Is the New York Pass 2015 worth it? We review prices and value here

New York City is a place everyone should visit at least once in their life, and while it has a reputation for being expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Unfortunately, the best and most famous attractions in the city are, on average, the most expensive in the world. Walking through Central Park will cost you nothing, but all the wonderful museums and tours are pricey.

The New York Pass is an ideal solution for many people, as it allows you entry into over 50 of the cities best attractions and tours for a single price. That price seems high at first, until you do the math to see what it includes and how much you can save.

Further down the page we’ll recommend who should get the New York Pass and who’s better off without it, but first let’s look at the current prices for everything. If you want more information about specifics take a look at main New York City prices page to see what hotels, food, transportation, and attractions cost, shown in any currency you’d like, at today’s exchange rates. And check out our recommended New York hotels list for great choices that offer excellent value.

Note: This article was first published in 2011, and has been updated with new prices and details on a regular basis since then.

Price of the 2015 New York Pass

Adults (ages 13+)

  • 1-day: $85
  • 2-day: $130
  • 3-day: $180
  • 5-day: $210
  • 7-day: $230
  • 10-day: $260

Children (ages 4 – 12)

  • 1-day: $60
  • 2-day: $110
  • 3-day: $140
  • 5-day: $155
  • 7-day: $165
  • 7-day: $175

The New York Pass is good for one year so you can buy now and validate it anytime in the next 12 months.

Note: If you decide to purchase you can buy the New York Pass here at the lowest available price.

(Discounts are sometimes available on the New York Pass site, and the above link will show you the current lowest price.)

For the above prices you get a card with a magnetic strip, which you present at the Will Call window or entry door of most attractions, meaning you can usually skip the often-lengthy ticket lines themselves. You also get a guidebook with hours, location, and description of everything included, which will help you plan your visit more efficiently.

Most popular attractions included with the New York Pass

  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry: $18
  • Empire State Building: $29
  • Circle Line harbor cruise: Up to $40
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: $25 (suggested)
  • Museum of Modern Art (MOMA): $25
  • Guggenheim Museum: $22
  • American Museum of Natural History: $22
  • Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum: $24
  • Madam Tussauds Wax Museum: $39
  • NBC Studio Tour: $24
  • Top of the Rock observation deck: $29

Most of the other included attractions are at least a bit cheaper than those listed above, but these are the most popular (and expensive) ones that nearly everyone wants to visit. Interestingly, the New York Pass includes every one of the best attractions in the city. Most passes in other big cities don’t include at least one or two of the most popular sights, but this one is complete unless you want to do the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, which isn’t all that great anyway.

>>>Strategies for using the New York Pass

The New York Pass includes a free smart phone app that is very helpful

Any visitor to New York City might consider downloading the free New York Pass app for iPhone or Android. It’s well organized and a very comprehensive look at the most popular sights in New York City, complete with a map and the opening hours for each. I used the app on a visit in late 2014 and it was a great helper for using my New York Pass, but honestly it’s probably worth a free download even if you don’t buy a New York Pass.

The downside of the New York Pass

Of course the price itself seems like a lot of money all at once, so those on tight budgets might be ruled out altogether. Another thing to seriously consider before buying a New York Pass is that doing even 3 or 4 main sights in a day is going to be busy and probably frantic.

There are plenty of free and cheap things to do in New York City, so for many people they are better off visiting perhaps one major sight per day and then spending the rest of the day shopping or visiting neighborhoods or taking photos. A trip like that might be more memorable in the long run, and it will certainly be more unique than rushing from sight to sight. If you prefer a more relaxed sightseeing schedule, don’t buy the pass.

The advantage of the New York Pass

Not only are you very likely to save quite a bit of money if you plan your day well, but you’ll be skipping most of the longest lines at ticket booths, which means you’ll have time for at least one more sight per day than someone paying for each one separately.

And since New York City can be so expensive on a quick visit, locking in literally all of your sightseeing funds at once can help you worry less about the ever-mounting costs. It can be shocking and depressing when the day nears its end and you realize each person has spent $100 on admission fees.

Who SHOULD get the New York Pass?

  • Visitors who want to see the most things in a short time
  • Anyone who already plans on going to many of the most expensive attractions

Who SHOULD NOT get the New York Pass?

