On a hilltop overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters is a curious architectural jigsaw, its many parts made up of various European monasteries and other historic buildings. Built in the 1930s to house the Metropolitan Museum’s medieval treasures, its frescoes, tapestries and paintings are set in galleries that sit around a romantic courtyard, connected by grand archways and topped with Moorish terra-cotta roofs. Among its many rare treasures is the beguiling tapestry series The Hunt of the Unicorn (1495–1505).
Also worth seeking out is the remarkably well-preserved 15th-century Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece). Then there’s the stunning French 12th-century Saint-Guilhem and Bonnefant cloisters, the latter featuring plants used in medieval medicine, magic, ceremony and the arts, and with views over the Hudson River.
Your ticket gives you three-day admission to the Cloisters as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Met Breuer. Note that although the Dyckman St subway station looks closest to the museum, there are steep slippery steps between the station and the entrance; use 190th St station instead and walk through the park.