Skip to Content

New York CityPASS + C3 Reviews: Are The Passes Worth It?

New York CityPASS + C3 Reviews: Are The Passes Worth It?

Welcome to the ultimate New York CityPASS and New York C3 Pass review. We are going to show you how to hit up the most iconic attractions in New York City while saving up to 40% in the process.

Why can you trust us when it comes to the New York CityPASS?

Because not only have we lived in New York City, but we have also used both the New York CityPASS and the C3 Pass in NYC ourselves. This guide is written from nothing but first hand experience.

Our main goal with this detailed review is to show you if this is right attraction pass for you. Hopefully, we can help you save enough money to buy several delicious New York Pizza slices when you visit.

In this guide, we will show you:

  • Why buy an attractions pass in New York City?
  • Overview to the different types of NYC attraction passes
  • How the pass works and how to make reservations
  • Top attractions included with the pass
  • New York CityPASS vs the competition
  • Is the New York CityPASS worth it?

Let’s see if the New York CityPASS or the C3 Pass is what you need for your visit to the Big Apple!

*Please note this post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the free content we provide! Read more in our disclosure policy.*

Disclosure: We received New York CityPASS tickets in order to share our opinion about this product but this is not a sponsored post.

Table of Contents show

Why Should You Buy A New York City Attractions Pass?

Visiting a bucket list city like New York for the very first time can be extremely overwhelming. There’s an endless list of unique and amazing things to do in New York City.

While many things are cheap and some experiences may even be free, the top attractions in New York City often come with a hefty price tag.

This is where the New York CityPASS comes in handy because the pass will give you instant access to the top attractions in the city including observation decks, museums and experiences.

Personally, we have used attractions passes in cities all around the world. It is a very simple concept in that the more attractions you visit with your CityPASS, the more money you will save.

An attraction pass is great for both first time visitors and those who live in the city but have yet to experience any of the ‘touristy’ things.

Here is a brief summary as to why it pays to purchase an attractions pass:

  • Bundling attractions will guarantee a cheaper price (similar to buying in bulk)
  • You can keep all timed reservations in one centralized place (online CityPASS reservations)
  • Ability to efficiently organize your itinerary before arriving to the city
  • Timed reservations means to wasted time waiting in long lines
Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in the middle of the Hudson River
View of the Statue of Liberty from a Helicopter Tour in NYC

Important New York CityPASS and C3 Pass Update for 2022

As of March 1st, 2022, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) no longer participates in the New York CityPASS or C3 Pass program. The Met has left all third-party programs at this time.

However, the Met is one of our favorite museums in NYC and we highly recommend you visit if you can fit it into your itinerary. Visit the official Met website for additional information.

Just a reminder for NYS residents and students based in NY, NJ or CT – the amount you pay for admission to the Met is up to you with valid ID.

Heading to NYC in winter? You might like our popular New York City Winter guide to see the best of the city without the crowds.

Woman looking through glass panels at Top of the Rock observation deck
Kristen soaking up the views of Central Park from Top of the Rock

Types of New York City Attraction Passes

There are two types of attractions pass you can use in New York City. The first is a day based pass, and the second is an attraction based pass.

Each pass has benefits and drawbacks, so let’s see which pass would work best for your visit:

Day Based Pass

A day based pass gives you access to a large amount of top attractions. You will then have the amount of corresponding days to visit as many attractions as you can fit into your visit.

For example, you purchase a 2 day New York City pass with 100 attractions included. You then have 2 days to visit as many attractions out of these 100 options as possible.

New York CityPass and C3 Pass do not have any type of day pass.

If you would prefer to see as many attractions as possible during your visit to NYC, read our popular New York Sightseeing Pass Review.

Day Pass Pros: Far more attractions included

Day Pass Cons: Higher price tag for more attraction options, limited time might make it harder to get through many attractions and you will feel obligated to rush around

Attraction Based Passes

The New York CityPASS and C3 Pass are attraction based passes.

With these passes you will have fewer attraction options, but the available attractions are generally the top bucket list tourist sites. You will also be able to visit each attraction over a much longer period of time.

For example with CityPASS, if you purchase a 5 attraction pass, you will have up to 9 consecutive days to visit all 5 attractions.

Here are a few pros and cons for an attractions based pass:

Day Pass Pros: Far less overwhelming way to see the top rated attractions and perfect for first time visitors wanting to tick off the ‘biggies’ in New York City with enough time to enjoy each place

Day Pass Cons: Have to choose between select attractions so you might miss one or two things with this type of pass

Want to see a more detailed comparison for the NYC passes? Check out our detailed New York City Pass Comparison review next to see which of the 4 NYC passes works best for you.

 
View of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge
The One World Trade Center among Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge

How Does The New York CityPASS Work?

Now that you know the New York CityPASS is an attraction based pass, there are two passes available.

  1. New York CityPASS
  2. New York C3 Pass

The main difference between these two CityPASS options are the amount of attractions included on the pass itself.

