Finding the best New York Attraction Pass for you may seem like the most difficult part of planning your trip – but it doesn’t have to be. In this article we will present all the different New York City Passes, informing you on how they work, what they include, how much they cost and the promo codes that are available for your use.
UPDATE: Every purchase of a NYC Sightseeing DAY Pass now comes with a free $40 voucher that you can use towards several selected products, meaning that you can visit an extra attraction for the same price!
All New York Attraction Passes work identically. After you purchase a pass, you have 12 months to activate it. The pass will automatically be activated when you visit your first attraction. Unfortunately, you can visit each attraction only once when using a pass. The only exception to this is the New York CityPASS. If you choose to visit the Empire State Building, you can do so twice within the same day!
Once you purchase a pass, you will be able to select from a number of delivery options. The easiest way to obtain your pass is the mobile pass. It will be emailed to you right away. In order to use it, simply present the pass at your selected attraction. The QR-Code will be scanned and you will obtain your ticket! You also have the option to pick up your New York City Pass in New York or have it mailed to you for an additional fee.
Types of Attraction Passes
There are basically two different types of New York City Passes; those that are day-based and those that are attraction-based.
Day-Based: When purchasing day-based passes, you will select the number of days you would like to do sightseeing in New York. During that time frame, you can visit as many NYC attractions as you want! You could also say that these types of passes are all-inclusive or all-you-can-eat. If you want to see a lot in a short time, you should go for a day-based pass!
Attraction-Based: An attraction-based pass will let you determine how many New York attractions you want to see during your stay. You will have 30 days to visit your set number of attractions. If you want to be flexible and do your sightseeing spread over several days, then this type of New York City Pass is the way to go!
Day-based Sightseeing Passes
Note that day-based New York City Passes work with calendar days, rather than 24-hour periods, meaning that if you activate your pass at 7 pm, you only have 5 hours left of your first day. Your New York City Pass will only be activated when you visit your first attraction. These are the day-based passes that are available for New York City:
1. Sightseeing Pass NYC
The New York Sightseeing Pass gives you access to over 100 attractions for the number of days you have purchased the pass for. You can choose between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 days and save up to 70% compared to regular ticket prices.
The Sightseeing Pass allows you to select from an extensive attractions list, meaning there’s surely something for everybody. What stands out the most in this pass is that you can ride the hop-on-hop-off busses during the entire duration of your pass, as opposed to only one day. The only possible downside of the pass is the absence of the Empire State Building, which to us can easily be replaced by One World Observatory or Top of the Rock – our favorite viewing platform. Madame Tussauds, the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the American Museum of Natural History are some of the attractions included in the pass.
Yes! The Sightseeing Pass is the best choice if you want to see a lot of New York. The pass includes all top attractions in New York and still comes with a $40 credit that allows you to visit an additional attraction that is not normally included in the pass. You can also use it to save on helicopter rides. Another great feature of the Sightseeing Pass is that you can use the hop-on-hop-off buses during the entire duration of the pass!
Does Sightseeing Pass offer a money back guarantee?
Yes! In order to get a refund in case you don’t use your New York Sightseeing Pass, simply add on the insurance offered at the checkout.
How much does the Sightseeing Pass cost?
New York Sightseeing Pass prices start at $129. Generally, you could say that the bigger the pass – the bigger the savings! To see the prices of each pass, click here.
DON’T MISS: With our New York Attraction Pass promo code ‘LNYOFFER’ you save up to 20%
The Sightseeing Pass NYC is the best fit for those who want to see the most attractions and use the hop-on-hop-off buses frequently!
The New York pass gives you access to all included attractions during the duration that you selected the purchased the pass for. You can select between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 days and choose from over 100 attractions while saving up to 70% compared to regular ticket prices.
Just like the Sightseeing Pass, the New York Pass includes over 100 unique attractions and tours. The biggest advantage you’ll get when you buy the New York Pass is the access to fast lanes. It offers fast tracks for many of New York’s top attractions, such as the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock. If you don’t necessarily need more than 1 day of hop-on-hop-off, the New York Pass is a great choice! Examples of included attractions would be the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, MoMA, the Met, Madame Tussauds and a variety of Circle Line Cruises.
Fast lane access for both, the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock
discounts at restaurants
Is the New York Pass worth it?
Yes! If you visit at least 2 attractions a day, the New York Pass will be worth the money. Compared to other passes, the New York Pass offers most fast lanes, including main attractions like the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, MoMA, Met, and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises.
Does New York Pass offer a money back guarantee?
Yes! When you purchase your New York Pass you have the option to add 1-year money back guarantee to your order, meaning that if you don’t end up using your pass, you will get a full refund!
How much does the New York Pass cost?
