The New York Pass

What’s the New York Pass?

The New York Pass is one of the most important city passes in New York. Pass holders can visit more than 100 attractions for free, including top attractions such as the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, the 9/11 Monument & Museum, the Museum of Modern Arts, etc. At some of these sights, the New York Pass even allows you to skip the lines at the ticket office.

However, the New York Pass does not only include the major sights. You can also take the Hop-on Hop-off bus through Manhattan, take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, explore New York from the water on small ships or sailboats, or enjoy one of the many walking tours. The New York Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing package.

The only limitation is the validity of the New York Pass. It is valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 consecutive calendar days. During this time, you may visit as many attractions as you wish. The longer the pass is valid, the more expensive it will be, but the value for money will increase with validity. If you do a lot of sightseeing in the time available, the New York Pass will save you a lot of money.

When purchasing this attractions pass, you’ll receive a travel guide including a map of the city. The New York Pass, including the guide, is also available as an app. This means you can use the pass digitally on your smartphone.

Benefits of the New York Pass

  • Visit 100+ attractions free of charge
  • Incl. Hop-on Hop-off bus and boat cruises
  • Free walking tours and bike tours
  • Valid for up to 10 days from first use
  • Incl. travel guide, city map & app
  • Available for mobile phones

This page contains partner links. This means that we receive a commission when you buy a product through an affiliate link (e.g. New York Pass). This does not make the product more expensive for you.

How Much Does the New York Pass Cost?

The following table gives an overview of the prices :

*In the table above you will find both the regular and the discounted purchase price for the New York Pass. You will rarely have to pay the regular price as the company offers discounts on a regular basis. To find out how much the New York Pass costs today, click here.

Children up to and including the age of three do not need a New York Pass. Adolescents 13 years and older pay the full price for adults.

Tip: A New York Pass for six days is not available on the official website, but at Get Your Guide.

What’s Included in the New York Pass?

The following table shows all attractions included in the New York Pass.

Last updated: 08/2020

New York City Passes (UK) - New York Pass

The indicated prices are partly somewhat odd numbers, because in the United States often VAT is added to the advertised prices. Where this was obvious to us, we took the value added tax into account.

We have researched the lowest available price. Some of these prices are cheaper than indicated on the New York Pass website. For example: The Hop-on Hop-off bus of Big Bus is listed with $55.00. However, if you buy the ticket on the Big Bus website, it only costs $47.70.

Some of the prices listed in the table above are higher than on the New York Pass website because we have researched more recent values or have taken VAT and booking fees into account.

New York Pass: Skyline of New York

The New York Pass is one of the most comprehensive city passes for the Big Apple. There is hardly an attraction that the pass does not cover.

It is difficult to quote a fixed price for any attraction, since in the USA discount campaigns are carried out almost continuously, so that there is often no fixed price. However, the table above should give you an idea of the approximate cost of each attraction.

In addition to the free attractions listed above, the New York Pass offers some discounts in restaurants and shops. Since these are not very attractive, we have not listed them separately. However, you can view them by clicking this link with the filter setting “Special Offers”.

Notice: You can download the New York Pass travel guide now, even if you didn’t buy the pass. Just state your details and you will receive it by e-mail.

Our Assessment of the Included Attractions

The New York Pass is one of the most comprehensive city passes on the market. Among the 100+ attractions, almost all of the city’s major attractions are represented. Also the choice of bus and boat trips as well as walking tours is exceptionally high.

Only two major sights are missing in the New York Pass: The new viewing platform The Edge and the United Nations Headquarters. However, the latter is not included in any New York city pass. The fact that The Edge is not covered by the New York Pass is to be tolerated, as Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building as well as the One World Observatory are included in the pass instead.

In addition to this small shortcoming, we would like to point out further peculiarities, restrictions and pitfalls in this section:

Fast Track Admission Only For a Few Attractions

The New York Pass advertises fast track admission at some sights. This means you can pass the often long queues. At the moment, however, this only applies to three attractions:

  • Surrey Rental at Governor’s Island
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • Guggenheim Museum

For all other attractions, you must queue up at the box office with your New York Pass to have the pass scanned. You will then receive a free entrance ticket. This means that with the New York Pass you hardly save time compared to visiting without a pass – but this also applies to all other New York city passes.

