What’s the Best New York Pass: A Complete NYC Pass Comparison Guide to Pick the Best Tourist Pass

Wondering what tourist pass is the best for New York City? This blog compares Go City vs. New York CityPASS vs. Sightseeing Pass so you can decide what is the best New York City tourist pass. This NYC pass guide also shows you how much money you can save with a tourist pass and the best money saving strategies.

<Updated May 2024 to reflect the newest price increase on all the passes>

Visiting New York City and want to see the most famous attractions but worried about the costs? There are so much to do in New York City it can get a little overwhelming without even considering costs.

New York is by no means cheap to visit. Unlike London where museums are free, attractions in New York City cost money and sometimes quite a lot of money. On average each attraction costs between $30-$50 a person! That can add up quite quickly if you want to do multiple things in New York during your trip.

Although New York City can be expensive to visit, it certainly doesn’t mean you need to spend all that money on attractions! One of the best ways to save money while visiting New York City is to purchase an attraction pass.

Just like how there are so many things to do in New York, there are also seemingly a million different NYC tourist pass you can get. It doesn’t matter if you are visiting New York for Christmas or in the spring or fall, these New York Attraction passes can help save you a lot of money.

To save you the headache of trying to figure out what is the best New York City attraction pass, I will help you compare the most popular New York passes and explain how each of them work, what are the differences between these New York passes and help you to decide which New York attraction pass is the best pass for you.

In this post I will also show you examples of when you should NOT get a New York attraction pass and how to optimize the value of the pass you purchase.

This blog contains occasional affiliate links, where I receive a small commission on sales of the products/hotels that are linked at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What are the New York Passes You Can Buy?

There are 7 New York City attraction passes on the market currently, each with its unique offerings and features:

Quick Summary: What’s the Best New York Pass for Tourists?

If you are short on time and really do not want to read through my super detailed comparison guide to know every single difference between all the New York passes, then here is a super quick summary for you!

Central Park Zoo NYC
Central Park zoo

Best New York Tourist Pass Overall

My vote goes to the New York Explorer Pass for being the best NYC pass overall. It is flexible, easy to use, reasonably priced, has a large number of attractions and tours. It is perfect for both first time visitors as well as returning visitors and even locals.

Best NYC Attraction Pass for First Time in New York Visitors

If you are visiting New York City for the first time, then you have a limited number of days, and you want to see as many attractions as possible within those days.

The best NYC pass for first timers are either the New York Pass or the New York CityPASS.

The New York Pass (also called All Inclusive Pass) has the most number of attractions, so you can literally visit everything famous in NYC using this pass. On the other hand, the CityPASS covers the most essential tourist spots in New York City and you have 9 days to use it.

Best New York Pass When Traveling with Children

The Sightseeing Pass – FLEX Pass is the best NYC Pass if you are traveling with children. This pass includes the most famous zoos in New York City that no other pass covers.

When traveling with children, you know things always take longer than expected. So it makes sense to purchase the FLEX pass which is based on the number of attractions rather than days, giving you plenty of flexibility to take your time and enjoy everything with your famiy.

Best NYC Pass For a Relaxing Trip

To see the most essential New York City attractions without feeling rushed, then you should consider either the New York Explorer Pass or New York CityPASS. Both of these passes are valid for a longer time period than the all inclusive passes, therefore you can take your time to tour New York City.

The Cheapest New York Discount Pass

The cheapest pass is either the 2 choice New York Explorer Pass and the 2 attraction New York Sightseeing Pass and just by going to 2 observation decks in NYC you would already be saving money.

Rockefeller Center window shot
Top of the Rock

Read Next: Complete Guide to the Empire State Building


How do the New York City Discount Passes Work?

Each of the New York attraction pass lets you pay upfront for either the number of days you will be using the pass, or the number of attractions you want to see. Once you have the pass, you will be able to visit a numbers of attractions, museums, city tours and sightseeing buses for free (usually within a certain time period). Is it as simple as that!

You don’t need a paper pass to enter attractions. Once you make a purchase, you will get a confirmation email, which allows you to download the pass or load it on your App (if you purchase a Go City Pass, you will use the Go City app for example). You can then present the QR/ Bar code when entering an attraction.

You do need to make a reservation (for free) at some of the most popular attractions in order to visit.

