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New York Pass Comparison (+ Discount)

New York Pass Comparison (+ Discount)

New York City is among the best places to visit in the USA and it’s no wonder there are multiple passes available for the most popular attractions. We created this New York passes comparison to help you decide which one you should purchase because this is a great way to save money when visiting the city.

In this guide, we’re going to show you the best New York passes compared including pros and cons for each one as well as exclusive discounts.

Disclosure: We received New York Sightseeing Pass and New York CityPASS tickets in order to share our opinion about these products but this is not a sponsored post.

Our NYC Experience

Man and Woman pointing to the Statue of Liberty from the top of One World Observatory
Mark and Kristen at the top of One World Observatory (visited with NY Sightseeing)

Kristen is a New York state native and we lived in NYC for a few months in 2021. We chose to move to the city so we could create the best possible content because you can’t just visit New York City for a weekend and claim to be an expert. Read more about us.

When we lived here, we used the New York CityPASS, C3 Pass and the NY Sightseeing Pass in the city ourselves. We caption our personal photos in this guide with the corresponding attractions we visited with each pass. Additionally, we’ve used the Go City Pass in Rome, London and Paris so we’re extremely familiar with how these passes work.

Before using the passes ourselves, we had a lot of questions just like you which is probably why you’re reading this comparison. Our goal is to make this the best guide on the internet to help you choose the best New York attraction pass for your trip to the city.

Travel Tip: We try our best to keep prices and attraction options up to date, but please keep in mind these are subject to change at any given time. Use the official links we provide to confirm information before purchasing.

High Level Overview

Woman looking at the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock
Kristen at Top of the Rock (visited with New York CityPASS)

Before we get into the comparison of the New York attraction passes, it’s important to understand how these passes work. If you’re already used a pass, feel free to skip down to our comparison. But if you’ve never used a pass, be sure to read the next few sections before making a decision.

A NY pass will give you instant access to the most iconic landmarks, museums, observation decks, walking tours and boat cruises at a heavily discounted price. We like to compare these passes to buying in bulk because the more attractions you visit, the more you’ll save.

There are three main attraction pass companies including NY Sightseeing Pass, New York CityPASS and Go City New York. Each of these companies offer various options so you have a total of 7 New York passes to choose from.

Once you purchase a NYC pass, you’ll instantly receive an email with the pass and you’ll have about 12 to 24 months to activate it. You can also download your attraction pass in the corresponding app or use a printed version of the pass. The choice is really up to you, but we found it easier to have the pass on our phones because we couldn’t forget it.

An pass is considered active once it has been scanned at the first attraction via QR code. However, major attractions will require reservations on a timed entry system. So if you’ve made a reservation, you’ll have to show your timed entry reservation along with your New York pass.

Travel Tip: Attraction reservations will be often required or recommended. You should always make reservations even if they are recommended to help secure a time slot.

Day Versus Attraction Passes

Person walking through the New York Botanic Gardens
Kristen at the New York Botanical Gardens (visited with NY Sightseeing Pass)

The two types of NYC passes you can purchase are a day based or attraction based option. Let’s take a closer look at each type including pros and cons.

A day based pass is purchased around the total number of days you want to explore. This option is good for visitors who want to do as much as possible in a short amount of time. With this pass, there is no limit to the amount of attractions you can visit per day, but you’ll be limited by time.

Here are the 3 New York DAY Pass options with pros and cons:

  1. NY Sightseeing DAY Pass
  2. Go City New York All-Inclusive Pass
  3. New York Pass by Go City

Pros

  • Unlimited amount of attractions
  • Most value for money if you’re quick and plan well
  • Best suited for a short visit

Cons

  • Validity of 1-10 days depending on pass purchased
  • Must be used in consecutive order
  • You’ll feel obliged to rush around to make the most of your money

Now we’re going to throw a wrench in the works because there are two different types of NY attraction passes. Here are the options:

  • A set # of attractions with prices going up incrementally
  • A # of attractions at a set price point

With this pass, you’re limited to the number of attractions but you have plenty of time to visit each one.

