Everything you need to know about the CityPASS, New York Pass and Sightseeing Pass to save money on NYC attractions!
I often get asked on Instagram (@marthasachser and @blognyandabout) if it is worth buying one of the discount passes for most attractions available in NYC. I know it can be a little overwhelming and I feel like they are always coming up with more and more passes so, to make your trip a little easier, here I am to help you understand and compare some of the main ones! Make sure to follow me on instagram and let me know which one is your favorite! You can follow me at @marthasachser and @blognyandabout!
What exactly are the discount passes?
They are passes (paper or digital) that allow you to choose from many of the main NYC attractions for an attractive price. There are different passes available but some of the most popular are the New York CityPASS, the New York PASS, the The New York Sightseeing Pass and the New York City Explorer Pass, in case you are staying for up to 30 days in the city.
How and where to buy?
You can buy them through the official websites: CityPASS, New York Pass , o Explorer Pass or Sightseeing Pass. And you can opt for the digital pass and show it on your phone/tablet at each attraction or you can buy the discount pass at their designated points of sale or in some attractions.
Whats is included?
Each pass has its own perks but the main thing is the money and time you will save if you actually use the pass. It is easier than having to book each ticket individually and it is also nice to have more options – say the weather changes and out of a sudden you ran out of indoor activities besides Starbucks and the the main museums – some of the passes have over 100 attractions included!
How much do discount passes cost? Is there any discount for children?
Prices vary according with the number of days you will use them or the number of attractions included. Some can start at U$100 a day, U$200 for two days and U$400 for 10 days, so the longer you have it, the cheaper it might be. Yes, most of them offer discount for children. The CityPASS costs (in 2019) U$132 per adult including 6 attractions but they offer coupon codes here and there for discounts.
CityPass x New York Pass x Sightseeing Pass: what is the best NYC pass?
Each pass has its advantages, you just need to compare your needs in terms of how long you are staying in NYC, what is doable given the number of days you are staying and your budget! So let’s compare them:
Advantages of the City Pass:
Perfect if you are staying for a few days in NY and you wanna hit the main attractions! Technically you don’t have to wait in line to exchange for another ticket, there is usually a special line for CityPASS holders. The pass is valid for 9 days after you activate. Here are the attractions that are included:
1-Empire State Building
2-American Museum of Natural History (this one has a suggested price, don’t use it with the pass if you wanna save it for another paying attraction)
3-The Metropolitan Museum of Art
4- Top of the Rock OR Museu Guggenheim
5- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Cruises
6-9/11 Museum OR The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Muse
You can buy your pass HERE!
Advantages of the New York Sightseeing Pass?
More than 100 attractions are included and besides the daily use of the Hop-on-Hop-Off bus and the One World Observatory you also receive a voucher of U$40 to buy tickets for another NYC attraction not included in the pass. There are passes for 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 10 days.
Advantages of the New York Pass:
More than 100 attractions included and if you love museums, this is the most complete pass. If you buy yours in NYC you also receive a free guide with 200 pages explaining the attractions included with your pass, otherwise you can just download it to your phone and use the app to read all the information. The New York Pass offers 1,2,3,5,7, or 10 day passes. The more days you buy, the cheaper it is! It’s a great pass if you are planning on visiting 2-3 attractions a day. They also offer money back if your plans change before and fast track to some of the major attractions, so you skip the ticket line. You can also make reservations for most wanted attractions that require scheduling in advance. You can buy your pass HERE!
Is it worth buying the CityPASS, The New York Pass, the Sightseeing Pass, etc?
If you know you want to visit the attractions included, simply calculate how much they would cost individually and if you wanna save money and time, then yes!
Which one is the best in my opinion?
How to use the CityPASS, The New York Pass, the Sightseeing Pass, etc?
Simply present your digital or printed pass at the attraction. They are familiar with all of them! You can skip the ticket line in most attractions or you might have to exchange the digital for a paper one in some cases.
For more NYC tips, make sure to follow me on @marthasachser and @blognyandabout!
Traveling to NY? Get your discount passes today!