New York Pass Review 2023: Is It Worth It or a Waste of Money?
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Is the New York Pass worth it? Read our New York Pass review to learn if this sightseeing pass is a good fit for your NYC travel plans.
FLASH SALE: Get an additional 10% OFF the New York Pass! Use the code “SPRING23NY” at checkout. Sale ends March 29, 2023. Follow the link for details.
The Big Apple. The Empire City. The City of Dreams. There is no place like New York City!
Over 60 million people visit New York every year, making it one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It’s also one of the most expensive.
To keep your NYC trip affordable, you need to save money by any means possible. Enter one of my favorite sightseeing passes, the New York Pass.
If you’ve never used a sightseeing pass before, you’re in for a treat! City sightseeing passes are a convenient way to help you save time and money. Honestly, buying a good sightseeing pass is some of the best money we spend on a trip.
Like it’s sister passes, the London Pass and the Paris Pass, the New York Pass can save you a bundle. With free entry to sights like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center, the pass includes many of the places you’d be visiting anyway.
Of course, no pass is right for everybody. So, let’s see if the New York Pass is worth it for you!
New York Pass Review: How It Works
When it comes to sightseeing passes, the New York Pass ranks at the top of the value scale. Quite frankly, the New York Pass may be the best sightseeing pass I’ve reviewed – and from an attractions pass connoisseur like me, that’s saying something!
But, don’t just take my word for it. Here’s how it works:
The New York Pass offers free entry to over 115 of New York City’s top attractions and tours. It is activated upon the first use, and your unlimited use of the pass remains valid for the entire length of purchase. Passes come in a variety of lengths, with 10 days being the longest option available.
To use the pass, simply present it at the gate of the included attraction and walk right in for free. No cash or tickets are needed. (Please note that some attractions require reservations in advance. Information can be found on the New York Pass website or app.)
Although you can only visit each included attraction once, you may visit an unlimited amount of attractions that are included with the pass. Since “Day 1” starts when the pass is activated, it’s best to start using it early in the morning. That way, you get a full day’s worth of sightseeing on your first day.
Keep in mind that the length of the pass is calculated in consecutive days. Therefore, it’s best to use it several days in a row.
Top Attractions Included on the New York Pass
The New York Pass provides entry to over 115 of the city’s best attractions and tours, including:
- Empire State Building Observatory: $47.91
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum: $28
- Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Museum: $24
- Madame Tussauds & MARVEL Universe 4D: $47.89
- Museum of Modern Art: $25
- Yankee Stadium Tours: $25
- Broadway and Times Square Tour: $39
- Hamilton Tour: $40
- Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour: $36
- Greenwich Village Walking Tour: $39
- SoHo, Chinatown, and Little Italy Walking Tour: $39
- Big Bus Classic Panoramic Hop-on Hop-off Tour: $59.99
- NYC Bus Tour of Bronx, Brooklyn, & Queens: $48
- Best of NYC Circle Line Cruise: $79
- Top of the Rock: $43.55
- Food on Foot Tours: $59
- Edge: $43.55
- Central Park Bicycle Tour & Rental: $51.69
- THE RIDE: $99
- Catacombs by Candlelight Tour: $37
- …and many more (find all attractions here)
(*Attractions current as of April 29, 2022)
Editor’s Note: Some attractions may require reservations, have limited operating ours, or have limited capacity.
Remember, these are just 20 of the 115+ attractions included on the New York Pass. As you can see by their regular entrance fees, they aren’t cheap. Luckily, entry for each is covered through the New York Pass.
New York Pass Pricing
So, how much does the New York Pass cost? I’m glad you asked! Here is the regular price of the New York Pass broken down down by pass length:
|Passes||Adult Price (13+)||Child Price (3-12)|
|1 Day New York Pass||$142||$107|
|2 Day New York Pass||$189||$119|
|3 Day New York Pass||$219||$134|
|4 Day New York Pass||$249||$144|
|5 Day New York Pass||$279||$154|
|7 Day New York Pass||$319||$164|
|10 Day New York Pass||$349||$199|
|*Current as of April 29, 2022|
Per Day Cost Analysis
As you can see, the New York Pass provides a huge amount of value for sightseeing in New York. By checking out just a few attractions a day, you are sure to get your money’s worth. The longer passes build in even more value, allowing you to slow down and see the city at your own pace.
For example, the 4-day pass costs just $62.25 per day. The price of the pass can easily be covered by visiting 2-3 included attractions or tours per day.
The 10-day pass costs only $34.90 per day. So, enjoying 1-2 attractions or tours per day will provide you with your money’s worth, plus some.