We like the CityPASS and C3 Pass because you have the ability to choose between the very best of New York’s attractions.

A New York CityPASS gives you entry into 5 attractions from a list of 8 attractions.

While the New York C3 Pass gives you entry into 3 attractions from a list of 11 attractions.

The validity for either pass is 9 consecutive days starting with the day you visit your first attraction. You also have one year from the date of purchase to activate your pass.

Let’s take a closer look at the attractions on each pass.

Want A New York CityPASS?

Head over to the official CityPASS website to grab your pass now.

New York CityPASS Attractions

The New York CityPASS will give you access to 5 attractions with two attractions that are non-negotiable. For the last three attractions, you will have to choose between an option of two attractions.

Here are the attractions you must visit with the NY CityPASS:

  1. Empire State Building
  2. American Museum of Natural History

And then you can choose 3 more attractions from the following list:

  1. 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  2. Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  3. Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum

Travel Tip: The New York CityPASS is perfect for first time visitors because this pass gets you entry to the best attractions at the most competitive price point.

New York C3 Pass

The New York C3 Pass will grant you entry to any 3 of the following 11 attractions:

  1. 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  2. American Museum of Natural History
  3. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  4. City Cruises (with limited days)
  5. Edge at Hudson Yards
  6. Empire State Building
  7. Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  8. Guggenheim Museum
  9. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  10. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  11. Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Travel Tip: The New York C3 Pass is also good for first time visitors, but best for those who are extremely short on time.

Sun setting over Midtown and Lower Manhattan with Empire State Building
The Empire State Building lit up during sunset

How Much Does The New York CityPASS And C3 Pass Cost?

Our experience with CityPASS has shown us these passes are often the most cost effective options compared to other attraction passes in a city.

The beauty of buying a CityPASS or C3 Pass is having the ability to choose between the very best of New York’s attractions, but the catch is the attractions on the passes are limited.

So in conclusion, this pass is a great deal if you are interested in the top attractions listed on either pass.

We would recommend you purchase your New York CityPASS or C3 Pass in advance online prior to your visit. Some of the attractions on the pass may require advanced reservations which we will discuss later in the guide.

Buy The New York CityPASS

The New York CityPASS is currently priced at $129 for adults and $109 for children (6-17 years old).

With a small calculation, we will show you just how much you can save with the New York CityPASS.

This example uses the same day box office general admission price for adults as well as processing fees for each ticket transaction on the official websites.

Here are the prices you would pay if visiting each attraction individually:

  • Empire State Building – $58.79 (sunset price + tax)*
  • American Museum of Natural History – $39.00 (plus special exhibits) *
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum – $26.00
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – $33.00
  • Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – $24.00
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises – $29.00 (landmarks Cruise)
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck – $54.44 (sunset price + tax)
  • Guggenheim Museum – $26.00

Note: The cost for the Empire State Building includes the popular sunset time slot which costs an extra $10. If you visit any other time of the day, the Empire State Building costs $47.91.

Remember, you can visit FIVE attractions with the New York CityPASS and you must visit the (*) attractions:

Empire State Building ($58.79) + American History Museum ($39.00) + Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($33.00) + Top of the Rock Observation Deck ($54.44) + Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises ($29.00) = $214.23

  • Attraction Price = $214.23 without NY CityPASS
  • CityPASS Price = $129.00
  • Savings = $85.23

You can save around 40% on the top 5 attractions with the New York CityPASS!

>> Buy an official New York CityPASS here <<

Travel Tip: With the New York CityPASS, you will also receive a bonus same night general admission to the Empire State Building and we will discuss this later in our guide.


Buy The New York C3 Pass

The New York CityPASS is currently priced at $92 for adults and $72 for children (5-12).

We will perform the exact same calculation with the New York C3 Pass in this review.

This example uses the same day box office general admission price for adults as well as processing fees for each ticket transaction on the official websites.

Here are the prices you would pay if visiting each attraction individually:

  • Empire State Building – $47.91 (non-sunset price + tax)
  • American Museum of Natural History – $34.00 (plus one special exhibits)
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum – $26.00
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – $33.00
  • Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – $24.00
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises – $29.00 (landmarks Cruise)
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck – $43.55 (non-sunset price + tax)
  • Guggenheim Museum – $26.00

The three additional attractions included on this pass you won’t get with the City PASS are:

  • City Cruises – $37.00
  • Edge at Hudson Yards – $52.26 (sunset plus tax)
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – $25.00

Remember, you can visit THREE attractions with the New York C3 Pass:

Empire State Building ($47.91) + Top of the Rock Observation Deck ($43.55) + Edge at Hudson Yards ($52.26) = $143.72

  • Attraction Price = $143.72 without NY CityPASS
  • CityPASS Price = $92.00
  • Savings = $51.72

You can save about 35% on the top 3 attractions with the New York C3 Pass!

>> Buy an official New York C3 Pass here <<


What Attractions Are Included With The New York CityPASS And C3 Pass?