New York Pass prices start at $127. You save more, the larger your pass is. To see the current prices please click here.
DON’T MISS: With our New York Pass promo code ‘LOVINGNY20’ you save 20%
The New York Pass is ideal for those who want to see the most attractions and benefit from fast tracks.
If you still can’t decide whether the Sightseeing Pass or New York Pass is the better choice for you, here are the key differences presented at one glance. To make finding the best pass for you even easier, simply try out our savings calculator.
Bottom line: Still not sure? Personally, we would recommend the Sightseeing Pass over the New York Pass IF you want to use the hop-on-hop-off buses. Otherwise, the New York Pass wins due to its access to fast lanes. Pricing and included attractions are almost identical. The major difference here is that the Sightseeing Pass includes the One World Observatory, but not the Empire State Building, whereas the New York Pass offers the opposite: the Empire State Building, but not the One World Observatory. If we’re being frank, we believe that the Top of the Rock offers the nicest view of them all anyway.
Attraction-based Sightseeing Passes
A New York City Pass will only be activated, once you visit your first attraction and you will have 12 months to do so! Once activated, you’ll have 30 days (or 9 days in the case of CityPASS NYC) to visit all attractions, meaning your schedule can be very flexible!
1. Sightseeing Flex Pass
The New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass can be used as a pass to visit 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions from a list of over 90. It also gives you a large amount of flexibility due to the fact that you do not need to decide on which New York attractions to visit beforehand.
The Sightseeing Flex Pass offers you plenty of attraction choices. What sets it apart from other attraction-based passes, however, is the fact that it includes not only a day ticket but a 72-hour ticket for the hop-on-hop-off buses, meaning you can basically ride the buses for three entire days! The only downside we can think of is the Empire State Building not being included. Instead, it includes the One World Observatory.
Yes! The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass is the best choice if you want to discover the city at your own pace. Every pass entitles you to trade in one attraction with a $40 creditthat you can use for additional products. All important New York attractions are included in the Sightseeing Flex Pass. Another great feature is that you can use the hop-on-hop-off buses for 72 hours instead of just one day!
Does Sightseeing Flex Pass offer a money back guarantee?
Yes! In order to get a refund in case you don’t use your Sightseeing Flex Pass, simply add on the insurance offered at the checkout.
How much does the Sightseeing Flex Pass cost?
Sightseeing Flex Pass prices start at $68. The more attractions are on your list, the larger your savings will be. Check here to see the price of each pass.
DON’T MISS: With our promo code ‘LNYOFFER’ you save up to 20%
Choose the Sightseeing Flex Pass if you want to stay flexible and use the hop-on-hop-off buses for more than 1 day!
The New York Explorer Pass is a great attraction pass if you already know how many attractions you want to visit. Choosing between 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions from an extensive list of over 80, this tourist Pass gives you a 30-day window to go and redeem your tickets.
With 80 included attractions and tours, the Explorer Pass also offers a wide range of options. It does include the Empire State Building, but not the One World Observatory. Knowing which one you’d prefer can already help you with your decision! All in all, though, we feel that the Sightseeing Flex Pass is superior to the Explorer Pass.
There is only one version of the CityPASS NYC. It allows you to visit 6 attractions in New York, half of which are pre-selected for you: The Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The CityPass will save you 42% compared to regular prices.
The CityPASS only includes 9 attraction choices, of which you can visit 6. Three attractions are pre-chosen and the remaining three are up to you! However: you only have two options to choose from and a chosen attraction will always exclude another attraction. Visiting the Top of the Rock, for example, will automatically exclude you from seeing the Guggenheim Museum. Once activated, you only have 9 days to use your pass. Here’s what’s included:
Empire State Building
American Museum of Natural History
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met)
Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum
Ferry to Liberty Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
9/11 Memorial Museum OR Intrepid Museum of Sea, Air & Space Museum
Is the CityPASS worth it?
Not really! Unfortunately, CityPASS limits your attraction choices drastically. While other New York Attraction Passes have 80 and more attractions to choose from, you can only choose between 6 with the CityPASS. However, it can be a great fit for avid museum-goers, as more than half of the listed choices are museums. Only buy this pass if your interests happen to match the CityPASS options completely. In that case, it will be cheaper than the Sightseeing Flex Pass or the Explorer Pass. Otherwise, go for a different pass!
Does CityPASS offer a money back guarantee?
Yes! However, the pass needs to be non-activated.
How much does the CityPASS cost?
The CityPASS costs $126 – that’s $21 per attraction. There is no discount code available.
My conclusion: Only choose the New York CityPass if you plan on seeing exactly those attractions above.
The New York FreeStyle Pass is an offer by Gray Line Sightseeing. The centerpiece of the pass is the All Around Town hop-on-hop-off bus tour to which you can add 3, 5 or 7 attractions. Once you activate your pass you will only have 72 hours to complete your sightseeing in New York.
