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Best Must See Met Museum Day 2023

Greetings, Internet Stranger and welcome to a must see Met Museum day! So you want to enjoying the most fabulous must see Met Museum day in New York City? Are you up for a day of madness and impossible challenges? You are? Excellent! So am I, so you’re in good company. Then come with me.

As I may have mentioned a flobbityjillion times on this blog, I am a Native New Yorker. Obviously there are an infinite number of fabulous attractions in New York to entertain tourist and native alike. Yet if you asked me to pick the best landmark in New York, the choice would be easy. In fact, I can tell you right now.

Want to cut right to the chase, Internet Stranger? The best activity in the Met Museum is this amazing skip the line tour with tons of five-star reviews!

Or if you want to explore all tours in New York City, check this search engine right here to find the best deals!

There is only one tourist attraction that is a) objectively the best and 2. the subject of a beloved Newberry Medal-winning children’s book. Naturally, I am speaking of the one and only Met Museum in New York. (Actually, metropolitan just means city, so maybe there are others? Surely there are lots of city museums in the world. But I digress.)

Since this is not my first time at the rodeo, and by the rodeo, I mean enjoying a must see Met Museum day, I wanted to do something special for my very first blog post about this museum. Then it struck me like a knife striking Van Gogh’s ear.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the Met is open from 10 to 9. I should take the Met Challenge (not a real thing) and spend an entire morning, afternoon, and evening enjoying a must see Met Museum day! This is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are up to the challenge, it’s an unforgettable experience. Observe!

And do remember that you can only do the Met Challenge on Friday and Saturday. Don’t email me about showing up on a Wednesday only to find that the museum closed before 9.

must see Met Museum day

Must see Met Museum day

Where Do I Stay?

If you’re a tourist in New York City, you’ll probably be staying in a hotel while you explore. I mean, maybe you have a kind relative who will let you crash in their spare room, but that kind of space is rare in Manhattan.

I recommend staying in the Artezen Hotel in Lower Manhattan. It’s very easy to get all over NYC from here. Plus, the rooms are affordable and cozy, and there’s free snacks, coffee, and fancy bath products in your room.

must see Met Museum day

If you’d like a convenient and affordable hotel in NYC, click here.

And if you’d prefer to explore other hotel options in New York City, just click here. This search engine will help you find the best deals and location on a room during your fabulous must see Met Museum day.

24 hour tip

To have the best time on this fantastic must see Met Museum day you should get on line for your 24 hours in the Metropolitan Museum before 10 AM. That’s because the line will look like this:

must see Met Museum day

But don’t be scared! The line moves pretty fast once the doors open. The scary parts are yet to come.

The Met has a very lovely pay what you wish policy for New Yorkers, but I think if you’re going to spend all day in a place, you should suck it up and give them your money. That means ponying up 25 smackeroos.

Non-NYers have to pay full fare anyway. Do not complain! It is worth it.

must see Met Museum day
24 Hour Tip

I strongly recommend booking a tour of the museum if you want to get the most out of the artwork. You can also skip the lines, which can get crazy if you are not a member.

You can check rates and availability of the best tour by clicking here!

Then get ready for…

must see Met Museum day

Must see Met Museum day

Morning: See a Special Exhibition

Be aware that the special exhibitions that I saw when spending 24 hours on a must see Met Museum day won’t necessarily be the same special exhibition you saw. They change on a regular basis.

This is because special in a museum is just another word for temporary and temporary means not permanent so you need to snap up those special exhibits while you can. 

Sometimes the Met lets you take pictures at the special exhibits and sometimes they don’t, so buyer beware. For example, in their recent show on European influence on Disney’s animated movies, no photo taking was allowed.

You can see all manner of special exhibits at the Met, from an excellent show on representations of China in art to a stunner on Michaelangelo.

must see Met Museum day

(This isn’t the actual Sistine Chapel ceiling. That’s in the Vatican. But it’s the closest you’re going to get while still staying in New York City.)

