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 so you can quickly determine the very best pass for you.
In my New York Pass comparison, I’ll show you which New York Pass is the best for you. With the right attractions pass you will not only save money, but also time!
IMPORTANT: for some attractions you have to book a separate ticket (free of charge) to get access. You can find out more here.
Update April 2022: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not part of any sightseeing pass anymore.
I have been to NYC more than 20 times and have tested every attraction pass multiple times – so you can be sure that these are real and honest reviews from me!
My top picks
For those who want to visit many attractions and plan with a fixed budget, the New York Pass is the best day-based sightseeing pass. Here you can visit as many attractions and do as many tours as you want or can manage. It is, in my opinion, the best “all you can eat” pass with the most fast lanes and attractions.
If you want to flexibly plan the attractions over several days, the Sightseeing FLEX Pass is optimal. For me, it is the best attraction-based Sightseeing Pass for New York, because in addition to 72h hop-on hop-off, it also has the One World Observatory, The Edge Hudson Yards, the Top of the Rock and a total of over 100 attractions to choose from.
New York Pass Comparison 2022
So what is the Best City Pass for New York City ? Let‘s find out:
Extra tickets are required here
For these attractions, you must book a separate ticket and present it TOGETHER with your respective New York Attraction Pass at the ticket counter:
After booking, you will be emailed all the information with the right links for the extra tickets.
How do New York Attraction Passes work?
All New York Attraction Passes work identically. After you purchase a pass, you have 24 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 Attraction Pass in New York or have it mailed to you for an additional fee.
Pass Comparison New York at One Glance
It’s important to understand a key difference: Some passes are attraction-based, meaning you choose the number of attractions beforehand, while others are day-based, meaning that you choose the number of days beforehand. Besides the type and validity, other differences can be found when it comes to inclusions, advantages, pricing, and discounts.
When purchasing NYC day 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 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!
Note that day-based NYC 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 Attraction Pass will only be activated when you visit your first attraction. These are all day-based NYC Tourist Passes that are currently available:
An attraction-based pass will let you determine how many sights you want to see during your stay. Depending on your New York travel pass, you will have 9 or 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 Attraction Pass is the way to go! Here are all current attraction passes for New York:
Which New York Pass is the best?
If you are looking for a shortcut to the best NYC attraction pass right away, here is my list of the best including alternatives:
#1 The best New York Pass for first-time visitors
Especially if you are in New York for the first time and want to see as many of the attractions and sights as possible, the day-based passes are a good idea. Here are my favorites the Sightseeing Pass NYC and the New York Pass.
They are quite similar and you will not go wrong with either one. The good thing about these sightseeing passes is that you can see as many attractions as you want or can manage!
#2 The best New York Pass for selected attractions
All three sightseeing passes are attraction based and you can choose exactly how many sights you want to see.
#3 The best New York Pass for families
The best sightseeing pass for me is the Sightseeing FLEX Pass, which I already had several times with my family. With it you are flexible in time and it offers a discount of 50% on the children’s passes.
Still not sure? Calculate your savings here for free.
What about Fast Tracks?
Please know that attraction passes primarily focus on price, not on time. That being said, the passes do include a few fast tracks that allow you to skip the line. They are, however, not that many. The CityPASS does not offer any fast tracks. You can, however, upgrade your tickets at the attractions at additional costs.
All NYC Sightseeing Passes listed
Find the most important information on all NYC Passes below. In terms of popularity, the Sightseeing Day Pass, New York Pass, Sightseeing Flex Pass, and Explorer Pass lead the list. Other available passes include CityPass, FreeSyle, Go Select, Turbopass, and C3 Pass. Just because some passes are more popular than others, however, does not necessarily mean that these are the best passes for you, too. Each pass has different strengths and weaknesses.
1. NYC Sightseeing Day Pass
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. On top of that, our promo code LNYOFFER can save you up to 30% additionally.
- Valid for up to 10 days
- Pick from over 100 NYC attractions
- See an unlimited amount of attractions per day
- Hop-On Hop-Off bus included for the duration of the pass
Is the New York Sightseeing Pass worth it?