Notice: Even at the sights with fast track access, waiting times can occur because many visitors now travel with a New York Pass. That’s why queues form at the parallel entrance.

Often a Reservation is Necessary

With the New York Pass, you can take part in numerous walking and cycling tours. However, a reservation is almost always necessary for these tours. This means that you can’t just show up and spontaneously take part in a tour. That’s a shame, but with a reservation you know at least that your place is secured.

After all, the reservation is always easy, because it takes place online. You do it on the tour provider’s website and select “Buy with New York Pass”. This already makes it clear that you don’t have to pay anything. Sometimes there are special links for the reservation, which can be found in the documents you receive when you buy your city pass. Therefore, always read the information on each attraction or tour carefully.

New York Pass: Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge: For tours through Brooklyn, Harlem, Manhattan or Central Park you almost always have to make a reservation online.

Once you have decided on a walking tour or a bicycle tour, you should already make the reservation. While some tours require you to do this a day in advance, some popular offers – such as The Ride or The Tour – only have a limited amount of tickets available, so making a reservation several weeks in advance won’t hurt.

Please note that you must participate in a tour if you have signed up for it. Otherwise your credit card will be charged with a participation fee because you are occupying a free seat. By the way, the New York Pass is not activated by a reservation. It will not be activated until you visit the first attraction or participate in the first tour.

Also note that not every tour takes place daily. Some tours only take place once or twice a week, others several times a day. You should take this into account when planning your trip.

If you want to take part in a food tour where you get to know hip places and cafes, you have to consider that food and drinks have to be paid separately. They are not included in the New York Pass. This is annoying, but common practice for all New York city passes.

Ferry to The Statue of Liberty

The New York Pass includes a ferry crossing to the Statue of Liberty. The crossing also includes a stop on Ellis Island with access to the museum.

However, some visitors are disappointed because they are not aware that they can only see the Statue of Liberty from below with this ticket. You are not allowed to climb the pedestal, visit the museum in the pedestal or see the crown of the statue. Unfortunately, this is not possible with any New York city pass. If you want this, you should buy a single Crown Reserve ticket. The tickets are strictly limited, so you have to buy them about four months in advance. Tickets for the pedestal are much more readily available.

From our point of view, it is questionable whether the ferry trip to the Statue of Liberty with the New York Pass is worth it. First you have to reckon with waiting times and then the ferry trip with stops on both islands takes several hours. During this time you could visit other attractions that are worth more than $19.25 for the ferry trip.

An alternative is one of the Circle Line Cruises included in the New York Pass. With these ships you get close to the Statue of Liberty and with Circle Line Cruise you enjoy fast track entry at the pier.

Hop-on Hop-off Bus With Big Bus

The New York Pass entitles you to unlimited travel on the Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off bus in Manhattan – for one day. You can get on and off as often as you like on the Uptown and Downtown routes on that day. However, you must have a ticket issued by one of the staff before your first trip. You can’t just get on with your New York Pass. You can find detailed information about the stops, travel times and routes here.

Some Attractions Are Hard to Reach

Most of the attractions are located in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Harlem and can be easily reached by public transport. However, some attractions are not conveniently located because they are difficult or impossible to reach by public transport. These include the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center (two hours by public transport) and the Highflyer Zipline, which is located far outside of New York City.

These are exceptions, but when planning your trip you should always consider where a sight is located and how you can efficiently combine visits to several attractions to save time.

Validity of the New York Pass

When you purchase your New York Pass on the official website, you have 24 months to activate your mobile pass or pick up your electronic chip card in New York.

The New York Pass is activated as soon as you use it at the first attraction. This includes the Hop-on Hop-ff bus, boat trips and walking tours.

The pass is then valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 consecutive calendar days. If you buy the pass from Get Your Guide, there is also a 6-day option. This is not available on the official website.