New York City attraction passes fall under two different types:

  • Day Passes (all Inclusive)
  • Attraction Based Passes

New York Attraction Based Pass vs. Day Passes (All Inclusive Passes)

Attraction Based Passes for NYC

The attraction based passes give you a much longer time period to see a pre-determined number of attractions. You decide how many attractions you want to visit then purchase the pass accordingly (generally between 1 – 12 attractions).

Attraction based passes include the following:

New York City Day Passes (All Inclusive)

These All Inclusive passes allow you to visit a large number of attractions within a limited period of time. Generally restricted to 2 – 10 consecutive days, you can decide what (and how many) attractions you want to see within this time period.

All Inclusive (day based) passes include the following:


Do you need a New York attraction Pass?

The answer is yes and no. You never NEED anything, you can always pay for individual attractions at full price. But if you want to save a lot of money on New York City attractions then yes, you probably should get a New York attraction pass.

New York attraction Pass can help you save money and time when used correctly.

You can save up to 30-50% per person on attractions in NYC when you buy a New York attraction pass, if you plan well.

Read Next: Christmas in New York City – Best Photo Spots and Decorations


Best New York City Attraction Pass: Comparisons in Detail

Below you will find my super detailed comparison of all the NYC Pass to understand what they each cover, cost, and their pros and cons. This will help you make the decision on what is the best pass for NYC for you.

New York Pass aka All-Inclusive Pass (by Go City)

The New York Pass by Go City is one of the most popular passes for New York City. It includes over 100 attractions, tours, museums, etc.

How does the New York Pass work?

New York Pass is all inclusive pass based on the number of consecutive days you plan to sightsee. New York Pass offers whole day passes for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 days.

If you are planning visit New York City for 3 days, you can buy the 3 day New York Pass and visit different attractions and tours included with the New York Pass for 3 days straight.

view from Rockefeller Center in the morning | New York City itinerary and best things to do in NYC

For each attraction you visit, you scan the QR code of the New York Pass on your app or print out confirmation. You also need to make reservations at some attractions (can’t just show up).

New York Pass activates the moment you visit your first attraction or when you book your attractions. If you buy a 3 day New York Pass and you visit your first attraction at 1pm on Monday, your 3 day New York Pass will be valid on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

It will stop working at midnight Wednesday. You can visit unlimited number of attractions each day, but you can only visit an attraction once (no repeats!)

You have a 2 years to get a refund for unused New York Pass.

What attractions are included in the Go City New York Pass?

New York Pass covers over 100 New York City tourist attractions and tours, so I will not list all of them here. You can see them on the website here.

T Rex fossil at American Museum of Natural History in NYC
American Museum of Natural History

New York Pass includes 4 major observation decks

  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the Rock
  • One World Observatory
  • Edge <– one hour access before it opens to the general public

It also includes some of the most famous tourist attractions and cruises in NYC

  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Statue of Liberty Ferry
  • Guggenheim Musem
  • Circle Line Cruise
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • MOMA
  • Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum
  • New York Yankees Game Tickets
  • Free beer from Brooklyn Brewery
  • Big Bus 1 day Hop-on Hop-Off Tour (2 days of this until March 21st)

New York Pass also includes Madame Tussauds, Museum of Sex, New York Hall of Science, Central Park Bike Rental, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, a number of walking tours, bike tours, and other museums and gardens.

Cherry blossom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York during sunset photo
Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The New York Pass also includes very local attractions such as Luna Park at Coney Island and Deno’s Wonder Wheel at Coney Island. Luna Park is the famous amusement park in New York City that you probably have seen in Movies such as Cloverfield.

Coney Island Amusement Park

Go City New York Pass cost

# of Days123456*710
Adults (13+)$154$214$259$299$340$341$381$401
Children (3-12)$114$169$199$229$265$265$291$301

If you sign up on the website you can get an additional 5% off.

There are promotions throughout the year, but prices do change every month and they have been going up consistently. Therefore I would recommend purchasing ASAP (you can always get a refund and re-purchase if prices go down).

Sometimes it is cheaper to purchase the New York Pass from Getyourguide, a third party seller. They don’t change their prices as often! So be sure to check both Get Your Guide and the official New York Pass website to see which one is cheaper.

*6 day New York Pass is only available from Getyourguide.