Yes! The New York Sightseeing Pass can save you a ton of money, provides you with a lot of flexibility in terms of attractions, as well as removes a lot of the hassle from your NYC Sightseeing trip. As the pass with the best value for money of the lot, it is definitely worth it if you are planning on up to 10 days of consecutive NYC sightseeing. In order to get the most out of your sightseeing pass, you should plan on visiting around 2-3 NYC attractions with your pass each day.
The longer you purchase the pass for the fewer attractions you need to visit per day to make sure the pass is worth the money. If you purchase a Sightseeing Pass for 6 days for example (~$254), you get unlimited sightseeing for ~$42 per day, which is below the price of many attractions tickets purchased on their own. This means that you only need to visit one attraction a day for 7 days to make this pass worth it! This is what makes this the best value for money pass of the bunch. You also receive a free $40 coupon with every purchase of a NYC Sightseeing Pass, meaning that you can visit an additional attraction that is otherwise not included in the Sightseeing Pass.
How to use the NYC Sightseeing Pass?
The NYC Sightseeing Pass is a piece of cake to use! After purchasing the pass online, you will receive an email with your pass. You can from here print the pass or save it to your phone. Once you are in NYC and ready to go sightseeing with your New York tourist pass, choose which attraction you want to visit on the go and head towards it with your Sightseeing Pass in hand. Choose as you go, simply show your Pass at each attraction for free admission; easy! If you want to book one of the included walking or bike tours, check the specific attraction here for instructions.
Does the NY Sightseeing Pass include the NY Sightseeing Bus (Hop-On Hop-Off) Tours?
Yes! The NYC Sightseeing Pass includes the Sightseeing bus tour for the entire duration of the pass. All you need to do is head to the Gray Line visitors center and pick up your ticket.
Should you buy the New York Sightseeing Pass?
The New York Sightseeing Pass is the best fit for those who want to visit many attractions and use the hop-on-hop-off buses frequently! Because of its extensive offer, it is a great choice for first-time AND repeat visitors.
2. New York Pass
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.
What attractions are included in the New York Pass?
The New York Pass includes an extensive list of attractions, museums, walking tours, bus tours, and cruises. Some of the most popular inclusions are the Top of the Rock, Madame Tussauds, the 1-day ticket for the hop-on-hop-off buses, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, One World Observatory, the Empire State Building, Edge Hudson Yards and the Central Park Bike Rental. You can find the full list of included attractions here.
How much does the New York Pass cost?
New York Pass prices start at $134 for the 1-day pass and go as high as 329 for the 10-day pass. You save more, the larger your pass is and the more attractions you visit.
Is the New York Pass really 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, and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises.
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,
How to use the New York Pass?
The New York Pass is a great unlimited pass option, ideal for seeing a large number of attractions in a short period of time. Purchase the pass online to receive your mobile pass. You can then show this at the counter when entering the attraction in order to receive your entrance tickets – simple!
Should you buy the New York Pass?
The New York Pass is ideal for those who want to do a lot of sightseeing and benefit from fast tracks at a few major attractions. It’s a great pass for first-time and repeat visitors.
3. NYC Sightseeing FLEX Pass
The NYC 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 100. It is a great option for visitors to NYC who are looking to spend non-consecutive days sightseeing in NYC. The NYC Sightseeing Pass is a great option if you are interested in visiting Edge or taking the Hop-On Hop-Off buses.
The NYC Sightseeing Pass also gives you a large amount of flexibility due to the fact that you do not need to decide on which attractions to visit beforehand. Just show your Sightseeing Pass at the first included attraction you want to visit.
- Valid for 30 days after first use
- Pick from over 100 NYC attractions
- Visit 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 Attractions
- 72-hour Hop-On Hop-Off bus ticket counts as only 1 attraction
Is the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass worth it?
The NYC Sightseeing Flex Pass is most definitely worth it if you are looking to visit up to 10 NYC attractions on non-consecutive days, all while saving money and remaining flexible during your trip. If you visit all of the attractions you have purchased with your pass, it is definitely worth it alone for the amount of money you can save. It is however also extremely worth it because of the flexibility that the New York tourist pass gives you. Choose as you go, simply show your NYC Sightseeing Pass at each attraction for free admission, for as many attractions as you purchased! If you want to book one of the included walking or bike tours, check the specific attraction here for instructions.
How to use the NYC Sightseeing FLEX Pass?