  • Backpackers or those on very tight budgets
  • Those who’ll be staying in New York City for over a week and would prefer to see sights at a slow pace

Note for visitors from May through October

The queues for attractions tend to be very long from May through October, and they can be ridiculous during July and August. Being able to skip a 2-hour ticket-buying line twice a day could be worth a LOT during busy months. Combined with the outdoor heat, the ability to walk straight into the top attractions could really enhance your entire visit. If you are otherwise on the fence then you should really consider getting the pass during summer visits.

Short video showing New York Pass highlights

The bottom line

For the New York Pass, it’s actually a really good deal for many people. Honestly, the sights included are almost all very worth visiting, which isn’t true of the expensive sights in some other cities. For example when we investigated if the Paris Pass is worth it, the answer is no for most people. Our review of the London Pass shows that it’s actually very good value as long as you are interested in the famous attractions it includes rather than the many free museums.

On the other hand, New York City is a destination that many people will return to over and over, so you might consider pacing yourself on the major sights, only taking in a few on each trip.

It might also be worth considering getting only the 1-day or 2-day New York Pass, even if you are in town for much longer, and just planning on fitting as many things as possible into those days. It would be a mistake to try to see 4 major sights every day you are in NYC, so be sure to schedule some time to just wander around and take the city itself in.

Buy your New York Pass

If you decide to purchase you can buy The New York Pass here at the lowest price available.

78 Responses to “Is the New York Pass 2015 worth it? We review prices and value here”

Aharon S says:

Is it possible to buy the New York pass (with the bus option) here in Tel Aviv?

(Yes, you just buy it online and you can either pick it up for free when you arrive in New York, or pay US$20 to have it mailed to you in Israel or anywhere else in the world – Roger)

    Denny Sangiovanni says:

    If you going to specifics attractions do not buy the bus option. You’ll lose time and money. Use the public transportation. The best in the world. Ask MTA personnel about how to get where you want to go. They are trained to it..

    Denny Sangiovanni says:

    If you going to specifics attractions do not buy the bus option. You’ll lose time and money. Use the public transportation. The best in the world. Ask MTA personnel about how to get where you want to go. They are trained to it..

Karen says:

We found the NY Pass to be cost effective. We saw 3-4 places each day and still had time to do other things as well in early August- a very busy time. Be aware that when you get a timed pass you may have a 2-3 hour wait until you are admitted( Yankee Stadium picked up pass at noon and tour was 12:40, 911 Memorial picked up pass at noon- admitted at 4:00) Be sure to have plan B ready to take advantage of other attractions or sites nearby on these days. The Yankee Stadium Tour was a highlight for my son- better than the MSG tour in his opinion. Book is helpful in planning train trips and locations but some are not as detailed as they could be- We walked blocks on a few occasions with minutes to spare because the maps were not clear with all streets clearly marked ( or walking distance from the closest train)New Yorkers were very helpful when were looking for sites and attractions.
Traces was fabulous!!Try both the Empire State observatory and Top of the Rock at different times of the day/ night. We saw spectacular views on the 102 floor of ESB. We did Top of the Rock at night- I would probably do it opposite next time as you don’t get good pictures at night anyway. Top of the Rock is more open for viewing and picture taking. Terra Cotta Warriors was also a highlight. This is one that was not marked well in the book and we walked blocks trying to find it. Had less than an hour to see but was worth the walk…Amazing.
Plan what you can realistically do given time for train wait and transfers so you buy the number of days you will actually use the card. Enjoy your trip!

Mils says:

I travelled to New York in May 2013 and the New York pass was definitely worth it.
If you are going as a tourist who wants to her around easily the bus pass which is part of the New York pass is worth it. I didn’t have to take the underground / subway even once.

I Got a discount code today for 15% off .. It is 152014. Thought I would share it.

It says to use it at the bottom of the price page.

Only valid till 31 December 2013.


Elaine says:

Loved this article and tips within it, thanks. Can you please clarify why the New York Pass is not recommended for those who’ll be staying in New York City for over a week. We are staying for 8 days in December and have looked at the prices and think it will be great for us?? Thanks



    I’m glad you found the article useful. When I recommend that a New York Pass might not be ideal for those staying in New York City for more than a week, I’m really referring to people staying a long time who might prefer to spread their sightseeing out over a longer time. On an 8-day visit it still might make sense to concentrate your “big name sightseeing” into a New York Pass, and you’ll still have a few extra days to just wander around and enjoy the city. -Roger

anonymous says:

Thanks for a great review! Although, I have to say, I am a backpacker and think this is great value. For the price of 1 or 2 nights at a hotel, you can visit all the attractions you want for a whole week! :)

Galvin says:

Hey Roger,

Found your article about NYC Passes and its pretty informative.