Notice: These are explicitly not 24-hour units, but calendar days. This means that even if you use the pass for the first time in the afternoon, it is already considered a full day. Therefore, you should start sightseeing in the morning to fully enjoy the first day. In case you pick up your New York Pass in the city, you should do so the day before your first use so as not to waste any time.

How Much Money Do You Save?

The New York Pass is not cheap, but the purchase price is still very fair if you compare it to the ticket prices of the included attractions and tours. Apart from some museums, hardly any sightseeing or walking tour costs less than $25 – most are much more expensive. That’s why, despite the steep price of the New York Pass, you’ll save a lot of money.

New York Pass: View from Top of the Rock

View of the Empire State Building from “Top of the Rock”. The New York Pass includes both viewing platforms. The more of these top offers you use, the more rewarding the New York Pass will be.

From our point of view the pass is worthwhile with a minimum validity of three days. The longer the city pass is valid, the more rewarding it is, as the price per day decreases drastically with increasing validity. In addition, especially the longer valid New York passes are often significantly discounted, while there are only small discounts on the 1- and 2-day passes.

We would like to show you how much money you can save with the New York Pass with two examples that represent a realistic sightseeing programme for three and five days in New York:

Three days is not a lot for a cosmopolitan city like New York, but even in that short time you will be able to visit many of the famous attractions and save some money with the New York Pass. The less time you have, the more important it is to plan your trip well to make the most of the three days.

With our 3-day itinerary, we make sure that the attractions which you are supposed to visit within one day are not too far apart from each other.

Day 1

  • Hop-on Hop-off with Big Bus: $47.70
  • Madame Tussauds: $32.61
  • Empire State Building: $47.73

Hop-on Hop-off: With Big Bus you can take the Blue Route (Uptown Manhattan) and the Red Route (Downtown Manhattan). We recommend not to use Big Bus only as a means of transportation to get from A to B. Hop-on Hop-off buses are not suitable for this, as they only move slowly and it takes some time to get on and off the bus. It is better to consider a bus ride as a relaxed sightseeing tour and to complete a whole route at once (both routes take about 90 minutes each). For example, you could get on one of the first buses in the early morning and explore downtown.

Then get off in Midtown and visit Madame Tussauds. After a refreshing lunch, board the Blue Route Hop-on Hop-off bus and explore Uptown Manhattan. If you like, you can get off here and take a walk in Central Park. Later, go back to Midtown Manhattan and visit the Empire State Building in the late afternoon. From the viewing platform, you’ll enjoy a great 360-degree view of New York. That’s it for the first day, after all you’ve already claimed $125.48 worth of benefits.

Tip: If you don’t want to use your New York Pass digitally, but want to pick up a chip card, you should visit Madame Tussauds first, as you have to pick up the card at their ticket office.

Day 2

  • Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum: $33.00
  • Circle Line Cruises: up to $43.00
  • Radio City Music Hall: $31.00

The second day starts again in Midtown Manhattan, on the Hudson River. There you first visit the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, which is located on an aircraft carrier. The museum also includes a space shuttle, a Concorde and a submarine. Afterwards you only need to walk a few meters to Pier 83, where you board a Circle Line Cruises boat and take part in a 90-minute sightseeing tour on the Hudson River and the East River.

After a relaxing lunch, visit Radio City Music Hall in the afternoon and join a guided tour. Use the rest of the day to explore New York on your own. After all, you’ve already claimed $108.00 worth of New York Pass benefits.

Day 3

  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum: $26.00
  • Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour: $31.80
  • Top of the Rock: $41.37

The third day starts at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. At the museum you have to expect waiting times, so you should arrive early in the morning – ideally before opening hours. Your next “appointment” will be in the afternoon at 3 o’clock. During the “Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour” you will explore the district on the other side of the East River. Please note that you must reserve your spot online in advance.

In the evening you will go to Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center and visit illuminated New York at night. By the end of the day, you will have used $99.37 worth of New York Pass benefits.