The NYC Sightseeing Flex Pass is super simple to use. Once you have purchased the pass you will receive an email with a QR code (that you can either print or save to your phone), which you can then scan at attractions to gain free entry.
Does the NY Sightseeing FLEX Pass include the NY Sightseeing Bus (Hop-On Hop-Off) Tours?
Yes! The NYC Sightseeing Flex Pass includes the Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tours (Uptown & Downtown Bus Loops) which count as just one choice and are valid for 72 hours.
Should you buy the NYC Sightseeing Flex Pass?
Choose the Sightseeing Flex Pass if you want to stay flexible and use the hop-on-hop-off buses for more than 1 day! Whether you are visiting New York for the first time or are a regular, there’s always something to explore.
4. Go New York Explorer Pass
The Go NY Explorer Pass is also known as “New York City Explorer Pass” and “New York Go Pass” and is a great option if you already know how many attractions you want to visit. Choosing between 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 10 attractions from the list of over 100, this tourist Pass gives you a 60-day window to go and redeem your tickets. For more details on the Go Explorer Pass, including a full list of attractions you can choose from, click here.
The New York Go Explorer pass gives you the freedom to explore New York at your own pace, choosing from an extensive list of NYC attractions and tours.
- Valid for 60 days
- Mobile pass & print at home options
- Choose to see as many (or as few) NYC attractions as you wish
- Saves you up to 50% on regular attraction tickets
Is the New York Explorer Pass worth it?
The NYC Explorer Pass comes in at a great value for money – it not only allows you to save a serious amount of cash, but it also gives you the flexibility of deciding upon the attractions you want to see once you are in NYC. As the pass makes traveling and exploring NYC not only cheaper but also a lot less stressful – we definitely think the Explorer Pass is worth it.
How to use the NY Go Explorer Pass?
After deciding on how many attractions you would like to purchase the Explorer pass for, you can make the purchase online for your desired pass. You do not need to decide beforehand which attractions you would like to visit – meaning that you can always change your mind (for example in accordance with the weather). The Explorer Pass is a QR code which will then be emailed to you after your online purchase. You then present this at any attraction included in the pass. From this point onwards you have 60 days to visit the number of attractions you have left on your pass. These can also be nonconsecutive days, making the pass very flexible.
Does the NYC Explorer Pass include the NY Sightseeing Bus (Hop-On Hop-Off) Tours?
Yes! The NYC Explorer Pass includes a 1-day hop-on-hop-off tour bus ticket, which can be used as one of the attractions on your pass.
Should you buy the Go New York Card?
My conclusion: The Explorer Pass is great for those who enjoy the flexibility and are happy with a one-day ticket for the hop-on-hop-off buses.
5. New York CityPASS
There is only one version of the New York CityPASS. It allows you to visit 5 attractions in New York, half of which are pre-selected for you: The Empire State Building and the American Museum of Natural History. The CityPass will save you 39% compared to regular prices.
What attractions are included in the CityPass?
The CityPASS only includes 8 attraction choices, of which you can visit 5. 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
- 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 New York CityPASS worth it?
This NYC pass is one of the cheapest passes for 5 attractions you can purchase. Make sure to read the list of included attractions carefully as the New York CityPASS is only worth it if you visit all of the 5 included attractions. If not all of the attractions are that interesting to you, be sure to check out of one of the other New York passes as you will be able to save more money.
How to use the New York CityPASS?
The New YorkCityPASS is very simple to use. Once you have purchased the pass you will receive a QR code that you can print or save on your phone. All you have to do is take this to one of the attractions on the list and present it at the ticket counter. You will then receive a NYC Pass booklet which is filled with coupons for the other attraction tickets, as well as a list of the included attractions with their opening times, addresses and more. That’s it! Purchase the pass, present it at the counter of the first attraction you wish to visit, continue with the other attractions included in the pass – Simple!
Does the New York CityPASS include the NY Sightseeing Bus (Hop-On Hop-Off) Tours?
The New York CityPASS does not include any of the popular bus tours, unfortunately. If you are looking for a NYC attraction pass that does include the bus tours, check out the NYC Sightseeing Pass.
Should you buy the New York CityPASS?
My conclusion: Only choose the New York CityPASS if you plan on seeing exactly those attractions above.
6. New York Go Select Pass
The Go Select Pass is also known as New York Go Pass and 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. You can find the full list of included attractions here.
How much does the Go Select Pass cost?
The price of your Go Select Pass is very dependent on the attractions and tours you choose. In general, you will save 10 to 20% with the pass.
Is the Go Select Pass worth it?
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 New York Explorer Pass.
Should you buy the Go Select Pass?
7. C3 Pass
The C3 Pass lets you save up to 30% on admissions. From a list of 11 attractions, you can pick 3 – hence the name C3. While the number of attractions is set to 3, you can choose the attractions as you go.
What attractions and tours are included in the C3 Pass?
The C3 Pass only includes 11 attractions. Those, however, are some of the most popular attractions. They are identical to the offer in the CityPass, including the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, ferry to Liberty Island, 9/11 Memorial Museum, American Museum of Natural History. The only difference between the CityPASS and C3 Pass is, however, that you can visit Edge with the C3.
How much does the C3 Pass cost?
You can get the C3 Pass for $84 for adults and therefore $28 per attraction. For kids from 5-12, you pay $64.
Is the C3 Pass worth it?
The C3 Pass can be worth it if you like the 12 options it gives you. For every attraction you visit, you pay $28 on average which is less than you would with a Sightseeing Flex Pass or Go New York Explorer Pass for 3 attractions.
Should you buy the New York C3 Pass?
The C3 can be a good pass for first-time visitors that don’t have much time or don’t want to visit too many attractions.
8. FreeStyle Pass
UPDATE: Not available anymore!
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.
What attractions are included in the FreeStyle Pass?
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 72 hours. You can find the full list of included attractions here.
How much does the FreeStyle Pass cost?
Prices for the New York FreeStyle Pass start at $141.
Is the FreeStyle Pass worth it?
Not really! Unless you want to explore New York almost exclusively by bus, the FreeStyle Pass will probably not be the best choice. The attraction choices are very limited.
NYC Pass Comparisons
If you’re not sure at all about which pass to choose, have a look at our Ultimate Pass Comparison. In the article, we compare all major New York Passe at one glance, making it easy for you to spot the differences when it comes to inclusions and prices.
Have you narrowed down your choice already and are you stuck between two passes? We have taken a closer look at similar passes and compared them. hat help you make your final decision.
- When it comes to day-based passes, you’re probably between the New York Pass vs Sightseeing Pass
- In terms of attraction-based, passes the decision Sightseeing Flex Pass vs Go New York Explorer Pass
- Stuck between New York Pass vs. Explorer Pass
- Want to spot the difference between the Sightseeing Passes? Check out Sightseeing Pass vs. Sightseeing Pass Flex
- Are you a museum enthusiast? We have listed all museums included in New York most popular passes
What’s the difference between the New York Pass and the New York Explorer Pass?
A major difference between those two passes, as this New York Pass comparison shows, is that the New York Pass is a day based pass whereas the Explorer Pass is an attraction-based pass. They also differ in their offer. It’d be best for you to head to our detailed comparison between the New York Pass vs Explorer Pass to learn about all differences.
Which one is better: New York Pass vs Sightseeing Pass?
Both the New York Pass and the Sightseeing Pass are day-based passes and work very similarly. They do, however, have many differences, some of which can easily make or break your choice. We have invested a lot of time in a more detailed New York Pass Comparison of the two passes, so you can find what you’re looking for quickly. You can read all about it here: New York Pass vs Sightseeing Pass.
New York Pass or New York CityPASS?
That answer depends on what and how much you want o see as well as how you wan o see it. For those of you who want to explore as much of the city as possible on consecutive days, the New York Pass would be the better choice. For those of you who want to explore New York’s highlights and say a little more flexible, the CityPASS may be a good option. It is, however, very limited in their attraction offer.
Your Savings with the New York Attraction Passes
This free tools answers your question: “What is the best pass for New York?”
Currently, there are six major passes for New York City, making the task to find the best New York pass even harder. Most of the NYC sightseeing passes have a list of over 100 included attractions it can be difficult at times to compare them properly. Because we know how overwhelming the choice can be, we have created a tool that helps you to find the best New York Pass in three simple steps.
Just pick the tours and attractions you want to do and visit in NYC and it will calculate if a New York Attraction Pass is worth it for you (and if YES, which one it is).