My Personal New York Pass Review

Sharing my experience and helpful tips

Image of author Maureen
Maureen
25. March 2020

If you are looking for an honest New York Pass Review, you’re in the right place! I have used the New York Pass multiple times. Now, I want to share my personal New York Pass review with you so you can decide whether the New York Pass is worth it for you.

Contents

My personal review of the Sightseeing Pass NYCLet’s not waste time:
The New York Pass can be worth it for you, depending on your style of travel. If it wasn’t worth it at all, I would tell you straight up! If your goal is to quickly find the best pass for you, head to our Savings Calculator instead.

NEW: The New York Pass now includes free admission to One World Observatory!

First Things First: The New York Pass Basics

Before we jump into the New York Pass review, it is important to understand what the New York Pass is, how it works and what it includes. So here we go:

The New York Pass is a tourist pass that gives unlimited access to 100+ New York attractions. The best part? You save up to 70% on admissions while also staying flexible! With a New York Pass, you won’t need to buy each individual ticket. Once purchased, all admissions are fully covered.

The New York Pass is a day-based attraction pass, meaning that you predetermine the number of days you want your pass to be valid for. During the length of your pass, you can visit as many attractions as you want.

The New York Pass at one glance

  • valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 consecutive days
  • unlimited access to 100+ attractions, museums, bus tours, walking tours, and cruises
  • 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour included
  • free guidebook
  • mobile or print ticket options
  • promo code: LovingNY20
  • available online

Buy pass

How the New York Pass works

Mobile New York Pass

  • Purchase it

Once you pick your pass and order it online, it will be sent to you via email. You can choose to print your New York Pass or simply save it to your mobile device. The New York Pass comes with a QR-code that can be scanned.

  • Activate it

Starting the day of purchase, you have 12 months to activate your pass meaning that you can buy your New York Pass way in advance. Your pass will only be activated once you first use it and is then valid for the consecutive number of days you selected during your purchase.

  • Use it

Simply head to your attraction of choice, present your pass to be scanned, and your pass will be activated. When showing your pass, you will receive your admission ticket in return. Because the New York Pass fully covers your admission, you won’t need to pay anything at the attraction.

Top New York Pass Attractions

The New York Pass includes over 100 attractions, museums, tours, cruises, walking tours, and more giving you plenty to explore during your New York trip. Though you have access to unlimited attractions, you can only visit each one once. Here are the most popular attractions included in the New York Pass:

  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the Rock
  • One World Observatory (new!)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met)
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • 9/11 Memorial Museum
  • Hop-on hop-off bus tours
  • The RIDE
  • Sightseeing Cruises
  • Water Taxi
  • Food Tours

And many more! You can find a full list on the New York Pass website.

New York Pass Prices

Prices for the New York Pass vary range between $134 for the 1-day pass and $339 for the 10-day pass. For children from 4-12 reduced rates apply. In addition to that, you can save even more money with our promo code “LovingNY20”. Below, you can find all current prices with our New York discount code already applied.

Number of days

(13 years and older)

New York Pass adult prices

(4-12 years)

New York Child pass

1

$134

$99

2

$200

$160 $149

3

$276 $204

$201 $159

4

$304 $233

$227 $169

5

$344 $257

$247 $179

7

$384 $296

$262 $199

10

$490 $339

$299 $224

With our New York Pass promo code “LovingNY20” you save up to 27% on your New York Pass!


New York Pass Savings Examples

No New York Pass review is complete without doing the math. New York City is expensive and most of us have one focus when buying attraction passes: save money! So now that we know what it is, how it works, what’s included and how much it costs, let’s get into some numbers to see how much a New York Pass could potentially save you.

Realistically, you can visit about 2-4 attractions a day!

Even though you save more the more attractions you visit, don’t overdo it. Remember that you are in NYC to enjoy it! To calculate your savings, it’s important to know how much you pay per day so that you can then determine how many attractions you should visit per day o make your New York Pass worth it.

Here’s what you would spend on average per day according to each New York Pass:

  •  1-day New York Pass = $134 a day
  •  2-day New York Pass = $100 a day
  •  3-day New York Pass = $68 a day
  •  4-day New York Pass = $58 a day
  •  5-day New York Pass = $51 a day
  •  7-day New York Pass = $42 a day
  • 10-day New York Pass = $33 a day

Individual tickets can cost anywhere from $8 to $69. Here’s what admission cost on average according to different types of attractions:

  • Bus tours ≅ $53
  • Observation decks ≅ $44
  • Cruises ≅ $44
  • Walking tours ≅ $39
  • Museums ≅ $28

Bus tours, observation decks, and cruises are typically some of the more expensive attractions. These are good attractions to choose when using the New York Pass as you will save more money on admission. Museums, on the other hand, tend to be less expensive. If your focus is on museums, the savings with the New York Pass may not be as large. That being said, a mix of all is still likely to result in savings.

My personal review of the Sightseeing Pass NYCHere is what I would do in New York in 3 days:

Attraction

Regular Price

With New York Pass

Day 1

Hop-on hop-off Tour

$55

Top of the Rock

$41

Day 2

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

$43

Central Park Bike Tour

$45

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

$32

Day 3

One World Observatory

$45

Ferry to the Statue of Liberty

$20

9/11 Memorial Museum

$28

TOTAL

$309

$204

= $38.60 per attraction

= $25.50 per attraction

SAVINGS

-

$105

This is just an example of how I would personally use the New York Pass for 3 days. If you choose a bigger pass and visit more attractions, you can save even more with the New York Pass!