NYC Photo of Edge in the morning
Edge at Hudson Yards

Is public transportation included in the New York Pass?

Public transportation is not included in the New York Pass.

However the New York Pass provide you one day access on the hop-on hop-off bus with Big Bus Tour.

Central Park in the spring Cherry Blossom NYC

What are the pros and cons of the Go City New York Pass?

Pros of New York Pass:

  • It offers A LOT of attractions and tours. It includes the most famous museums, observation decks, and tours in NYC as well as hop on hop off bus for one day
  • Has a partnership with Stasher so you can store your luggage at a 15% discount.
  • Generous refund policy

Cons of New York Pass:

  • You are restrained on how many days the pass covers
  • Not suitable for people who like to slow travel

You can see a full review of New York Pass here.

Do you save money with the New York Pass?

The more days you buy, the more money you can save with the New York Pass.

When you buy a 2 day New York Pass, it costs $214, averaging to $107 a day, that means you need to do at least 3 attractions to break even.

However when you buy a 5 day New York Pass, it costs $340, averaging to about $68 a day, that means you only need to do 2 attractions to break even.

Therefore if you can average 2-3 attractions a day (depending on how many days you buy), you can save money with the New York Pass.

Purchase your New York Pass here or here (sometimes cheaper).


Go City Explorer Pass

Go City Explorer Pass and New York Pass both fall under Go City, so you can imagine they cover pretty much the same attractions and tours (although New York Pass covers a few more attractions than the Go City Explorer Pass).

How does Go City Explorer Pass work?

Go City Explorer Pass is an attraction based pass that let you access a specific number of attractions that you purchase. Go City Explorer Pass offers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 attractions for different price points. You can only go to each attraction once (no repeats)!

You have 60 days to use after activation; activation is when you enter your first attraction or when you book the attraction since some attractions require advanced reservation.

For example, if you buy a 3 attractions pass, you go to one attraction on June 1, then you have 90 days including June 1st to go to the other 2 attractions that are left on your Explorer Pass, pretty simple right?

New York All Inclusive Pass vs New York Explorer Pass, What’s the Difference?

The major difference between New York Pass and the Explorer Pass is that one is based on the number of days and the other one is based on the number of attractions.

What attractions are included in the Go City Explorer Pass?

Go City Explorer Pass covers over 100 New York City tourist attractions and tours. You can see them on the website here.

It covers the same major attraction as the New York Pass, but it also covers Spyscape and Secrets of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Walking Tour and Woodbury Commons Bus (if you love designer brands this is a MUST DO) that are not covered by the New York Pass.

Again, you get one hour access before the general public at the Edge.

Edge Observatory view of downtown Manhattan

Go City Explorer Pass cost

# of attractions23456710
Adults (13+)$84$109$144$169$194$219$289
Children (3-12)$69$89$119$134$154$174$239

If you sign up on the website you can get an additional 5% off.

Read next: Complete Review of the New York Explorer Pass by Go City.

Is transportation included in the New York Explorer Pass?

Public transportation is not included in the New York Explorer Pass.

However the New York Explorer Pass provide you one day access on the hop-on hop-off bus with Big Bus Tour if you choose to use that as one attraction.

View of Statue of Liberty from Governor's Island, a NYC itinerary

What are the pros and cons of Go City New York Explorer Pass?

Pros of New York Explorer Pass

  • Flexibility: you have up to 60 days to go to al the attractions
  • Generous Refund Policy: 1 year full refund policy
  • Comprehensive Attractions: 95+ attractions are included
  • Includes some unique attractions not covered by the New York All Inclusive Pass

Cons of Go City Explorer Pass

  • Child Pass can be expensive: some attractions offer free admission for those under 6
  • Not as child friendly as the All inclusive Pass (does not include the amusement parks on Coney Island and the New York Hall of Science)
  • Certain museums are not included on the Explorer Pass (like the New Museum)

Buy your Go City Explorer Pass here or here (sometimes cheaper).


New York CityPASS®

New York CityPASS is a very popular pass for first timers in New York City, as it covers the most essential attractions.

One World See Forever Theater horizontal view

How does the New York CityPASS work?

New York CityPASS is an attraction based pass offers 5 attractions (Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) plus 3 attractions of your choice from a list of 6). You have 9 days to use it all after activation.

