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Metropolitan Museum of Art Tours

Updated: April 9, 2024

This post compares and reviews the various options you have for a Metropolitan Museum of Art tour, including official guided tours, night tours, and tours from outside companies. 

Get skip-the-line tickets with free cancellation.

NOTE: As of March 2024, the Met has once again started to offer Museum Highlights tours, and they are also offering other specialty tours from time to time.

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

Skip-the-Line Ticket Prices

With these tickets, you'll have three consecutive days to skip-the-line at The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters.

  • $25 for Adults | $17 for Seniors | $12 for Students | Children under 12 free (with Adults)
  • Free cancellation with 24-hour notice
  • More info or to book a skip-the-line ticket

TIP: Skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Met is included in most tourist passes available in NYC. Learn more about all of the other ticket concessions available to you. 

There are so many opportunities that it might be difficult to choose the trip that best fits your expectations.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to provide a comparison of every major Metropolitan Museum of Art tour available.

Some of these tours are included with the price of admission, but others can cost anywhere from $25-$50 on average.

Whether you’re on a budget or you just want the best possible experience, chances are that one of these activities will fit into your schedule. 


The Met provides several free guided tours every day of the week.

Most of their tours are fairly basic, but they also provide a variety of walking tours focused on specific exhibitions.

Since they cycle through the art they have on display, some of the guided journeys they offer are subject to change.

Each tour is free with the price of admission, so you won’t have to pay for anything more than the cost of entry into the museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The museum's official tours have received a 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor.

Hundreds of visitors agree that their highlights tour is quite excellent, providing a plethora of information about their installations. 

Before you choose which tour to take, it's a good idea to think about the types of exhibits that would interest you the most.

Although there are museum highlights tours available, many of the museum tours offered by the Met and other companies are focused on one specific topic.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art includes pieces from several different periods in human history, and chances are that you'll find at least one display with intriguing artwork.

With that in mind, here are some of the most popular free tours offered at this fantastic museum.

Museum Highlights

Discover some of the most significant pieces in their collection.

Get a nice cross-section of artwork from several different cultures over the course of this 60-minute trip throughout the Met.

As of March 2024, this tour is available daily at 10:30 am-11:30 am.

This tour is also offered in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Italian and Portuguese.

American Art

Visit the American Wing and see their collection of historically important artwork.

This area of the museum includes significant paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and architectural spaces.

Take a journey through our country's past and see what life was like for early Americans.

This tour typically runs every weekend between 12 pm – 1: pm. Unfortunately, it is currently only offered in English.

Please check the Met calendar for more details.

Modern and Contemporary Art

See the extensive collection of modern and contemporary art on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Learn all about the history of major artistic movements that have taken place in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Discover how modern art led to the free and creative postmodern movement and beyond!

This tour is usually available on weekday at 3:00 pm and on Saturdays at 1:00 pm. You can also enjoy this trip through the museum in French on Tuesday.

Please check the Met calendar for more details.

Impressionism & Post Impressionism

Uncover the origins of Impressionism and see how it flourished thanks to the creative genius of such artists as Monet, Degas, and Renoir.

Once you have experienced many of the elements that made this artistic movement so unique, your tour guide will show you how it went on to inspire the minds of Van Gogh and Gauguin.

This tour is offered on weekdays at 12:45 pm and also on Saturdays at 11:00 am.

Please check the Met calendar for more details.

Arts of China

Experience over 5,000 years of Chinese artwork and culture. Discover traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting as you walk through the history of this civilization.

This journey also includes a closer look at jades, bronzes, ceramics, sculptures and decorative arts.

This tour is offered on Weekdays from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm.

Please check the Met calendar for more details.


In addition to the official tours offered by the museum themselves, you can also take a guided trip through the Met with one of the following tour companies.

Ticket prices will be a bit more expensive at about $50 on average, but these options can also be a lot more convenient. Tour prices include skip-the-line tickets.

Whether you want to make sure that you won't miss anything important or you hope to see a side of the artwork that few get the opportunity to experience, these walking tours can be an excellent alternative to the standard fare offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Take Walks

This is an internationally recognized tour company which is often highly rated by their customers, and they offer three different tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition to a highlights tour that covers the basics, there are also more expansive and focused options that provide an even deeper look at this historic museum.

Group sizes are very small, as each tour is kept to a max of just 15 guests, and tours run for approximately 2-3 hours on average.

Met Express Highlights Tour

  • $52/Adults, Students | $42/Children
  • Spring Availability: Mon, Thur, Sat at 11 am
  • Summer/Fall Availability: Mon, Thur-Sat at 11 am
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Includes admission to the Met.

Meet the Met Tour

  • $64/Adults, Students | $54/Children
  • Winter/Spring Availability: Mon, Thur, Sat at 11 am
  • Summer/Fall Availability: Mon, Thur-Sat at 11 am
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes admission to the Met.

Twisted Metropolitan Tour

  • $75/Adults, Students | $65/Children
  • Availability: Mon, Wed, and Sat at 11 am
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Includes admission to the Met.
  • Covers scandals & secrets of the masterpieces.

Walks of New York

This is one of the most notable and highly rated tour companies in NYC.

They provide a variety of different trips around the city, including these notable journies through the Met.

Discover centuries of art history with the help of a professional and friendly guide.

Their guided walking tours are intended to give you a good look at most of the significant exhibits that the museum has to offer over the course of either 2 or 3 hours.

Group sizes for these excursions tend to be small, so it's an excellent option for anyone who wants to avoid large crowds.

With an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, it's clear that Walks of New York has impressed quite a few people.

Reviews for their Metropolitan Museum of Art tour are equally excellent. 

Dozens of guests suggest that this is a great way to see the Met, stating that their tour guides are very knowledgeable. 