Here are the 4 New York ATTRACTION Pass options with pros and cons:

  1. NY Sightseeing FLEX Pass
  2. New York CityPASS
  3. New York C3 Pass
  4. Go City New York Explorer Pass

Pros

  • 9 or 60 day validity depending on pass purchased
  • Complete control over what attractions you visit
  • More value for money if you want to take things slow
  • Does not have to be used on consecutive days
  • Better suited for a longer visit or those who know what they want to see

Cons

  • Set number of attractions may limit what you can visit
  • Not as much savings as a DAY option
 

Is There A Catch?

Woman sitting on a couch in nyc to compare ny passes
Kristen relaxing on the Friend’s couch at Madame Tussauds (visited with NY Sightseeing)

Like all things that save you money, there is a catch when purchasing a NY attraction pass. The purpose of the pass is to save money by bundling attractions and you’ll have to put in the work to get the most out of your pass.

Additionally, you can’t reserve time slots in advance for every attraction. So if you plan to visit in summer when tourism is at its peak, you’ll have to take this into consideration when planning your New York itinerary or you may have to contend with long lines. For example, when we visited New York in April, we never had to wait lines.

But since we have experience using all of these passes in the city ourselves, we can tell you they are legit. When you do the research, they will save you both time and money. We created this NYC passes comparison to help you have an amazing trip to the city.

If you read reviews about attraction passes online, you’ll find either 1 star or 5 star reviews. The 1 star reviews are from customers who didn’t plan or read the fine print. The 5 stars reviews are from customers who properly planned and saved a bunch of money. Our guide will show you exactly how to make the most of your New York attraction pass.

What Is The Best New York Pass?

New York Sightseeing Pass for NY pass comparison purposes
Our NY Sightseeing Pass from a 2022 New York visit

This is an extremely long New York pass comparison guide with charts, tables, price lists and a complete breakdown of attractions. It’s well worth reading so you learn the finer details, but if you’re in a hurry and just want our top recommendation, it’s the New York Sightseeing Pass.

We think this pass has the most flexibility and offers the best value for money including exclusive attractions. So we’ve teamed up with Sightseeing Pass to offer our readers an exclusive 5-10% discount on your attraction pass.

Want To Save Money In NYC?

Use the button below to claim 5-10% off any NY Sightseeing Pass.

It’s important to note that no matter the general promotion NY Sightseeing Pass is running, you’ll always save an additional 5-10% with our links. Continue reading to see our comparison with numbers and data for support to back up our top recommendation.

Let’s start with why it makes sense to purchase an attraction pass for your visit to NYC.

Money Saving Example

Mark and Kristen at Spyscape (visited with NY Sightseeing Pass)

This example will show you how much money you can save using a New York Sightseeing Pass with our exclusive discount versus paying for popular attractions. Here is a 4 day New York itinerary with general admission adult prices from the official websites (2024 pricing):

Travel Tip: For those of you visiting New York City from other countries, keep in mind you’ll have to add sales tax and/or processing fees onto some attractions.

Day 1:

  • Statue of Liberty Ferry = $24.50
  • Madame Tussauds: $38.99 + $3.46 tax = $42.45
  • Empire State Building 86th floor: $44.00 + $5.00 processing fee + $4.35 tax = $53.35

Day 2:

  • Circle Line Landmarks midweek sailing: $35.00
  • MoMA: $28.00
  • One World Observatory: $44.00 + $5.00 processing fee + $3.91 tax = $52.91

Day 3:

  • American Museum of Natural History: $28.00
  • SPYSCAPE: $44.00 + $3.91 tax = $47.91
  • Edge at Hudson Yards 10:00am visit: $41.00 + $3.64 tax = $44.64

Day 4:

  • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum: $36.00
  • New York Botanical Gardens: $35.00
  • Top of the Rock sunset visit: $55.00 + $4.88 tax = $59.88

The total cost of this 4 day itinerary is $487.64. Now let’s compare this price to the cost of a NY Sightseeing Pass with our discount:

  • Total cost of 12 attractions with no pass: $487.64.
  • A NY Sightseeing DAY Pass for 4 days with our discount is $274.55.
  • A NY Sightseeing FLEX Pass with 12 attractions and our discount is $291.12.