Any FreeStyle Pass includes the 72-hour All Around Town Bus Tour by default, meaning you can hop onto any Gray Line bus during that time. Additionally, you can choose to visit 3, 5 or 7 attractions within the 72 hours.
Sightseeing FLEX Pass vs. Explorer Pass vs. CityPASS vs. FreeStyle Pass
If you still can’t decide which of the three attraction-based New York City Passes you prefer, here are the key differences presented at one glance. Alternatively, you can find the best pass for you with just a few clicks using our savings calculator.
Bottom line: Still not sure? Personally, we would recommend the Sightseeing Flex Pass and the Explorer Pass over the CityPASS and FreeStyle Pass. We do not recommend the CityPASS at all unless you happen to be pleased by the 6 attraction choices. In any other case, it will not be worth it as the attractions offered are extremely limited. The offered attractions and tour of the Sightseeing Flex Pass and Explorer Pass are very similar, however, the winning argument for the Sightseeing Flex Pass is the inclusion of a 72-hour hop-on-hop-off bus ticket. The only downside of the Sightseeing Flex Pass not including the Empire State Building can easily be offset by visiting the Top of the Rock instead. In our opinion, it is a better viewing platform anyway.
Other New York Attraction Passes
There are even more New York City Passes that we included in this article to make it complete. However, we don’t necessarily recommend them for the reasons stated below. Nevertheless, it may be the case that one of these passes will meet your needs perfectly. The passes listed below don’t fit into day-based vs. attraction-based categories, but would rather be classified as combo packages.
1. Go Select Pass
The Go Select Pass is a customized pass that lets you choose your attractions in advance. The pass offers reduced rates for the attractions. Overall, you can save up to 20% with the Go Select Pass, compared to regular admission fees. Once activated, you have 30 days to complete your New York sightseeing program.
What attractions and tours are included in the Go Select Pass?
The Go Select Pass includes all important attractions and tours in New York and allows you to totally customize your pass. However, you do need to decide what you want to see while booking. Once set, you can’t make changes.
No! The Go Select Pass lacks flexibility. Once booked, you cannot change your mind if you’d like to visit a different attraction. On top of that, the savings with the Go Select Pass are slimmer compared to other passes, like the Sightseeing Flex Pass or Explorer Pass.
Does Go Select Pass offer a money back guarantee?
Yes! All non-activated passes can be refunded within 30 days of purchase.
How much does the Go Select Pass cost?
The price of your Go Select Pass is very dependent on the attractions and tour you choose. In general, you will save 10 to 20% with the pass. To calculate your exact savings, click here.
My conclusion: You’ll be better off scrolling up again and choosing a pass that offers you flexibility and higher savings at the same time!
Three important factors play a role when deciding which New York Pass is the best. Finding the right pass depends on how many attractions you’d like to see, what type of traveler you are and also your budget. If you want to visit as much as you can during your trip, you should probably consider a day-based pass, like the New York Pass and the Sightseeing Pass. With this type of pass, you should at least visit 2 attraction each day to make it worthwhile. A day-based pass means, you’re an energetic traveler. Also, day-based passes are more expensive, so if you’re on a tighter budget this might not be the best option for you.
On the other hand, however, if you prefer visiting attractions on a rather relaxed schedule, spread throughout the entire trip, then go for an attraction-based pass that allows you to take a day off in between if you feel like it. Attraction-based passes tend to be less expensive and are therefore a great fit if you want to spend less money in New York.
If you still have questions, take a look at the most commonly asked ones below. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to us any time at [email protected]!
Can you buy a New York Pass in New York?
Yes, you can! However, the prices will be higher compared to online. We, therefore, recommend purchasing your New York Pass online, even if you are already in New York.
What’s included in the New York City Pass?
The New York CityPASS includes 9 attractions that you can choose from, such as the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock and the American Museum of Natural History. Check out the complete list of attractions here.
Where can I pick up my CityPass NYC?
After purchasing a voucher, you can pick up your CityPASS in New York. You will find all the addresses on the voucher itself.
What attractions are in New York?
New York’s best-known attractions include the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, the Museum of Modern Art and the Statue of Liberty. We’ve summarized the most important New York attractions for you!
What attractions are free in New York?
Knowing which attractions are free in New York can save you a lot of money! The list includes Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library and many more. Check out our 10 Free Things to Do in New York City.
How much does it cost to go to the Empire State Building?
The regular admission fee for visiting the Empire State Building is $38. You can purchase tickets with express access here. If you are a holder of the New York Pass, CityPass, Explorer Pass or FreeStyle Pass, you can even visit the Empire State Building for free!