Let’s be honest: Is the New York Pass worth it?

Let’s take a closer look at important criteria that need to be included in the New York Pass review. Here’s my opinion on New York Pass pricing, attractions included in the New York Pass, the flexibility it provides, wait times, fast tracks, and ease of use.

1. Ease of use

The New York Pass is super easy to use! You can buy your pass online anytime, whether it is one year in advance or even on the same day you want to use it. Once bought, you will instantly receive your pass via email and you are ready to explore. To use the pass, present your pass on your mobile phone (or print) at any attraction. The staff will scan the QR-code on your pass and hand you an admission ticket in return.

Once you use your pass for the first time, it is activated. You then have however many days you chose to explore New York. If you purchased a 3-day New York Pass, your pass is valid for three consecutive days until midnight on the third day.

The New York Pass is the best-known pass in New York. Typically, major attractions post signs, particularly for pass holders. This way, you always know where to go to redeem your pass. If there is no separate line, just use the regular ticket line!

2. Price

The value of the New York Pass depends on how you use it. However, it has a lot of potential! The more expensive attractions you choose, the more savings you can accumulate and this way increase the value of your New York Pass.

Generally speaking, I would not recommend buying the New York Pass for 1 or 2 days. You would need to visit about 3-4 attractions a day to make it worth it. While it is feasible, I wouldn’t recommend rushing through your sightseeing like that. If you ask me, the New York Pass starts being worth it starting at 3 days. On average, you would need to visit two attractions to yield savings.

3. Attractions

The New York Pass includes over 100 attractions, giving you enough choices to fill weeks of sightseeing! Whether you are visiting New York for the first time or whether you are a repeat visitor, there’s certainly enough to do!

I would still recommend having a rough idea of what you want to see beforehand. There are some museums in New York that you can visit for free, meaning you may not need to use your New York Pass. Instead, you could potentially visit these museums before or after you used your New York Pass.

4. Flexibility

The New York Pass allows you to stay flexible. You don’t have to commit to a date or time to visit an attraction. Instead, you simply choose your attractions as you go. Show up to the ticket counter and present your pass to obtain your ticket. The flexibility allows you to change plans whenever necessary. If it rains, tick off your indoor attractions instead of going to an observation deck.

Check the weather report before and let it guide you roughly

With a few exceptions, you cannot reserve any attractions online meaning that you will need to go to the attraction in person. A few tours, however, require making reservations in advance. That is because participants are especially important when it comes to tours as there is usually a maximum. You can see all New York Pass attractions that require reservations.

5. Wait time

Even though you are flexible with the New York Pass, you are still dependent on the attraction’s availability. So depending on the time of year as well as the time of day, you may end up no receiving a ticket immediately. If an attraction is too crowded, you will receive a ticket for the next available time slot.

That’s why, generally speaking, you should visit popular attractions very early or late in the day to avoid crowds. If you want to visit an attraction at a specific time (for example watch the sunset from an observation deck), you should head to the attraction early to secure a ticket for a later time.

6. Fast Track

When it comes to attraction passes you generally have to make a choice: Do you want to stay flexible and save a lot of money or do you want to save a lot of time? Attraction passes offer you up to 70% savings on regular admission fees while staying flexible with your schedule. However, they do not offer many fast tracks in addition to that.

If you prefer fast tracks, you will need to buy your tickets separately at a much higher price. The downside of fast track tickets also is that you have to pre-determine the date and time of your visit, taking flexibility. There is no right or wrong here, though. It simply comes down to what your goal is: save money or time?

The New Pass currently includes three fast tracks:

  • MoMA
  • Solomon Guggenheim
  • Surrey Rental on Governors Island

In a nutshell: New York Pass Pros and Cons

  • ease of use
  • attractions
  • flexibility
  • fast track

Who is the New York Pass good for?

Whether the New York Pass is worth it for you, depends on travel style. It is a great fit if you:

  • want to maximize your time in New York by visiting a lot of attractions
  • visit at least 2 attractions a day
  • plan to visit expensive attractions
  • want to save money while staying flexible
  • are a first-time visitor
  • are a repeat-visitor

Who is the New York Pass not good for?

The New York Pass may not be the best option if you:

  • prefer a more relaxed way of sightseeing without a packed schedule
  • want to benefit from fast tracks
  • prefer to spread your attractions over non-consecutive days
  • are looking to visit attractions for free
New York Pass Review

Take a shortcut

Our Savings Calculator is the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to find the right New York Pass! So if you simply want to find the pass that saves you the most, skip the New York Pass review and head to the calculator right away.

All you have to do is select attractions you want to visit during your New York trip and voilà, the Savings Calculator recommends the best pass for you.

Calculate your savings


My New York Pass Tips for You

If you choose the New York Pass, here are some helpful tips for you to maximize its value:

  • go for expensive attractions
  • activate your New York Pass in the morning
  • when in doubt, go for a smaller pass
  • plan your itineraries ahead of time
  • reduce wait times by visiting popular attractions early or late in the day
About the author
Maureen

Oh, how lucky I am… always at the pulse of the greatest city in the world – what could be better? New York City is my passion and I’m happy to be able to share my experiences along with insider tips and helpful tricks with you. With me by your side, you’ll never miss a beat!

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