With the Go Pass NYC, you can save up to 50% on over 90 attractions and tours in New York. The attraction-based pass lets you explore the city flexibly at your own pace while saving a lot of money. Find out how it works, what’s included and whether it can be worth it for you.
You'll also love this:
What is the Go New York City Pass?
First things first: The Go NYC Pass is also called Go New York Card or Go New York Explorer Pass. In the past, it was simply called Explorer Pass. The old name can still be found on many pages, don’t be confused! Apart from the new name and design, nothing has changed.
The Go New York Pass is an attraction pass that can save you money on admissions to over 90 attractions. Once purchased, you’ll enjoy free entry to attractions, museums, and tours. There won’t be any additional charges. Further, the Go Pass NYC lets you explore the city flexibly at your own pace.
The Go New York City Pass is available in two variations:
- The Go NYC Pass lets you select a number of attractions in New York you’d like to visit. Once the pass is activated, you’ll have 30 days to exhaust your options. All you have to decide is how many attractions you want – not which ones or when. You can save up to 50% on entrance fees.
- The Build Your Own Pass option has you decide which and how many attractions you want to visit, and offers you a 10-20% discount off the final price. Since this variant is not very worthwhile for most of you, we won’t go into much detail with it and instead take a closer look at the Go Explorer Pass. If you do want to learn about the Build Your Own Pass, jump here.
The Go New York Pass at one glance
- 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions choices
- 90+ attractions, museums, bus tours, walking tours, and cruises to choose from
- valid for 30 days after activation
- free travel guide & app
- mobile ticket or print ticket accepted
- available online
How does the Go NYC Pass work?
Step 1: Purchase it
You can purchase the Go New York Pass at a fixed price for either 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions. After you buy it online, you will receive an email with your pass. You can choose to either print it out or simply save it onto your cell phone. The QR-code can be scanned either way. Because you will receive your Go Pass immediately via email, it doesn’t really matter when you buy it. Keep in mind, however, that you have one year to activate the pass. We don’t recommend buying the pass that far in advance anyway.
Step 2: Activate it
Head to your first attraction and present your pass at the ticket counter. The staff will scan your QR code of choice and present your pass at the ticket counter. Once scanned for the first time, your pass will automatically be activated. From now, you have 30 days to visit your remaining attractions. That’s plenty of time for you to explore New York at your own pace.
Step 3: Use it
Wherever you go, show your Go NYC Pass a the ticket counter and receive a standard admission ticket in return. The pass covers all the attractions and there will be no additional charges unless you want to buy an upgrade. The Go Pass allows you to stay flexible and visit attractions as you go. There is no need to announce where you are going next. You may visit each attraction only once.
The Go New York Pass does not allow making online reservations, except for a few tours that actually require prior reservations.
Go New York Pass Prices
The Go New York Explorer Pass prices vary depending on the size of the pass you choose. We have created a price overview for you that do not yet reflect any discounts or promotions. Should there be any promotions, all prices will be adjusted automatically. No discount code needed!
The more attractions you choose, the larger the discounts!
Number of attractions
(13 years and up)
To find the right pass size for your stay in New York, roughly estimate how many attractions you want to visit. If, for example, you already have 4 must-sees on your bucket list, it’s best to go with the Go New York City Pass for 5 attractions. The additional attraction offers you a buffer that you can freely choose to use.
Go New York Pass Attractions
With the Go New York Pass, you can choose from over 90 attractions, museums, tours and other experiences in New York. The pass easily covers all must-sees for first-time visitors and even goes way beyond that. Standard admission tickets to all attractions and tours are already fully included. You won’t have any additional charges unless you choose to upgrade a ticket.
These are the most popular attractions included in the Go NYC Pass:
The Go New York Pass offers access to three viewing platforms, Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building and One World Observatory. Only the Sightseeing Pass (and its flex version) currently include admission to Edge.
From the MoMA and Met Museum to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Go New York Pass also offers many highlights for museum lovers. The American Museum of Natural History is also included in the Go New York Pass, however, the museum offers you pay-what-you-wish admission. You do not necessarily need to consider the museum when choosing a pass. Learn more about free museums in NYC.
Boat tours and cruises
We love admiring New York’s skyline from the water. Luckily, the Go New York Pass features a major cruise provider in their offer: Circle Line. Their sightseeing cruises belong to some of the best tours. Some cruises offer you the option to upgrade to a longer cruise for an additional charge. The ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island does not include access to the pedestal or crown. For those of you who do want to explore the statue’s pedestal or crown, it’s best to buy your tickets separately. We’ve summarized your options to see the Statue of Liberty.
Hop-on hop-off buses & bus tours
Of course, the popular hop-on-hop-off bus tours are part of the Go New York Pass as well. Go New York works with Big Bus. Sightseeing. Your 1-day ticket is valid for both the Uptown and Downtown route. To use the hop-on-hop-off buses, let the driver scan your pass upon boarding the bus. The Go NY Pass counts the Uptown & Downtown hop-on hop-off routes as only one attraction. You can ride both routes for one entire day. Each additional bus tour would be considered an additional attraction. The bus tours are sightseeing tours. They are not suited for regular transportation within the city.
With the Go Explorer Pass, you also have access to a lot of sightseeing tours, walking tours, food tours, bike tours, and themed tours with across all neighborhoods. With so many choices, here’s surely a tour for everyone!
Go New York Fast Track Entry
With the Go New York City Pass, you can skip the ticket line at these popular attractions.