Now you know the different types of passes and how much money you can save, let’s briefly take a look at each individual attraction you can visit after buying the New York C3 or CityPASS.

We will start with the 8 attractions included on both passes then take a look at the 3 additional attractions included on the C3 pass.

There are may be a few slight differences between the C3 and CityPASS at each attraction which we will also highlight. Depending on the attractions you want to visit, this may sway your decision one way or the other.

Empire state building observation deck view over hudson yards and the edge one of the best new york attractions on CityPass and C3 pass
Street view of Manhattan from the top of the Empire State Building

1. Empire State Building

Where better to start in this review of New York CityPASS attractions than with NYC’s centerpiece and most iconic skyscraper, the Empire State Building.

Completed in 1931, the Empire State spent almost 40 years as the world’s tallest building and today remains the beating heart of Midtown Manhattan.

Seeing New York from the world famous observation deck fully deserves to be on every NYC bucket list. Classy exhibits, a fun elevator ride and sweeping 360 degree views across the concrete urban landscape of Manhattan await.

Expect to spend around 2 hours exploring exhibits and enjoying panoramic views.

Directions To The Empire State Building

Empire State Building Google Maps Location.

Address: 20 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001

Official Website: Empire State Building

Entry to the observation deck lobby is half way along W 34th St between 5th and 6th Ave. The closest subways to the Empire State Building are:

  • Orange Line – F, B, M, D (34th St Herald Sq)
  • Yellow Line – N, R, Q (34th St Herald Sq)
  • Green Line – 6 (33 St Station)
  • Red Line – 1, 2, 3 (34th St Penn Station)

New York CityPASS Exclusives For The Empire State Building

Reservations: Advance reservations are required.

  • CityPass: 86th floor observatory admission during sunset hours, entry to the 2nd floor museum, plus additional same night general admission
  • C3 Pass: 86th floor observatory admission during non-sunset hours as well as entry to the 2nd floor museum

Tips For Visiting The Empire State Building

  • Sunset is by far the most popular time of the day. If you want to ascend the Empire State for sunset, we recommend you book your time slot as far in advance as possible.
  • If sunset times slots are full, select one or two hours before and take your time walking through the interesting exhibits.
  • General admission includes the 86th floor open air observatory and it will cost an additional charge to visit the 102nd floor observatory.
  • The exhibits at the Empire State Building are by far the best out of every New York City observation Deck.

Planning to visit the Empire State Building? Don’t miss our detailed guide on how to visit the Empire State Building.

Dinosaur T Rex at the Museum of Natural History NYC
T-rex in a dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History

2. American Museum Of Natural History

New York City’s American Museum of Natural History is a complex consisting of 26 buildings, 45 exhibition halls, 34 million specimens, a planetarium and a library.

Have you seen the movie Night at the Museum? It is based on this very museum!

If you are visiting NYC with kids, this is the perfect place to let them loose with so much to see and learn. Expect to spend around 3-5 hours in the museum if all exhibits are open.

Directions To The American Museum Of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History Google Maps Location.

Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

Official Website: American Museum of Natural History

New York’s Natural History museum is located on Central Park’s western flank in line with 79th street. You can take a relaxing walk through Central Park or the closet subways are:

  • Orange Line – B (81st St)
  • Blue Line – C, A (81st St)
  • Red Line – 1,2 (79th St)

New York CityPASS Exclusives For The American Museum Of Natural History

Reservations: Advance reservations are required.

  • CityPass: Admission to permanent Museum halls plus all special exhibitions and films
  • C3 Pass: Admission to permanent Museum halls plus one special exhibition or film

Tips For Visiting The American Museum Of Natural History

  • All special exhibits are included with CityPASS and one special exhibit with the C3 Pass. Without a CityPASS, special exhibits will require an additional cost once you arrive at the museum.
  • Special exhibits are only temporary and change regularly.
  • Arrive at opening time to avoid the large afternoon crowds.
Awesome view over Manhattan at sunset from top of the rock observation deck as part of the new york CityPASS and c3 pass attractions list
Midtown Manhattan view from Top of the Rock

3. Top Of The Rock Observation Deck

Top of the Rock is the other classic and traditional observation deck in Midtown Manhattan.

Floors 67 and 69 have glass barriers but floor 70 is completely open and unobstructed, offering some of the very best views over NYC.

The building isn’t as iconic as the Empire State but it’s a very close call on which has the ‘better’ view.

From Top of the Rock observation deck, you can see Central Park, the sun as it sets right behind Edge and of course, you can also see the famous Empire State Building light up at night.

Further Reading: You may like our Top of the Rock vs the Empire State Building if you can’t decide which original observation deck to visit.

Directions To The Top Of The Rock

Top of the Rock Google Maps Location.

Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Official Website: Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock is located on top of Rockefeller Center and the entrance is located on W 50th street between 5th and 6th Ave. The closest subways to the Top of the Rock:

  • Orange Line – F, B, M, D (47-50 St Rockefeller Center)
  • Blue Line – E (5 Ave 53rd St Station)
  • Green Line – 6 (51st St)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For Top Of The Rock

Reservations: Advance reservations are recommended.

