The Met Vs. MoMA – Which is Better?

Tourists and locals in New York often get confused with the “MoMA or the Met” question as they struggle to decide which museum is better.

Art lovers, especially admirers of modern art, should visit both museums and make the best of the awesome collections at the Met and MoMA.

Whether you are visiting New York on a budget or plan on spending lavishly, the Met vs MoMA analysis will help you pick the better museum.

Let us learn more about the differences between the Met and MoMA in terms of different aspects, from tickets to features and opening hours to collection.

Are the MET and the MoMA the Same?

Several people visiting New York City wonder if the Met and MoMA are different names of the same museum.

While confusion is common among tourists, it is important to note that the Met and the MoMA are two different museums.

The MET is the abbreviation for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, United States.

MoMA is the short form of the Museum of Modern Art, located at 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, United States.

MoMA is all about Modern and Contemporary art, while the MET is America’s biggest art museum, with over 5,000 years of art from Ancient to Modern Art.

The Met vs MoMA – Our Recommendation

The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, are among the best museums in the city and are two of the most visited attractions.

We recommend you visit the Met and MoMA if you have time and the budget.

On one trip, you can explore ancient, contemporary, and modern art by visiting the Met and MoMA NYC.

Visitors planning to explore both the Met and MoMA can get the Met and MoMA Guided Tour with one buy.

However, if you must choose between the Met and MoMA, then the choice depends on your preference if visiting both is impossible.

You can enjoy various ancient and contemporary Met exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

On the other hand, to enjoy modern and contemporary art exhibits, you can head to the Museum of Modern Art.

The Met vs. MoMA Tickets

When comparing the ticket prices, MoMA tickets are cheaper than Met tickets.

The MoMA Ticket costs $30 for visitors between 13 and 64 years.

Senior citizens over 65 years old, students with a valid  ID, and children get a discount at the Museum of Modern Art.

A senior citizen MoMA ticket costs $22, and a student MoMA ticket costs $17.

Children below the age of 13 enjoy free entry to the MoMA.

The Met ticket costs $74 for adults above 15 years.

The Met child ticket costs $64 for visitors between 2 and 12 years.

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

Point to Remember: Children eligible for free admission into the museums must be accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket.

The Met vs MoMA – The Museum with Better Features?

A lot goes into making one attraction better than the other, especially when the two attractions under consideration are among the top in their fields.

Now that we know that MoMA is cheaper than the MET, we must consider other factors.

Let us compare the Met vs MoMA in terms of important features like the Modern Art and Overall Art Collection, building and structure, space and opening hours, etc.

After this analysis, you will better understand your ideal pick between the Met and MoMA.

The MET vs MoMA- Modern Art Collection

The Met and MoMA, as their name suggests, are dedicated to an outstanding collection of Modern Art, but which is better between the two?

The Museum of Modern Art is the priority of most modern art lovers, and its affordability gives it an edge compared to the Met.

Visitors can access renowned exhibits by contemporary artists dedicated to modern art.

The big names whose collections highlight the MoMA experience include Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol.

One of the biggest reasons to explore MoMA is Van Gogh’s masterpiece, which houses the original painting of Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.

The extensive collection of world-renowned art pieces at MoMa is a plus.

On the other hand, the Met is home to classic global artworks.

The classics at the Met date back to several time periods, from ancient to contemporary times.

On the one hand, the Met focuses on art forms from different cultural centuries, while MoMA is more dedicated to modern art forms in particular.

MoMA is, therefore, the clear winner in terms of the Modern Art Collection and its better affordability.

The MET vs MoMA- Overall Art Collection

Now that we have established MoMA as the best museum for modern art, it is time to consider the overall art collection.

Since MoMA focuses more on modern art, it has less to offer in terms of overall art collection. 

MoMA is the ideal choice for Modern Art, but the Met is a better option as it provides thorough exposure through the Met exhibits.

The Met’s collection includes paintings, sculptures and Egyptian exhibits, including an exclusive and entire Egyptian temple. 

Guests can also explore worthy and unmissable art pieces from various cultures in galleries across MET, like Islamic, African and Asian art.

The armor gallery, artistic items, furniture, ancient musical instruments and statues from multiple periods and cultures attract art admirers worldwide.

