New York

MOMA or The Met – which is better Museum?

Many tourists in New York end up asking, “MOMA or The Met”?

Well, if you are an art lover we recommend you visit both the Museums.

However, if you don’t have the time, budget or inclination to visit both the art Museums, check out our analysis of Moma vs The Met.

Before that, here are two questions that get asked often –

Is Moma same as The Met?

No, MOMA and The Met are NOT the same tourist attraction.

MOMA is the Museum of Modern Art and focusses on Modern and Contemporary Art.

Meanwhile, The Met is the largest art Museum in the United States showcasing over 5,000 years’ worth of art, belonging to a variety of cultures and periods.


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Distance between Moma and The Met?

MOMA and The Met are just 2 Miles (3.2 Kms) apart.

In fact, after exploring one of them, you can walk through Central Park and reach the other – in around 35 minutes.

Moma to The Met

>>Buy tickets to The Met

>>Buy MOMA tickets


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The Met vs MOMA

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. the Met and the Museum of Modern Art, i.e. MOMA are both excellent museums in New York City.

But sometimes due to lack of time and inclination, one is forced to compare and choose one of the two. 

Though it is impossible to state one out of the two as the best, we can compare the two Museums according to different parameters and give our recommendation.

In this article, we will try and compare the two Museums according to the building, Modern Art on display, the rest of the art collection, outdoor space, opening hours, location and ticket prices.

1. The buildings

The difference between MOMA and The Met is best symbolised through their buildings.

The building of MOMA is newer and more suitable for the structure of a Modern Art Museum.

Inaugurated in 2004, the Museum merges so well with the rest of the city that it can hardly be identified from outside.

A large sign put outside the building helps tourists identify tourist attraction.

In sharp contrast, The Met has a much larger building – as massive as 2 million square feet.

It is, in fact, the largest art museum in the USA.

Inaugurated in 1880, MOMA is a beautiful and colossal and is a piece of art in itself.

So much so, many TV shows and movies such as ‘Hitch’ and the ‘Gossip Girls’ have been shot here. 

This building is also the venue for Met Gala, Superbowl of Fashion which takes place on the first Monday of May every year.

Winner: The Met

2. Modern Art

If you’re a fan of Modern Art, MOMA must be your first priority.

The museum is wholly dedicated to Modern Art and exhibits the work of world-famous Modern artists like Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol.

You’ll also like the pieces of contemporary art here.

The Met, in contrast, has more of the classic artworks from across the World and periods.

It does have a fantastic collection of modern artworks, but not as good as the Museum that specialises in it.

Winner: MOMA

3. Overall Art Collection

MOMA focuses utterly on Modern Art, and thus there’s less variety in the exhibits.

It displays the commendable modern artworks in a way good enough to charm the Modern Art enthusiasts.

The variety in the exhibits of The Met makes it a better option for many for those pursuing a 360-degree exposure to art.

You’ll find the modern artworks and traditional art pieces all at the same place.

They have collections of 20th-century paintings and sculptures and Egyptian exhibits including an entire Egyptian temple, an excellent armour gallery, furniture pieces, decorative artistic items, ancient musical instruments and statues from many periods and many cultures.

Thus it is the winner due to the variety it offers.

Winner: The Met

4. Outdoor space

Outdoor space is a very essential aspect of Manhattan buildings, and both Museums have invested in a quiet, beautiful outdoor area.

MOMA is known for its sculpture garden which stays open throughout the year irrespective of the weather conditions.

The Met has a rooftop which comes up with a different art exhibit every year.

It stays closed on Mondays and is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm throughout the week except on Friday and Saturday when it closes at 8 pm.

The rooftop also has a Martini Bar which is open only on Friday and Saturday from 5.30 pm to 8.00 pm.

But the sad part is that the rooftop is accessible only in the warmer weather conditions.

But Met is more fortunate than MOMA in this aspect as it also offers a view of the Central Park which looks mesmerising.

Winner: The Met

5. Opening hours

There are times when you end up choosing between the MOMA or the Met due to timing restrictions.

MOMA stays open throughout the week between 10.30 am to 5.30 pm.

In the summer season, it stays open till 9 pm on Thursday and Saturday.

It thus has better hours in summers than the Met.

The Met stays open from 10 am to 5.30 pm from Sunday to Thursday, and on Fridays and Saturdays, it is accessible from 10 am to 9 pm.

So barring the summers, it has better hours than the MOMA throughout the year.

It’s better to go to either of the museums in the mornings as they get crowded by noon.

Due to the smaller size, MOMA seems more crowded than The Met all the time.

Winner: Tie

6. Price of tickets

Both the MOMA and the Met tickets have similar ticket prices.

At The Met, the citizens of New York can choose the price they want to pay to enter the Museum.

Yes, that’s right…when a local buys a Museum ticket, they can name their price.

This ‘pay what you can’ bonus applies to residents of NYC and students from NY, NJ & Connecticut.

The bonus doesn’t apply to tourists from outside and they have to pay a mandatory fee.

Children under 12 years of age are allowed to get in for free.

At MOMA, everyone has a fixed entrance fee.

But with the assistance of UNIQLO, the entrance has been made free for Friday evening i.e. from 4 pm to 8 pm.

From July 1 to September 2, this offer provides free access until 9 pm.

It’s recommended to go early on Friday to avail this offer as it’s famous and attracts a lot of crowds.

Winner: The Met

Note: The New York Pass includes admission to 100+ attractions of the New York City, and both the MOMA and The Met are a part of it. Buy Now


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Which is better – The Met or Moma?

After comparing them on various parameters, you must have by now realized that Moma and The Met are like chalk and cheese.

We don’t want to take a stand on which is better, however, since you don’t leave us with a choice here is our suggestion based on the situation.

Depending on your area of interest

MOMA is a hub of Modern Art.

Its area of focus is photography, architecture, and artistry from modern artists.

If your interest lies only in the modern artworks, i.e. things made after 1900 and you don’t care about other elements of art, MOMA is best for you. Book MOMA tickets

The Met contains both works of modern artistry and ancient pieces from old masters and antiquities of times immemorial.

It contains a small collection of modern artworks and doesn’t focus on them to the extent MOMA does.

So if you’re more interested in a variety of exhibits rather than just Modern art, Met is the place for you. Book tickets to The Met

Depending on how much time you have

MOMA is smaller in size takes less than four hours to explore fully.

The Met, on the other hand, is much larger and demands one whole day to be explored thoroughly.

If you are short on time but want the satisfaction of having visited a Museum in New York, we suggest you opt for MOMA.

And keep The Met for your next visit.

>> Buy MOMA tickets

>>Buy tickets to The Met

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