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5. Central Park, Metropolitan Museum, Hayden Planetarium

Central Park, Metropolitan Museum, Hayden Planetarium

Advice: don’t start your visit to the Metropolitan Museum in the afternoon, you won’t have enough time to finish it. While walking along the park try to forget that you are a tourist, enjoy the scenery and fresh air.
Location: in Manhattan, between 59th and 110th Streets and the Fifth and the Eighth Avenues.
How to get: the Park occupies quite a large area. There are a lot of subway stations near it. Where to start? It’s up to you. Alternative options: from Planetarium near "Museum of Natural History - 81 St" subway station or from "Central Park North - 110 St" subway station to the south.
Mark on the map: detailed map of the Park, google-map (#5), standard map (#5).
Neighboring attractions: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (on the east border of the Park), Times Square (0.9 miles / 1.4 km to the south along Broadway from south-west corner of the Park), Rockefeller Center (0.5 miles / 800 m to the south).
Spend time: one day is not enough to explore the whole Park, spend at least half day in the Metropolitan Museum and the second half in the American Museum of Natural History. You will need at least 2 days.
Cost: admission ticket to the Metropolitan Museum costs $25. Admission ticket to the American Museum of Natural History and to Hayden Planetarium costs $20. Tickets are included into standard and big version of the city ticket.

Central Park (detailed map) is the world famous park occupying the area of 843 acres / 3.4 km² / 1.317 mi² (length: 2.5 miles / 4 km, width: 0.5 miles / 0.8 km). Construction was completed in 1873. Central Park is often called the "lungs or heart" of Manhattan. Walking along the park you can see the skyscrapers. They appear on the horizon behind the trees and look like the pieces of theatrical scenery set in the background for the admiration purpose. There is a small Zoo in the Park, some lakes, a lot of entertainment venues, monuments and places of rest.
Opening hours: from 6am to midnight, 365 days a year.

A well-known Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met) is located in the Park, on its east border. Time flies in there! You can also visit the top of the museum where you can see a collection of contemporary sculptures and admire the beauty of the Park from above. Admission fee is $25, but it’s a suggested donation. You can enter free of charge or pay less, but it’s not accepted (you’d better buy standard or big version of the city ticket).
Opening hours: 9.30am to 5.30pm (On Friday and Saturday till 9pm).
Closed: Monday (except Met Holiday Mondays), Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.
Virtual tour around The Met:

Not far from the Met, 0.25 miles / 400 m to the north, there is a well-known Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. It was opened in 1959, 10 years after Solomon’s death. This museum contains one of the most impressive and comprehensive collections of Modern art. Admission fee: $15, included into standard and big version of the city ticket.
Opening hours: 10am to 5.45pm (closed on Thursday).

Hayden Planetarium is located on the opposite west border of the Park. It is housed in a sphere that appears to float within a glass cube (photo). There are two cinemas where you can see the films about the history of our Universe. You can watch the stars and the space. It is very romantic. Planetarium is a part of the complex of the American Museum of Natural History. It is also worth visiting.
Opening hours: 10am to 5pm.
Closed: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

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