The Met vs MoMA

By Anukriti

New York has two of the best museums worldwide. Find the comparison between the different aspects of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art below.

The Met and MoMA are only 2 miles (3.2 km) apart, so you can walk across Central Park in around 35 minutes to reach from one to the other.

Buy the entry ticket for MoMA and the skip-the-line access ticket for the Met to visit both art museums in New York.

If you only have time to visit one, the pros and cons of the two museums will make deciding easier for you.


Both museums are in Manhattan, on opposite sides of Central Park. They are both very accessible. 

The MoMA is one block away from the 53rd Street stop, and you can take the E and M subway line to reach there.

The 86th Street stop is the closest to the Met. You can reach here by taking the 4,5 or 6 subway. Then, there is just a 15-minute walk. 

You can also reach the museum by Bus M1, M2, M3, or M4. For tourists, M4 is the most useful route to the Met.

Opening Hours

Opening hours for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art are similar.

MoMA is open from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm daily and until 7 pm on Saturdays. From May to September, you can visit until 9 pm from Thursday to Saturday.

Museum of Modern Art Opening Hours

Day of the WeekTimings
Sunday to Friday10.30 am – 5.30 pm
Saturday10.30 am – 7 pm
Thursday to Saturday (May to September)10.30 am – 9 pm 

The Met opens from 10 am to 5 pm from Thursday to Tuesday. On Fridays and Saturdays, visitors can go inside until 9 pm. The museum is closed on Wednesdays. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art Opening Hours

Day of the WeekTimings
Sunday to Tuesday, Thursday10 am – 5 pm
Friday & Saturday10 am – 9 pm

Entry Ticket

It is best to buy tickets online in advance, as both museums are popular, and wait time at the ticket counter can last an hour or more.

The entry ticket for the Museum of Modern Art is $25 for visitors between 17 and 64 years.

Seniors above 65 years and students above 18 years get a discounted price of $18 and $14, respectively. Children below 16 years can enter for free.

Museum of Modern Arts Ticket Price

Adults (17-64 years)$30
Seniors (65 years+)$20
Persons with disabilities$18
Students (Full-time, International)18 years+$17
Children (up to 16 years)Free

On the first Friday of each month, from 4 pm to 8 pm, admissions to MoMA are free for all New York residents.

Between July 1 and September 2 the museum is open up to 9 pm. You must reserve tickets one week in advance.

The skip-the-line entry ticket for the Metropolitan Museum of Art is $63 for visitors older than 12 years and $60 for children between two and 11 years. 

These tickets give you access to both the Met and Met Cloisters for the day. The Met Cloisters are only open Tuesdays to Thursdays.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Ticket Price

Adult ticket (12 years+)$63
Child ticket (2-11 years)$60
Infant ticket (up to 2 years)Free Entry

Enjoy free entry if you are a resident of New York. Students from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut can also enjoy access with their IDs.

Best Time to Visit

Given their popularity, the best time to visit either museum is on a weekday morning. 

You can avoid the queues at MoMA if you go at 11.30 am when the morning queues have cleared.

The Met sees larger crowds around midday, so Thursday and Sunday mornings are the best time to visit.

Since MoMA is a smaller museum and will feel more crowded than the Met during peak times. 

MoMA vs the Met can be resolved by visiting them on two different days for the best trip.


Both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art cater to the interests of their young visitors.

The Met has a more diverse collection, which offers a larger variety of activities for children. The Family Tour of the Met costs $42 for children between six and twelve years, and there is free entry for infants up to five years.

Adult tickets cost $376 for visitors older than 12 years old.

Modern Art Collection

The best museum for Modern Art is MoMA. Find the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol and other notable modern artists. 

For visiting the best collection of Modern Art, buy the entry ticket for MoMA at $25 for visitors between the ages of 17 and 64. 

The Met has more classical artwork that spans different regions and periods. 

Due to its size, you will find works by many notable modern artists. Get a chance to see some of the lesser-known works by these beloved artists.

Overall Art Collection

MoMA dedicates its permanent and changing exhibits to Modern Art. Due to its smaller size, you would be able to see the entire collection in one visit.

You can expect to spend four to five hours at both museums, but the variety of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibits shows an overview of art history.


  • 20th-century paintings and sculptures
  • Egyptian exhibits, including an entire Egyptian temple
  • Armor gallery, furniture pieces, decorative artistic items, ancient musical instruments
  • Statues from many periods and many cultures, etc.

Special Exhibits

Either choice allows you to see a variety of well-curated collections. These rotating displays can be visited independently and depend on your choice.

Buy the entry ticket access to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and see the current exhibits.

Museum Dining Options

Both the Met and MoMA have restaurants for their visitors and guests. 

MoMA has several dining options, including The Modern, a fine-dining Michelin restaurant open to the public and accepts reservations.

The museum cafés, Cafe 2 and the Terrace Cafe on Floor 6 are for museum guests only.

At the Met, book a reservation for The Dining Room to get a fine dining experience.

Read about the Restaurants near the Met to know about the food in and around the museum. 


The MoMA was built in 2004, and its style aligns with a Modern Art Museum. It blends in with the streets of New York.

You can spot it with the sign outside, a clear marker for tourists.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a sprawling building that spans 2 million square feet, a landmark in New York City.

It has been operational since 1880 and is the largest art museum in the USA.

Many movies and shows have been shot here, making the site popular and easy to identify.  The movie Hitch and the show Gossip Girl both feature the building.

The Met Gala is hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art annually on the first Monday of May.

Outdoor Space

Both museums have the added advantage of a beautiful outdoor area. These quiet areas are an escape from the busy city of Manhattan.

The sculpture garden at MoMA remains open throughout the year. The Met Museum has a rooftop garden that holds different art exhibits.

The rooftop opens at 10 am from Thursday to Tuesday and closes at 5 pm. On Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy extended hours until 9 pm.

The Met Rooftop Garden timings:

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday10 am to 5 pm
Friday, Saturday10 am to 9 pm

The rooftop also has a Martini Bar, open on Friday and Saturday from 5.30 pm to 8 pm. 

During the winter months, the rooftop garden remains closed.

Museum App

Both museums offer free mobile apps that can be used to enhance your visit to the museum.

The MoMA App is very simple, and offers audio guides to learn more about the artwork.

The Met App includes more information, such as maps, events, tickets, and a section for members. Information about the Met Cloisters is also included.

Bloomberg Philanthropies supports both the museum’s mobile apps for free.

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About the author

Anukriti is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.