Buying an attraction pass can be an effective way to see New York's top sights like the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, and the Top of the Rock, but with so many different passes on offer, how do you choose?
Choosing a sightseeing pass comes down to:
Your length of stay in New York
How many attractions you wish to visit
Which attractions you wish to visit
Whether you need a pass for a weekend so you can see as much as possible or you only want to visit a few attractions over a week, there's one to suit your needs.
The main differences between them is as follows:
The New York Pass (from $109-$399 Adults) comes in 1,2,3,5,7 & 10 consecutive days. It can be bought online and shipped to your hotel or picked up from a few selected locations in Manhatten. It includes entry to over 90 attractions in New York and you can visit as many attractions as you like within the duration of your pass.
The New York City Pass ($122 Adult) includes six top attractions and can be bought online or at any attraction included in the pass. You have 9 days to use all six vouchers.
The C3 Pass ($76 Adult) must be bought online and you can choose three attractions to visit, with 9 days to use your vouchers.
The Freestyle Pass. ($139 Adult) includes entry to three attractions and three day hop-on hop-off bus transport, covering upper and lower Manhatten, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
The New York City Explore Pass (from $84 - $199 Adult) offers a choice of 3,4,5,7 or 10 attractions in New York for a fixed price. The pass is valid for 30 days from the first visit and you have a choice of 57 attractions to choose from. The Explore pass must be bought online.
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh can be seen at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) using a New York attraction pass. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
The New York Pass is great if you want to explore lots of attractions. Besides the major sights, many of the included attractions are walking tours, or niche museums like Fraunces Tavern, the Museum at Eldridge St or the Morris-Jumel Mansion, getting you off the beaten track.
It also offers discounts like 15% off meals and merchandise at Planet Hollywood and 15% off Liberty Helicopter tours.
Easter Island Statue at the Natural History Museum. Entry is included as part of New York attraction passes. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
The New York City Explore Pass allows flexibility to choose the attractions you visit, as you use the vouchers, over a thirty day period, which is perfect if you have side trips planned or pass through New York multiple times.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is included with the New York Pass and is an option for the New York City Pass. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
Some of New York's museums are entry by 'suggested donation' so if you can't afford $25 for the Metropolitan Museum of Art or $22 for the Museum of Natural History, you can pay what you wish at the ticket booth.
There are also free days and pay what you wish at the following attractions:
Overall attraction passes offer a convenient and value for money way to see the attractions of New York. However, if you're determined and flexible, there are opportunities to see some of them for free.
Representation of refugees at Ellis Island. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.