Lonely Planet Writer

Non-New Yorkers will now have to pay to enter The Met

Beginning in March 2018, those not living in New York State will have to pay $25 when visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met). The “pay-as-you-wish” policy for all visitors had been in place for the past 50 years however, the current policy will now only continue for all New York State residents and students from Connecticut and New Jersey.

The-Met
The Met opened on 20 February 1872, and was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue. Image by Getty Images/Daniele Carotenuto Photography

In recent years, The Met has experienced a sharp decline in revenue. In 2004, 63% of visitors contributed the full suggested price, but today, just 17% of adults pay the full price. The average per-person contribution has also fallen to $9.

“We are committed to achieving excellence in all that we do, and we are determined that the Museum will remain accessible to as many visitors as possible while it also thrives as a financially stable institution,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President, and CEO of The Met.

Press Preview Held For Edvard Munch Exhibition At The Met Breuer
Visitors take in the self-portrait section of the Edward Munch exhibition titled ‘Between The Clock and The Bed” Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This new effort to generate revenue will see mandatory admission for visitors from outside New York State matching the current suggested admissions prices: $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students.

Admission for all children under 12 will remain free. Special exhibitions, guided tours, and gallery talks will also continue to be free with Museum admission.  The museum has said that it will honor full-price admissions tickets for three consecutive days, allowing visitors more time to experience each of the museum’s three locations.

Inside the Met
Inside the entrance to the Met. Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

“This updated admissions policy will give the Museum a solid foundation to continue to grow its programming and engage New Yorkers from all corners of the city and visitors from around the world, while providing a unique opportunity to direct public resources to underserved communities throughout the five boroughs,” said New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.

The Met is one of the world’s most prestigious museums and presents over 5000 years of art from around the world in its galleries. It was founded in 1870.