You have one year from purchase date to use the New York CityPASS before it expires. You can request a refund if you change your travel plan and will no longer need to use it.

You can only visit each attraction once with New York CityPASS except Empire State Building, where you can go up twice in one day with the AM/PM experience!

What’s the difference between Go City New York Pass and New York CityPASS?

New York Pass is based on the number of days and it has over 100 attractions and tours. New York CityPASS offers 5 attractions (you can pick 3 from a list of 6 plus Empire State Building and AMNH).

Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise

What attractions are included in the New York CityPASS®?

New York CityPASS® only include 5 attractions, and they are:

  • Empire State Building (you can visit twice in one day!) ($64 value)
  • American Museum of Natural History ($28 value if you are not a resident of NY, NJ or CT)

Then you can choose 3 of the following attractions

  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck ($40 value)
  • Guggenheim Museum ($30 value)
  • Ferry access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ($24.5 value)
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises ($41 value)
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum ($33 Value)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($36 value)
Space shuttle at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Enterprise Space Shuttle at Intrepid

How much does New York CityPASS® cost?

New York CityPASS® (5 attractions)
Adults (18+)$146.00
Child (6-17)$124.00

Does the New York CityPASS include transportation?

New York CityPass does not include transportation such as the subway or the hop on hop off bus.

What are the pros and cons of New York CityPASS?

Pros of New York CityPASS

  • Includes the most essential New York City attractions
  • Cheaper than some of the other 5 attraction passes
  • The only pass that includes AM/PM Experience at the Empire State Building

Cons of New York CityPASS

  • Very limited in the number of attractions. There are no tours included
  • Does not have Edge, One World Trade Center, MOMA, etc
  • Does not include a hop on hop off bus
  • You HAVE to go to the Empire State Building and American Museum of Natural History

Purchase your New York CityPASS® here or here (sometimes cheaper).

Hudson Yards Holiday lights decoration


New York C3 Pass

New York C3 Pass is run by CityPASS®, the same company that operates the New York CityPASS®.

How does C3 Pass work?

C3 Pass is also an attraction based pass that provides you access to 3 attractions in New York City from a list of 10. Unlike the New York CityPASS, the C3 Pass includes the Edge observation deck.

After activation, you have up to 9 days to visit the 3 attractions before the pass expires. Activation starts when you enter your first attraction.

What attractions are included in the New York C3?

New York C3 Pass includes 10 attractions you can choose from.

  • Empire State Building (only one entry instead of 2 entries) ($44 Value)
  • Edge at Hudson Yards ($36 Value)
  • American Museum of Natural History ($28 value if you are not a resident of NY, NJ or CT)
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck ($40 value)
  • Guggenheim Museum ($30 value)
  • Ferry access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ($24.5 value)
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises ($41 value)
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum ($33 Value)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($36 Value)
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ($25 value)
Intrepid Museum photo in New York City
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

How much does C3 cost?

New York C3
Adults (13+)$104
Child (6-12)$82

Does the New York C3 Pass include transportation?

New York C3 Pass does not include transportation; it does not include hop-on-hop-off buses.

What are the pros and cons of New York C3 Pass?

Pros of New York C3 Pass

  • Cheaper than other 3 attraction passes
  • Includes the most popular attractions and museums

Cons of New York C3 Pass

  • Does not include hop on hop off bus or One World Observatory
  • No tours are included
  • You have to pick the most expensive attractions in order to save money

Purchase your New York C3 pass here.

NYC Flatiron building


New York C-All Pass

New York C-All Pass is also by CityPASS®, the same company that operates the New York CityPASS® and New York C3 Pass.

How does the C-All Pass work?

The C-All Pass is an attraction based pass that offers one-time admission to 10 attractions.

Once you purchase the C-All pass online, you have one year to activate the pass.

Activation starts when you visit your first attraction; then you have 9 days to visit all 10 attractions, which gives you plenty of flexibility.

Brooklyn Bridge over the water on a sunny day in New York

What attractions are included in the New York C-All Pass?

New York C-All pass includes 10 attractions.

  • Empire State Building ($44 Value)
  • Edge at Hudson Yards ($36 Value)
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck ($40 value)
  • American Museum of Natural History ($28 Value)
  • Guggenheim Museum ($30 value)
  • Ferry access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ($24.5 value)
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises ($41 value)
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum ($33 Value)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($36 Value)
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) ($25 value)

How much does New York C-All Pass cost?

