New York Pass, NYC Explorer Pass, Go Select Card, New York CityPASS Compared

In MOST cases, the New York City Pass discounts can help you save money. We review the New York Pass, New York CityPASS, New York Sightseeing Pass, New York City Explorer Pass (kind of confusing, right?). Find out the best New York Attractions Pass, if you can buy the New York Pass in New York, how to buy the New York City Pass @ Costco and more.

NY Sightseeing Pass
NYC Sightseeing Pass

The New York Pass
New York City Pass Discounts

  • Includes 100 tours and attractions
  • Choose 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 Days
  • Digital or Physical Pass
  • New York Pass

New York CityPASS
New York CityPASS

  • 6 top attractions (of 9 choices)
  • Smartphone or Ticket booklet
  • Good for 9 Days from first use
  • New York CityPASS

NY Explorer Pass
New York City Explorer Pass

You can also download the New York City Pass Discounts Comparison for a side by side comparison with attraction prices. Please read the tips below on comparing the New York City Pass Discounts to help evaluate the right New York City Attractions Passes for you and your family. “Hidden” marketing behind the each discount pass is revealed and please read the Full Disclosure below.

NYC Sightseeing Pass

Choice of the FLEX Pass or Sightseeing DAY Pass. The Day Pass is good for a set number of days (1-10) and you can visit as many of 100 attractions as you want during your time in New York City. The Flex pass lets you choose how many attractions you want to see and decide which ones as you go, during your trip.

Adult Prices range from $129 (1 Day) to $399 (10 Day). NOTE: The passes are almost always on sale and offer promo codes, so please check the New York Sightseeing Pass Website for current prices. Using an average of $25 per attraction and 3 attractions per day, it makes the most financial sense to purchase the 3-10 Day Passes. The Flex pass makes more financial sense for a shorter trip.

You have 12 months from date of purchase to activate your passes, so try and buy your pass when they are on sale. Your Pass gets activated in NYC the moment you use it at an attraction or service. It is then valid for the number of consecutive days it was purchased for, or the number of attractions selected. Each Sightseeing Pass attraction can be visited once. FLEX Pass customers have 30 days to use their attraction choices.

Direct Site: New York Sightseeing Pass Website

Read More: Coming Soon

NYC Sightseeing Pass Unique Value:

  • Unlimited Hop on Hop off Buses – valid for the whole duration of day passes or 72hours in Flex Products. Brooklyn Hop on Hop off Tour and Night Tour are also available
  • Only pass to include One World Observatory
  • For each New York Sightseeing Pass you purchase you receive a credit code valid for up to $40 – Use this credit towards the purchase of Empire State Building Observatory, helicopter rides, attractions, Broadway packages, day trips to places like Niagara Falls and Washington, D.C. and dinner cruises. See Sightseeing Pass $40 credit for options.
  • Choice of 11 different Food on Foot tours (usually $50 each)
  • Exclusive attractions like One World Observatory, Airport Transfer, Central Park and Bronx Zoo or NY Aquarium
  • 3 Day ticket to all MET locations
  • Free Roundtrip Bus to Woodbury Commons (huge discount shopping) with 8 different departure times.

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The New York Pass

The New York Pass is a Pass Discount Card good for a number of days (1, 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 Days) with full access to over 100 attractions and tours.

The New York Pass

Adult Prices range from $124 (1 Day) to $419 (10 Day). NOTE: The passes are almost always on sale and offer promo codes, so please check the New York Pass Website for current prices. Using an average of $25 per attraction and 3 attractions per day, it is difficult to see the value in a 1 or 2 day pass.

However, the 3-10 day New York City pass discounts are a good value, especially if you take advantage of some of the more expensive tours and attractions or use the 15% discount on a Helicopter Tour (about $100 per person for 8 minutes).

Direct Site: Buy The New York Pass Up to 12 Months in Advance

Read More: New York Pass

NYC Insider Guide Top Value Picks:
1) Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tours 2 Day Pass ($62)
2) Central Park Bicycle Rentals & Tours ($49)
3) Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises ($43)

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New York City Explorer Pass or Go Select Card

Build Your Own Pass And Save 20% Off Regular Admission – GUARANTEED!

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 pass offers 3-attraction to 10-attraction passes for a fixed cost. You’ll save up to 45% compared to buying separate tickets.

The New York City 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!

Each New York City Pass Discounts lets you choose from over 50 attractions and tours and is good for 30 days. The more attractions you choose, the higher the discount. The Go Select card even 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!

Direct Site: Buy Explorer or Go Select Card Up to 12 Months in Advance

Read More: New York City Pass (Explorer and Go Select)

NYC Insider Guide Top Value Picks:

  1. CitySights Double Decker Downtown Tour OR NY Night Tour ($39)
  2. Top of the Rock Observation Deck and Museum of Modern Art (“Rock MoMA” $30 value) OR Top of the Rock and NBC Studios Tour (“Rock Pass” $35 value)
  3. 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.

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New York CityPASS

New York City Pass

The New York CityPASS offers admission to six attractions over 9 days. Cost: $126 Adult. $104 Youth 6-17

1) Empire State Experience ($37)

2) American Museum of Natural History and Space Show ($28)

3) Guggenheim Museum ($25) OR Top of the Rock ($39)

4) 9/11 Memorial & Museum ($24) OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($33

5) The Met (Suggested Donation $25)

6) Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise ($36) OR Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Cruise ($18).

