NYC Pass

New York City Pass Guide

Compare NYC Passes

Three New York City Passes allow you to see the city’s best and most popular attractions for a set price! You will have pre-paid admission to NYC attractions but also the independence of sightseeing on your own without an organized tour.

Three excellent passes to choose from are: CityPASS, New York Pass, and New York Explorer Pass.

The major advantages of using any of the New York City Passes are that they give you:

  • Pre-paid access to the city’s top attractions. No carrying lots of cash around!
  • Beforehand knowledge of how much you will spend on NYC sightseeing. No budgeting or buying tickets as you go!
  • Freedom and independence to sightsee on your own schedule.
  • The ability to skip the ticket lines for some attractions.


CityPASS is the most straight-forward pass that requires the least amount of planning. This New York City pass gives you a relatively short, manageable list of attractions and there aren’t many decisions to make.


  • Admission to six top NYC attractions (choose from a list of eight)
  • Pass is good for 9 days
  • Price = $109 for adults, $82 for youth ages 6-17

Pass Attractions

1 Empire State Building Observatory
2 American Museum of Natural History
3 Metropolitan Museum of Art
4 Museum of Modern Art
5 Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR
Guggenheim Museum
6 Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR
Circle Line Cruise in the NY Harbor

How to Use the CityPASS

Present your CityPASS booklet to the ticket collector at each attraction. Do not tear any tickets out beforehand or they will be invalid.

Is the CityPASS worth it?

The attractions in the table above average about $25 each. To be worthwhile from a cost standpoint, you will need to see five attractions to justify the cost. If you take full advantage of the pass and see six attractions, you will easily get your money’s worth.

Since most people don’t visit the city for a full nine days, make sure you can make use of the pass in the time that you have.

Purchase the CityPASS

CityPASS is Good For: Anyone who wants to see some of the best highlights of NYC without having to spend a lot of time choosing from a huge list of attractions and tours.

Check out the CityPASS!

New York Pass

The New York Pass has more options that the CityPass but is also more complicated. This pass offers an “attraction buffet” where you pay one price and pick whatever you want. There is no limit to the number of attractions you can choose.

Because there are so many choices, you will want to spend some time planning your trip before activating the pass. The pass comes with a New York City guidebook that includes maps and directions.


  • Includes admission to 80+ attractions.
  • Choose a 1, 2, 3, or 7 day pass.
  • Prices start at $85 for adults.

Price Chart

1 Day Adult $85 1 Day Child $60
2 Day Adult $130 2 Day Child $110
3 Day Adult $180 3 Day Child $140
7 Day Adult $230 7 Day Child $165

*Note: Sales and discounts are offered regularly. See the New York Pass website for the most current pricing.

Sampling of NYC Attractions Included in the New York Pass

  • Observation decks (Empire State Building, Top of the Rock)
  • Museums (The Met, MoMA, Guggenheim Museum, Intrepid)
  • Cruises (Circle Line 2 Hour Cruise, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, NY Water Taxi)
  • Tours (NBC Studio Tour, Broadway and food tours)
  • Bike Rentals

How to Use the New York Pass

The card is activated the first time you use it at an attraction and remains valid for the number of days you purchased. You swipe your pass like a credit card to get into each one.

A day is a calendar day, not a 24-hour period. A multi-day pass is valid for consecutive days and you cannot visit the same attraction more than once. Tours are space-available so it is still worth making reservations ahead of time even if you use the New York Pass. Do not book a tour if you do not plan on taking it because your credit card will be charged if you fail to show up.

Is the New York Pass Worth It?

Most of the attractions covered by the New York Pass are $25-$50. Most museums, the Empire State Building, and Top of the Rock are around $25 while many tours and cruises are in the $30 – $50 range. Of course, the more you see, the better the deal you’ll be getting.

How is your stamina? The limiting factor here is how many attractions/tours/cruises you can do in one day. Realistically, I’d say three is probably going to be your maximum. The more days you get with your pass, the cheaper the price per day, and therefore the easier it is to get your money’s worth.

Purchase a New York Pass

The New York Pass is Good For: Serious sightseers who want tons of options, don’t mind spending time planning, and have a lot of stamina.

Check out the New York Pass!

New York Explorer Pass

This pass is a mix of the two discussed above. Like the New York Pass, you have a huge selection of museums, cruises, tours, observation decks, and bike rentals. Like the CityPASS, you are constrained to a specific number of attractions. Think of it as an “a la carte” menu!

You choose the number of attractions you want to see on your visit and buy the corresponding pass. You don’t have to decide where you want to go in advance and the pass comes with a free guidebook.


  • Choose 3, 5, 7, or 10 attractions from a list of 56 choices.
  • Pass is good for 30 days.
  • Prices start at $79.99 for adults.

Price Chart

3 Attraction Adult $79.99 3 Attraction Child $57.99
5 Attraction Adult $116.99 5 Attraction Child $89.99
7 Attraction Adult $164.99 7 Attraction Child $114.19
10 Attraction Adult $209.99 10 Attraction Child $139.99

*Note: Sales and discounts are offered regularly. See the New York Explorer Pass website for current pricing.

How to Use the New York Explorer Pass

The pass is activated the first time you visit an attraction. Once it is activated, you have 30 days to use the pass, which you present at each attraction.

Some attractions require a reservation and may require a credit card to hold the reservation. Your credit card will be charged if you do not show up for the reservation.

The Math: Is the New York Explorer Pass Worth it?

First, most people will not be visiting NYC for 30 days. With that in mind, the question is will you be able to make use of the pass in however many days you have in New York? At the same time, you are not under strict time constraints to use this pass. So if you are planning for a longer visit, you have the flexibility of being able to take your time.

Since most of the attractions listed cost $25-$50, you will get your money’s worth out of this pass as long as you see the number of attractions your pass is for. The more attractions on your pass, the better the overall discount.

Purchase the New York Explorer Pass

The New York Explorer Pass is Good For: Those who want to pick a specific number of attractions from a large selection. Particularly useful if you are making a long visit to NYC as this pass does not force you to see everything in a short time period.

Check out the New York Explorer Pass!

Essential New York City Guide Tip

As described above, the cost range is $25-$50 for New York City attractions. A quick, easy, and very conservative calculation is to multiply the number of attractions you can see or plan to see with a New York City pass by $25. If the cost of the pass is at or below that number, you should easily come out ahead by buying the pass. If the attractions you choose average more than $25, the savings will be even better!

Learn more about the CityPASS, New York Pass, or the Explorer Pass.

Looking for a Bus Tour? Visit our New York City Bus Tour page.

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