New York C-All (11 attractions)
Adults (13+)$219
Child (6-12)$159

Does the New York C-All Pass include transportation?

The New York C-All Pass does not include subway access or hop-on hop-off bus in New York City.

What are the pros and cons of New York C-all Pass?

Pros of C-All Pass

  • Cheapest 10 attraction pass
  • Includes some of the most popular attractions and museums

Cons of C-All Pass

  • Very limited flexibility: you cannot choose your attractions
  • You have a limited number of attractions
  • Does not include tours or hop on hop off bus

Purchase your New York C-all Pass here.


New York Sightseeing DAY Pass

How does the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass work?

The Sightseeing Day Pass is a day-based all inclusive pass, it works very similarly to the New York Pass by Go City.

The pass is based on the number of consecutive days you want to spend in New York and you can visit as many attractions as you like once within one day. Sightseeing Day Pass offers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 day passes.

Your pass activates when you use it at your first attraction. You can purchase the pass up to 12 months in advance and if you need to cancel an unused pass, you have 12 months to cancel from purchase date.

What attractions are included in the New York Sightseeing Day Pass?

New York Sightseeing DAY Pass offer very similar choices of attractions as the New York Pass. You can see all the attractions it offers on its official website.

New York Sightseeing DAY Pass offers a few unique tours and attractions the other passes do not offer, and these include:

  • Bronx Zoo ($37.75 retail price)
  • Central Park Zoo ($19.95 retail price)
  • The Rink at Rockefeller Center ($65 retail price)
  • One way share-ride transfer from NYC area airports to Manhattan Hotels ($45 value)
  • HERO NYC: The Winter Forest of the Northern Lights ($35)
  • LOL Times Square Comedy Club ($25.5 retail price)
  • LOL Times Square Magic ($20 retail price)
  • National Lighthouse Museum ($5 retail price)
  • Museum of Broadway ($39 retail price)
  • NY Aquarium ($32.95 retail price)
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral Tour – Gold Pass ($25 retail price)

Photo of the underwater passage at the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn
New York Aquarium

How much does New York Sightseeing DAY Pass cost?

# of days123456710
Adults (13+)$154$214$259$299$339$359$379$399
Children (3-12)$109$164$194$224$259$274$284$294

Prices are subject to change and there are seasonal discounts and special deals on either the official website or on Get Your Guide, a partner website.

What’s the difference between the Sightseeing DAY Pass and Go City New York Pass?

The major difference between the 2 NYC passes is the number of attractions they each offer and sometimes the price.

As listed above, there are a number of attractions and tours that Sightseeing DAY Pass offers that are not included on the New York Pass.

Vice versa, there are also things that the New York Pass offers that Sightseeing DAY Pass does not offer, such as 911 Memorial and Museum.

Is transportation included in the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass?

Public transportation is not included in the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass.

However the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass provide you one day access on the hop-on hop-off bus.

It also includes a one way ride-share transfer from New York City Area airport to Manhattan Hotel. This is a great perk that no other passes offer. It saves you so much money by not having to take Uber.

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Brooklyn Children’s Museum

What are the pros and cons of New York Sightseeing DAY Pass?

Pros of New York Sightseeing DAY Pass

  • Offers some unique attractions and tours
  • Very family friendly with zoos and children’s museums and the NY Aquarium
  • Generous cancellation and refund policy
  • Best for those traveling with children
  • Offers discounts at some restaurants, luggage storage, Drunk Shakespeare and admission to attractions at American Dream

Cons of New York Sightseeing DAY Pass

  • Check if your child needs to pay for tickets at attractions before you pay for children passes
  • Can get expensive the more days you purchase
  • Does not include 911 Memorial & Museum

Purchase your New York Sightseeing DAY Pass here or here (sometimes cheaper).

NY Sightseeing Pass the best New York City Pass


New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass

The FLEX pass and the DAY Pass are both from the same company. The FLEX Pass work exactly the same way as the Go City Explorer Pass mentioned above.

How does the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass work?

The FLEX Pass is based on the number of attractions instead of the number of consecutive days. You have 60 days to visit the attractions after activation.