Direct Site: New York CityPASS Buy Tickets

Read More: New York CityPASS

The combined retail value for Empire State Building Tickets Discount with Audio Tour, AMNH, and Top of the Rock is at least $85. Outside of Pay-As-You-Wish days and times, the 9-11 Museum is $24, Guggenheim is $25. The Met is always suggested donation of $25, and the CityPASS pays your suggested donation. The CitySights stop number for each CityPASS attraction is conveniently noted on the tickets along with other attraction contact info and helpful info. Your booklet also includes a map.

The CityPASS also offers the New York City Pass 3 Attractions (C3), best for those doing 1-2 days of sightseeing. You can choose any three of The Empire State Building, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Guggenheim Museum or Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises.

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Download the FREE Attractions Pass Comparison

New York City Pass Discounts

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How to Compare New York City Pass Discounts

I would suggest using at least 2 hours per attraction as an average time and 3 as the average number of top attractions you will see per day. Four big attractions is aggressive, and that kind of schedule will leave you almost no time to wander, eat, window shop or see the “Insider” New York City.

You get the peak financial value out of most of the New York City Pass Discounts when you do a lot of NYC tours, such as a Hop On and Off Bus Tour, Bicycle Tours, Food on Foot Tours, Boat or Cruise Tours, NBC Studio Tour, Movie and TV Tours or the Sex and the City Tour.

As for shortcutting lines, there is no guarantee, but there may be an advantage. However, you can never shortcut a security line, such as the one at the Statue of Liberty.

Empire State Building – three of the New York City Discount Passes include admission to the 86th Floor Observatory (indoor and outdoor Observatory). It is an additional $15 for the 102nd floor (indoor only). The Sightseeing Pass does not include the ESB, but it does offer a $40 credit towards your ticket.

Museum of Natural History – The Planetarium Space Show is included only with the CityPASS. Museum access is a $23 suggested donation or admission to the Museum and Space Show is $25 at all times. The Planetarium and Space Show is a must-see for kids, and frankly, I think for all adults as well.

CityPass

  • Includes free general admission to the Museum, Rose Center for Earth and Space and Space Show
  • Additional discounted rate to all other special exhibits or films not included.
  • Special Exhibit or IMAX  Adult $9.50, Child $8

New York Pass and Explorer Pass

  • Includes free general admission to the Museum and Rose Center for Earth and Space
  • Discounted rates to any of the special exhibits or films that are not included with general admission.
  • Space show add Adult $12.50, Child $9.50, Special Exhibit or IMAX add Adult $8.50, Child $6.50

The Met is always a suggested donation of $25, never an admission price. MOMA and Guggenheim both have Pay-As-You-Wish days and times. However, you absolutely should donate something to the museums at all times, if it’s within your budget, and each New York City Discount Pass donates a portion of their proceeds to the Museums accordingly.

Statue of Liberty monument access is always free, but there is a cost for the Ferry ride. Complimentary Monument Access passes must be reserved in advance and they are timed to minimize security risks. None of these passes include access or a reservation to go INTO the Statue of Liberty Museum. Climbing to the Top of Lady Liberty’s Crown will cost an additional $3.00 and must also be reserved. Check all the details of your discount pass before you go.

All New York City Pass Discount comparisons are for Adult passes only, assume no specials or discounts, which these companies very often have, and the dollar figures are rounded for simplicity.

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New York Pass Questions and Reviews

  • New York Explorer Pass vs. The New York Pass for bus tour?
    Hello! From everything I have read, the hop on hop off bus tour option on both passes, once purchased, is supposed to cover all fees for the tour selected….
  • NY City Pass or NY Pass Review or Explorer Pass?
    Which is best?? We want to see all the “tourist” stuff!
  • CityPass Was a Great Introduction to New York
    The Passes made our enjoyment of New York so much better than if we had tried to find our way around by taxi or pot luck. I highly recommend this to anyone going to New York for the first time or for those who have not been there in a long time. I Love New York and definitely plan to return.
  • Can you buy the New York City Pass at Costco?
    As of late 2018, one version of the Explorer Pass, offering 4 attractions is available at Costco for a price slightly lower than buying directly at the Explorer Pass site. If you use our top value picks, then you will definitely save money on your pass. Another great place to get to this pass is at New York City Pass Groupon
  • What is the Best Attraction Pass for New York?
    Well, we certainly hope this page has helped you answer that question for yourself. Our city offers a lot of discounts and passes, so finding the best attraction pass for New York for your trip will take some research. If you can narrow down what you’d like to do, go for the Explorer Pass or New York CityPASS. If you can’t choose until you’re here, then go ahead and get the New York Pass.
  • Can you Buy the New York Pass in New York?
    Yes! All the sightseeing passes are available for physical pick up in New York City at their offices, bus tour stops and attractions. All the sightseeing passes are also available on your smartphone, so you no longer need to physically buy the pass.

Tell us about your New York City Pass Reviews and help others choose the best pass for their NYC vacation.

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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 hidden secrets. The New York City Pass Discounts only offer you entrance to a small part of what makes New York City so special. Remember, some of us live exhilarating lives here and go years without seeing any attractions at all. There are plenty more things to do in NYC than just sightseeing, so let’s move on to them.

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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

Full Disclosure of New York City Pass Discounts

The NYC Insider Guide does make a small commission if you purchase some of the New York City Pass Discounts through our links. After all, this is one of the ways I am able to provide you all the free content on this website. More importantly, being a partner in these programs allows me to offer you special sales and discounts, so often, you will receive a better price than going direct to their website, and you will never pay more. Please know the information provided on this page is unbiased and accurate to the best of my ability. Read more on Advertising Policies.

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