New York City Pass

Are you looking into New York city pass as part of your travel plans? What are your alternatives? Should you choose a pass or book your tickets separately? We will tell you all about to the various New York city passes to help you make the right choice: price, activities included, duration, …

At the end of this guide, we will also share our thoughts on these New York City Pass to help you determine which one is the best fit for your stay.

Quick comparison of New York Pass

Before we look at the different passes available, let’s quickly go over some basic points you should know about these 3 New York tourism passes:

New York City Pass
New York City Pass

This pass is the most commonly used city pass for short stays to visit New York. The pass offers a wide range of must-see attractions, but it also allows you to fine-tune your program by choosing between different activities. The fact that it saves 40% on the overall cost makes it a very good trade-off between what you can do and its price!

Main attractions

  • Empire State Building
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry
  • Top of The Rock

Pricing

  • New York CityPASS : 133 €
Go New York Explorer Pass
Go New York Explorer Pass

It's a custom-made pass! You can experience 2 to 10 attractions from all the attractions on offer, including all the New York must-sees. Plus, there is no time limit. The price of the pass depends on the number of activities you plan on doing.

Main attractions

  • Empire State Building
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • One World Observatory

Pricing

  • 2 attractions : 76 €
  • 4 attractions : 143 €
  • 6 attractions : 189 €
  • 10 attractions : 256 €
New York Pass
New York Pass

A no-limit city pass! For the period you choose, you can enjoy all the activities included in the New York Pass, also called Go New York All Inclusive. An expensive yet very comprehensive tourist pass to enjoy your time spent in the Big Apple.

Main attractions

  • Empire State Building
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • One World Observatory

Pricing

  • 1 day : 145 €
  • 4 days : 268 €
  • 6 days : 319 €
  • 10 days : 375 €

An important detail to keep from the get-go: no pass in New York provides access to public transportation (bus, subway).

New York City Pass: pricing, attractions included, & how it works

Our first choice is the New York City Pass. It’s the perfect package for a first-time stay in the Big Apple, where you’d like to enjoy a few of the city’s major landmarks.

There are some subtleties to the way it works, however. Let’s go over these details, starting with its price.

New York CityPass Price

Pricing is simple to understand because it off of the pass holder’s age.

AgePrice
18+133 €
6 - 17112 €

How it works

This New York City Pass is actually like having a set of tickets that gives you access to a defined set of attractions (monuments, museums or tours). With it, you can access all the attractions covered for free. When put together, you can save up to 40% on the total cost.

Empire State Building

There is however a slight detail to know because this pass was designed to appeal to as many people as possible. In addition to the standard tickets that are included, the program’s content can be adjusted depending on the 3 choices you make.

Attractions included with this New York City Pass

Here is a list of tickets that are included, both as listed above and as a choice between the 2 :

  • the observation platform on the Empire State Building (on the 86th floor), with free access a second time during the same day at nightfall. A chance to see New York lit up from above!
  • the Museum of Natural History
  • the Top of the Rock observation platform, or the Guggenheim Museum
  • the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, or the Circle Line tourist cruise
  • the 9/11 Memorial, or the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

In other words, when it comes to your 3 choices: you can’t use this city pass to visit both Top of the Rock and the Guggenheim Museum for free.

How long does it last?

There is no time limit for this pass. Since it is a set of tickets, you can spread out your visits over the duration of your trip as you see fit.

The only item covered by a validity period is the night access to the Empire State Building observation platform. That must be done the same day as your day visit.

Where can I pick up a New York City Pass?

This New York City Pass can be used as a QR Code. You will receive it by email after you have purchased the pass. It works like an electronic ticket that you will have to show at each visit. It’s modern and practical.

You can print it or simply download it on your smartphone. It can still work without access to the internet.

GO New York Explorer pass: pricing, main attractions, & how it works

This city pass lets you choose the attractions you want to visit one by one. Let’s have a look at the practical information regarding this New York pass.

GO New York Explorer price

Its price varies depending on the pass holder’s age, but also on the amount of activities you want to do. At the time of purchase, you can choose between 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 attractions. For greater legibility, here is a partial price list:

Age2 attractions4 attractions6 attractions10 attractions
13+76 €143 €189 €256 €
3 - 1261 €107 €143 €205 €

How it works

As you can see, by buying this New York pass, you will save a lot of money compared to buying tickets individually.

When purchasing it online, all you have to do is choose the number of attractions you want to do depending on your budget. Once in New York City, simply show up at the ticket booth for your selected attraction with the pass.

St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York

You will also receive an informational guide by email once you have made your purchase. It will inform you about the activities that require a reservation. For those, you can choose to do them whenever you want during your travel arrangements. You can even reserve them on site in New York up until the day before if there are still time slots available.

Attractions included with this city pass

Here is a list of the main attractions you can choose from with the Go New York Explorer. We have focused on the essentials but the list is actually much longer. You can find the whole list on their e-shop.

  • Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • One World Observatory
  • Top of the Rock
  • Sightseeing Bus
  • Edge
  • Ellis Island
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral

How long it lasts

The pass is valid for 60 days, starting from the first time you use it. This is considerably more than the duration of a typical stay in New York…

That means you can spread out your activities as you wish throughout your trip, without feeling rushed. This is definitely a benefit for this type of pass. Save money and get to do the things you want.

Where can I pick up an Explorer pass?

This city pass is extremely convenient because everything can be done online. There is no need to pick up any kind of actual card in New York. Right after your purchase, you will be emailed all the necessary documents, including the GO New York Explorer which comes in the form a QR Code.