Tip: You could make a reservation at Top of the Rock ticket counter the day before to make sure you get the time slot you want.

In this 3-day programme, you’ll use New York Pass benefits worth a total of $334.21. The regular 3-day pass costs $276.00, so you’ll save $58.21 compared to buying individual tickets.

Since the 3-day New York Pass is almost always offered at a reduced rate of $204.00, your savings can be as high as $130.21! You could save even more money by streamlining your sightseeing programme and visiting one or two more attractions. However, it would be more exhausting.

If you spend five full days in New York, you can make sightseeing a little more relaxed than with the 3-day pass and will have some time between the attractions included in the New York Pass for free sightseeing or long walks through the streets of New York. Nevertheless, it’s worth planning your city break well, because you can get more out of your New York Pass than if you travel without a plan.

For example, a 5-day programme in New York might look like this:

Day 1

  • Hop-on Hop-off with Big Bus: $47.70
  • Madame Tussauds: $32.61
  • Empire State Building: $47.73

Hop-on Hop-off: With Big Bus you can take the Blue Route (Uptown Manhattan) and the Red Route (Downtown Manhattan). We recommend not to use Big Bus only as a means of transportation to get from A to B. Hop-on Hop-off buses are not suitable for this, as they only move slowly and it takes some time to get on and off the bus. It is better to consider a bus ride as a relaxed sightseeing tour and to complete a whole route at once (both routes take about 90 minutes each). For example, you could get on one of the first buses in the early morning and explore downtown.

Then get off in Midtown and visit Madame Tussauds. After a refreshing lunch, board the Blue Route Hop-on Hop-off bus and explore Uptown Manhattan. If you like, you can get off here and take a walk in Central Park. Later, go back to Midtown Manhattan and visit the Empire State Building in the late afternoon. From the viewing platform, you’ll enjoy a great 360-degree view of New York. That’s it for the first day, after all you’ve already claimed $125.48 worth of benefits.

Tip: If you don’t want to use your New York Pass digitally, but want to pick up a chip card, you should visit Madame Tussauds first, as you have to pick up the card at their ticket office.

Day 2

  • Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum: $33.00
  • Circle Line Cruises: up to $43.00
  • Radio City Music Hall: $31.00

The second day starts again in Midtown Manhattan, on the Hudson River. There you first visit the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, which is located on an aircraft carrier. The museum also includes a space shuttle, a Concorde and a submarine. Afterwards you only need to walk a few meters to Pier 83, where you board a Circle Line Cruises boat and take part in a 90-minute sightseeing tour on the Hudson River and the East River.

After a relaxing lunch, visit Radio City Music Hall in the afternoon and join a guided tour. Use the rest of the day to explore New York on your own. After all, you’ve already claimed $108.00 worth of New York Pass benefits.

Day 3

  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum: $26.00
  • Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour: $31.80

The third day starts at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Unfortunately you have to expect waiting times at the museum, so you should arrive early in the morning – ideally before opening hours. Your next “appointment” will be in the afternoon at 3 o’clock. During the “Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour” you will explore the district on the other side of the East River. Please note that you must reserve your place online in advance.

With only two attractions, the third day is more relaxed. You will probably have time for other activities in between.

Day 4

  • Central Park Bike Daily Rental: $45.95
  • Guggenheim Museum: $25.00
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met): $32.00

Your fourth day in New York is dedicated to beautiful Central Park and the city’s best museums, most of which are located in or around the park. We recommend renting a bike for this day. With your New York Pass, you can reserve a bike in advance. During your tour through Central Park you will visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) – two of New York’s most popular museums.

Day 5

  • The Cathedral of St. John the Divine: $10.00
  • Harlem Bike Tour: $51.69
  • Top of the Rock: $41.37

The fifth day of your New York trip begins in Harlem at the impressive Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which opens its doors to visitors in the morning. Then you’ll go a few blocks further to the meeting point for a Harlem Bike Tour, which you’d better book online a few days in advance. The tour takes place every morning at 11 am.