And there you have it in black and white, you can save $213 with the DAY pass or $196.52 with the FLEX pass.

Need help organizing your visit to NYC?

Our popular 50+ page New York City Guidebook can help you with planning every aspect of your trip.

New York Attraction Pass Options

As we mentioned earlier, there are three popular New York attraction pass companies and two passes are essentially run by the same company:

  • NY Sightseeing Pass
  • New York CityPASS
  • Go City New York
  • The New York Pass by Go City

Many of these companies offer multiples passes with day or attraction based options, so this is how we arrived at a comparison of 7 different NYC passes. While the names are very similar and can be confusing, once you take a deeper look into each option, you’ll notice subtle differences.

Below is a chart we created to show you an overview of each New York pass compared against each other. By looking at the information in this way, it’s easier to see the differences in each pass.

High level comparison of the popular new york city attraction passes

We’ll discuss all of these passes in detail throughout the rest of this guide, but it’s also important to consider the attractions because each pass offers different options.

New York City is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world and there is so much to do as a first time visitor. Here are major attractions in the city:

  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • Edge Hudson Yards
  • Empire State Building
  • Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty + Ellis Island
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Modern Museum of Art (MoMA)
  • One World Observatory
  • Top of the Rock

So we created another chart to help you easily identify what attractions are included on each pass option:

Chart comparing the top attraction in New York City on each NY pass

As you can see from the graph, many of the top highlights are included on most passes. But if you want to visit a specific attraction, you have to make sure it’s included on the pass you wish to purchase.

Additionally, there are also a few important updates for 2024 you need to know:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) is no longer included on any attraction pass. However, NY State residents or students based in NY, NJ or CT will receive free admission with a valid ID.
  • The 9/11 Museum is no longer available on the NY Sightseeing Pass, but you can book a 9/11 Ground Zero Walking Tour with this pass. You can reserve a timed entry ticket on the official website or with Get Your Guide, Viator and Tiqets.
  • New York’s newest observation deck SUMMIT One Vanderbilt features numerous immersive exhibits and stunning views over Manhattan, but it’s not currently available on any NY pass. You can book tickets on the official website or with Get Your Guide, Viator and Tiqets.
Man taking a photo in the mirrors at Summit One Vanderbuilt
Mark taking a photo at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt (not available on NYC passes)

Further Reading: How to visit SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

More Attraction Pass Highlights

Even if you’ve already seen the top attractions, a New York City attractions pass can still be a good option for you because there are several museums and unique activities included. We used several of these passes when we lived in the city and still couldn’t visit all of the attractions.

Below is a comparison graph featuring museums in New York City including which ones are available on each individual pass:

Chart comparing the unique museums found on each New York City attraction pass

Our NYC museum pass comparison

This graph does not included the full list of options included on the NY passes, but it gives you a good idea about which pass you should purchase if you plan to visit numerous museums.

Further Reading: 10 best museums in New York City

What’s The Cheapest Pass?

At the beginning of this New York pass comparison guide, we told you the NY Sightseeing Pass offers the best deal with the most flexibility and biggest savings. This is our conclusion after personally using the passes ourselves.

But we’re scientists by trade and always use data to prove our conclusion. So we’ve created two more charts for you to easily see the financial benefits of the NY Sightseeing Pass in conjunction with our additional 5-10% discount.

Price comparison for the day based NY passes

This is what you can instantly see from New York pass comparison DAY chart:

  • NY Sightseeing Pass and The New York Pass offer the most day options
  • Go City and The New York Pass are always a few dollars more expensive
  • Your savings will exponentially increase as you add more days
  • Our discount on yields the cheapest prices every time

>> Buy the NY Sightseeing DAY Pass here

We think the day based attraction pass offers the best value, but if you only want to visit a few attractions, an attraction pass is better suited for you. Here are the prices:

Price comparison for the attraction based NY passes

This is what you can instantly see from New York pass comparison ATTRACTION chart:

  • NY Sightseeing Pass offers the most attraction options
  • An adult New York CityPASS is slightly cheaper, but you loose flexibility and can only visit a few attractions
  • A NY Sightseeing FLEX option for 5 attractions is the cheapest price for children
  • Your savings will exponentially increase as you add more attractions

>> Buy the NY Sightseeing FLEX Pass here

Travel Tip: According to our statistics and reader bookings, the NY Sightseeing 3 DAY Pass is the most popular option for visitors in New York City.

Now let’s take a closer look at a comparison of the best New York passes:

New York Sightseeing Pass

Example of the New York Sightseeing Pass
An example of the NY Sightseeing Pass on a phone

This pass offers both a day and attraction based option for New York visitors. You can purchase the DAY pass or the FLEX pass which features a certain number of attractions. Here is a quick overview (prices include our 5-10% discount):

DAY Pass:

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 day validity
  • Visit as many attractions as possible
  • 115 attractions
  • Adult prices range from $141.55 to $379.05
  • Child prices range from $98.10 t0 $255.50

See full prices for the DAY pass here.

FLEX Pass:

  • Visit 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions
  • 60 day validity
  • 121 attractions
  • Adult prices range from $75.05 to $291.65
  • Child prices range from $62.10 to $225.00

See full prices for the FLEX pass here.

We like NY Sightseeing because it offers the most attractions compared to other New York passes. Here are the popular attractions included:

  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the Rock
  • Circle Line Landmarks Cruise
  • One World Observatory
  • Edge Hudson Yards
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Guggenheim
  • Statue of Liberty Ferry (DAY pass only)
  • Big Bus New York
  • The Ride

This pass has exclusive attractions including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Museum of Broadway, National Lighthouse Museum and Go Airlink airport shuttle. These attractions are great for kids or visitors who want to experience something unique.

But that’s not all. This pass features special discounts on popular experiences such as Edge City Climb and Charm Manhattan Helicopter Tours. These must be purchased at time of checkout and sell out quickly so we recommend booking as soon as possible.

To see the full list of attractions, click here to visit the official NY Sightseeing Pass website.

Further Reading: How to find the best NYC helicopter tour

How To Choose Between DAY Or FLEX

Person walking into the Bronx Zoo
Mark walking into the Bronx Zoo (visited with NY Sightseeing Pass)

Before purchasing this pass, you’ll have to decide between a day or attraction option. If you want the most flexibility, buy the DAY pass. If you only want to visit a few attractions or are planning to visit New York for a longer period of time, buy a FLEX pass because you have 60 days of validity.

We loved using our DAY pass to run around the city and check off many top attractions because it was a fun way to explore the city. At checkout, you’ll choose between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 days. However, to get the most of out this pass you’ll need to make reservations and plan your days out.

The FLEX option is good for visitors who want to take their trip a little slower and visit NYC with less pressure. During checkout, you’ll decide between 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions. No matter how many attractions you purchase, you then have 60 days to visit all of them once your pass is activated.

Is The NY Sightseeing Pass Worth It?

Two people sitting with a wax figure of the queen at a new York City wax museum visited with the New York Sightseeing Pass
Mark and Kristen sitting with the Queen at Madame Tussauds (visited with NY Sightseeing Pass)

Yes, we think the NY Sightseeing Pass is worth it because this company offers the most attractions and cheaper prices even without our discount. Sightseeing Pass does a great job staying competitive in the market with new attractions and discounts every year.

The NY Sightseeing Pass is our favorite option because you get the most bang for your buck. We love the large amount of top attractions available on this pass including unique activities such as the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium. We’ve also been partners with this company for years so we can offer you the best prices. They are always very professional and quick to respond.

A DAY pass would be good for first time visitors who want to see all of New York’s top attractions. This would also be good for families visiting with children.

>> Buy the NY Sightseeing DAY Pass here

A FLEX pass would be good for visitors who want to see select attractions or visitors who want to visit many museums. This is also a great choice for returning visitors who want to see obscure attraction they might have missed on the first visit.

>> Buy the NY Sightseeing FLEX pass here

One more important thing to note is that transportation is included on the NY Sightseeing Pass. In addition to walking tours or bout tours, you’ll have access to the Go Airlink Airport Shuttle and Big Bus New York with hop-on hop-off option. All this is covered on the attraction page here if you want to read more.

Further Reading: Our NY Sightseeing pass review

New York CityPASS

Examples of the New York CityPASS
An example of the New York CityPASS on a phone
Many people walking around at Edge nyc
Visitors enjoying Edge at Hudson Yards during sunset (visited with New York C3 Pass)

We’ve used CityPASS in major cities across the United States including Seattle, Denver and San Francisco and New York City. This pass is different from the others because it offers specific attractions at a set price point.

You can choose between the New York C3 Pass or the New York CityPASS which offer 3 and 5 attractions respectively. It’s often a cheaper option, but the catch is you’ll be limited to a very small number of attractions. Here is a quick overview:

  • 9 day validity
  • With CityPASS, you choose 5 out of 8 attractions but 2 are non-negotiable
  • With the C3 Pass, you choose 3 out of 10 attractions
  • Adult prices range from $96 and $138
  • Child prices range from $74 and $118

See full prices for the New York CityPASS here.

We like CityPASS because it’s a basic option offering the top attractions in the city. However, the downside to this pass is that you’ll only have a few attractions to choose from. Below you’ll find a chart we created to help you easily understand your options with CityPASS.

Chart comparing the 3 New York CityPASS option

So in a nutshell, these are the popular attractions included in the New York CityPASS:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Empire State Building
  • 9/11 Museum 
  • Circle Line Cruises
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Intrepid Museum
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island 
  • Top of the Rock
  • Edge at Hudson Yards
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

But depending on the pass you buy, you won’t be able to visit all of these activities. The New York C-All Pass allows you to visit 10 attractions at a good price. But if you compare this to the other options, we think your money will be better spent on the other NY Sightseeing or Go City options because you’ll be able to pick from 100+ attractions instead of 10.

How To Choose Between A C3 Or CityPASS

Special exhibit featuring dinosaurs at the American museum of natural history
Dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (visited with New York CityPASS)

Before purchasing this pass, you’ll have to decide how many attractions you want to visit. If you want to visit 5 attractions, buy the CityPASS. If you want to visit 3 attractions, but the C3 Pass. But no matter which pass you purchase, you’ll have 9 days to visit each attraction.

We used both a CityPASS and C3 Pass in the city. The biggest difference is the number of attractions offered on each pass so we recommend you figure out what attractions you want to visit. If you want to visit the Edge or the Modern Museum of Art (MoMa), you’ll need to purchase the C3 Pass.

Further Reading: Tips for visiting Edge at Hudson Yards

Is The New York CityPASS Worth It?

Close up of the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty on a cloudy day in New York City (visited with New York CityPASS)

Yes, we think the New York CityPASS is worth it only if you want to see 3-5 top attractions in the city. This company offers a cheaper option, but you won’t have many attractions to choose from. CityPASS is unique because it focuses on the top NYC attractions which might be attractive for some visitors.

The New York CityPASS is our second favorite option because you can see top attractions at a cheap price point. While there are only a few attractions on this pass, we like the simple concept. We also like their user friendly website and we’ve been partners with them for years.

A CityPASS is good for visitors who want to see the top highlights in New York. But keep in mind you must visit the Empire State Building and the American Museum of Natural History. However, you can visit the ESB twice in the same day and you’ll also receive entry into both the permanent and special exhibits inside the history museum. We used this pass when we lived in the city and liked that we could visit each attraction at a slow pace.

>> Buy the New York CityPASS here

The C3 Pass is a lighter version of the CityPASS which is good for visitors who only want to see 3 attractions in the city. After using this pass, we think it’s very limiting compared to the NY Sightseeing FLEX or the Go City New York Explorer pass. But if you want to see the attraction on the pass, it could be worth it for you. Use this pass if you want to visit the MoMA or Edge.

>> Buy the New York C3 Pass here

There are no additional transportation offers with this pass, but you’ll have access to Circle Line Boat Cruises and the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You can also score deals on Broadway musicals or plays. Head to the official website here to learn more.

Further Reading: Our New York CityPASS and C3 Pass review

Go City New York Pass

Example of the Go City New York attraction pass
An example of the New York CityPASS on a phone

Go City offers attraction passes in major cities around the world. We’ve used these in Paris, London and Rome so we know how these work. The Go City New York Pass is set up very similar to the NY Sightseeing Pass. There is a day based option called the All-Inclusive Pass and an attraction based option called the Explorer Pass. Here is a quick overview:

All-Inclusive Pass:

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 day validity
  • Visit as many attractions as possible
  • 103 attractions to choose from
  • Adult prices range from $150 to $401
  • Child prices range from $110 to $286

See full prices for the All-Inclusive pass here.

Explorer Pass:

  • Visit 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 attractions
  • 60 day validity
  • 92 attractions to choose from
  • Adult prices range from $80 to $280
  • Child prices range from $70 to $232

See full prices for the Explorer pass here.

We like Go City because it offers a large amount of activities. Here are the popular attractions included:

  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Circle Line Sightseeing
  • Edge Hudson Yards
  • Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island  
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Intrepid
  • Modern Museum of Art
  • Top of the Rock

Another feature of this pass is the exclusive attractions including Yankees tickets. All of the other attractions are the same as the NY Sightseeing Pass with the exception of the 9/11 Museum. There are also no special discounts on other experiences in the city.

Further Reading: Top of the Rock vs Empire State Building

How To Choose Between All-Inclusive Or Explorer

View of the Empire State Building from an observation deck in New York City
View of the Empire State Building with sprawling Midtown views (visited with CityPASS)

Similar to the NY Sightseeing Pass, you’ll have to decide between a day or attraction option. If you want the most flexibility, buy the All-Inclusive pass. If you only want to visit a few attractions or are planning to visit New York for a longer time period, buy the Explorer pass because you have 60 days of validity.

The All-Inclusive Pass will give you the most options because it features 103 attractions, but you’ll be limited by time. During checkout, you’ll choose between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 days. We highly recommend you make reservations and plan out your days to make the most of this pass.

The Explorer option is good for those visitors who only want to see some of the top attractions. At checkout, you’ll pick between 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 attractions, but then you have 60 days to visit all of the attractions on the pass.

Is The Go City New York Pass Worth It?

View of the Intrepid Sea, Space and Air museum from a helicopter in New York City
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (available on all NY Passes)

Yes, we think the Go City New York Pass is worth it because you can choose from numerous attractions and this pass will save you money. However, Go City are typically higher priced passes and they don’t offer as much choice as the NY sightseeing Pass with the exception being the 9/11 Museum.

The Go City New York Pass is our least favorite option because it can be expensive. However, compared to the New York CityPASS, you have more attraction options. We also don’t like how Go City inflates attraction prices on their website.

An All-Inclusive pass would be good for first time visitors who want to see as much as possible or families with children. This pass is very similar to the NY Sightseeing DAY Pass and The New York Pass so be sure to compare prices as well as attractions.

>> Buy the Go City New York All-Inclusive Pass here

An Explorer pass would be good for visitors who want to see select attractions or visitors who are interested in museums. We think this is also good for returning visitors who want to see unique attractions. This pass is very similar to the NY Sightseeing FLEX Pass so compare prices and attractions before purchasing.

