New York Sightseeing Pass is one of the four major NYC attractions passes. This comprehensive review of the New York City Sightseeing Pass will help you decide if this specific attractions pass is the best option for your visit to New York.
We each used our own New York City Sightseeing Pass to visit many of the best things to do in NYC when we lived in the city. The goal here is to explain everything you need to know about using the NY Sightseeing Pass so you can see the best of New York and save money.
In this guide we will cover:
- Why buy an attractions pass in New York?
- Types of New York passes you can buy
- NY Sightseeing Pass vs the competition
- How does the pass work and how to make reservations
- Top attractions included with the pass
- Is the New York Sightseeing Pass worth it?
Let’s see if the NYC Sightseeing Pass is the perfect attractions pass for your visit to New York!
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Disclosure: We received New York Sightseeing Passes in order to share our opinion about this product but this is not a sponsored post.
Why Buy A New York City Attractions Pass?
Buying a NYC attractions pass will give you instant access to the most iconic New York museums, landmarks and observation decks at a heavily discounted price. The more attractions you visit, the more discount you get and the more money you save.
Buying any attractions pass in New York is perfect for first time visitors or anyone who has been to NYC but hasn’t done the ‘touristy’ things yet.
Types Of New York City Attraction Passes
Day based passes and attractions based passes are the two types of New York Sightseeing Passes you can buy. Both have pros and cons.
Let’s take a quick look at both versions:
Day Based Passes
A day based New York pass is purchased based on the number of full days you wish to explore the best of NYC. Day passes are best for visitors who want to see and do as much as possible in a short period.
There is no limit to the amount of attractions you can visit with a day pass. You are only limited by time. How many NYC attractions do you think you could visit in one day or two days?
Day Pass – The New York City Sightseeing DAY Pass can be purchased for between 1 – 10 days.
Pros: Unlimited attractions, more value for money if you are quick, more suited to a short visit to NYC.
Cons: Feel obliged to rush around New York ticking off attractions to get your moneys worth.
Attractions Based Passes
Just when you thought the types of passes were clear and easy to follow, we’re going to throw a wrench in the works. There are 2 different types of attractions pass in NYC:
- An attractions pass based on the exact number of attractions you want to visit with the price going up incrementally each time you add another attraction.
- An attractions pass with a set number of attractions at a set price point.
You are limited to the set number of attractions you purchase but you typically have plenty of time to visit each attraction. Do you prefer to select exactly which attractions you want to see?
Attractions Pass – The New York City Sightseeing FLEX Pass can be purchased for between 2-12 attractions.
Pros: Control over exactly what you want to see, more value for money if you want to take things slow, more suited to a longer visit to NYC.
Cons: Once you’ve used up your allocated number of New York attractions that’s the end of your fun.
How Does The NYC Sightseeing Pass Work?
The New York City Sightseeing Pass can be purchased either as a day based or attractions based pass, whereas certain competing New York pass companies are attractions only or days only passes.
Let’s take a look at how each version works with NY Sightseeing Pass.
New York Sightseeing Pass – Day Pass (DAY Pass)
Every company has a different name for their version of NYC pass. Sightseeing Pass have called their day version “DAY Pass”.
Here’s a step by step guide on exactly how to use the day pass:
- Head over to the New York Sightseeing Pass official website here
- Buy a DAY Pass for either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 days
- Download your DAY Pass to your smartphone
- Choose from 150+ NYC attractions
- Visit as many attractions as you want with no limits
- Simply show and scan your digital pass upon entry to each attraction
- Save up to 50% depending on which attractions you visit
New York Sightseeing Pass – Attractions Pass (FLEX Pass)
Sightseeing Pass have called their attractions version “FLEX Pass”.
Here’s a step by step guide on exactly how to use the attractions pass:
- Head over to the New York Sightseeing Pass official website here
- Buy a FLEX Pass for either 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions
- Download your FLEX Pass to your smartphone
- Choose from 100+ attractions
- Once you visit the first attraction you have 60 days to use your pass
- Simply show and scan your digital pass upon entry to each attraction
- Save money even with just 2 attractions
How Much Does The New York Sightseeing Pass Cost?