  • CityPASS: General admission (anytime of day including sunset)
  • C3 Pass: Same as the CityPASS

Tips For Visiting Top Of The Rock

  • Sunset is the most popular time to visit Top of the Rock and sunset ticket times sell out extremely quickly.
  • Photographers can take clean images with no glare from barriers.
  • This is the only completely open observation deck in New York City.
  • You can’t bring tripod to Top of the Rock, but you can use stone walls for long exposures.

Planning to visit Top of the Rock? Don’t miss our detailed guide on how to visit Top of the Rock observation deck.

Interior of the Guggenheim Museum in Central Park Manhattan spiral walkway with round light ceiling
Main entrance to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City

4. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim is art museum featuring a collection of impressionist, modern and contemporary art. But almost as famous as the artists work inside, is the building itself, designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Enjoy works by famous artists like Picasso and Cezanne as you spiral up the winding atrium walkway. An enormous projector screen plays documentary style movies throughout the day, perfect for watching briefly in between exhibits.

Direction To The Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum Google Maps Location.

Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128

Official Website: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R Guggenheim museum is located 5 blocks Northeast of the MET between 88th and 89th streets along 5th Ave. The closest subway to the Guggenheim is:

  • Green Line – 6, 5, 4 (86th St)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For The Guggenheim Museum

Reservations: Advance reservations are recommended.

  • CityPASS: General admission to the Guggenheim’s collection, plus special exhibits
  • C3 Pass: Same as CityPass

Tips For Visiting The Guggenheim Museum

  • Check movie times and grab a bench when a spot if free as you climb the spiral walkway.
Statue of Liberty ferry included with new york CityPASS and c3 attractions pass
Close up view of the State of Liberty

5. Ferry Access To Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island

The New York CityPASS / C3 Pass includes a ferry ride on Statue Cruises to and from Liberty Island (where the Statue of Liberty is located) as well as Ellis Island.

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic statues on Earth and has to be seen when visiting NYC. But did you know there is only one way you can reach Liberty Island from Manhattan?

A ferry leaving from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan transports you to the Statue of Liberty grounds and museum, before continuing for a second stop at Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close is a rite of passage for first time visitors to New York City. She is an impressive sight from below, but you can also learn about her history, construction and unveiling at the museum.

Large entry hall at Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Great Hall in the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration

The Ellis Island National Immigration Museum is not a compulsory part of the tour but it is one we highly recommend you take.

Inside you will learn about how thousands of European immigrants landed in America via this tiny island in the Upper New York bay.

Directions To The Statue Of Liberty

Statue City Cruises Google Maps Location.

Address: Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park – Liberty Island, New York, NY 10004

Official Website: Statue City Cruises

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can only be visited by taking a ferry from Castle Clinton in Battery Park, Manhattan or New Jersey. The closest subways to Battery Park:

  • Green Line – 4, (Bowling Green)
  • Red Line – 1 (South Ferry)
  • Yellow Line – R, W (Rector St)
  • Brown Line – J (Broad St)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For The Statue Of Liberty

Reservations: Advance reservations are required.

  • CityPASS: General admission ticket for one Statue City Cruises ferry ride to and from Liberty Island, admission to the Statue of Liberty Museum and admission to Ellis Island Immigration Museum with audio guide (Crown Tickets and Pedestal Access not included)
  • C3 Pass: Same as CityPASS

Tips For Visiting The Statue Of Liberty

  • Take the first ferry of the day to Liberty and Ellis Island for a much quieter experience.
  • The reservation time on your ticket does not mean the time of your ferry.
  • This time represents your entrance to the security building behind Castle Clinton before entering the staging area for the next available ferry.

Planning to visit the Statue of Liberty? Read our in depth guide on how to get the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan Island in NYC
Entrance to the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

7. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

See New York City’s most iconic landmarks from a different perspective with Circle Line Cruises. This experience offers both indoor and outdoor seating available across two decks, suitable for warm or cold weather.

The Sightseeing Cruise is an amazing way to see Manhattan’s famous buildings, bridges and landmarks with plenty of time to get photographs along the way.

These cruises are a relaxing way to explore New York as well as get a unique vantage point of the city. Our favorite aspect wasn’t Manhattan’s famous skyline, but the fantastic narration detailing history and fun facts about NYC.

We took the best of NYC cruise which is no longer offered on the CityPASS, but you still have two great options for a Sightseeing Cruise.

You can choose between the two following cruise lines:

  • Landmarks Cruise (1.5 hours) – Includes Statue of Liberty plus many other NYC landmarks
  • Liberty Midtown Cruise (1.0 hour) – Amazing views of midtown and downtown landmarks

Directions To The Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise Google Maps Location.

Address: 83 North River Piers West 43rd Street and, 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Official Website: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

All circle line cruises depart from Pier 83 in Midtown Manhattan, directly to the West of Times Square and just North of Hudson Yards. The closest subways to the Circle Line Cruises Pier 83:

  • Blue Line – A, C, E (42nd Port Authority)
  • Purple Line – 7 (34th St Hudson Yards)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

Reservations: Advance reservations are required.

  • CityPASS: Landmarks Cruise or Liberty Midtown Cruise
  • C3 Pass: Same as CityPASS

Tips For Visiting The Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

  • Sit on the left side of the boat. Manhattan is to the left side for the entire cruise and the boat passes the Statues of Liberty on both sides.
  • You might be tempted to head straight outside for an open air seat. But seriously consider weather conditions before taking your seat. Remember it will be much colder once the boat is moving.
  • Lines for food were huge during the beginning of our cruise but got much quieter the second half. Wait until the second part of the cruise to get food so you don’t miss any of the good stuff waiting in line.
9/11 memorial and museum in lower manhattan included attractions with new york CityPASS and c3 pass for visitors to nyc
9/11 Memorial Pool in Lower Manhattan

8. 9/11 Memorial And Museum

The New York City 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a very sobering reminder of the tragic events of September 2001.

At the memorial, you will find two large square holes in the ground marking the exact position of where the Twin Towers once stood as well as a fantastic museum explaining the event in great detail.

This might seem like an upsetting place to visit, but the museum is incredible. A large collection of memorabilia, detailed timelines, video footage and a touching tribute to those who sadly lost their lives is on display.

Plan to spend at least 2 hours inside, but we can guarantee you will need longer. Be warned this can be a harrowing experience and expect to leave feeling emotionally drained.

Directions To The 9/11 Memorial And Museum

9/11 Memorial and Museum Google Maps Location.

Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

Official Website: 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are located in Lower Manhattan, Northwest of the Financial District. This is a very walkable area with plenty of other attractions to see and the closest subways to the 9/11 Museum are:

  • Red Line – 1 (WTC Cortlandt)
  • Yellow Line – R, W, N (Cortlandt St)
  • Green Line – 4,5 (Fulton St)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For 9/11 Memorial And Museum

Reservations: Advance reservations are required.

  • CityPASS: General admission
  • C3 Pass: Same as CityPASS

Tips For Visiting The 9/11 Memorial And Museum

  • There are many amazing exhibits to see and read in the museum so allow plenty of time for your visit.
  • The second half of the museum is an extremely detailed timeline of events. This timeline is fascinating so be sure to leave enough emotional energy to appreciate the latter parts.
  • Don’t forget to stop at the large memorial pools dedicated to those who lost their lives. If you notice a white rose near an individual name, this rose indicates its their birthday.

Heading to Lower Manhattan? You might like our popular guide featuring the very best things to do in Lower Manhattan for every budget.

Intrepid sea air and space museum pier 86 manhattan nyc
Birds eye view of the Intrepid in New York City

9. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is a National Historic Landmark docked on the banks of the Hudson River,

This museum contains exhibits from space shuttles to submarines as well as fighter jets to the concorde. The Intrepid was also featured in the movie National Treasure in which Ben Gates jumps from the Aircraft Carrier deck.

You could easily spend half a day just walking around the aircraft carrier learning about all things apces, sea and air.

Seeing serious action in WWII and the Cold War, collaborating with NASA to serve as recovery for astronauts and various tours in the Vietnam War, the Intrepid has certainly had a colorful history.

Directions To The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Intrepid Google Maps Location.

Address: Pier 86, W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

Official Website: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid is located at Pier 86, very close to the Circle Line Cruises and to the Northwest of Times Square in Midtown. The closest subways to the Intrepid Museum at Pier 83 are:

  • Blue Line – A, C, E (42nd St Port Authority)
  • Purple Line – 7 (34th St Hudson Yards)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Reservations: Advance reservations are required.

  • CityPASS: General admission, including the Space Shuttle Pavilion, the submarine Growler and the film Story of Intrepid
  • C3 Pass: Same as CityPASS

Tips For Visiting The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

  • Allow at least 2 hours for your visit to the Intrepid Museum.
  • Don’t miss the British Airways concorde and Enterprise space shuttle orbiter.

Additional Attractions Included With C3 Pass

The attractions listed above are all included with New York CityPASS, but there are 3 other attractions in NYC you can visit at a discounted price point if you choose to buy a C3 Pass instead.

The 2 attractions below are included on the New York C3 Pass:

MoMA museum of modern art painting in manhattan
Wyeth Cristina’s World 1948

1. The Museum Of Modern Art

New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (or MoMA) is home to one of the largest collections of modern art in the world including media, paintings, architecture, photography and sculpture.

If you like modern art, this is the place to lose yourself for a half day taking in the works of Dali, Cezanne, Kahlo, Matisse, Monet, Warhol, Pollock and Picasso to name just a few.

Directions To The Museum Of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art Google Maps Location.

Address: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Official Website: Museum of Modern Art

Entrance to the MoMA is located on W 53rd street between 5th and 6th avenues, half way between Rockefeller Center and Central Park. The closest subways to the MoMA are:

  • Blue Line – E (5th Ave 53 St)
  • Orange Line – M (5th Ave 53 St)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For Museum Of MOdern Art

Reservations: Advance reservations are required.

  • C3 Pass: General admission to MoMA’s collection, a free audio guide, same-day films, and entry to MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens

Tips For Visiting The Museum Of Modern Art

  • 5 floors of modern art makes for a lot of exploring, plan a few hours if you want to see everything.
  • Van Gogh’s Starry Night is on floor 5.
Hornblower cruise docked in pier 15 lower manhattan
City Cruises docked in New York City

2. City Cruises (Formerly Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises)

City Cruises are another way to see NYC from the water and similar to Sightseeing Cruises, you also have two options with this one:

  • 90-minute NYC Downtown Sightseeing Cruise
  • Two-hour Alive After Five Happy Hour Cruise

With the Downtown Sightseeing Cruise, you will pass iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Center, Hudson Yards and more.

The Alive After Five Happy Hour Cruise is the perfect way to let your hair down as you sail down the Hudson River while a DJ provides the soundtrack to the sights of NYC. 

Directions To City Cruises

City Cruises Google Maps Location.

Address: Pier 15 at South Street Seaport, 78 South Street, New York, NY

Official Website: City Experiences By Hornblower

Both the See NYC and Alive After Five Cruises depart from Pier 15 in Lower Manhattan (not far from Brooklyn Bridge).

New York CityPASS Exclusive For City Cruises

Reservations: Advance reservations are not required. Present your tickets directly at check-in at Pier 15 30 minutes before departure.

  • C3 Pass: NYC Downtown Sightseeing Cruise or Alive After Five Happy Hour Cruise

Tips For Experiences The City Cruises

  • The Alive After Five cruise has more value when used as part of a C3 Pass bundle.
Awesome view from the edge in hudson yards manhattan
Visitors at Edge Sky Deck in Manhattan

3. Edge At Hudson Yards

Edge at Hudson Yards is one of New York City’s newer cloud dwelling observation decks. This viewing platform claims the title to the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western hemisphere.

A very modern, crisp and classy exhibit area leads to a fun elevator ride, before opening up to a partially glass bottomed outdoor deck on the banks of the Hudson River.

Views over New York from Edge are spectacular, with Top of the Rock left, the Empire State Building straight ahead as well as Lower Manhattan and New Jersey directly off to the right side.

The buildings surrounding Hudson Yards are quite interesting to the eye and the NYC views from around the Hudson River are unique. Be sure to check out the Vessel and the Highline if you head this way in the city.

Directions To Edge At Hudson Yards

Edge Google Maps Location.

Address: 30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

Official Website: Edge At Hudson Yards

Edge entrance is on the 4th floor of the Hudson Yards pristine shopping mall. Hudson Yards is Northwest of Midtown as you look at a map of New York City. The closest subways to Edge:

  • Purple Line – 7 (34th St Hudson Yards)
  • Blue Line – E, C, A (34th St Penn Station)

New York CityPASS Exclusive For Edge

Reservations: Advance reservations are not required.

  • C3 Pass: General admission

Tips For Visiting Edge

  • Sunset is the most popular time to visit Edge, but the crowds are worth it.
  • This is the only NYC observation deck located in the western part of Manhattan so you have a great vantage point to all other observation decks in the city.
  • Be patient because you will most likely have to wait a long time to snap a photo in the Eastern Point.

Planning to visit Edge? Don’t miss our detailed guide on how to visit Edge at Hudson Yards.

Map Of New York City Attractions Included With CityPASS And The C3 Pass

Use the map below to establish your bearings in Manhattan as well as see the locations of the attractions on both of these city passes.

Remember, the Met is temporarily not included on either pass, but you can visit this museum individually on your own.

NYC’s major attractions are spread out across Manhattan, but this map gives you an idea of how you could double up or even triple up attractions in a day.

Locations of all 11 New York CityPass attractions
Overview of New York CityPass Attractions spread throughout the City

How To Make A Timed Reservation With New York C3 And CityPASS

In New York City, you can’t just purchase a pass and turn up for most of the top attractions. Unfortunately, there is going to be a little bit of planning involved.

Even if you bought individual tickets to each attraction, you would still have to book advanced time slots.

Advanced timed reservations will either be required or recommended for each attraction in New York City which we pointed out with each individual attraction.

Reservations are in place to handle large tourist volumes at the most popular sites such as Empire State and Statue of Liberty, particularly around sunset.

how to use new york citypass and c3 pass to make attraction reservations
Instructions on how to make reservations with New York CityPASS

In order to make these advanced reservations, this is what you need to do:

  1. Buy your New York CityPASS ticket or New York C3 Pass ticket
  2. Head to the ‘Reservation and Planning’ section
  3. Look up each attraction individually
  4. Click details to read more or click on the dark blue ‘Reserve Time’ button
  5. Enter your email address and CityPASS order number
  6. Select your prefered dates and times for that particular attraction to confirm your reservations
  7. Show your CityPASS and timed reservations at each attraction in New York

Or you can visit the official CityPASS website for more reservation information.