I’m looking at a few areas of visit like the Statue, ESB & 9/11 Memorial.

For a tourist like me, would public transport or the NYC Pass BUS option be better?




    The hop-on, hop-off bus is great for sightseeing, but it’s not ideal for transportation between sights. I’d really recommend just using public transportation in New York City because you can get around very quickly and cheaply on the subway, and it’s quite easy to use once you see it in person. So if you want to do the bus option, I’d consider it mainly as a tour rather than an easy way to get around town. Have a great trip, whichever you decide. -Roger

Stephanie says:

Are there any time restrictions on the pass? We used a City Pass in Chicago and you couldn’t use it after 5 pm so I wanted to be sure that wasn’t the case here. Thanks!

Pertunia says:

Hi,I am coming to NY for 5nights&2night in Washington but not really sure what to go see,i`m looking at the 3days many shows or places can i go see in a day realistically? thanks,Tunes



    That’s a difficult question to answer. But in general terms, most visitors should be able to visit three of the bigger attractions each day, and with a New York Pass you can skip some of the longer queues, so four is very realistic if it’s a priority. Many of the top attractions are in the Midtown area, so it’s not difficult to visit several in a row just on foot. With a New York Pass it should be easy to plan an efficient route because it comes with a smart phone app (iPhone and Android) that shows all the included attractions, making it easy to find the ones that are close together.

    Whether you buy a New York Pass or not, you’ll see more if you get to know the subway system. It can seem intimidating at first, but it’s usually faster than even taxis during the day, and almost every attraction is within a short walk of a subway stop. Have fun and let me know if you have any more questions. -Roger

Loom says:

Hi. I see that the NYPASS allows the ticket holder to skip many long tines. Is that also true for holders of the Citypass? Thanks.

Coy says:

I found the site, article and comments very helpful. However, I’m still on the fence, mainly deciding between a 2 or 3 day pass. I’m taking my 12 yr old daughter for her first trip to NY. I’ve worked there for a short time and was sequestered to the lower Manhattan area so I’ll also be seeing the majority for the first time also. I’ve read you think we can hit 3 maybe 4 attractions in a day. I’m sure we should do the Statue of Liberty and maybe a water tour one day then the Empire State Bldg and surrounding area another. Yes? Any advice if on getting a 2 day vs a 3 day?



    The 2-hour Circle Line tour that is included is fantastic if you haven’t done it yet. I’ve taken it maybe 4 times and I enjoy it every time. It actually goes quite near the Statue of Liberty, and that is enough of a view for many people.

    So yes, I think 3 or 4 attractions per day should be pretty easy, especially since you already know how to get around quickly on the subway. You also get to skip some ticket queues, so you can cover more ground with a New York Pass than people who are paying cash can. If you think 2 days might be enough, I’d be tempted to recommend that, and just commit to seeing as much as possible on those two days. By the third day you’d start to get a bit worn out, so it would probably be the least productive sightseeing day anyway.

    On the other hand, if you buy when a promotion is on and there isn’t much difference between the prices of 2 and 3 days, it might be worth it for the longer one. In other words, it’s hard for me to confidently recommend one over the other without knowing which places you hope to see, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with either one. Have a great visit. -Roger

Cesmon says:

Hello! My wife and I are going to NYC, staying at the Manhattan at times square! It is going to be our 1st time in NYC! 4 nights (3 dedicated to sight seeing). Do you recommend The New York Pass? I have heard that you need to get tickets at different locations from the actual sight (i don’t know what tour or pass this is). I imagine that the new york pass will let you in directly. should I also buy the bus pass, or the metro is better and cheaper? THANKS



    My recommendations for who should or should not get a New York Pass are all contained in the article above. But if you are planning on three fairly solid days of sightseeing then I think it’s probably a great choice for you. Once you have the New York Pass you can skip the ticket-buying queue for many of the top attractions, so it saves time and usually saves money as well. I’m not sure which thing you are referring to about getting tickets at another site, and I’ve not heard of that with any of the main attractions.

    As for the hop-on, hop-off bus packages, I am a fan of those as sightseeing methods, but I don’t recommend trying to use them for general transportation. As you mention, the subway/metro in New York City is cheap and generally much faster than a sightseeing bus for getting from one part of town to another. So it’s a tough call. The bus tours are good as tours, but not really as transport. Best of luck and have a great trip. -Roger

      Cesmon says:

      Thanks for the info!!! So the pass guarantees me direct entry into the sight? Here are some comments/reviews i was reading about the NY pass. Let me know if these hold true… THANKS!!!

      “Be careful that you dont have to pre-book your tickets ie Top of the Rock. The pass does not automatically give you access, you have to actually convert to paper tickets at the venue and these sell out.Empire State, pay the difference and get the upgrade to bypass the huge queues.”

      “DO NOT purchase this pass if you are limited in time … it was a game to redeem the coupons and secure the pass (go to Grand Central, walk 8 blocks to redemption center for pass, walk back 7 blocks to secure tour bus pass, walk back 6 blocks to board bus) … this was the scenario throughout the day … bottom line: we were unable to utilize most of the features due to lack of time .. the two features we did utilize briefly were great – be warned to prepare to walk to multiple locations to have your pass ‘enabled’ to secure the features and only purchase if you have 3+ days in NYC available … we encountered many other people with similar disappointments (we would’ve saved 50% if we had just gone to and paid the attractions individually).”



        Most of the New York Pass reviews I’ve read are very positive, and most people seem quite happy with their decision to buy. But of course other people are less organized and struggle to stay on schedule. As for those specific claims, you are better off contacting people at New York Pass directly. My only function is to help people decide if it might save them money based on the things they want to see. Good luck. -Roger

Jackie Butler says:

Can you get on both the Blue and Red tour buses with the New York Pass?



    If you go with the Hop-on Hop-off New York Bus Package with the New York Pass, it’s only good on the blue (City Sights NY) buses. I’m fairly sure that the buses of both companies do the same routes, and they come by frequently so it really shouldn’t be a problem. Best of luck. -Roger

      Viviane says:

      Love this article!! My husband and I and 16 year old son will be visiting NYC at the end of August. We have toured many European cities (Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan) but have never obtained any passes. We are power tourers (sp??) and do not usually visit museums. We like nice views, seeing the local architecture and prefer to walk (usually upwards of 20km per day). I’m overwhelmed by the number of passes available (NY Pass, NY Citypass, NY Explorer Pass, GO Select Pass). I’ve read your article and some details speak to me but still not convinced we would be getting our money’s worth. Hoping you can help me decide. Thank you.



        I’m glad you found the article helpful. As for which of the passes to get, they are all fairly similar (as you’ve noticed) and they are all legit. The New York Pass is the original of them, and the only one I’ve studied extensively, so I do recommend it for those who fit the goals I describe above. You might actually run into me on your trip because I’ll be using a New York Pass that same week to see some of the new attractions that have been added since I last lived there.

        My own travel style is similar to yours in that I tend to walk everywhere that I can, and I generally minimize time in museums. You’ve no doubt noticed that most of the attractions in the New York Pass are not museums, so it really comes in handy for the more adventurous attractions as well as the included tours. Speaking of tours, I highly recommend taking the Circle Line 2-hour cruise, which I’ve done at least 4 or 5 times myself. It’s by far the best way to see the city in a short time, and the narration is really interesting.

        Also, in New York City I’d skip the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which is an add-on on the New York Pass. For one thing, it’s a slow and awkward method of transportation, so it’s really only good as a one-lap bus tour. If you only have maybe 2 days to see NYC, it’s a good tour to see a lot in a hurry, but if you’ll be there 3 or more days you’ll end up seeing most everything while on foot that you’d see from the bus. You’ll want to walk within and in between neighborhoods, and for longer journeys the subway is WAY faster than any bus, especially the tour buses. And the subway is quite easy to use once you’ve had a look at it (and it’s much safer than most people expect).

        If you have any specific questions I’ll be happy to try to answer them. Otherwise, you can consider the choices and hopefully find the one that will work best for you. The New York Pass is also 15% off until Monday, although all of these passes are on sale half the time, so look for a discount whichever you choose. -Roger

Kal says:

Thanks for the article.

I have a question about the duration of the pass. I plan on buying a one day pass. My intent is to activate the pass at around 11am the first day, and then see my last sights with the pass at 930/1030 the next morning. I’m wondering if I can use the pass like this, since It’ll be easier for me to see those sites the next morning, and it’s not after the “1-day” limit.

