The most flexible New York City Pass is either the New York City Explorer Pass or Build Your Own, both offered by Smart Destinations. Both offer a choice of 55+ attractions or tours and you only pay what exactly you want to see. Their slogan is "Build Your Own Pass And Save 20% Off Regular Admission – GUARANTEED!"
The Explorer Pass (physical or digital) lets you buy a number of attractions (like 5, 7 or 10) and you choose which of the 55+ options you want to see while you’re here.
The Build Your Own, both printable from home and available on your smartphone, lets you choose exactly what you want to see. With both options, the more you see, the more you save.
New York City Pass – Explorer Pass or Build Your Own
The Build Your Own Pass (formerly Go Select Card) allows you to pick the exact attractions you want to see, print your tickets or show them on your smartphone and go. This pass is great for those who know exactly what they want to do in NYC. You pay only for the attractions you want to see and the more you choose, the more you save!
The New York City Explorer Pass lets you choose the number of attractions you want to see, but decide which ones as you go, once you are in New York City. The physical credit-card size pass offers 3-attraction to 10-attraction passes for a fixed cost. You’ll save up to 45% compared to buying separate tickets.
New York City Pre-Built Itineraries
The Build Your Own Pass has some great pre-made itineraries, like Big Apple in a Day, Pass to New York City, Romantic New York, Must-See New York and more!
Sample New York City Pass Itineraries
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More About New York City Passes
Each New York City Pass card lets you choose from 55+ attractions and tours and is good for 30 days from the first time you use it. The more attractions you choose, the higher the discount.
Build Your Own Pass offers some great pre-made NYC itineraries or you can choose your own custom attractions. Print all of your tickets at home, or display them on your smartphone and save on both shipping and your vacation time.
New York City Explorer Pass offers 3-attraction to 10-attraction passes for a fixed cost. Not sure if you want to see the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock? This is the pass for you – decide while you’re in NYC.
NYC Insider Guide Top Value Picks:
- CitySights Downtown Tour OR NY Night Tour ($39)
- Top of the Rock and Museum of Modern Art (“Rock MoMA” $30 value) OR Top of the Rock and NBC Studios Tour (“Rock Pass” $35 value)
- National 9/11 Memorial and Museum with Hop on Hop off Water Taxi ($25)
Unactivated New York City pass discount cards are good through a year, so definitely make sure to buy your pass on sale before the holiday season! Once activated, you have 30 days to use the card, except when extended.
Each pass offers you access to tours worth far more than $20. Examples include the Bicycle Tours, CitySights Bus Tours, Sex and the City, TV and Movie Tours. Each order comes with a free downloable NYC Guidebook, which includes information on all of the attractions and details on dining & shopping discounts, maps of the area, local info and insider advice.
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New York City 2-Day Itinerary
Check out this great NYC 2 Day Itinerary using the New York City Explorer Pass. Here we use the 5-attraction pass for admission to the Hop On/Hop Off Downtown Tour, Empire State Building, ZEPHYR Statue of Liberty Cruise, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New York Botanical Garden. With a little planning, you can see a lot of New York City with this best of NYC 2 Day Itinerary, without stress and without spending a fortune.
More Info: New York City 2 Day Itinerary
Which is the BEST New York City Pass?
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The New York City Pass Discounts only offer you entrance to a small part of what makes New York City so special. Ultimately, you have to decide how much you want to take on while you’re here, and how much room you want to leave for our New York City Events and Neighborhoods. Remember, some of us live exhilarating lives here and go years without seeing any attractions at all.
Additional New York City Pass Discount Advantages
- Budgeting – know what you’re going to spend and potential exchange rate bonus
- Lines – unpredictable, but they may gain you an advantage, they certainly can’t hurt
- All come with mini guide books and coupons to different things
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