There are many things to do and see in the Big Apple, including the usual trips to Broadway, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and many top New York shopping outlets. However, with over 55 million annual visitors, it’s obvious the city that never sleeps has much more to offer than just the sights that first time visitors consider to be the essentials. New York City is a to destination for art and culture lovers too. So without further ado:
Favorite places for art and culture in New York City
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For art and culture lovers a visit to The Met, (as it is referred to locally), tops the agenda. The largest art museum in the United States and one of the tenth largest in the world, the Met is houses over 400,000 works of art! You’ll need some comfortable walking shoes.
With so much to see, you may want to peruse the suggested itineraries on the museum website to help you make the most of your time there. There are several unique itineraries as well as tours covering the museum’s most popular collections. Free guided tours are also offered.
From the website:
“The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s earliest roots date back to 1866 in Paris, France, when a group of Americans agreed to create a “national institution and gallery of art” to bring art and art education to the American people.” Clearly the met has met its goal.
There are several dining options at the Met from casual to elegant. On Friday and Saturday evening when the museum is open until 9:00 pm, the Great Hall Balcony Bar serves appetizers and cocktails from a full bar menu accompanied by live classical music. There’s definitely something for everyone when it comes to wining and dining at the Met.
The museum is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm Sunday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday the museum is open until 9:00 pm.
If you have time you can also visit the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to Medieval art and architecture, located in north Manhattan.
For more details, Metmuseum.org
The Morgan Library and Museum.
Originally the personal library of J.P. Morgan the extensive collection found here features an original Shakespeare folio, three Gutenberg Bibles, and an autographed copy of a Mozart symphony. Various antiquities line the halls. The museum is a short walk from Penn Station or Grand Central Station.
Free admission is always a selling point in a venue and this museum is happy to oblige with complimentary entrance on Friday nights from 7 to 9 pm.
Details at TheMorgan.org
The High Line.
While it isn’t yet as famous Central Park, this restored rail line was recently converted to a public green space that showcases indigenous plants. It also has excellent views of the surrounding city. The plants found here typically start blooming in January and stay lush and green until the middle of November. The High Line is free to the public.
Park hours are, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. December to March. In April the park hours are extended as the weather is warmer and there are more hours of daylight. During the summer guided tours take place at 10 am on Saturdays and 6 pm on Wednesdays. To avoid the crowds, it is best to visit this park during the middle of the week.
Staten Island Ferry.
Visitors to New York who are making the obligatory pilgrimage to see the famous Statue of Liberty will no doubt board this complimentary ferry to get out to the island. Even for travelers that don’t plan touring the statue’s interior, the boat ride is still worth checking out for the excellent city views it offers. Ferry riders will have to exit the boat when it docks at Staten Island and immediately get in the line to re-board if they don’t wish to visit Lady Liberty.
The Staten Island Ferry has been a municipal service since 1905, and currently carries over 21 million passengers annually on the five and a half mile run. The five miles journey takes about twenty-five minutes each way in good weather.
What are some of your favorite places to visit in New York? Please share in the comments section below.