One of the most beautiful special exhibitions that I went to was called Public Parks, Private Gardens, about representations of parks and flowers in 19th-century French art. Some people are intimidated by museums, but analyzing art is easy! Just sweep your eyes across the painting and start babbling about whatever you notice. Let me show you how with…

Approximately top 5: “Public Parks private gardens”

must see Met Museum day
1) The garden of the tuileries on a spring morning by Camille Pissarro

One thing you can notice about a painting is the artist himself. First of all, Pissarro is a dude even though his name is Camille. He was actually born in St. Thomas, which I thought would make him American, but back then St. Thomas belonged to Denmark. Anyway, I’m pretty sure Pissarro thought of himself as French, so the point is moot.

You can also talk about the subject matter. The Tuileries had a special significance in Paris after the French Revolution because it used to be a private park for the king. After la revolution, The Tuileries became a charming place for Parisians to walk around and look cool, which is every Parisian’s favorite thing to do.

If you get close enough to these paintings, you can almost imagine you are there with them. I feel bad for the king though. Losing your head and your fancy private park in one fell swoop of the guillotine must be hard to take.

must see Met Museum day
2) A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

With this painting, we’re going to talk about the unusual technique. I always want to call this painting “Sunday in the Park with George”, even though I know that’s wrong. This is just a study for the real painting, which is in The Art Institute of Chicago, along with Ferris Bueller. It’s still impressive to get to see Seurat’s pointillism up close and contrast it with some more “realistic” painters like Pissarro.

Also, I think someone should try to recreate the famous Kim Kardashian/champagne glass photo with the lady with the impressive bustle in this painting.

must see Met Museum day
3) Irises by Claude Monet

You can also talk about the artist’s unique style. If you’re thinking about 19th-century French painters of flowers, you gots to be thinking about Monet. After all, who else actually turned their own garden into a popular tourist attraction/children’s book series?

This is probably the most impressive work in the exhibit because of its size. As with any Monet, it’s fun to walk around and try to find the exact best spot for viewing the painting because if you get too close the image is so blurry. Just be careful to not bump into your fellow museum-goers.

must see Met Museum day
4) Lilacs by Henri Matisse

You can look at how the elements in a painting come together. If you looked at Monet’s Irises and thought, “NOT BLURRY ENOUGH!” have I got a painting for you! Matisse’s “Lilacs” have more than enough weirdness to appease anyone who thinks paintings of flowers are simply too twee for words.

Look at that naked figure in the corner! Look at that pipe! See how Matisse didn’t even finish painting the flowers! It’s like the painting’s screaming, “Yes, I’m a painting of flowers! But I’m still a dude about it!”

must see Met Museum day
5) The Streetwalker by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

You can also talk about the subject of a portrait. Leave it to Toulouse-Lautrec to have a painting of a lady of the evening mixed in with all these paintings of fancy Parisians and expensive flower arrangements.

Apparently this woman went by the nickname of the Golden Helmet because of her wig. Gentleman readers of this blog, is that a sexy nickname? Does it make you think of football or something? I don’t really get dudes sometimes.

must see Met Museum day

Must see Met Museum day

Afternoon: Egypt

Now that we’ve finished the special exhibition, it’s time to take a break. You will need to take frequent breaks during our time on our must see Met Museum day so you don’t get worn out, and shopping and eating are the two easiest ways to have a time out.

must see Met Museum day

I recommend going to the cafeteria and filling your plate with things from the salad bar. The food tastes fine and won’t be exorbitant and greasy.

When you’re done with a leisurely lunch, pick up a trusty audioguide and explore a particular area of the museum until your feet can’t take it any more. I recommend Egypt, especially if you would like pepper on your paprikash. (That’s a When Harry Met Sally reference, but I’m sure you’re cultured enough to know that, Internet Stranger!)

Approximately top 5: the egyptian wing

must see Met Museum day
1) The temple of dendur

This is pretty much everyone’s favorite spot to see when enjoying a must see Met Museum day. It’s a real Egyptian temple that was moved to New York and given this special home in the Metropolitan Museum.

Egypt donated it to the United States in thanks for their help in saving Egyptian monuments during the construction of the Aswan Dam. There was a big competition between cities to see who would get the Temple, but NYC beat out inferior cities like DC and Boston to take home the prize.