Therefore, while MoMA should be your pick for the Modern Art Collection, head to the Met to explore the overall art collection.

The MET vs MoMA- Structure and Appearance

The Met and MoMA’s structure and appearance showcase a vast difference between the two museums and their vision.

MoMA’s building is newer than the Met’s and appropriate for a modern art museum.

The Met’s structure and appearance blend perfectly with the city’s to the extent that sometimes visitors fail to recognize the building from afar.

The MET is a vast 2 million square feet place, and the significant structure’s appearance lays down a welcoming atmosphere.

Due to its beautiful ambiance, the Met’s venue or structure has also been a shooting spot for several shows and events.

On the other hand, the bold black letters spelling the MoMA museum’s name set a daring tone of contrast to the building’s chic and minimalistic appearance.

The colossal glass panes allow visitors to glance into the museum, evoking suspense and interest in exploring the MoMA.

So, regarding the museum’s structure and ambiance, some people may prefer the Met’s design while others may appreciate the MoMA’s appearance more.

The MET vs. MoMA – Venue 

Both the Met and MoMA offer visitors a quiet and pleasant ambiance with an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.

MoMA’s famous sculpture garden remains the highlight of the museum’s venue as it welcomes visitors throughout the year despite varying weather conditions.

The highly Instagramable spot in the Met is its rooftop garden, where visitors enjoy different Met exhibits with each passing year.

While the MoMA’s famous sculpture remains accessible throughout the year, the Met’s rooftop is only suitable during warmer seasons.

However, the Met offers a better view of NYC’s skyline.

The Met vs. MoMA – Dine and Drinks

The Met vs. MoMA scuffle gets intense regarding drinks and dining as both museums offer various dining and drinking options. 

There are several bars and cafes at MoMA, and guests can enjoy delicious midday snacks, lunch and dinner at the Modern Cafe and the Modern Bar.

Other options include Cafe 2, Terrace Bar, Garden Bar, and the Espresso Bar.

From sandwiches to handmade pasta, from refreshing coffee to delicious desserts, MoMA restaurants and cafes have it all.

On the other hand, the Met has dining and drinking options at affordable prices.

The Eatery and the American Wing Cafe at the MET lets guests enjoy a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

The Balcony Lounge and the Met Dining Room, on the other hand, offer premium experiences to the visitors.

The Met steps up with its exclusive Balcony Lounge that serves customers only from 5.30 pm to 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and reservations are highly advised here.

In conclusion, while the Met and MoMa have lovely food and drink options, the Met wins by a fine margin as there is something for everyone.

The MET vs MoMA – Opening Hours

The Met opening hours differ for different days of the week.

The Met remains open from 10 am to 5 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and from 10 am to 9 pm from Thursday to Sunday, and the museum remains closed on Wednesdays.

On the other hand, MoMA remains open from 10 am to 5.30 pm on all days of the week, except on Saturdays.

On Saturdays, MoMA offers extended operation hours, and its opening hours are from 10 am to 7 pm.

The MET vs MoMA – The Museums’ Distance

The Met and MoMA are situated pretty close to each other at just 2 miles (3.2 km) from each other in Manhattan.

Devour the delicious New York Cheesecake at Times Square less than a mile away and burn your holiday calories while enjoying a 30-minute walk from the Met to MoMA.

The two museums are also very close to famous city attractions like Central Park, which is also less than a mile away.

The Met vs MoMA – Our Final Verdict

We still recommend exploring both the Met and MoMA, but if you must choose only one, here is what we suggest after considering all the parameters.

Picking one of the two is extremely difficult, so we recommend following your inherent desire and instincts.

If you appreciate Modern art more, MoMA is your go-to place.

To explore the best art collection transcending the boundaries of cultures and time, then The Met is the place for you.

The MoMA has a collection for those intrigued by photography, architecture and contemporary art and is preferable for collections acquired after 1900.

The Met’s striking feature, the famous Met Gala, attracts attention from people worldwide.

However, some guests remain unmoved by it as they can’t participate physically in the event.

Depending on your time, you may also pick one from the Met and MoMA, as MoMA is doable in three to four hours.

On the other hand, the Met requires at least six to seven hours if you want to do it justice.

Featured Image : Stock photos by Vecteezy

About the author

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