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The Cloisters

The Cloisters house the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of art and architecture from medieval Europe. Best known for the beautiful tapestries on display, the Cloisters also offer architectural installations, a series of special programs, and fantastic views of the Hudson.

"Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters--quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade--and from other monastic sites in southern France. Three of the cloisters reconstructed at the branch museum feature gardens planted according to horticultural information found in medieval treatises and poetry, garden documents and herbals, and medieval works of art, such as tapestries, stained-glass windows, and column capitals. Approximately five thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about A.D. 800 with particular emphasis on the twelfth through fifteenth century, are exhibited in this unique and sympathetic context."

 

Special Programs

There are frequent lectures and programs which are free with admission. There are also regular workshops for children aged 4-12 and their families. For the music lover, the Cloisters offers occasional concerts.

Address: 799 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10040

Hours: 

Thursday

10AM–5PM

Friday

10AM–5PM

Saturday

10AM–5PM

Sunday

10AM–5PM

Monday

10AM–5PM

Tuesday

10AM–5PM

Wednesday

10AM–5PM

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

A big part of what makes New York so great is its atmosphere, and you can soak it up for free just walking the city streets. The changing feel as you move through the city’s neighborhoods – from the Upper East Side and Shoo to Chinatown and the Meatpacking District – makes it almost like visiting lots of different cities. And that’s before you get out of Manhattan into the city’s other boroughs.

There are plenty of places you can visit for free, like Times Square, the New York Public Library, Grand Central Station and St Patrick’s Cathedral. There are also the parks – as well as huge Central Park there’s the High Line on a old elevated railway track, Brooklyn Bridge Park and lots of smaller neighborhood parks.NYC Parks hold free or low-cost events in the parks throughout the year, like concerts, exhibitions, film screenings and tours. Friends of the High Line also run free tours Tuesdays at 6.30pm between May and September where you can learn about the park’s history, design and horticulture.

For other New York tours, Free Tours by Foot run a variety of walking and cycling tours. They cover lots of different neighborhoods as well as themed tours like a Greenwich Village food tour, Gramercy thrift stores or subway art tour. Tours are free but you tip your guide what you think it’s worth. Partnership also run a 90-minute free walking tour of area around Grand Central Station at 12:30pm every Friday. Or you can get your own private guide through the Big Apple Greeter scheme, which matches tourists with local volunteers who show you around their personal New York (book 3–4 weeks in advance).

If you want to visit big-name attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, then it might be worth investing in a New York City Pass. They cost $116 per adult ($92 aged 6–17) and cover six different museums and attractions – if you plan to visit them all you can save $77 on entrance fees.

MUSEUMS AND CULTURE

Entrance fees to New York’s big museums are normally at least $20 per person, but there are ways to save. Some museums have certain times when you can pay what you wish – like the Guggenheim (5.45pm–7.45pm on Saturdays) and the Frick Collection (11am–1pm on Sundays). There’s also free entry to the 9/11 Memorial after 5pm on Tuesdays, the Museum of Modern Art and Museum of the Moving Image from 4pm–8pm on Fridays, and the New York Botanical Gardens every Wednesday and from 9am–10am on Saturdays. Many smaller museums are free all or part of the time too – find a full list here.

A couple of other museums have a ‘suggested donation‘ rather than a fixed entry price. So if you’re happy to brazen it out and offer less, you can save on the usual $25 entry cost to get into the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the $22 they suggest for the American Museum of Natural History. You can also see art for free by browsing the galleries that fill converted lofts and warehouses in Chelsea.

For Broadway on a budget, you can pick up discounted theatre tickets at TKTS booths which sell same-day seats for up to 50% off. Their Times Square booth usually has big queues, but there are quieter branches at South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn. Or check out the next generation of actors, dancers and musicians at a free performance by students from the Juilliard performing arts school.