My favorite things about the Temple are the amazing views of the park and the fact that NYC doesn’t need to feel guilty about having it because it was a gift from Egypt and we didn’t steal it.

must see Met Museum day
2) Mummies

I don’t really recommend perusing the mummies after night falls. The only thing scarier than a mummy is this clown mummy I found. If he haunts your nightmares, do not sue me. I’m just a blogger and I have no money.

must see Met Museum day
3)The Ankh Puzzle

Those Ancient Egyptians were pretty clever. At first glance, this dish looks like it’s shaped like an ankh, but…

must see Met Museum day

If you look at it from the side view, you can see the shape of a hand. This is like the Egyptian version of those duck/rabbit pictures.

must see Met Museum day
4) Boat models

So Egypt used to have a system called partage, which meant that if a foreign museum came to Egypt and led an excavation, the Egyptian government would let the foreign museum keep some of what they found.

According to my Audio Guide, most of the most valuable things were left in Egypt. I hope that’s true! Partage is why the Met has some amazing Egyptian items, like this model of the Harvard crew team found buried in a pyramid.

must see Met Museum day
5) William!!!!!!!

My favorite thing to see when enjoying a must see Met Museum day! This is the Met’s mascot, the blue hippo William. He got his name in a 1931 magazine article in a British magazine called Punch. Hippopotamuses are very scary and dangerous in real life, and my Audio Guide instructed me not to find the Met’s resident blue hippo adorable because he is meant to represent warlike ferocity.

Too late, Met! If you don’t want me to find him adorable, don’t name him William and make little plushy dolls out of him.

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the secrets of the tour that I can share for now.

You can check rates and availability of the best tour by clicking here!

must see Met Museum day

Must see Met Museum day

Evening: Dinner and Drinks

The rooftop bar at the Met gets a lot of press because anything on a roof is automatically cooler. I used to prefer the bar on the Great Balcony because it has soothing classical music, which your feet will need at this point in the day.

However, the Great Balcony Cafe does close seasonally, so if it’s closed, head to the rooftop! At least we will get some delicious drinks here.

There is also the possibility of getting dinner. The bar usually has a special menu with a connection to one of the exhibits. The last time I went, it was Japanese food in honor of the events celebrating the Centennial of the Met’s Asian galleries.

must see Met Museum day

I think you should always get the Appetizer Sampler if it is available because it lets you try more things and variety is always better.

This sampler came with Edamame, Yakitori, Salmon Roll, and Tuna Tartare. The best dish was the tuna tartare because of the yuzu gel that it came with. I really like to eat anything that makes me think, “Oh weird…yum!”

must see Met Museum day

I also recommend the dessert sampler because if you get dessert, you’ll be able to sit for as long as possible. These were all fine. I liked the cheesecake on the left the best because it was a little tart.

Keep in mind that in cold weather months, the rooftop bar won’t be open, so I suggest going to the Petrie Court Cafe instead if this bar is closed.

After dinner, I suggest just wandering around and hanging out in the various Met stores. You’ll be too tired to do anything else. You can buy some replica art work, books about art history, medieval chanting music from the Cloisters, your own William!!! plushie…really the options are limitless.

At 8:30ish they will make the closing announcement and then you can start to file out with everyone else. Just be sure to take a photo of the exterior at night for proof that you spent all day on your must see Met Museum day, like so:

must see Met Museum day

The perfect end to a perfect day!

must see Met Museum day

Must see Met Museum day

Tools For Travel

  • A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos all during your fantastic must see Met Museum day
  • The most reliable travel umbrella that is small enough to fit in my purse, but strong enough to stand up to powerful winds
  • These great TSA approved clear toiletries bags, so I can always keep spare toothpaste and travel sized toiletries in any carry-on.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you how travel can take you on a journey of self-discovery.

That’s a perfect must see Met Museum day

What are your favorite things to see when enjoying a must see Met Museum day? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in New York now? And who’s the manliest painter of flowers of all time? Email me at and let me know.

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while this article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in NYC.

And there’s a million other things to do in New York City after your must see Met Museum day. Want to spend 24 hours in Brooklyn? In New York City for Christmas? How about the Bronx? Or the best street food in Manhattan? I’ve got you covered here!

Best Must See Met Museum Day 2023 1
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