Originally founded in 1870 with 174 paintings, the Metropolitan Museum has grown to more than 2 million square feet – the same size as the Empire State Building! This tour, led by Big Onion guides, all of whom are PhD candidates in Art History, will take you through the Museum in a new and unique way. While discussing a diverse selection of the magnificent works of art, we will also explore the history of America’s most popular museum. Our guides will explain the intricate world of museum design, collection and presentation, all while placing the institution in a context of New York’s cultural history. This tour could include: Perseus and Medusa, the Pompeii Cubiculum, some of New York’s most iconic civic sculptures, as well as the stories of Richard Morris Hunt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, JP Morgan, first Met President “General” Luigi Palma Di Cesnola, and the only Met Benefactor to be eaten by cannibals. Our tour is limited to 20 participants per guide. Reservations and pre-payment are required for this tour. Fee INCLUDES full Metropolitan Museum admission fee (Admission fee required for everyone, including MET Members, per museum rules). Please note: the Metropolitan Museum requires all backpacks and large bags to be checked.
Health & Safety Guidelines
For our in-person walking tours, see our FAQs below for information regarding our Stay Well NYC Pledge.
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Whether you are looking to integrate a tour into your academic curriculm or entertaining out-of-towners, a Big Onion walking tour is a great way to experience the city.
For more information, or to arrange, please call (718) 499-3001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The southeast corner of Fifth Avenue & 82nd Street, in front of the Duke Semans Mansion (1009 Fifth Avenue). Please look for our guide holding a sign that reads “Big Onion Walking Tours”.
6 train to 77th Street or 4/5/6 to 86th Street. The C train to 81st Street exits across Central Park from the Museum.
Health & Safety Guidelines
Due to Covid-19, Big Onion has proudly signed the Stay Well NYC Pledge and we ask that all of our customers follow these guidelines as well.
Masks Are Required
Wearing of masks is required on our in-person walking tours, unless it is medically unsafe to do so. Our guides wear, and we are offering for sale, reusable gray cloth masks with the Big Onion logo (distributed in individual factory-sealed bags) that come with a behind-head “ear saver” available for purchase for $12. They can be ordered, with your booking, in advance, or at the start of tours via contactless payment.
On in-person tours, Big Onion will follow the recommended outdoor social distancing protocols and will be using audio technology to aid with hearing. Details will be provided in your booking confirmation.
Big Onion will securely retain client contact information for one month, for contact tracing purposes, if necessary.
The finest group of tour guides anywhere. Most of us are full-time graduate students researching and writing doctoral dissertations in history passionate about the history, architecture and people of New York.
More about our guides.
Finding Your Guides
All guides carry an 8×11 sign that says “Big Onion Walking Tours”.
Time & Distance
All tours last approximately two hours. We start on time and walk between one and two miles at a moderate walking pace, stopping at various sites along the tour.
Big Onion generally presents tours rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather please check our home page for notifications or call our hotline [(888) 606-WALK (9255) ext. 1], to confirm our schedule.
Gratuities are always appreciated, but never expected.
With 24+ hours prior to a walking tour, Big Onion offers a full credit for the value of the booking. Credits will be given as Gift Cards in dollar amounts. Gift Cards are good for two years and can be used on any Big Onion outing. Cancellations with less than 24 hours prior to the tour or no shows cannot be credited.
Walks are held rain or shine, but may be cancelled for severe weather or if museum is closed. In the event of a Big Onion cancellation or museum closure, full refunds or rescheduled tickets will be offered.
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