The New York Sightseeing Pass is one of the most popular New York passes, with which you can save a lot of money on admission to over 100 attractions in New York City. I have used it nine times during my over twenty visits and I’ll show you why I’m so convinced of its value in this article.
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Since so many things have changed in 2023, I’ve completely updated this article. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
What exactly can you expect to find in my article about the New York Sightseeing Pass? I will answer everything to ease your mind and satisfy your travel budget. You can also jump right into the section that interests you the most:
- What is the New York Sightseeing Pass?
- How does the New York Sightseeing Pass work?
- What attractions are included in the New York Sightseeing Pass?
- New York Sightseeing Pass: is it worth buying?
As many attractions have recently increased their entrance fees, the New York Sightseeing Pass pays off even faster than before. If you want to know how, then you’ve come to the right place – have fun saving money!
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A quick explanation of The New York Sightseeing Pass
- There is a version for every type of traveler: the DAY Pass (perfect for those who want to see a lot) and the FLEX Pass (perfect for those who want to spread selected attractions over several days).
- There are over 100 attractions to choose from with both passes.
- With the purchase of a Sightseeing Pass, all entrance fees at valid attractions are covered; you don’t have to pay anything extra on site. All you have to do is show your pass at the attraction’s ticket counter and in return you receive your admission ticket.
- Important notes: Probably the most important difference between the two passes is the ferry to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. This attraction is only included in the DAY option. You can visit each attraction exactly once with the New York Pass. As for the Empire State Building, you need an additional free time ticket, which is available via this link.
What is the New York Sightseeing Pass?
The New York Sightseeing Pass is a discount pass for over 100 attractions in New York City. Once paid, it gives you free admission to the attractions and tours that are included in the portfolio of the pass. It is NOT a coupon or discount on admission; you’ve already paid for everything with it.
Two options to choose from: DAY Pass or FLEX Pass
There are two versions of the Sightseeing Pass: the first option is the DAY Pass; it’s the equivalent of the classic sightseeing pass where you want to see as much as you can manage. All you have to decide is how many consecutive days you wish to go to sightseeing (e.g., “New York Sightseeing Pass for 5 days”).
👉 You can find all the details in the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass section.
The second variant is the FLEX Pass (e.g., “New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass for 5 Attractions”). With this pass you are completely flexible in terms of time and can also do no sightseeing for a day in between if you so choose. The limit with the FLEX Pass is the number of attractions you can visit.
👉 You can find all the details in my separate article on the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass.
Number of attractions
How much time do you have?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10-Days
How many attractions can you visit?
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12
More about New York Sightseeing DAY Pass
More information about New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass
Similarities of both the DAY and Flex Passes
This is what the DAY Pass and the FLEX Pass have in common:
- Huge selection of over 100 sights and tours
- Hop-on hop-off bus tours
- Four viewing platforms: Empire State Building, Edge Hudson Yards, Top of the Rock, and One World Observatory
- No printout necessary; everything is done digitally via the app
- Easy to quickly save lots of money
- Each attraction can be visited exactly one time per pass
- They work exactly the same
These are the differences between the DAY Pass and the FLEX Pass:
- DAY Pass: it is the day-based version. It is available for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 consecutive days, during which you can do unlimited sightseeing.
- FLEX Pass: it is the attraction-based version. It is valid for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions that you can visit (once per attraction) within 60 days of first use.
Is the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass or the FLEX Pass better for you?
Whether the DAY Pass or the FLEX Pass is the right option for you depends on what type of traveler you are.
If you prefer to pack a lot of sights into a few days – that is, plan real sightseeing days in New York – then the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass is better. The advantage of the flat-rate DAY Pass is that you can also spontaneously see and visit more attractions without extra costs! Please note that the days purchased on this pass are consecutive; if you choose to not use it one day, you will not get an extra day at the pre-determined end of your pass.
👉 Are you this type of traveler? Then you can jump straight to the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass.
However, if you’d rather spread the same number of attractions and tours loosely across all days, the FLEX Pass is perfect for you. The advantage of this is that there never are days where ‘sightseeing stress’ arises and you can flexibly reschedule. When buying this pass, you must specify in advance the number of attractions you wish to see, but do not have to specify which attractions.
👉 Are you this type of traveler? Then check out my experience report here with all the information about the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass.
DON'T GET CONFUSED!
Often its name, “New York Sightseeing Pass,” can cause confusion as this is the name of the pass but is also the general name for the entire range of all attraction passes for NYC. In total, there are six similar passes – here you can compare the New York City sightseeing passes.
How does the New York Sightseeing Pass work?
After you buy the New York Sightseeing Pass (this applies to both the DAY Pass and the FLEX Pass), you show it at the ticket counter of the attraction you wish to see. Many of the attractions have separate queues for Sightseeing Pass holders and are generally easy to spot. After the ticket booth scans your pass, you will receive your entrance ticket and you are ready to go.