New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass offers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, or 12 attractions (Go City Explorer Pass does not offer the 12 attraction option).

Inside of St. Patrick's cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral

What attractions are included in the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass?

Dyker Heights Christmas decorations during Christmas in New York City
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour (included in this pass)

The Sightseeing FLEX Pass pretty much covers the same attractions as the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass. You can find the complete list here.

Both the Sightseeing DAY pass and FLEX Pass also offer discounts on certain shops and tours (tours that are not included in the attraction list that is).

A girl wearing a fur coat and black mini skirt and black leggings and leather boots holding a camera looking out at the Empire State Building from the terrace of Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center

New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass cost

# of attractions23 4 5 6 710 12
Adults (13+)$84$109$144$169$194$219$289$329
Children (3-12)$69$89$114$129$149$169$234$259

Is public transportation included in the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass?

Public transportation is not included in the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass.

However the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass provide you one day access on the hop-on hop-off bus with Big Bus Tour if you choose to use that as one attraction.

It also includes a one way ride-share transfer from New York City Area airport to Manhattan Hotel if you use that as one attraction.

What are the pros and cons of New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass?

Pros of New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass

  • Includes exclusive attractions not found on other passes
  • Includes many discounts for restaurants, attractions, Drunk Shakespeare, etc
  • Best for those traveling kids or New York Locals

Cons of New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass

  • Check if your child needs to pay for tickets at attractions before you pay for children passes
  • Does not include 911 Memorial & Museum
  • Does not include Statue of Liberty Cruise

Purchase your New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass here or here (sometimes cheaper).

Read Next: Complete Guide to Visit the One World Observatory


Summary of Best New York City Attraction Pass Comparison (Go City New York Pass vs. New York CityPASS vs. Sightseeing Pass)

Here is the summary that shows major differences between the different New York City attraction passes.

New York PassExplorer PassNew York CityPASSSightseeing DAY PassSightseeing FLEX Pass
What does it offer1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 consecutive day pass1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 attractions within 60 days5 (or 3 attractions within 9 days1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 consecutive day pass1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12 attractions within 60 days
Child PassAge 3 – 12Age 3 – 12Age 6-17 Age 3 – 12Age 3 – 12
Days valid from purchase24 months24 months12 months12 months12 months
Price$154-$401 (adults)
$114-$301 (children)
$84 – $289 (adults)
$69 – $239 (children)
$146 (adults)
$124 (Children)
$154 – $399 (adults)
$109 – $294 (children)
$84 – $329 (Adults)
$69 – $259 (children)
Transportation included?Yes (1 day hop-on hop-off bus)Yes (1 day hop-on hop-off bus)NoYes (1 day hop-on hop-off bus)Yes (1 day hop-on hop-off bus)
Attractions100+ 95+ 10100+100+
OthersLuggage storage discount (15% off with Stasher)Luggage storage discount (15% off with Stasher)Discounts on certain shops and toursDiscounts on certain shops and tours

Attractions Each New York City Tourist Pass Covers (or Not Cover)

The chart below shows you the difference in what attractions each New York City attraction pass covers so you can see the major difference between each NYC pass.

Photo of what attractions different New York City pass covers. This New York Pass comparison guide show the different attractions New York Pass, Go City Explorer Pass, New York CityPass, Sightseeing Pass cover and the difference between New York Pass and New York CityPass.

** American Museum of Natural History and the Empire State Buildings are mandatory with the CityPASS. You use it or you lose it.
** Passes from Go City let you visit the Edge 1 hour before it opens to the general public


Best New York Attraction Pass: What Else to Know

The more days/ attractions you purchase, the cheaper it is per attraction. Let me show you what I mean by this. A 1 day Go City New York Pass is $154 whereas a 5 day New York Pass is $339, averaging to be around $68 a day.

Therefore it is a lot more economical to buy the 5 day pass (assuming you are staying for 5 or more days and the tours/ attractions you go to actually cost more than $68 a day). It actually is pretty do-able, you just need to go to 2 Observation Decks a day or 2-3 tours a day.

None of the passes include SUMMIT One, the newest observatory in New York. Does this matter to you? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s something you should be aware of.

You can read my detailed guide on SUMMIT One.

SUMMIT One Transcendence 1 photo spot of Empire State Building

None of the passes include the MET, which is probably THE museum you need to visit when you are in New York City.

Reservation is required for some attractions. Many tours and some attractions (like Empire State Observatory, Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History, MoMA, etc.) require you to reserve a spot ahead of time whereas others do not. You will need to know which ones require reservation so you don’t just show up and get turned away.

NY, NJ, or CT Residents can get free or discounted tickets to some museums and attractions. So if you are a local, do some research on where you can for free (pay as much as you like) before deciding which pass to buy.

You may need to combine different New York attraction passes: no one pass covers it all even though some come pretty close to it. If you want to do a lot of sightseeing you may need to combine a day pass with an attraction based pass to see everything.

Cartier Fifth avenue Christmas decorations | What to see in NYC in the winter during Christmas


Best New York City Attraction Pass Money Saving Strategy

Based on the example above, here are some of my tips on picking the best tourist pass for New York City and how to save money.

  • Map out all the attractions you want to visit in New York City (save them on Google Maps). For inspiration, take a look at my 4 Day New York Itinerary
  • Use Google Sheets (or a Note Pad) to list the price of each attraction
  • Sum up the total cost of all the attractions you want to visit and see if purchasing a NYC Pass makes sense
  • If you plan to do fewer than 3 attractions and tours a day, you should consider getting the FLEX Pass or Go City Explorer Pass since a day pass is roughly the cost of 3 attractions
  • Money saving strategy for All-Inclusive day passes: start early, pack your day, go to at at least 3 attractions, and spend no more than 2 hours on each attraction
  • Money saving strategy for attraction based passes: go to the most expensive attraction (hop on hop off bus, tours, bike rental, cruises, the rink at Rockefeller Center, etc)
  • If you get a day pass, make sure tourist spots you want to go to are included, therefore you don’t need to pay out of pocket
  • If you do end up paying out of pocket, use your pass towards the most expensive tours, and pay the least expensive ticket yourself

What is the Best New York Tourist Pass for Who?

I get it, not everyone has the same travel style. Some like to cram everything in whereas others like to slow travel. Some want to plan a super detailed itinerary down to the minutes, whereas others just want to wing it.

So depends on the type of traveler you are, the New York attraction passes may or may not be a good fit for you.


Other Questions You May Have About Picking the Best New York City Tourist Pass

  • Are New York City Attraction Passes legit? Yes, the passes are legit and I have used them myself. This is not a too-good-to-be-true scam.
  • Can I buy the pass in person? Nope, you can only buy a New York attraction pass online.
  • Can I repeat attractions with a NYC pass? Nope, each attraction can only be visited once, except the Empire State Building AM/PM offering with CityPASS.
  • Do the New York Passes include public transportation? Public transportation is not included with any NYC pass, but Go City and New York Sightseeing Passes include an one day hop on hop off bus.
  • Do I still need a reservation with a New York City tourist pass? Yes, some attractions (like the Empire State Building) requires you to make a reservation.
  • Do I get skip the line privilege with a New York attraction Pass? Yes and no. For the attractions that you need to book ahead of time, you get a timed slot, which essentially allows you to skip the queue.

    But for attractions that you don’t need to book ahead of time, you don’t get a special skip the line privilege, unless it’s stated on the pass for that particular attraction. Keep in mind that some busy attractions actually have a separate line for New York attraction pass holders, helping you to get in faster.
  • Do kids need a New York attraction Pass? Kids under 3 are generally free. For kids between the age of 4 to 12, there are usually discounts for each of the NYC pass. You need to do some calculation to see if your particular itinerary makes the attraction pass worth it for kids.
  • Do I need a New York Tourist Pass? No, you can always buy individual tickets, especially if you don’t plan on visiting that many. New York City sightseeing passes are good for a particular type of traveler, so you don’t need to feel pressured to buy one.

Read My Other New York City Blogs

If you are planning a New York City trip, you should definitely check out all my New York City blogs and figure out the best things to do to maximize your New York passes.

As a New York City local, I pretty much explored all the popular touristy spots and hidden gems in NYC. If you want to plan a NYC trip like a pro, check out some of my New York City local guides.

New York City Itineraries & Things to Do

Christmas and Holiday Season in New York City

New York City Seasonal Articles

How to Save Money Traveling to NYC

New York City Food Guide

Other New York City Guides

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