Let’s take a look at how much it will cost you to buy each of the passes:
New York Sightseeing DAY Pass Prices
- 1 Day – Adult $144 / Child $116
- 2 Day – Adult $189 / Child $119
- 3 Day – Adult $219 / Child $134
- 4 Day – Adult $249 / Child $144
- 5 Day – Adult $279 / Child $154
- 6 Day – Adult $299 / Child $159
- 7 Day – Adult $319 / Child $164
- 10 Day – Adult $359 / Child $199
New York Sightseeing Pass FLEX Pass Prices
- 2 Attractions – Adult $74 / Child $51.20
- 3 Attractions – Adult $104 / Child $70.40
- 4 Attractions – Adult $139 / Child $89.60
- 5 Attractions – Adult $159 / Child $107.20
- 6 Attractions – Adult $179 / Child $124
- 7 Attractions – Adult $199 / Child $139.20
- 10 Attractions – Adult $254 / Child $179.20
- 12 Attractions – Adult $284 / Child $209.60
*Note: Prices are correct as of August 2022 but are subject to change with seasonal discounts and promotions. See current prices here.*
Remember, there are often sales on ticket prices for both adults and children. Keep a close eye on prices in the lead up to your visit to NYC. There’s a chance you could save further if there is a sale on.
For instance, at the time of writing this guide in August 2022, we can see discounted prices on adult and child tickets for DAY Pass tickets, and child tickets for FLEX Pass tickets.
What Attractions Are Included With NYC Sightseeing Pass?
Now you know the different types of pass you can buy and how much they cost, let’s take a look at the most popular attractions you can visit after buying a New York Sightseeing Pass.
Top attractions included with NY Sightseeing Pass (with prices if bought individually):
NYC Observation Decks Included With New York Sightseeing Pass
The best way to see the iconic New York City skyline is from above. All of the observation decks in NYC have spectacular elevated views over the sprawling urban landscape.
- Empire State Building – Adult $44 / Child $38
- Top of the Rock – Adult $40 / Child $34
- Edge NYC – Adult $38 / Child $33
- One World Observatory – Adult $43 / Child $37
Important – Prices listed above are “starting from” prices. Sunset time slots are typically an additional $10 per adult or child. Your New York Sightseeing Pass will cover entry any time of day at no extra cost.
Note: The newest NYC observation deck Summit One Vanderbilt is not included on any NY Pass as of August 2022.
NYC Museums Included With New York Sightseeing Pass
You will find some of the world’s best museums in New York City.
Many are included on the New York Sightseeing Pass so be sure to check the full list of attractions included with the pass if you have a specific museum in mind.
- American Museum of Natural History – Adult $23 / Child $13
- 9/11 Museum – Adult $26 / Young Adult $20 / Youth $15
- Guggenheim – Adult $25 / Free 12 and under
- Intrepid – Adult $33 / Child $24
- MoMA – Adult $25 / Free 16 and under
Other Top Attractions
New York Sightseeing Pass includes over 100 diverse attractions in total, including exclusive Sightseeing Pass options and all NYC Hop-On Hop-Off Buses.
- Circle Line Landmarks Cruise – Adult $34 / Child $28
- Statue of Liberty Ferry – Adult $24 / Child $12
- Hop On Hop Off Bus – Adult $59 / Child $59
You will also find dozens of guided walking tours around the city, botanical gardens, additional museums and newer attractions such as escape rooms, Rise NYC and Spyscape.
Important New York Sightseeing Pass Update In 2022
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) has left all third party programs as of March 1, 2022. This applies to all types of New York attractions pass, including New York Sightseeing Pass.
With that said, we strongly encourage you to visit The Met because it is one of the best museums in the world and it would be a shame to miss it on your visit to NYC.
Remember, NYS residents as well as students based in NY, NJ or CT can enter The Met with a valid ID and the amount you pay for admission is up to you.
Check the official website for The Met for more information.
What About The Other New York Passes?
New York’s 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.
Let’s take a quick look at the 3 competing NYC passes so you can compare how they work:
CityPASS have attractions passes in several of the major US cities.
The New York CityPASS is a very popular pass for first time visitors to NYC because it includes the major tourist attractions at a very competitive price point of $129.
In direct comparison, 5 attractions with the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass is $159. The difference is that you can choose all 5 attractions with Sightseeing Pass at a cost of an extra $30.
We’ve written a full New York CityPASS and C3 Pass review that you might want to read next.
Here’s what you need to know about New York CityPASS:
- Attractions pass only with no option for a day pass
- 5 major NYC attractions in total
- 2 attractions are already included and non-negotiable
- You then choose 3 out of a possible 6 further options for a total of 5 attractions
- The 5 attraction pass is bought at a set price of $129
Note: CityPASS has a “light” version of their New York pass called the New York C3 Pass. This allows you to choose any 3 of 11 available options for $92.
Head over to New York CityPASS official website here for more information.
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 New York 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 New York Sightseeing Pass
Head over to Go City New York official website here for more information.