- Top of the Rock
- Madame Tussauds
- Empire State Building
Is the Go New York Pass worth it?
Yes, it is! The Go NY Pass covers most major attractions. It allows you to stay flexible and spend whole days without sightseeing. Especially if you want to go to both the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, the Go New York Pass is a good choice for you.
Pros of the Go NYC Pass
- save up to 50% on tickets
- you stay flexible
- it’s suited for first-time and repeat visitors
- includes fast-track entry for popular attractions
Cons of the Go NYC Pass
- does not include Edge
- only includes a 1-day ticket for hop-on-hop-off buses
My personal opinion
Personally, I think he Go New York City Pass is a good choice. There’s only one thing the Go NYC Pass is lacking: the Edge. If New York’s newest observation platform is on your bucket list, the pass may not be the best option for you. A good alternative, however, would be our favorite observation deck in New York: Top of the Rock.
While the Go New York City Pass only includes a 1-day ticket for the hop-on-hop-off buses, it does not necessarily have to be a disadvantage. It is absolutely feasible to complete both loops (Uptown & Downtown) in one day. Each loop takes about 2 hours. The hop-on-hop-off buses are not suited for regular transportation within the city.
I recommend the Go New York Pass to:
- everyone who wants to explore New York’s top sights, take guided tours and bus tours without sticking to a tight plan
- first-time visitors as well as for repeat visitors
Still not sure?
Reviews on other platforms are also predominantly positive. You can read a great number of New York Explorer Pass reviews here. The easiest way for you to find the best New York City Pass is by using our Savings Calculator. Simply select the attractions and tours you are interested in and the tool will automatically calculate the pass with the largest savings for you. It can be as simple as that!
Go New York Pass compared to other passes
If you are not sure about the Go New York City Pass or just want to get a feel for different passes, our New York Pass Comparison will guide you. You can see all major differences at one glance and also read about minor differences.
The Ultimate New York Pass Comparison
With so many different tourist passes out there, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. This New York Pass Comparison is here to help you easily spot the differences between all major New York attraction passes...
The Sightseeing Flex Pass, in particular, is very similar to the Go New York Explorer Pass. Because they are so similar, we have created a more You in-depth comparison of the two passes, pointing out the differences to make your life easier. Head to the Sightseeing Flex Pass vs. Go Explorer Pass battle!
Build Your Own Pass Option
The Build Your Own Pass, formerly known as the Go Select Pass, can save you 10%, 15% or 20% on attractions. It is only worth it for you if you already know exactly which attractions you want to visit. With this option, you will need to know exactly which attractions you want to visit at the time of booking. It does not offer you the flexibility the Go NY Pass offers you. The pass you will be receiving can only be used for the attractions you preselected.
You will get a 10% discount when choosing two attractions, a 15% discount on three attractions and a 20% discount on four or more attractions. The total price (and the total discount) of the Build Your Own Pass is therefore always heavily dependent on the attractions you selected.
Starting the moment of activation, the pass is valid for 30 consecutive days, meaning you’ll have a lot of time to visit all attractions. To select your attractions and see the savings you’d get with a Build Your Own Pass, check here.
Why it’s not worth it:
Compared to the Go Pass NYC, the Build Your Own Pass offers you less flexibility and lower savings. You do need to nail down the attractions beforehand and only save up to 20%. You may as well just buy a Go New York Pass for x attractions and save about the same amount while keeping the flexibility.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive about the Go Explorer Pass. Should we have missed a question, feel free to ask in the comment section below!
Does the Go NYC Pass offer discounts for children?
Yes. Discounts are available on child passes. See the price list above.
Are there Go Explorer Pass discounts for seniors, students, etc.?
No. Unfortunately, the already discounted Go NY Pass does not offer any further discounts.
Is the Go NYC Pass cheaper when bought in New York?
No. If you buy attraction passes in New York, they are typically even more expensive! You will find the lowest prices and promotions online only.
When is the best time to buy the Go New York Pass?
With the Go NY Pass, you are very flexible when it comes to purchasing your pass. In fact, you can buy it up to one year before you plan to use it. The 30-day period only begins after visiting your first attraction – not when you buy it. If you choose to purchase the Go Pass last-minute, don’t worry! I’ll be ready for immediate use after purchase.
Do I have to reserve the attractions in advance?
No. In most cases, that is not necessary. To visit and attraction, simply present your Go NY Pass at the ticket counter. The only exceptions are some shows and tours that have limited availability. For those, you will need to reserve your spot in advance. You can do so via the Go New York’s website.
Good to know: reservations do not activate the pass.
Can I use public transportation with the Go New York Pass?
No. Public transportation is not included in any New York attraction pass. It’s best to buy a MetroCard for your visit.
How do I activate the Go New York Pass?
The pass will automatically be activated upon scanning your pass for the first time. Once activated, it will be valid for 30 consecutive calendar days.
Can I visit attractions multiple times with the Go New York Pass?
No. You can only visit each attraction once with the Go New York Pass. Sorry!
Is the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building included in the Go New York Pass?
No. You may only visit the viewing platform on the 86th floor free of charge. To get to the 102nd floor, you’d need to upgrade your ticket for an additional fee. Personally, I think the 102nd floor is not worth it.
Special offer: Until the end of 2019, any Go NYC Pass holder has Early Bird access to the Empire State Building. You can visit the Empire State Building as early as 7:30 a.m!
You'll also love this:
I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world. By the way: Did you like my article? Then think about becoming a supporter of us on Patreon!