>> Buy the Go City New York Explorer Pass here

If you’re looking for the Big Bus New York with hop-on hop-off option, it’s included on the Go City New York Pass. This will help you travel through Manhattan’s Uptown and Downtown loops. But be sure to read our tips at the end of this guide regarding the Big Bus tour.

The New York Pass

Example of the New York Pass by Go City
An example of the New York CityPASS on a phone

This last pass is essentially the same as Go City’s All-Inclusive pass because it’s owned by Go City. Prices and attractions are identical to the pass we just discussed and there are no attraction based options available. Here is a quick overview:

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 day validity
  • Visit as many attractions as possible
  • 105 attractions to choose from
  • Adult prices range from $150 to $401
  • Child prices range from $110 to $288

See full prices for the New York Pass here.

Personally, we’d purchase the NY Sightseeing Pass over this option because it’s a cheaper price with more flexibility and attractions. But if you want to visit the 9/11 Museum as one of your attractions, this might be a good option for you.

New York Pass Comparison Conclusion

View of lower Manhattan from Empire State Building
View from the Empire State Building of Lower Manhattan (visited with CityPASS)

We’re finally at the end of this very detailed comparison of the New York City attraction passes, but our goal is to help you make the most of your trip. Here is a final summary of everything we discussed:

  • NY Sightseeing DAY Pass – Best for first time visitors, returning visitors or families with children who want to see it all. This is the cheapest day option with the most flexibility, but if you want to visit the 9/11 Museum, you’ll have to purchase tickets separately (active and retired military visit for free). Buy it here.
  • NY Sightseeing FLEX Pass – This pass is great for visitors who want to visit 1-12 attractions with the most flexibility or those who want to visit numerous museums. However, the 9/11 Museum and Statue of Liberty Ferry are not included. Buy it here.
  • New York CityPASS – Good for those who want to visit 5 of the top attractions, but you’ll be limited to a total of 8 attractions with 2 non-negotiable options. Buy it here.
  • New York C3 Pass – Good for visitors who only want to see 3 of the top attractions. Very limiting compared to other passes, but it comes at a cheap price. Buy it here.
  • Go City New York All-Inclusive – Similar to NY Sightseeing DAY Pass, but more expensive with less attractions and no 6 day option. The Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium are not included. Buy it here.
  • Go City New York Explorer – Similar to the NY Sightseeing FLEX, but more expensive. You can purchase up to 10 attractions on this pass. The Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium is not included. Buy it here.
  • The New York Pass – Essentially the same as the Go City All-Inclusive option run by the same company. Buy it here.

Further Reading: Famous New York City quotes

New York Attraction Pass Tips

This is an extensive NY pass comparison, but we love to help our readers save money because that means you have more money for travel! So in order to make the most of your pass, here are a few tips to consider for your trip:

  • We don’t recommend using Big Bus as your means of transportation around the city if you have a day pass because you’ll be limited by bus schedules and traffic. You should use the subway to make the most of your time. Walking tours, bike rentals or boat tours would be a good option.
  • Big Bus tours could work for visitors using an attractions pass because this would count as one of your attractions. However, make sure you look at the routes before using the bus to maximize your time.
  • Some passes offer special offers and discounts so read the fine print. This could save you extra money on experiences, shops and restaurants.
  • We could average about three attractions per day if we used the subway and visited attractions that were located close to each other. Keep in mind, most attractions are open from 10:00-6:00pm with a few exceptions such as the New York city observation decks.
  • Verify attractions on the official websites with our links. New York City is always evolving and new attractions open every year so sometimes other attractions become unavailable.
  • Always make reservations when possible, especially if you visit in the peak summer season. New York is a very busy place and if don’t make reservations, you’ll be waiting in long lines.
  • Visit the expensive attractions to get the most out of your pass. This includes the Empire State Building, Edge, The Ride, One World Observatory, Big Bus, various walking tours and more.
  • You can find seasonal activities such as the Rink at Rockefeller Center and Dyker Heights Christmas lights tour on NY Sightseeing and Go City options.
New York City Guidebook by Where Are Those Morgans

FAQ’s

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding New York City attraction passes.

