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The New York Pass: Free & Discounted Entry to New York's Top Attractions

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by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Author of Drunk Love Sober Death and Compass. I'm also a podcaster. Find all my work here >>
Published May 18th 2017
The More Attractions You See, The More You'll Save
Statue of Liberty, New York, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty discount, New York attractions discount, New York Pass, New York City Pass
The Statue of Liberty is included in New York attraction passes. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

Whether you're a visitor to New York or a local, saving money and spending the least amount of time in queues, is a priority for anyone.

The New York Pass
The New York Pass includes entry to over 90 attractions. Image courtesy of

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
Your budget

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 Van Gogh Museum of Modern Art New York, Van Gogh Painting, Starry Night Painting, MOMA, Museum of Modern Art New York, New York Pass, New York City Pass
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, Night at the Museum, Museum of Natural History New York, New York Attractions, NEw York Pass, New York City Pass
Easter Island Statue at the Natural History Museum. Entry is included as part of New York attraction passes. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

For those who only want to see New York's main attractions, then the New York City Pass is a good option. With only 6 attractions to see you won't feel as rushed trying to fit everything in.

New York City Pass, Discounted NYC attractions, Statue of Liberty discount, Empire State Building Discount, 9/11 Memorial Discount, NYC, New York City Attractions
The New York City Pass offers 6 attractions in New York. Image courtesy of

The New York City Pass includes entry to the following:
The Empire State Building - $34 (86th Floor with bonus evening ticket)
The American Museum of Natural History - $22
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - $25
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck - $37 OR Guggenheim Museum
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island - $18.50 OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
9/11 Memorial & Museum - $24 OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Centre, Empire State Building, New York Skyline, Manhatten, NYC, New York
View from the Top of the Rock, which is included in 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, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise, New York attractions, discounted New York attractions, New York Pass, New York City Pass
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.

If you're only visiting one or two attractions it may work out cheaper just to pay locally, but some attractions offer their own unique options like the Top of the Rock & MOMA combo ticket $52.

Circle Line Sightseeing, New York, Manhatten Island,
See a different side of New York with a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

The Empire State Building offers a VIP Express Ticket $80 and takes you to the highest observation deck on the 102nd Floor, (as well as the 86th floor) whilst skipping the queues.

Museum of Natural History, Night at the Museum,
Expect to see taxidermy animals at the Museum of Natural History. 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:
Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) - Free on Fridays from 4pm-8pm
9/11 Memorial and Museum - Free on Tuesdays from 5pm-close
The Guggenheim Museum - Pay what you wish on Saturdays from 5:45pm-7:45pm
New Museum - Pay what you wish on Thursdays from 7pm-9pm

Arrive early if you plan on taking advantage of these free days as they are popular. You can find a list of museums that offer free entry in New York here.

If you're wanting cheap Broadway theatre tickets, then you'll find all you need here >

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.

Ellis Island, Refugees, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour, immigrants on Ellis island, Jade Jackson Photography
Representation of refugees at Ellis Island. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
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Why? Save money whilst visiting New York's top attractions.
When: Anytime.
Phone: (1) (877) 714-1999 New York Pass
Where: Available to purchase online.
Cost: Cost varies depending on the pass and duration.
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