All you need to do is have the code on your smartphone or print it out beforehand.

New York Pass: pricing, attractions included & how it works

This pass has no limits when it comes to enjoying New York City. Formerly called the « Go New York All Inclusive », here’s what you need to know about it.

New York unlimited pass price

The price grid for this unlimited card varies depending on the number of consecutive days you plan on using it, i.e. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 or 10 days. This means that the longer you plan on using it, the more it will cost.

Here is a partial price list:

Age1 day4 days6 days10 days
13+145 €268 €319 €375 €
3 - 12111 €192 €233 €289 €

How it works

The way this pass works has some similarities and differences from the previous pass. You decide on a number of days (in a row) and you include the number of activities you want (as many as possible, in order to get the most out of your purchase!)

Despite this pass being unlimited, you can only go to each attraction once. Don’t plan on going to the Empire State Building observatory for free twice, for example. You will have to pay the second time.

Statue of Liberty Crow

Just like the previous one, some attractions need to be booked in advance. After your purchase you will receive the pass’s list of attractions, and the reservation procedure with the brochure included in the email.

The average savings you make compared to tickets purchased independently strongly depends on the number of activities you do. The more activities you do, the more money you will save. On the contrary, if you only do 1 or 2 visits a day, you will lose out.

Attractions included

Here is a list of the main activities you can enjoy over and over while you have this pass. These are not the only attractions available.

  • Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • One World Observatory
  • Top of the Rock
  • Sightseeing Bus
  • Edge
  • Ellis Island
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral

How long does the New York unlimited pass last?

You are the one who chooses how long the pass is valid at the time of purchase. It can be for 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 or even 10 days. These days are in a row which means that for the 2-day version, for example, the two days covered will follow each other. Taking a break in between days won’t make the pass very profitable.

As for a regular city pass, its coverage period starts at the first attraction you have your pass scanned.

Where can I pick up a Go New York All Inclusive Pass?

This is also a practical solution because there is nothing to go and collect when in New York.

The Go New York All Inclusive (or New York Pass) comes in the form of a QR Code that you will receive in a document by email after purchase. All you have to do is show it at the entrance to each attraction. You can either show it directly from your smartphone, or print it out beforehand if you prefer.

Which must-see attractions are included whith New York City Passes?

Depending on which pass you choose, you will be able to access all or part of New York’s main attractions. Here is a summary of the city’s must-see attractions and the city passes that include them.

Empire State Building Observatory

Empire State Building

Climbing to the observation deck on the 86th floor of this iconic building is an opportunity to visit an exhibit of how it was built, and above all to enjoy a breathtaking view of all of Manhattan. The New York City Pass entitles you to a second same day entry at night: to see the Big Apple lit up from above!

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New York City PassGo New York Explorer PassNew York Pass

Statue of Liberty in New York

Ferry for the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is located on an island south of Manhattan. Taking the ferry to Liberty Island to visit and see this monument up close is a must. The ferry also lets you stop on Ellis Island on the way. There you can visit the United States Immigration Museum (free).

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New York City PassGo New York Explorer PassNew York Pass

View from the Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock

Located at the top of the tallest skyscraper in Rockefeller Center, the Top of the Rock observation deck overlooks an amazing view of New York City, including Central Park. It is by far one of the most beautiful views there is of the Empire State Building!

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New York City PassGo New York Explorer PassNew York Pass

Painting in the MoMA in New York

MoMA

Considered one of the greatest modern and contemporary art museums in the world, the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) exhibits works by artists like Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, or Picasso. Many of the paintings it houses are world famous!

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9/11 Memorial in New York

9/11 Memorial

Dedicated to the events of September 11th, 2001, this museum traces the history of this date that marked the United States and the entire Western world. You can witness objects found in the rubble, archival images and videos, and testimonials.

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Conclusion: is a New York Pass right for your trip?

As we have seen, unless you are going to New York and don’t want to do any touristy attractions during your stay (be it a museum, a monument, a tour, etc…), city passes are definitely worth it when it comes to savings.

There is bound to be one that suits you. Below is a bit of advice and our opinion to help you decide which one is right for you.

Choosing what you want to visit: the Go Explorer Pass

If you want to enjoy the city at your own pace, while saving money, this tourism pass is clearly the one for you.

With its various combinations, from 2 to 10 attractions, including New York’s must-see attractions, you’re bound to find something to suit you.

With this city pass, you only do the activities you choose to do, without forcing yourself to run around to make the pass worthwhile.

Go New York Explorer Pass
Go New York Explorer Pass

The New York City Pass to experience must-see attractions

If you are only spending a few days in New York (less than 4 days), it is likely that in terms of visits and activities, you will be sufficiently satisfied with the city’s must-sees. Your program will probably include the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock and the 9/11 Memorial.

These are all included in the New York CityPass, which will save you about 40% on the total price of all the attractions included.

On the other hand, unlike the GO Explorer Pass, you will only have a limited choice. It’s not an à la carte package, but more of a predefined itinerary that fits most first-time travelers to New York.

New York City Pass
New York City Pass

To see it all: the New York Pass!

To enjoy all of New York’s various activities, a more complete city pass will be needed. It is best to turn to the New York Pass.

You choose the number of days you want to cover, and you spend those days as you wish.

The goal with this pass is to take advantage of the most attractions you can without restricting yourself. The more you use your card, the more you make your purchase worthwhile financially! So, it’s a good idea if you’re used to traveling at a nice and steady pace.

New York Pass
New York Pass