Afterwards you can spend your day as you please until the evening when you go up to the Top of the Rock viewing platform at Rockefeller Center. At the end of your journey, you’ll see the illuminated Big Apple in all its glory.

Tip: You could reserve your time slot ticket for Top of the Rock a day or two in advance to make sure you get the time slot you want.

With this 5-day programme, you can take advantage of New York Pass benefits totaling $498.85. The regular 5-day pass costs $344.00, so your savings are $154.85 compared to buying individual tickets.

Since the 5-day New York Pass is often offered at a reduced rate of $257.00, your savings can be as high as $241.85! You could save even more money by streamlining your sightseeing programme and visiting one or two other attractions. However, this would be a bit more exhausting.

Is the New York Pass Worth it?

The longer the New York Pass is valid, the more rewarding it is. Although the purchase price rises with increasing validity, the price per day drops considerably. The following overview illustrates this (we assume the discounted prices on NewYorkPass.com):

  • 1-day pass: $134.00
  • 2-day pass: $180.00 = $90.00 per day
  • 3-day-pass: $204.00 = $68.00 per day
  • 4-day-pass: $233.00 = $58.25 per day
  • 5-day-pass: $257.00 = $51.40 per day
  • 7-day-pass: $296.00 = $42.29 per day
  • 10-day pass: $339.00 = $33.90 per day

The longer the New York Pass is valid, the less sightseeing you need to do per day to recoup the purchase price and save money. The example calculations above show that you can achieve considerable savings with the 3-day pass and that they are even greater with the 5-day pass. If you spend a whole week in New York, you can buy the 7-day pass with a clear conscience and only have to visit one or two attractions a day to save money with the New York Pass.

The New York Pass is most worthwhile if you are interested in the city’s top attractions and museums, which are the most expensive to buy individually. The New York Pass is also worth using for walking tours and guided bike tours, as these tours easily cost between $40 and $55. Although you usually have to make a reservation for these tours online in advance, your place is then guaranteed.

When Isn’t the New York Pass Worth it?

The least worthwhile is a New York Pass with a short validity of only one or two days. To recover the purchase price, you must visit three to four free attractions per day. Although this is possible, it is also stressful and less fun. If you’re only in New York for a day or two, it’s better to buy fast track admission tickets for the sights you’re most interested in.

New York Pass: Central Park

Central Park: If you’d rather do free sightseeing than visiting paid attractions, no city pass will be worthwhile for you.

If you don’t want to visit the top attractions or just want to visit a few sights or explore New York on your own – without a tour – you won’t have much use for the New York Pass. After all, there are some attractions in the city that you can visit without paying an entrance fee, such as Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street or Staten Island Ferry. The New York Pass can only be worthwhile if you are interested in paid attractions.

Where Can You Get the New York Pass?

You can buy your New York Pass at the official NewYorkPass.com website as well as at Get Your Guide. It is worth buying the pass a few weeks before your trip to plan your sightseeing and make reservations for tours if necessary.

After the purchase, there are two ways to use the New York Pass: The easiest way to use the New York Pass is to download it to your phone. Download the New York Pass app (for iPhone and Android) and add your freshly purchased New York Pass to the app. Alternatively, you can print your New York Pass on paper.

If you purchase the pass at Get Your Guide, you will also receive the New York Pass digitally for your phone, but without having to use an app for it.

New York Pass Mobile App

3 Shipping by mail

If you do not want to pick up your New York Pass or use it on the move, you can have it sent to you by mail. Express Shipping to the United Kingdom costs $30.00 and will take up to three business days.

Shipping is only worthwhile if you order multiple passes for the entire family and if you do so at least one week before your trip (or even sooner if you want your city pass to arrive on time).

This only applies to purchases made through NewYorkPass.com. If you buy the pass at Get Your Guide, you can only use it on your smartphone.

What We Like About the New York Pass

Almost all of New York’s top attractions are included in the New York Pass.

The New York Pass includes not only attractions but also Hop-on Hop-off buses, boat cruises, walking tours and bicycle tours.