When you buy the pass, you can have it
- sent to you via email or
- sent to your smartphone.
How to take the Sightseeing Pass with you to New York
Step 1: an order confirmation will be sent to the email address you provided when you purchased your pass. Click on the link that says ‘View my passes.’
Step 2: a web page will open where all purchased passes are displayed.
That’s it – you can now get started with your New York Sightseeing Pass!
Which attractions are included in the DAY Pass?
The New York Sightseeing DAY Pass includes classic attractions like the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, and the Edge Observation Deck, as well as various boat tours, such as the trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In total, you can choose from over 100 attractions; see below for a list of some of the most important ones to see.
The newest viewing platform, Summit One Vanderbilt, is not yet included in the Sightseeing Pass, nor any other New York pass.
- Empire State Building
- Top of the Rock
- The Edge Observation Deck
- Big Bus Hop on Hop off: 1-Day Classic Ticket
- One World Observatory
- Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum
- American Museum of Natural History
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Attention: Since March 2023 the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is NOT available anymore with the Sightseeing DAY Pass. If you are looking for an alternative check out the New York Pass.
Boat tours with the DAY Pass
You can choose from a variety of boat tours with the DAY Pass, including these:
- Circle Line Landmark Cruise (1.5 hours, it takes you halfway around Manhattan)
- Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Boat Tour
- Circle Line Liberty Cruise (a ride to the Statue of Liberty, 1 hour)
- 🆕 Liberty Super Express Cruise
- Manhattan By Sail to the Statue of Liberty (wonderful sailing tour on a tall ship)
- City Cruises – Alive After Five
- Freedom Liberty Boat Tour
Bus tours Included with the DAY Pass
Since Covid, there is only one major hop-on hop-off bus tour provider: BIG BUS, which you can easily recognize by its burgundy-colored busses. The price of the DAY Pass includes the Classic 1-Day Ticket, which allows you to ride both the Downtown Loop and the Uptown Loop.
In addition, there are other bus tours to choose from, including the Bus Tour to Woodbury Common Outlets in New Jersey and the On Location Tours, which are NYC TV and movie tours by bus.
Walking tours are becoming increasingly popular. With the Sightseeing DAY Pass you can choose from over 20 different walking tours. With a New York guide, you can explore individual neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn or book themed tours such as food or graffiti.
For a complete list of all the spots included in the DAY Pass, click here.
How much does the New York Sightseeing Pass cost?
The price of the New York Pass depends on the number of days you are interested in. I have an overview of the prices for you here:
New York Sightseeing Pass for
My tip: At many attractions, children do not have to pay admission if they are 6-years old or younger, so it is not necessary to buy a sightseeing pass for them if they are six or younger!
Is the New York Sightseeing Pass worth purchasing?
See below for a calculation example where you can see how easily the pass pays for itself; even if you spread these attractions out over four days, you’ll still save!
New York attractions
Price (per adult)
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Empire State Building
Ferry to Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
9/11 Memorial & Museum
One World Observatory
American Museum of Natural History
Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour
Circle Line Landmarks Cruise
Top of The Rock
TOTAL SINGLE TICKETS
New York Sightseeing DAY Pass for 3 days
The DAY Pass is a very easy way to save money on your travel budget while visiting and experiencing the best of New York City. As you have seen in my calculation example, the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass is already worthwhile to purchase even with seeing only three attractions per day. That’s very easy to do!
New York Sightseeing Pass or New York Pass?
I am often asked whether the New York Sightseeing Pass or the New York Pass is better. Both attraction passes are almost identical, including all the major sights, tours, and viewing platforms, and they also both work the same.
Therefore, the price is what tips the scales towards the Sightseeing Pass. With our discount code, LNYOffer, you can get up to 42% off compared to the regular price. You can see that in the below table where I have compared the New York Sightseeing Pass and the New York Pass. Bold type denotes is the cheaper version:
... in Sightseeing Pass NYC?
... in New York Pass?
Hop-on Hop-off 1 Day
Edge Hudson Yards
Empire State Building
Top of the Rock
One World Observatory
9/11 Memorial Museum
American Museum of Natural History
Museum of Modern Art
Statue of Liberty Cruise
Price with my discount
Frequently asked questions about the New York Sightseeing Pass
How long is the NYC Sightseeing Pass valid?
That depends on the respective variant: the FLEX Pass is valid for 60 days after the first use and the DAY Pass is valid for the number of days you purchased; so, the “New York Sightseeing Pass for 5 days” is therefore valid for five consecutive days.
Is there a special New York Sightseeing Pass promo code or coupon?
YES! Just use the code LNYOffer to get up to 42% off!
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I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!