinking options.

The Guggenheim Museum also has cafes where visitors can feast on delicious sandwiches and coffee.

However, the Met ups its game regarding visitors’ experience as the permanent collection looks more promising.

Visitors spend the day comfortably exploring the variety of collections, casually indulging in casual and informal dining.

Those looking for a premium experience head to the Met Dining Room and make the best of their trip.

The Met vs. Guggenheim- the Museums’ Distance

Visitors can easily explore the Met and Guggenheim on the same day, as the two museums are less than a mile apart and are a 10-minute walk from each other.

The best way to explore the two is to purchase online tickets in advance to save time in lines at the venue.

Purchase online tickets and head straight into the museums as you reach the location.

The Met vs. Guggenheim- Our Final Verdict

We are sure that by now, you must be tempted to explore the Met and the Guggenheim Museum.

However, if you are still convinced to explore just one, here is our final verdict on the Met vs Guggenheim based on related factors.

The Met vs. Guggenheim based on your Interest

The Met is perfect for those who wish to explore the iconic and must-see collections from ancient to contemporary times.

The Met provides comprehensive exposure to all art lovers and helps you nurture your knowledge about art forms from different cultures.

On the other hand, if you wish to expand your knowledge and learn more about what is new in the field, head to the Guggenheim Museum.

Guggenheim focuses on new artists and provides them a much-needed stage to display their talent.

Therefore, the Met is preferable if you wish to explore the existing artists, whereas the Guggenheim is preferable to see the emerging stars of the modern art world.

The Met vs. Guggenheim – Time Required

Since the Met is the largest art museum in New York, its extensive collection of over a million pieces requires significant time to be explored and learned about.

If you can dedicate at least six to seven hours, including dining and beverages at the dining options at the Museum, then head to the Met.

However, since Guggenheim has a much smaller collection, it is easily doable in two to three hours.

Therefore, you may also pick one of the two museums based on the time you can spend.


About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore