The New York Pass is a sensationally easy way to save money on over 110 attractions and tours, as well as at select restaurants and stores in New York. I have been to New York over twenty times; I have used the New York Pass several times and I, as well as my travel budget, was thrilled!
What can you expect to find in my article about the New York Pass? I’ll show you everything you need to know about this discount pass and how to make your travel budget go further, including:
- What is the New York Pass?
- How does the New York Pass work?
- What’s included with the New York Pass?
- Is the New York Pass worth purchasing?
If you have any additional questions about the New York Pass, feel free to contact me directly, as I’m always available at email@example.com
Too much to read?
A quick description of The New York Pass
- With the New York Pass you can choose from over 110 attractions; except for the new Summit One Vanderbilt, all major sights & tours are included.
- Once paid, it’s your ticket to the attractions, so you don’t have to pay anything extra once you arrive. All you must do is show your pass at the ticket booth of your desired attraction and in return you will receive your admission ticket.
- The New York Pass is ideal if you plan compact sightseeing days and wish to see as much as possible.
- Three things to keep in mind:
The New York Pass is a day-based attraction pass, meaning you buy it for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 consecutive days.
You can visit each attraction exactly once with the New York Pass.
To Visit the Empire State Building, you will need an additional free time ticket, which you can get via this link.
What is the New York Pass?
The New York Pass allows free access to over 110 different attractions in New York.
It is available in several versions, which therefore also vary in price. You can choose your New York Pass to be valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 consecutive days. You can also save up to 10% at selected restaurants, stores, and bars. Once paid, you can visit as many attractions as you can manage during your trip!
The popular hop-on hop-off bus tours are also an integral part of the New York Pass.
The New York Pass is ideal for anyone who wishes to see many attractions while also being flexible with their time!
Please note: the New York Pass does not include a ticket for the subway or public transportation. You can read more about this in my detailed article on the MetroCard in New York and the OMNY, the new digital version of it.
How does the New York Pass work?
Once you’re in New York, you show the electronic version of the pass in the app or your printout with the barcode at any ticket counter of the 110+ attractions and you’ll then be handed your ticket for that attraction. You can then visit as many attractions and tours as you can manage within your booked days. However, during peak times at popular attractions, your allotted time may be up to an hour after your arrival, which is the case with all New York Passes.
Here’s how the New York Pass works in four easy steps:
- Buy the New York Pass online and download it to your cell phone
- Go to the ticket office of the attraction and show it to the ticket collector
- Get your ticket
- Have fun and enjoy the attraction!
Once you have ordered your New York Pass, you will receive an email with your voucher and your personal New York Pass number. You will need this number for the tours where you must make a reservation in advance.
Use your New York Pass in the morning!
If you are using the New York Pass for the first time, you should start sightseeing as early as possible. The pass counts a day as a calendar day, and not a 24-hour period. This means that if you use your New York Pass for the first time at 8pm, you only have 4 hours until the first booked day is over. It’s much better to start early to take full advantage of your first day!
What does the New York Pass include?
The list of attractions included in the New York Pass is long; highlights such as the Empire State Building, the One World Observatory, and the Top of the Rock are included, in addition to various world-famous museums. Also part of the available attractions is the popular boat tour to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. In addition, there are various bus tours through New York as well as discounts at selected restaurants and stores.
New York Pass attractions
These are the most popular attractions you can see for free with the New York Pass. As you can see, all the big ones are included except Summit One Vanderbilt!
- Empire State Building
- Top of the Rock
- Edge Observation Deck
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- 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)
- Madame Tussauds Admission + MARVEL Universe 4D
- Best of NYC Cruise by Circle Line
Check out the full list of attractions included in the New York Pass here.
Boat tours included with the New York Pass
You can choose from several boat tours with the New York Pass, including these:
- Best of NYC Cruise (2.5 hours, it takes you once completely around Manhattan)
- Harbor Lights Cruise (1.5 hours)
- Landmark Cruise (1.5 hours, it takes you halfway around Manhattan)
- Statue of Liberty Cruise (1 hour)
- 🆕 Liberty Super Express Cruise
- BEAST Speedboat (30 minutes, only in summer)
- Clipper City Tall Ship to the Statue of Liberty (wonderful sailing tour on a tall ship)
My recommendation is to take the Harbor Lights Cruise (Evening Lights Cruise) as it offers beautiful views of the city at night!
The great thing about the New York Pass and Circle Line Cruises is that it allows you to bypass the queue via a special check-in lane reserved only for pass holders.
Bus tours with the New York 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. With the New York Pass you can use the 1-day ticket for free, which includes both the Downtown Loop and the Uptown Loop.
In addition, there are other bus tours to choose from, including the On Location bus tours to famous movie locations or the bus tour to the Woodbury Common Outlets in New Jersey.
Walking tours are becoming increasingly popular and with the New York Pass, the choices of tours to take are vast. From tours of neighborhoods like SoHo, Little Italy, Hudson Yard, or DUMBO, to food tours where a local resident shows you the best food spots. With the New York Pass, you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for, which is one of the main reasons I repeatedly use it!
A complete list of all the spots included in the New York Pass can be found here.
Booking tours with the New York Pass
Your personal New York Pass number is important because you need it to reserve some attractions and guided tours in advance. If you provide your pass number, then it is clear to the provider that you do not have to pay extra, as the tour is already paid for with the purchase of the New York Pass.
Check out this list to see where you must make reservations in advance with the New York Pass. Just choose your attraction and click on the details.
How much does the New York Pass cost?
The New York Pass ranges in cost from $142 to $369 for an adult, depending on the selected options. A child is anyone from 3 to 12 years old.
My tip: if you are exploring New York with kids and they are 6 years old or younger, I wouldn’t buy a pass for them. At many attractions, there is no entrance fee for kids of that age!
Is the New York Pass worth purchasing?
Even before Covid, the New York Pass quickly paid for itself. Presently, it is even more worthwhile! Why? The entrance tickets for many attractions have become much more expensive. For example, the normal ticket for the Empire State Building cost $34 before Covid, yet today it costs $48, and many others have also seen significant price increases.
My tip: plan three full days of visiting attractions rather than five days where you spend half the day at attractions.
By doing so, you not only have two completely free days that you can spend on site quite relaxed, but you can also buy a smaller New York Pass and save even more!
Is the New York Pass Worth Purchasing for Three Days?
Here I have a calculation example for three days in New York; you can see how easy it is to calculate the New York Pass. This is quite relaxed and manageable without sightseeing stress:
Here are some helpful tips to determine if the New York Pass is right for you!
The New York Pass is worth purchasing:
- If you plan to visit 3 – 4 attractions, buy the New York Pass for 1 day.
- If you plan to visit 6 – 8 attractions, buy the New York Pass for 2 or 3 days.
- If you plan to visit more than 10 attractions & tours, the New York Pass for 3 or 4 days is optimal.
- If you plan to visit more than 12 attractions, the New York Pass for 5 days is definitely worth purchasing.
The New York Pass is not worth purchasing if:
- You don’t want to do any sightseeing for a few days in between your sightseeing days. The New York Pass is available for 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10 days and these days must be consecutive! If you only go sightseeing on day 1 and 3, you have paid for the day in between without using it. Reasonable alternatives to the New York Pass are the attraction-based passes like the Sightseeing Flex Pass or the New York Explorer Pass.
- You plan only seeing a few attractions. The New York Pass is ideal if you want to see several attractions per day, as it pays for itself very quickly. If you only have a few attractions on your itinerary, I recommend also looking at the attraction-based sightseeing passes. For a detailed comparison, check out my New York Pass Comparison.
New York Pass vs. Sightseeing Pass NYC
One sightseeing pass that is very similar to the New York Pass is the Sightseeing DAY Pass for New York. The handling is the same and the attractions are almost identical; you can let the price be your determining factor!
My experience with the New York Pass
I have had very good experiences with the New York Pass and can highly recommend it to you. The selection of attractions is enormous, all major sights and tours are included, and it is super-easy to use!