To extract even more value, try to buy the pass when it is on sale. The additional savings lowers the “per day cost” of the pass even more, increasing the value and saving you gobs of money! Follow the link below to find the latest sale.
Save BIG in the Big Apple – Save money in NYC with the New York Pass! Visit just 2-3 attractions a day and you could easily save well over $100 per person on regular admission costs. Save more with New York Pass here.
Top Reasons to Get the New York Pass
As we just discussed, the New York Pass is a great way to save money on sightseeing. By visiting just a few sights a day, you can save hundreds of dollars on the price of your trip.
Generally speaking, the more sightseeing you plan on doing, the more you’ll save. If you really go for it, the longer passes provide even more bang for your buck. With a 10-day pass, you could even skip a couple of days of sightseeing and still save money.
>>Hot Tip: Combine the pass with one of the best travel credit cards to save money on flights and hotels too!
Fast Track Entry
Savvy travelers know their time is just as important as their money. The last thing you want is to spend thousands on a trip to New York, then waste the majority of your time standing in line.
With the New York Pass, you’ll skip past the lines at several of New York’s busiest attractions. Avoid the ticket lines, show your pass at the entrance, and literally save hours of sightseeing time.
Honestly, fast track entry is invaluable, and I always look for ways to get it when we travel.
One of my favorite things about the New York Pass is that it includes more than 40 guided tours. Although tours are becoming more common on sightseeing passes, it is still pretty unique to offer this many.
In my own travels, I’ve found tours by local guides to be an excellent way to experience various sights. A good tour guide really brings the sight to life, making loads of information easily accessible through the use of storytelling.
Please note that the most popular tours included on the pass do fill up and several guided tours require a reservations. Simply follow the instructions for each attraction on the New York Pass website to book a reservation.
Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour
New York City is massive. Taking a bus tour is a great way to cover a lot of ground quickly! With the Big Bus HOHO Tour, you get access to the both the Uptown and Downtown loops for one day. You’ll drive by some of New York’s most famous sights while listening in on stories about the city’s history.
Ride the bus for the entire tour, or hop off at an attraction and use your New York Pass to enter. It’s your choice! (Note: Tickets for the Big Bus HOHO Tour can NOT be issued on the bus and must be picked up at a Big Bus center prior to boarding.)
Other Benefits of the Pass
- Mobile Ticket on Free App – Now, you can use your phone as your ticket. Simply download the free New York Pass app and scan it at each attraction. The app also provides info on included attractions, helps you create an itinerary, and syncs with your calendar. The majority of the features can be used offline, which is handy when you’re out and about.
- Unlimited Access to Attractions – With the New York Pass, you can visit as many included attractions as you like. You’re only limited by your time!
- New York Guidebook – A free NYC guidebook is included with your New York Pass. Inside, you’ll find descriptions, addresses, hours of operation, and other information for select New York attractions. The guidebook also includes a subway map, which is super useful for getting around the city. It comes in nine different languages, so choose the one that suits you best.
- Good for 2 Years – You have 2 years from the date of purchase to use your New York Pass.
Save Big in New York – With the New York Pass, you can save HUGE money on admission to New York’s biggest attractions. Click here to get yours now.
Where the Pass Falls Short
I’ll be honest, it’s pretty hard to come up with a bunch of disadvantages to the New York Pass. I think it’s one of the best sightseeing passes available in any city. But there is one glaring omission I have to mention.
Unlike some of my other favorite sightseeing passes, like the Vatican & Rome Card, the New York Pass does not have an option for using the public transportation system.
In my opinion, using the subway and bus system is the best way to get around NYC. Sure, taxi rides are faster, but they can cost a fortune. While you can certainly purchase your own MetroCard here, adding a transportation option would be a nice addition to this pass.
Another disappointing miss is that the New York Pass does not include access to the pedestal or crown at the Statue of Liberty. Trust me though – when it comes to the crown, you aren’t missing anything.
I spent about 4 hours climbing stairs inside the statue to reach the crown. It wasn’t worth it. In fact, the view is far better from the observation deck – although tickets for the observation deck on the pedestal are no longer included either.
With that said, if you’ve got your heart set visiting the crown or the pedestal, you’ll need join the waiting list and purchase your tickets separately.
Who Is the New York Pass Good For?
First-time Visitors – If this is your first time visiting New York City, investing in a New York Pass is a good idea. The pass allows you to see many of the Big Apple’s top attractions, and it helps you save a lot of money doing it. Also, don’t forget about the “Fast Track Entry” feature! This is a valuable time saver for anybody who is sightseeing in NYC.
Families and Groups – Anybody can save money in New York with the New York Pass. The savings are multiplied when traveling with your family or a small group. While a 3-day pass can easily save a single adult $100, a family of four could potentially save $400 plus with the pass! That’s a lot of money, and it can make a huge difference on your NYC travel budget.
Visitors Planning on Lots of Sightseeing – Here’s the simple truth: The more you use the pass, the better value it becomes. So, if you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, the New York Pass is really a no-brainer. By visiting 2 to 3 sights a day, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars, depending on the length of pass you buy.
Travelers With Extended Stays – Speaking of length, travelers with extended stays tend to benefit more from this sightseeing pass than those who will only be there for a weekend. While passes with a shorter duration are good, the real value of the pass is felt when you use purchase a 3-day pass or longer.
Those Who Aren’t Sure What to See – With so much to do and see in the Big Apple, planning your itinerary can feel overwhelming. Purchasing the New York Pass helps focus your travel plans on some of New York’s most important sights. The free app even syncs your itinerary with your calendar, guiding you as you plan your sightseeing across the city.
Who Is the New York Pass NOT Good For?
Visitors Not Interested in Sightseeing – If your New York plans don’t include visiting a lot of attractions, the New York Pass isn’t for you. The only way to get value from the pass is to use it frequently. So, if you only plan to visit one or two spots, skip this pass.
Those Who Need a Few Days Off – Remember, once the New York Pass is activated, it’s good for consecutive days only. With a 3-day pass and below, you can’t take day off from sightseeing and still get a good value from the pass. That said, with the 5, 7, and 10 day passes, you could potentially take a day or two off and still get your money’s worth.
Travelers on a Very Tight Budget – If you’re on a super tight budget, this pass may not be right for you. There are plenty of free things to do in New York. It doesn’t cost a penny to wander through Times Square or Central Park. But, if you want to go into some of the sights instead of just walking by, a New York Pass could be a money saver.
Tips for Using the New York Pass
Now that you know whether the New York Pass is right for you, here are a few tips for making the most of your sightseeing pass while you’re there.
- Purchase a 3+ Day Pass…On Sale – The 1 and 2-day passes are fine, but the real savings comes when you purchase a New York Pass for 3 days or more. The longer the pass, the less it costs per day. Additionally, you’ll be able to see more attractions, giving you more value per dollar spent. These passes are fequently on sale, so try and buy it then.
- Visit 2 to 3 Attractions Per Day – The more you use the pass, the better the value. By visiting 2 or 3 attractions each day, you can save hundreds of dollars per pass. You’re probably going to be hitting these sights anyway, so you might as well save while doing it right? There are over 115 attractions listed, so you’ll never run out of things to do with your New York Pass.
- Start Early – Like most all-inclusive sightseeing passes I’ve used, the New York Pass is tracked using calendar days – NOT a 24-hour schedule. Starting early in the morning is an important part of making the most of your pass, but it’s especially important on Day 1. You don’t want to arrive in the afternoon, use your pass to see one sight, and essentially lose a whole day’s worth of value. Start your first day as early as possible to get the most bang for your buck.
- Plan Sightseeing for Consecutive Days – Once you activate your pass, it’s important to remember that the pass runs on consecutive days. Try and plan your activities so that you’re seeing all the included attractions during the span of your pass.
- Create a Plan Before You Get There, But… – Look over the included attractions and have a plan for seeing what you want before you get there. Because New York is so big, it saves time to visit attractions located near each other on the same day. With that said, be a little flexible. While you’re there, you may find other attractions on the pass you want to visit. Keep an open mind and have fun!
- Book Tours Ahead of Time – One of my favorite things about the New York Pass is that it includes a variety of guided tours. This is a HUGE benefit that I haven’t seen on many other sightseeing passes. Unfortunately, these tours fill up, so you’ll want to use the New York Pass website to reserve your spot ahead of time.
Where to Buy the New York Pass
Are you ready to save time and money sightseeing in New York? You’re in luck!
The best way buy a New York Pass is to buy it online. This pass goes on sale constantly, but you’ll only be able to take advantage of those sales if you purchase it online. Buy your New York Pass here.
Once you purchase the pass, you can either download it to the app or print a paper copy at home. Personally, I like to do both. That way I have a backup if there is a technology failure.
The Bottom Line: Is the New York Pass Worth It?
So, is the New York Pass worth it? Absolutely.
In all honesty, I think this pass is one of the best sightseeing passes anywhere in the world! It includes convenient entry to over 115 of NYC’s most popular attractions, plus it saves you money doing it.
Of course, there’s the fast track entry, the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour, and all the guided tours you’ll love. If you’re planning on sightseeing in New York, the New York Pass should definitely be in your pocket!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our New York Pass review. Have a great time in the Big Apple and happy traveling!
Visit 115+ NYC Attractions – With the New York Pass, you’ll get entry to over 115 NYC attractions, and you can save big money while you do it! You’ll also get fast track entry at some of NYC’s busiest sights, so you can skip the line and save time. Visit just 3 sights a day, and you could save hundreds. Order now and save here!
New York Pass Review: At a Glance
Pass Options & Lengths
Fast Track Entry
New York Pass Review Summary
The New York Pass is one of the best sightseeing passes in the world! It provides free and convenient entry to over 115 of NYC’s most popular attractions, plus it saves you money doing it.
Of course, there’s the fast track entry, the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour, and all the guided tours you’ll love. While there is no transportation option, the savings you’ll get from this pass far outweigh that omission.
If you’re planning on sightseeing in New York, the New York Pass should definitely be in your pocket!
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I live in NYC and I’m tempted to buy this…it’s a good deal and you could easily do 3 or 4 attractions a day…the Yankee Stadium tour is out of the way though
Yeah, I think it’s a great deal if you use it right. You definitely have to plan your days in the same area so you’re not wasting a lot of travel time, but that’s the same with sightseeing in any big city.
Read somewhere that having a pass won’t let me skip lines.. Is this true? I mean if “everyone” has one, there will be a queue..
Going to NYC for 4 days in Easter, will the Easter days have some effect on the sights?
Thanks for reading Helen. As mentioned in the piece, the pass allows you to skip the ticket lines at certain attractions. That doesn’t eliminate all queueing, but it can be a significant time savings. As for Easter hours, you will need to check with individual attractions for their info.
I’m reading on a lot reviews that this is not a fast pass ticket. That you show your pass, queue to collect a ticket and then queue again? Could you confirm this please?
Thanks for reading Eva! To answer your question, it depends. The New York Pass offers fast track entry to select (roughly the 10 busiest) locations, allowing you to skip the ticket line. For the other attractions, you show your card at the ticket window.
We’ve been to NYC once but didn’t purchase the pass. Now that I’ve read this, I realize it was the right thing to do back then, as we were there only for a weekend and on a tight budget. We’re planning another visit this summer, for a week or so, and this time the pass might be quite relevant. Thanks for sharing.
Hi,we are traveling to New York arriving the 23rd June for 3 nights from the UK how much would it cost for 2 adults and two children aged 15 and 14 looking to do around 5 attractions
I´m so glad that I came across this. My husband and I are travelling to NYC for three days on 11th September. If I buy the NYC pass and choose the option to download the app and use my pass from there, should I then not be able to use my phone for some reason (hopefully unlikely!), do you know if I will be able to visit a pass collection office (understand it´s at Mdme Tassauds?) and collect a printed copy/card there?
Thanks for reading! You would need to contact them directly to get a firm answer, but according to their FAQs, yes. If you lose your pass, all you need to do is go to a pass collection office. To get a new pass, you’ll need your order reference number and the number of the pass (pass id number) that was lost. They should be able to help you from there.
I hope that helps. Have a great time in New York!
Thank you for the review – can you just clarify – if you buy a 3 day pass, can you only use the hop on/hop off bus one of those days?
Correct. You get a one day pass for the Big Bus Tour.
Also note that your pass is NOT your bus ticket. You’ll need to get your pass scanned and be provided with a bus pass prior to boarding. You can use that bus pass throughout that day. Redemption locations should be provided upon purchase. I hope that helps!
I am very disappointed with this company as they will not offer a refund for multiple passes on a cancelled trip due to covid. I have tried multiple times. My “non-refundable” hotel and airfare have both been refunded. This doesn’t say much for this company
Correct, they offer a 30-day refund on non-used passes. Due to the pandemic, they have extended the length of time you can use your pass to two years instead of one.
Thanks for the info! I just want to clarify a quick thing. I understand that once I purchase passes for my family, we don’t have to buy individual tickets to these sites upon arrival. But I am confused about the line ups I keep reading about. As long as I reserve certain times on certain days, I shouldn’t have to wait very long, correct? For instance, if I enter my pass code/# when I book entry online into Madame Tussaud’s or maybe The Edge, then I should be able to get in there at my prescribed time, right?