What About Fast Track Or Skip The Line?

In our experience using these passes, we never had to wait in line for any attraction because we made advanced reservations and avoided peak times. The most popular attractions will require a timed entry ticket therefore fast track or skip the line are a moot point. If you can’t make a reservation, you should plan to visit that attraction early in the morning at opening time before it gets busy. However, you might have to wait in a security line which is unavoidable.

How Much Money Can You Save?

Depending on the pass you purchase, you can save 20-60%. But be sure to shop around to find the pass that better suits your needs such as a day or attraction based option.

What Is The Best Way To Purchase A New York Pass?

You should purchase your attraction pass online because you’ll receive the pass instantly via email. This way you can start making reservations for your attractions straight away. Always purchase the passes from the official websites (links in this guide) or reputable third parties like Get Your Guide and Viator.

Are NY Passes Legit?

Yes, the New York passes are legit because we’ve personally worked with NY Sightseeing, CityPASS and Go City. We have also used the passes in the city ourselves. These passes can save you both time and money if you take the time to plan your trip.

More New York Guides

Want more New York content? Head over to our New York Travel Guides to explore the Finger Lakes, Adirondacks and the best of NYC.


We hope this detailed comparison of the various New York attraction passes helps with planning your trip to NYC!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the best New York attractions pass or New York City in the comments below.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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Oli

Wednesday 26th of July 2023

Hello, this is an awesome article, thanks! However, it seems like the NY Sightseeing have changed their prices, as they are not the same as found in your article... Could it be that they have updated them not long ago? We will be staying from the 12th to the 17th of August and I want to show my kids the most interesting vistas and neighborhoods. Is there a coupon code that can be used as the links don't seem to work? Thanks

Mark and Kristen Morgan

Thursday 27th of July 2023

Hi Oli, We recently updated this guide with 2023 summer prices mid-June, but now that we are in the middle of summer, unfortunately prices will be at their highest. The prices fluctuate throughout the entire year so our prices are only meant to be a guideline to show how much you can save. That being said our links will always give you 10% off the current price.🙂 You will need to use our links to receive the 10% discount. We just checked our links and can confirm they are working so we recommend you clear the cookies on your browser and try again. Since you will be visiting in August, we also recommend you make reservations for attractions when possible and for the attractions you can not reserve, try to arrive early in the day when the attractions open so you make the most of your trip. Hope you have an amazing time in NYC with your kids!

Nicole Bernard

Monday 19th of June 2023

Hello! Thank you for the planning advice. What is the promo code to receive your extra 10% discount.

Mark and Kristen Morgan

Monday 19th of June 2023

Hi Nicole, thanks for reading! Any NY Sightseeing link or button in this guide already has the 10% discount applied :) You must use our links to receive the discount. Have a great time in NYC!

Jenny Kohout

Thursday 20th of April 2023

Hi! I love your posts. You helped me a lot with my out west trip 2 years ago. We are going to NYC -5 of us in June. Debating the passes. Can you help me understand which of the NY sightseeing pass I should get - flex or day - want to do 9/11 museum for sure and I read about the issue with this pass. With either- do I need to book 9/11 directly with the museum ? We will be there 6/7-11. Any thoughts on which pass you would buy ? Want to do the bus hop on and off tour, 9/11, Statue of Liberty, Empire State , top of rock and possibly a boat tour. Also a Broadway show. Debating lion king , wicked and Hamilton. And a Yankees game. Would love any help !

Thank you so much. Jenny

Mark and Kristen Morgan

Saturday 6th of May 2023

Hi Jenny, we just sent you an email with our recommendations and have a wonderful trip to NYC! 🙂

Sophie Tennant

Saturday 18th of March 2023

Hi. I have clicked the link to purchase the NY pass with your 10% discount but this doesn’t seem to be applied. Can you please help?

Mark and Kristen Morgan

Saturday 18th of March 2023

Hi Sophie, We just sent you an email regarding the discount 🙂