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
We can’t find any major differences between “The New York Pass” and the “Go City New York All-Inclusive Pass” besides the different attractions offered. Be sure to compare prices and attractions before you purchase.
Head over to The New York Pass official website here for more information.
Why Choose New York Sightseeing Pass Over The Competition?
Now you know that the New York passes are very similar, why would you choose to buy a New York Sightseeing Pass over a CityPass or Go City pass?
Well, we think New York Sightseeing Pass offers an easy to use pass with flexibility and big savings. You have total control over exactly what you see and when you see it.
Our advice is to look at current deals on both New York Sightseeing Pass and Go City Pass to see which has the cheaper option for a day based pass or attractions based pass at the time of your visit to NYC.
Cost Per Attraction
CityPASS is cheaper per attraction vs Sightseeing Pass or Go City Pass but is limited to the few available attractions. You’ll pay more for 5 attractions with New York Sightseeing Pass or Go City Pass but you can choose 5 attractions from the entire city.
If you like the look of the 5 attractions included with CityPASS, buy that at the cheaper rate. However, if you want to choose all of your 5 attractions, buy the Sightseeing Pass or Go City Pass.
What if you don’t want to limit yourself to 5 attractions?
Well, that’s the beauty of the New York Sightseeing Pass. It allows you to choose exactly how many attractions you want to visit. Alternatively, you can choose a day pass and cram in as much as possible.
One of the major reasons to buy a New York Sightseeing Pass over Go City Pass which is its main competitor is the exclusive attractions available with Sightseeing Pass.
Exclusive attractions include:
- St Patricks Cathedral Tour
- NY Aquarium
- National Lighthouse Museum
- LoL Comedy Lounge
- Central Park Zoo
- Bronx Zoo
If you are looking for the best things to do in New York City with kids, the exclusive inclusion of NY aquarium and both zoo’s might help make your decision.
Bronx Zoo is enormous and certainly worth visiting if you have more days to fill on your New York City itinerary.
Further Reading: A collection of famous and popular NYC quotes.
How To Make Timed Reservations With NY City Sightseeing Pass
Whether you decide to buy a New York Sightseeing DAY Pass or FLEX Pass you will be able to download the pass to your smartphone and enter attractions at the door without reserving.
However, certain New York attractions require a time slot reservation, which is separate to the Sightseeing Pass reservation.
How To Book Time Slots With New York Sightseeing Pass
Here’s what you need to do to book a time slot for specific attractions in New York City:
- Head over to the official website for NY Sightseeing Pass
- Select either DAY Pass or FLEX Pass
- Navigate to Attractions
- Find each attraction you want to visit and see if it has a timed entry requirement
- Follow the instructions provided online to book your time slot – see image below
Important: When a time slot reservation is required, you must show both your Sightseeing Pass and timed entry slot reservation upon arrival.
Review: Is It Worth Buying The New York Sightseeing Pass?
Yes! New York Sightseeing Pass is well worth buying if you want to save money on your visit to NYC.
All of the New York attractions passes will save you money but we think Sightseeing Pass is better suited for families with kids, museum lovers and those who want to visit many observation decks.
The Exclusive options for NY Sightseeing Pass include tickets for both the Bronx and Central Park Zoo as well as the NY Aquarium. These are great activities for kids and families.
The NY Sightseeing FLEX Pass is also good for locals because this pass is valid for 60 days. With this extended pass, you can take your time checking off some of New York’s top attractions.
Who Should Buy A New York Sightseeing Pass?
The New York Sightseeing Pass FLEX Pass is better suited to return visitors to New York who have already seen the top attractions. The FLEX Pass will allow you entry to some of the more obscure or unique attractions that you may have missed last time.
The New York Sightseeing Pass DAY Pass is perfect for first time visitors who want to see as much as possible in NYC. You will save huge amounts of money if you don’t mind being out all day and night exploring.
How To Buy Your New York Sightseeing Pass
Buying your New York Sightseeing Pass is nice and easy:
- Follow this link to the official website for New York Sightseeing Pass
- Choose DAY or FLEX
- Click Buy Now
- Select your number of days or attractions
- Enjoy your fun filled trip to New York City
That’s everything you need to know about the New York Sightseeing Pass, we hope this review has been helpful. Remember to read our New York CityPASS and C3 Pass review next to see if either pass is a better fit for your NYC needs!
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We hope this New York Sightseeing Pass review helps with planing your trip to NYC!
Please let us know if you have any questions about the New York Sightseeing Pass in the comments below.
Mark and Kristen