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MoMA or The MET – Which is the better museum?


Many tourists in New York City end up asking, “MoMA or The MET”?

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

However, if you don’t have the time, budget, or inclination to visit both museums, check out our analysis of MoMA and The MET.

Is MoMA the same as The MET?

No, MoMA and The MET are NOT the same tourist attraction.

MoMA is the Museum of Modern Art New York and focuses 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 various cultures and periods.

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Distance between MoMA and The MET?

MoMA and The MET are just 2 Miles (3.2 km) 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

Visual Story: 13 must-know tips before visiting MoMA

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The MET and the MoMA

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) are excellent museums in New York City.

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 on various parameters.

This article will 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.

The Buildings

Their buildings best symbolize the difference between MoMA and the MET Museum.

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

MoMA building entrance
MoMA building entrance. Image: Moma.org

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 attractions.

In sharp contrast, The MET has a much larger building measuring 2 million square feet.

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

Inaugurated in 1880, The MET Museum New York is a beautiful and colossal piece of art.

Many TV shows and movies, such as ‘Hitch’ and the ‘Gossip Girls’ were shot in the building.

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

Modern Art Collection

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

The museum is wholly dedicated to Modern Art and exhibits 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 has a fantastic collection of modern artworks but is not as good as MoMA, which specializes in it.

Overall Art Collection

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

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

The variety of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibits makes it a better option for 360-degree exposure to art.

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

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

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

Outdoor Space

Outdoor space is an 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.

Sculpture Garden at MOMA
Sculpture Garden at MoMA. Image: Moma.org

The MET Museum has a rooftop garden that comes up with a different art exhibit every year.

Cantor Roof Garden at The Met Museum
Cantor Roof Garden at MET Museum. Metmuseum.org

It stays closed on Wednesday and is open from 10 am to 5 pm throughout the week except for Friday and Saturday when it closes at 9 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 warmer weather conditions.

But MET Museum is more fortunate than MoMA in this aspect as it also offers a view of Central Park, which looks mesmerizing.

Opening Hours

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

MoMA is open from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm daily and until 7 pm on Saturdays.

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

It thus has better hours in summer than the MET Museum.

The MET stays closed on Wednesdays, and for the rest of the weekdays, it opens from 10 am to 5 pm.

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.

Price of Tickets

Both MoMA tickets and The MET tickets grant access to the Museum.

However, with the MET tickets, you get the best of the Metropolitan Museum Guided Tour and skip the ticket line entry.

Tickets for visitors aged 15 and above cost US$59 at MoMA.

Children aged two to 14 pay a reduced price of US$49, whereas infants under two can enter for free.

At MoMA, kids up to 16 years of age can walk in for free.

When you purchase MoMA tickets for adults aged 17 to 64 years, you pay US$30.

Seniors aged 65+ pay a discounted price of US$25, and students pay only US$17 for entry.

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.

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MET Museum or MoMA – Which is Better?

After comparing them on various parameters, you must have by now realized that MoMA and the MET are like chalk and cheese.

Even though there is no definitive factor making one better than the other, the better place for you depends on your interests.

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 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 MoMA’s extent.

So, if you are more interested in a variety of exhibits rather than just Modern art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the place for you. Book tickets to The MET

Depending on how much time you have

MoMA is smaller in size and takes around three hours to explore fully.

On the other hand, the Met Museum is much larger and can keep you engaged for more than five hours.

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.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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