The perfect 3-Day New York Pass itinerary

Your guide to 3 days in NYC with the New York Pass

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Get to enjoy New York City for three days after you have decided to purchase the 3-Day New York Pass. With this fun-filled New York sightseeing pass your New York City experience will be much easier and for sure less expensive. Check out our favorite  3-Day New York Pass itinerary and learn how to the New York Pass gives you more time to explore and less time planning and waiting in lines. 

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In case you’re not sure yet what New York City attraction pass you’re going to buy, read more about the best NYC sightseeing passes in our Loving New York Pass Comparison. For more details about the New York Pass please click here. A little more inside scoop on what is the best way to see New York in 3 days without a sightseeing pass, make sure to continue reading with our 3 days in New York itinerary.

How does the New York Pass work?

Der New York Pass

The New York Pass is a smart card that has the size of a credit card. The New York Pass grants you access to 80+ attractions in New York City without spending extra cash for your ticket. All you have to do at the sightseeing attraction is to show your New York Pass and receive your ticket. The New York Pass is being activated once you visit the first attraction. After that, the pass is valid for the number of days you have purchased.

In our case today, it is valid for three calendar days. With the 3-Day NYC Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you want to which offers you a lot of flexibility and lots of savings during your New York City trip.

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Why you should have a 3-day itinerary for your New York Pass

There are a few reasons why you should have a plan using a 3 day NYC pass. First, the New York Pass only works on three conservative days. Having a 3-day itinerary for your New York Pass helps you to save the most out of your New York Pass for 3 days.

Don’t skip a day and use the pass as often as possible. Knowing which attractions are included in the pass is crucial. But, we think it is important to still enjoy your time and don’t stress too much about the 3-day pass for NYC. This is why we created this 3-day New York itinerary in a way, that you’ll visit the most expensive and fun NYC attractions but you’ll also have enough time to soak it all in.

What to pay attention to while using the 3-Day New York Pass

Our 3-day itinerary for the New York Pass is structured and designed in a way that you can experience the itinerary all year long. There are a few minor exceptions that you have to pay attention to:

  1. Some sightseeing cruises have different hours of operations in the summer than in the winter.
  2. Cruises are running more often in the summer than in the winter.
  3. The main NYC attractions are open all year with no changes during the seasons.
  4. Holidays may interfere with your plans. Check special opening hours on a holiday in New York City.

3-Day New York Pass: Our favorite 3-day New York itinerary

Before I start diving deeper into the 3-Day New York Pass itinerary, here’s an overview of the NYC sightseeing attractions, museums, and tours, that will be a part of your 3 day NYC pass schedule.

Day – Hop-On Hop-Off, Food Tour & Top of the Rocks

Times Square & Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

3 day NYC pass
Famous Times Square

We start off the day right with a visit to the famous Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. They call it the crossroads of the world and it for sure is one of the highlights that you have to experience when traveling to New York City.

Right after it’s time to hop on one of the NYC sightseeing busses near Times Square and start your 3-Day New York Pass. With the New York Pass, you can enjoy the Hop on Hop off Busses for an entire day. It’s a great way to get around the city and explore as much as possible during the bus tour at the same time.

Walk your way over from Times Square to the Big Bus Stop on the corner of W 42nd Street and Broadway.

The buses leave every 15 minutes from 8 AM in the morning until 6 PM at night.

Pick the Downtown Route.

If you want you can stay on the bus until you’re back to the starting location, or you can hop on and off as much as you want to.

These are a few NYC sightseeing attractions that you will get to see along the way:

5th Avenue Midtown, Times Square, Empire State Building, Flatiron District, Union Square, Greenwich Village, NoHo, SoHo, Chinatown, Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Center, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, Lower East Side, United Nations Building, Rockefeller Center and many more.

Great option: Statue of Liberty Cruise, Statue of Liberty Museum &  Ellis Island Immigration Museum

If you’re interested in Miss Liberty, get off in Lower Manhattan during the bus tour and use your New York Pass for a cruise to the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy the famous landmark, amazing city views and learn so much about her history at the new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island. Take the ferry to Ellis Island for a visit to the exciting Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

The Hop on Hop off Bus will take you back from Lower Manhattan to Midtown after you are done with your visit to the Statue of Liberty.

Bryant Park & Food on Foot Tour

3-day-new-york-pass
Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan

Back to your starting point near Times Square, make your way over to Bryant Park. The popular park in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan is a great location to relax and feel like a local for a minute. New Yorkers come here for their lunch break, a date or just to read a book.

Right next to the park there’s the New York Public Library and you can see the Chrysler Building as well as the Empire State Building if you look up to the sky. After a few moments of relaxation, it is time for the Food on Foot Tour. In order to sign up for the tour, you have to secure your spot on the Food on Foot Tour website beforehand. We really love the Midtown Mix Food Tour, which starts right at Penn Station (20 minutes walk from Bryant Park).

During the tour, a local guide takes you behind the scenes of the best food spots in Midtown Manhattan and you’re able to taste the New Yorker cuisine at 5-6 different spots. The tour ends at Times Square.

Top of the Rock & Rockefeller Center Tour

3-Day New York Pass
The view from Top of the Rock

With a full stomach, we are heading further Uptown to Rockefeller Center to finish up the day with one of the best views in Manhattan at Top of the Rock.