Travel Tip: Be sure to save your New York CityPASS to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay app on your phone for easy access to each attraction.

What About The Other New York Attraction Passes?

New York attraction passes are very similar and the names can be confusing. But once you take a deeper look at each option, you will notice subtle differences.

Besides the New York CityPASS, there are 3 additional New York attraction passes.

  • New York Sightseeing Pass
  • Go City New York
  • The New York Pass

Let’s take a quick look at each option:

1. New York Sightseeing Pass

Sightseeing Pass has attraction passes in several of the major US cities.

This pass is popular for returning visitors to New York because it includes a large amount of attractions which are not included on the CityPASS as well as attractions exclusive to Sightseeing Pass.

Here is what you need to know about the New York Sightseeing Pass:

  • Choose either an attractions or day based pass
  • Prices go up incrementally the more attractions or days you add
  • Over 100+ attractions included on both passes

>> Buy a New York Sightseeing Pass here <<

New York Botanical Gardens with flowers in bloom during spring
Spring flowers in bloom at the New York Botanical Garden (available on NY Sightseeing Pass)

2. Go City New York

Go City have attractions passes in several major cities around the world.

The Go City New York Pass is set up almost identically to the NY Sightseeing Pass. Go City has a day based pass called “All Inclusive Pass” and an attractions based pass called “Explorer Pass”.

Here’s what you need to know about Go City New York:

  • Choose either an attractions or day based pass
  • Cost of Go City Pass may be cheaper or more expensive than Sightseeing Pass depending on deals
  • Prices go up incrementally the more attractions or days you add
  • Use either pass in the same way as NY Sightseeing Pass

>> Buy a Go City New York Pass here <<


3. The New York Pass

The New York Pass is owned by Go City and it is essentially the exact same as Go City’s day pass version. Prices and attractions are very similar to the Go City day pass, and there are no attractions based passes available.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Choose how many days you want to have unlimited access to attractions
  • Prices go up incrementally the more days you add

>> Buy The New York Pass by Go City here <<


Why Choose New York CityPASS or A C3 Pass Over The Competition?

Now you know the New York attraction passes are very similar, so why would you choose to buy a CityPASS over a Sightseeing or Go City attractions pass?

New York CityPASS and C3 Pass offer visitors a unique take on exploring the best attractions in NYC. You only pay for things you actually want to see and crucially at the cheapest price point of any New York City attractions based pass.

Here are a few pros and cons to help finalize your decision about the CityPASS:

Pros for the New York C3 and CityPASS:

  • Cheapest per attraction out of the 4 NY attraction passes
  • Ability to visit attractions over 9 consecutive days
  • Both passes offer many top attractions perfect for first time visitors

Cons for the New York C3 and CityPASS:

  • Limited amount of attractions available on the pass
  • Have to visit Empire State Building + the American Museum of Natural History if choosing the CityPASS

Who Should Buy A New York CityPASS?

We personally recommend you go for the CityPASS if you have a comfortable amount of time to spend in the city. This will allow you to slow down and take your time at each amazing attraction.

The New York CityPass with its supercharged 5 NYC attractions is good for the following travelers:

  • Visitors planning a longer visit to New York, such as a 4 day NYC itinerary or even a full week
  • Travelers who love to hit all of the best attractions a city has to offer
  • Budget savvy travelers who enjoy saving the most money possible

Who Should Buy A New York C3 Pass?

We think the New York C3 Pass is an excellent ‘light’ option to the full CityPASS. It won’t save you as much but it is perfect for those with less time available in the city.

The lighter New York C3 Pass featuring a pick of any 3 NYC attractions is good for the following travelers:

  • Those who only have one or two days to spend in the city
  • Travelers who prefer to spend a longer time at each attraction
  • Visitors who prefer not to be tied down to a larger attraction pass
Woman sitting in King Kong's hand at the Empire State Building
Kristen in the King King exhibit at the Empire State Building

Is It Worth Buying The New York CityPASS?

Yes, the New York CityPASS is well worth buying if you want to save money on your visit to the Big Apple.

The NY CityPASS is the cheapest option compared to the other New York attraction passes with the most bang for your buck giving you access to the top attractions.

We also like the ability to use the pass over 9 consecutive days which gives you ample time to visit each attraction without rushing.

While most people do not visit NYC for this many days, this longer time frame will allow you to have plenty of time to space out your attractions as needed.

The ability to reserve the required tickets directly on the CityPASS website will also make planning your itinerary so much easier.

How To Buy Your New York CityPASS Or C3 Pass

Buying your New York CityPASS is nice and easy:

  1. Follow this link to the official website for New York CityPASS
  2. Choose between the CityPASS and C3 Pass
  3. Select amount of the adult and/or child passes
  4. Hit the big red button to add the passes to your cart
  5. Enjoy your amazing trip to New York City

Still not convinced? Read our New York Passes Comparison Guide next to see if another pass is a better fit for your New York needs.

Woman standing looking at a painting of George Washington in the MET Central Park Manhattan NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art on CityPASS and C3 pass
Kristen taking in en enormous painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Quick Word About The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Unfortunately the Metropolitan Museum of Art is no longer included in the New York CityPASS or the C3 PASS.

We are listing it at the bottom of this guide because we highly recommend you do not miss this museum during your visit to NYC.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (or MET) is awesome in every sense of the word. Over 2 million pieces in 17 departments are seen by over 6 million people each year.

You will find paintings, sculptures and other forms of art from classical, European, ancient Egypt, American, Byzantine, African, Asian and so many more geographically designated collections.

The MET is one of the world’s best art museums and you will be blown away by the sheer scale of this place even if you’re not an avid art fan.

If you are an art lover, you will easily spend a half day in here and it will feel like 10 minutes have passed.

Directions To The Metropolitan Museum Of Art (Met)

The MET is located almost directly opposite the History Museum on the Eastern side of Central Park in line with 82nd street and the closest subway to the MET is:

  • Green Line – 4, 5, 6 (86th St)

Tips For Visiting The Metropolitan Museum Of Art (Met):

  • The MET is enormous, either bring a packed lunch or visit the cafe on the lowest level to refuel.
  • There are two floors filled with endless amounts of exhibits so plan for at least half a day.
  • If you only pick one museum to visit in NYC, pick the Met.
  • General admission for the Met is about $30.

Need Help Planning Your Visit To New York City?

NYC is a vacation planning beast and it can be overwhelming trying to get every aspect right. Trust us, we know!

After living in New York City and exploring non-stop, we created a comprehensive NYC Travel Guidebook (with itinerary) that answers every question you have about where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get around the city.

Click see details below to read more about how we can help you plan your dream trip to New York City!

FAQ’s For The New York CityPASS

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions about the New York CityPASS.

What Pass Should I Buy For New York?

There are 4 major New York attractions passes and each pass has a different number of attractions, time limitations as well as price points.

The New York CityPASS offers an opportunity to see the top attractions at a competitive price point while the NY Sightseeing Pass offers more attractions for those who want to experience all of NYC.

How Do People Explore New York City?

One of the best ways to see the all the tops sights in New York City is to buy a New York CityPASS. This pass will get you into the top attractions as well as help you make required reservations for your visit.

What Is The best Way To Tour New York?

The best way to tour New York is with an attraction pass. This pass will help you visit the best attractions in the city as well as see the New York City skyline from different vantage points.

What Are The Must-See Things To Do In New York City?

The most iconic sights and top attractions in New York City include the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Modern Museum of Art, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Central Park.

While some of these experiences are free, the top sights including a fee are all included on the New York CityPASS or C3 Pass.

More CityPASS Reviews By State
Best Of New York City
  • Bagels – Bagels are the only thing you should be eating for breakfast in New York! Here’s our roundup of where to find the best bagels in NYC.
  • Museums – With over 100 museums in NYC it can be hard to narrow down which ones you should visit, here’s our version of the 10 best museums in New York City.
  • New York City Pass – With so many popular New York Passes how do you choose? In this guide, we give you a detailed comparison for all New York City passes.

Want more New York content? Head to our New York Travel Guides to explore more things to do in NYC, as well as the entire Empire State.


We hope this in depth review helps you decide if the New York CityPASS or C3 Pass is perfect for your visit to NYC!

Please let us know if you have any question about the New York CityPASS or NYC in the comments below.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

Enjoy This New York CityPASS Review? Pin It For Later!

Share this post!

Mark Williams

Thursday 31st of March 2022

Hi! I'm planning our visit to NYC in May and just discovered today that the MET is no longer part of the CityPASS. Also I went to the MET website and discovered you no longer have to make a reservation. On the CityPASS website they show a photo of the MET but it's no longer in their list. Thought you might like to know. Thank you, Mark

Mark Williams

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

@Mark and Kristen Morgan, You're welcome. Thank you for all your hard work.

Mark and Kristen Morgan

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

Hi Mark, thank you very much for letting us know about The MET. Unfortunately, they have opted out of all New York pass programs for the foreseeable future. Hopefully they can re-join at some point down the road, because it is one of the very best museums in NYC and it does help when tourists can save money on multiple attractions with a pass like CityPass. We've updated this guide to reflect this new position taken by the MET, but thanks again for getting in touch and have a great time in New York.

Mariana

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

This is great, the map is so helpful too! I love how you break down the logistics on how to explore NYC. So many great tips in here that I did not know about and must do. Love hearing it from a travelers perspective like you guys. Keep up the great work!

Mark and Kristen Morgan

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Thank you Mariana, we're glad you found the map helpful! Using a New York CityPASS is the perfect way for visitors and even NY residents to hit the city's top touristy highlights at a relaxing pace and save money in the process. Hope you are able to tick all of the best NYC attractions off this year!