New York City Passes
What’s a New York City Pass?
A New York city pass is a sightseeing pass that allows you to visit numerous attractions in New York without having to buy additional tickets. Some city passes include 100+ attractions that you can visit for free, including top sights such as the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, and a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Many museums are also covered by major New York passes, including the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and many others. At some of these museums and attractions, a city pass allows you to skip the lines at the box office.
A New York city pass can often be used for sightseeing tours on the Hop-on Hop-off buses, ferries and cruise ships. Most city passes also cover a variety of walking and cycling tours. However, unlike in other cities, no New York city pass includes a public transportation ticket.
New York City Pass: Time-based vs. Attraction-based
The most important city passes show great similarities with each other. However, there is a big difference between time-based and attraction-based passes.
Time-based means: Visit as many attractions as you like in a limited time of one to ten calendar days:
These passes cost between $131.00 and $449.00. The longer they are valid, the more expensive the passes are. However, there are often discount offers, so you will rarely pay the full price for these two city passes.
Attraction-based means: When you buy the pass, choose the number of attractions you want to visit. You will never be pressed for time:
These passes cost between $64.00 and $259.00. The more attractions you can visit with a pass, the more expensive they are. In general, attraction-based passes are cheaper than time-based passes – but you can do far less sightseeing with them.
Where Do I Get a New York City Pass?
You can buy any NYC city pass on the Internet. Some are also available in local stores in New York, but it’s usually worth buying online as you’ll benefit from frequent discount promotions. It also gives you more time to make your reservations for guided tours.
Often there is an app and/or a travel guide available for purchase to help you plan your trip. The better you prepare your trip, the more you will benefit from a city pass.
You can use all major New York passes digitally on your smartphone. This means, after the purchase, you can get started right away. Some city passes can also be collected as electronic plastic cards from a central location in New York or they will be sent to you by mail.
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When Is a New York City Pass Worthwhile?
All New York City Passes at a Glance
In the following section we briefly introduce the four most important tourist cards for New York.
Please click on the respective icon.