Provided you’ll use the New York Pass for at least 3 days, large savings are possible.

You can use the New York Pass digitally on your smartphone – that’s convenient.

What We Don’t Like About It

The Edge is not included in the New York Pass.

Fast track access is only available for a few attractions.

Reservations are required for most tours.

The Hop-on Hop-off bus ticket is only valid for one day.

The New York Pass is hardly worth it, if you want to use it for only 1 or 2 days.

The pass does not include public transport.

FAQ About the New York Pass

No, each attraction can only be visited once with the New York Pass. Your ticket will be electronically validated upon admission.

Once you have purchased your New York Pass online, you have up to 24 months to activate your mobile pass or pick up your electronic chip card in New York.

The card will not be activated until you use it for the first time at an attraction. The card is then valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 days, depending on which option you purchased. Get Your Guide also has an option for 6 days.

These are calendar days. Therefore you should activate your city pass in the morning to make the most of the first day of validity.

Basically, yes. However, you should pay attention to the opening hours of the attractions. You will also receive a ticket for a specific time slot at some attractions, such as Top of the Rock. This is subject to availability.

For most walking and cycling tours and some other offers you have to make a reservation in advance. Often a day or two in advance should suffice, but sometimes it makes sense to take action earlier.

Some walking tours are offered daily, others only a few days a week.

The New York Pass is also available for children between the ages of 3 and 12. They pay a reduced price. Older kids must pay the regular price.

The New York Pass is issued by the Leisure Pass Group. You can contact the company’s customer service department by phone at +1 (877) 714-1999 or by using the contact form. Customer service is available daily during normal business hours.

The company is also available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you buy your New York Pass at Get Your Guide, please contact their customer service.

If you buy a New York Pass at Get Your Guide, you can cancel your purchase free of charge up to 24 hours before the start of your trip.

If you purchase the pass on the official NewYorkPass.com website, there’s a 30 day Money-Back-Guarantee as long as the pass has not been activated.

Alternatives to the New York Pass

You are wondering if there is an even better city pass for New York? In this section, we’ll briefly introduce you to other sightseeing passes for the Big Apple. More detailed information can be found under the respective links:

New York Sightseeing PassSightseeing DAY Pass: The second big city pass is the New York Sightseeing Pass. It is very similar to the New York Pass and costs about the same price. The biggest difference: The Sightseeing Pass includes the One World Observatory, but not the Empire State Building. In addition, with the Sightseeing Pass you can eat free of charge in some restaurants or get a substantial discount. Apart from that, the benefits are almost identical to those of the New York Pass.

New York Sightseeing Pass FLEXSightseeing FLEX Pass: The New York Sightseeing Pass just mentioned is also available in the FLEX version. This means that when you buy it, you decide how many attractions you want to visit. You can allow up to 30 days for this. With the FLEX Pass, you don’t have to worry about having to see as much as possible in a short period of time to make the pass worthwhile. On the other hand, the possible savings are smaller.

New York Explorer PassNew York Explorer Pass: The NYC Explorer Pass is very similar to the FLEX Pass, because you decide how many attractions you want to visit when you buy it. Within 60 days you can visit up to ten attractions. The purchase price of the Explorer Pass is similar to that of the FLEX Pass. The biggest difference is that it includes the Empire State Building instead of the One World Observatory.

New York CityPassNew York CityPASS: The New York CityPASS is the smallest of all New York city passes because it includes the fewest attractions. But these are very attractive: The pass grants free access to six of nine top attractions and experiences in New York. For many of them, the CityPASS allows fast track entry. If you only want to do selected sightseeing, this pass could be just right for you.

Single Tickets: If you’re not interested in any New York city pass because you don’t want to do too much sightseeing, you’d better purchase individual tickets for your favorite sights. For most attractions, you can buy tickets online before you travel, and it’s worth it because you often enjoy fast track admission with an online ticket. Some sights are fully booked several days or weeks in advance. A brief overview of popular attractions:

New York Sightseeing Pass
New York Explorer Pass – Go City
New York CityPASS