Our advice: If you don’t feel like walking, the Big Bus will take you there as well.

Great option: Rockefeller Center Tour

If there’s enough time before sunset, check out Rockefeller Center during a free tour with the 3-Day New York Pass. Peak behind the scenes of the famous New Yorker building. Tours are being held every day, every 30 minutes from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM expect 6:00 PM and 6:30 PM.

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Try to visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck during sunset to take advantage of the best light, views, and photos. It’s a magical time to watch the sunset over the Manhattan skyline and something you should get to see when visiting the Big Apple.

Enjoy the amazing sunset at Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock offers stunning views of Central Park, the Empire State Building and the city and will be the perfect ending of your first day of our 3-day New York itinerary with the New York Pass.

Day 2 – Boat tour, 9/11 Memorial & The Ride

Sightseeing Cruise

3 day NYC passes
Our team during the sightseeing cruise in Manhattan

After unforgettable views of the city during sunset last night, day 2 begins with a fun sightseeing cruise on the Hudson River. Included in your 3-Day New York Pass experience this boat tour is one of our favorite things to do when it’s nice out.

The cruise starts at Pier 83 on the West Side Highway.

You will enjoy this sightseeing tour so much because you will get so see so much that NYC has to offer. From the impressive Manhattan skyline with the newly developed Hudson Yards, the Vessel, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island and much more.

Visit a museum in NYC: The 9/11 Memorial Museum & MoMa

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is one of the attractions in Lower Manhattan
9/11 Memorial Museum

After checking many main NYC attractions off your list already, it is time for a visit to the museum. You’ll have a lot of options with the New York Pass but we really want to express our recommendations for two excellent museums in the city.

First of all, the 9/11 Memorial Museum near One World Trade Center is one of a kind and even though it is a deeply emotional and sad experience, it is so worth going. You can pay your tribute to the endless victims of September 11, 2001, learn more about how it was like to be in New York on that day back in 2001 and most importantly find out more about the victims, and how the city was rebuilt after these tragic events.

For the lovers of art and design, make your way over to Midtown Manhattan to visit the just recently renovated Museum of Modern Arts. A lot has changed at the MoMA after the reopening in 2019 and you should definitely check it out.

If you can’t get enough, the 3-Day New York Pass offers more museum opportunities that you can benefit from on day 3. One of my personal favorites is the Metropolitan Museum of Art near Central Park or the Museum of Natural History. They are all included in your New York Pass.

The Ride – A bus tour like no other

The Ride Bustour in New York
The Ride Entertainment Bus tour

Spend the second night of your 3-Day New York Pass experience at one of the coolest bus tours that you can possibly find in New York City. The Ride is an interactive bus tour with live performances that takes your through Midtown Manhattan and offers many surprises we can’t really share before without ruining the experience. It is a must-do though when you’re using the New York Pass during your trip.

Day 3 – Empire State Building, Central Park & Sailing tour

Empire State Building

3 days NYC passes
The Empire State Building

Your third and last day in New York starts off with a visit to the famous Empire State Building. It’s New York City’s landmark and should be on your list when you’re visiting New York City. Try and be there as early as 8:00 AM to skip the crowds and have the Empire almost to yourself.

Central Park Bikes

3-Day New York Pass
Bike tour in Central Park

Enjoy the calmness of Central Park. Rent a bike and ride a loop around the park. With your 3-Day New York Pass, you can either join a guided bike tour or rent your bikes for free and explore the park on your own.

We always recommend guided tours since you’re getting more of the inside scoop and history background of the park. But you will also have a lot of fun on your own. It’s really up to you and your own preference. For more information about Central Park read our full guide.

Madame Tussauds

3 day NYC pass
Madame Tussauds in New York

Now you have the choice between many of the museums that are also included in the New York Pass. As I mentioned earlier, if you have visited the MoMA, how about the Met or the Guggenheim Museum?

Or if you don’t feel too artsy, have some fun at Madame Tussauds in Midtown. I’m personally not the biggest fan of this attraction, but it is an option and I know, a lot of New York City visitors have it on their to-do-list.

Sailing to the Statue of Liberty

3 days nyc passes
Sailing to the Statue of Liberty

In case you’re leaving the city the next day, you can make the most of your last night in town with your 3-Day New York Pass. To experience something really special, hop on a sailing boat to the Statue of Liberty at night.

Please note that you have to make a reservation on the website of the New York Pass. Both sailing trips that are available only run between April and October. If you happen to be there on a Friday or Saturday, from the 31st of May until the 7th of September there is a night sailing tour at 9:15 PM. Get to see the NYC skyline at night. A scenery you’ll never forget.

More NYC itineraries and travel tips

With this 3-Day New York Pass itinerary, you’re ready to explore New York City and make the most of the travel pass and its savings. Save time, save money and save big time on stress to spend everything you save on having an even better time in New York City with the New York Pass. We can’t wait to hear your feedback.

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About the author
Sabrina

Calling New York City home is still pretty surreal. After moving here 5 years ago, I still see it as my dream life. Ever since I’ve been exploring this amazing city for Loving New York I’ve grown to love it even more. I love hooking all of you up with the inside scoop, top attractions, events and everything in between. I'm your go-to person for the hidden gems, best restaurants and the absolute best things to do in the city that never sleeps.

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