Founded in 1883, New York City’s Metropolitan Opera is one of the country’s most famous concert halls. The spectacular venue, fondly known as the Met, hosts more than 20 productions each year, from acclaimed operas to American Ballet Theater performances. Whether you see a show or take a tour of the building, music lovers mustn’t miss it.
The Metropolitan Opera, a landmark institution and cultural hub in the city, is housed at the Lincoln Center for the Arts on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The performance hall contains 3,800 seats within 6 seating tiers, and features a scalloped ceiling covered in 23-karat gold leaf as well as star-shaped crystal chandeliers that ascend just before each performance.
The Met offers tours during the performance season, September to May, on weekdays at 3pm and Sundays at 10:30am and 1:30pm. Visitors receive exclusive access to areas not available to the general public, and learn little-known facts about the building’s architecture, chandeliers, elegant staircases, and murals by renowned artist Marc Chagall.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Met is a must-see for opera, performing arts, and architecture enthusiasts.
- Grand Tier restaurant is open nightly from 5:30pm. Bars, located on every level, are open during intermissions.
- The Met does not have a dress code, but performances are a fun excuse to get dressed up.
- Every seat comes with a small screen that provides subtitles in multiple languages.
- The building and performance hall are accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Metropolitan Opera is located in Lincoln Center, on Broadway between 62nd and 65th streets. It’s a cinch to ride the subway there: take the 1 train to 66th Street–Lincoln Center, where there’s convenient underground access to the opera house. The Met is also an 8-minute walk from Columbus Circle, accessible via the A, B, C, D, 1, 2, and 3 trains.
When to Get There
From September to May, opera performances are typically held on most weekdays and Sundays in the evening, and on Saturdays at midday and in the evening. Check online for the current schedule. Formal events, including the New Year’s Eve gala, are held throughout the year and often take place on stage.
It’s Never Too Late
If you want to tack a trip to the opera onto your New York City itinerary but haven’t purchased tickets, you’re in luck: “rush tickets” are available in limited quantities online. Tickets go on sale at 12pm during the week and 2pm for Saturday evening shows. Make sure to hop on online quick, as these coveted tickets often sell out within minutes.