Tour Information

Best of the Met

  • A two-hour trip exploring some of the most important exhibits in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • $52 for Adults | $42 for Children (age 4-12) | Children 4 and under free
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • More info and to book.

Extended Met

  • A three-hour trip which goes into greater detail and reveals even more of the Met.
  • $64 for Adults | $49 for Children (age 4-12) | Children 4 and under free
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • More info and to book.

Museum Hack

If you're looking for a different point of view, this tour company can help.

Rather than just giving you a cross-section of the typical exhibits you'll discover at the Met, Museum Hack provides trips focused on a side of art history that few get the opportunity to explore.

Learn about some of the important artwork that doesn't often get a lot of love from visitors by taking one of these alternative walking tours.

Although this is definitely not your average museum tour, most guests seem to appreciate their experience.

Museum Hack has received an overall rating of 5 out of 5-stars on TripAdvisor and their reviews are generally very favorable.

As a matter of fact, they have yet to receive any negative ratings for their Metropolitan Museum of Art tours.

Reviews indicate that these guided tours are perfect for anyone who is either new to the Met or to art in general, as their guides do their best to make the experience fun for everyone.

As with their competitors, these excursions were most popular with couples and guests who brought a friend.

Tour Information

The Un-Highlights Tour

  • Discover the history of art from an entirely different perspective
  • $69 for General Admission | $49 for Students
  • More info and to book.
  • Not currently available as of March 2024.


NOTE: Tours of the Met currently are not allowed due to Covid-19. We'll let you know when they change their rules regarding both public and private tours.

The following options are perfect for anyone who wants a less crowded journey through the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

VIP and private tours give guides the opportunity to focus more on individual guests and their questions.

Some companies also offer trips through the Met either before or after closing, giving visitors the opportunity to see several exhibits without any distractions.

At an average price of $90-$150, ticket prices are definitely more expensive than your typical walking tour.

The cost of these excursions might be too high for some audiences, but others will definitely appreciate the unique experience.

A guided walking tour at The Met Cloisters

Free Tours By Foot

Believe it or not, we actually offer a private tour of the Met! Over the course of two hours, our guides will help you discover as much of this museum as possible.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the exhibits on display, allow us to tell some of the most interesting stories behind the artwork you will see in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

We have an overall 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor (read the reviews). 

Various visitors have indicated that their trip around this museum was fantastic and their tour guides were very informative.

Some guests were also appreciative of the stories they learned about how certain exhibits were acquired. This trip was highly rated by customers who brought either family or friends.

Ticket Prices

  • Click here for more information on booking a private tour.


NOTE: Like all other tours, night tours aren't currently allowed at the Met. we will let you know when they change the rules regarding night tours.

Empty Met Tour

Whether you want a more personal experience or you just don't like large crowds, this private walking tour will definitely be a hit.

Clocking in at only 90 minutes, the EmptyMet tour is much shorter than some of the other options out there, but you'll also have a much easier time getting to each exhibit.

Your guide will have no need to raise his or her voice in order to be heard, ensuring a more calm and serene journey through the museum.

Although ticket prices are expensive, customers indicate that this is a fairly unique trip that you won't soon forget.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art during an EmptyMet tour

Almost everyone who took the EmptyMet tour was very pleased with their experience.

As a matter of fact, this walking tour has received only one negative review (read the reviews).

Every other reviewer suggested that this event exceeded every expectation, and some even indicated that this would be an excellent option for anyone who has an anxiety disorder.

Most visitors feel that their guides are very friendly and knowledgeable.

Even those who weren't necessarily happy about the short length of the tour admitted that they had a wonderful time.

Ticket Prices

  • $149 per person | Group size limited to 25 people
  • More info and to book.
  • Not currently available as of March 2024.

Curious Minds Tours

Although a lot of Met tours are focused on providing a fun and informative experience for adults, it can be difficult to find a trip curated for family audiences.

With that in mind, this company offers a private family tour around the Metropolitan Museum of Art at a very reasonable price.

This 2-hour excursion will reveal some of the most important highlights of the museum, providing a fun and educational look at over 5,000 years of art history.

Group sizes are limited to 8, ensuring a private and personal journey through the Met.

Curious Minds has a 5 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor (read reviews for this tour), and every single review for their private family tour is extremely positive.

Visitors describe this as an awesome experience that is worth the price of admission.

Parents indicated that the tour guides offered by this company managed to hold the attention of their children, even while talking about somewhat dense topics.

Reviewers typically felt that their guides were not only very intelligent but also enthusiastic about art. Needless to say, this is a very popular museum tour for family audiences.

Ticket Prices

  • $79 per person | Limit of 8 family members
  • Free cancellation with 24-hour notice
  • More information or to book.
  • Not currently available as of March 2024.


If you're considering a self-guided tour throughout the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all you need to do is purchase tickets.

The Met provides an audio guide for anyone who might be interested in this endeavor. The audio guide includes over 3,000 different clips about various works of art that you will find in this museum.

All you need to do is download the app to your smartphone. If you do not have a smartphone, you can get an audio guide player at the museum with a fairly low rental fee.

Most visitors have a smartphone, and it is advised to bring one along for this purpose.

Reviews for this audio guide are very positive. Most visitors have given it a 5-star rating, indicating that the information included is incredibly helpful.

Although some have suggested that improvements can be made, even they were likely to give this app a good review.

Some visitors even said that they would be coming back at a later date to spend a full day with just the audio guide.

Although this smartphone app was most popular among couples, it was also very highly rated by guests who either went alone or brought their friends and family.

Rental Fees

  • $7 per person | $6 for Museum members
  • $5 for Children under 12
  • $6 per person (groups of 14 or fewer)
  • $4 per person (groups of 15 or more) 

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: April 9th, 2024
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