Alexa says:


Thank you for this article. This is my situation and I’m hoping you can help me by answering some of my questions and maybe offering some suggestions. We have never been to NY, my daughter has just asked me to take her for her birthday which I’m am considering, I would probably do NYC for a few days and take some type of transportation over to DC and from there we would fly back home

She wants to see the Statue of Liberty and the empire state building, (she’s 9 yrs old) O want to take advantage of the fact that we are there and get to see more. I’m thinking about the Niagara falls. maybe more of the city. Can you tell what the best way to accomplish this would be? maybe some suggestions on what to see where to go? where to fly into? In from California and clueless when it comes to this.

Thank you!!



    There are 3 airports in the New York City area (JFK, Laguardia, and Newark), and you should book tickets into the cheapest one for your particular dates. There isn’t much difference on getting from the airport into the city center, although Laguardia and JFK are a bit cheaper and easier than Newark is prices are the same.

    Niagara Falls is a LONG way from NYC, and it would take an entire day each way on the bus. It’s not really practical to visit both of them in just a few days.

    As for what to see, it’s tough for me to recommend anything because there are thousands of things to do and I don’t know anything about your tastes. To be honest, the Statue of Liberty is a bit dry for a child. Once they’ve seen it on the outside, they might be bored by seeing it up close or looking at the monument in the base. A visit to Ellis Island is also included in the boat price, and that would be even harder to handle for a kid. One thing to consider is taking the (free) Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back, which passes close to the Statue of Liberty and is a nice tour of the harbor.

    There are also loads of attractions in Times Square that are child friendly, including a Disney store and an M&Ms store and that sort of thing. That should be fun for a few hours at least.

    If you have more specific questions I might help with let me know. NYC is a pretty amazing place to visit and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. -Roger

Richard says:

Which transportation is most reliable to get to and from JFK to our hotel near Grand Central? Am considering using NYCairporter but abit concern.



    A taxi is the simplest and most reliable, for about US$60 for up to 4 people. A cheaper and still reliable option is the JFK AirTrain to Penn Station (in Manhattan) and then the “S” shuttle subway to Grand Central Station. There are also shuttle buses for a bit more, which will drop you near your hotel’s front door. -Roger

Richard says:

Thanks Roger.
We incl our 14yo daughter will be spending 4 days in NY early Oct. and have purchased a 3 days NY Pass including hop on off bus. We plan to visit at least 3 attractions a day. Places like Top of Rock, Madame Tussauds, Empire State, NY Skyride,Statue of Liberty, Little Italy/Chinatown, Brooklyn Bridge,Central Park, 9/11 Tribute Centre and Circle Line cruises. Please can you advise which sequence should we follow to achieve this so we don’t waste time going round in circles. Thanks for the feedback.

Richard says:

Thanks Roger.
We incl our 14yo daughter will be spending 4 days in NY early Oct. and have purchased a 3 days NY Pass including hop on off bus. We plan to visit at least 3 attractions a day. Places like Top of Rock, Madame Tussauds, Empire State, NY Skyride,Statue of Liberty, Little Italy/Chinatown, Brooklyn Bridge,Central Park, 9/11 Tribute Centre and Circle Line cruises. Please can you advise which sequence should we follow to achieve this so we don’t waste time going round in circles.

Calin says:

I saw that the pass includes empire state building tour till the observation deck. How much of a difference would I have to pay in order to go all the way up to the last floor? Thank you



    My understanding is that it’s an extra US$17 to get to the 102nd floor at the moment. But honestly, many people don’t find that to be worthwhile because the view is really the same. Either way, have a great trip. -Roger

Helen says:

Hi, can you do attractions more than once? I was thinking it might be nice to do the Empire State Building at night and during the day!?



    Unfortunately, I believe you only get one entry into each attraction. But in addition to the Empire State Building you also get entry into the Top of the Rock, which actually has even nicer views including Central Park. So do one of those in the day and the other in the evening. Have a great trip. -Roger

Helen says:

Follow up question, is it worth getting a couple of one day passes a few days apart and would that enable two trips up ESB? I will prob do the rock as well, I’m all about the views!!



    I think you’d actually be better off getting one longer New York Pass, and then if you want to do the Empire State Building another time, just pay for it separately. The shorter New York Passes aren’t cheap on a per-day basis, so it’s hard to imagine that it would save you money that way.

    The views from both are spectacular, and I was just up the Top of the Rock for the first time myself a month ago. Honestly, the views are pretty similar in general, but the Top of the Rock is actually better because you can see all of Central Park, while the ESB is mostly Midtown. So my recommendation is to buy one longer New York Pass for each person, and if you decide you want to do one of them twice (it might be the Top of the Rock), then buy that separately once you are there. -Roger

Helen says:

Ok, thank you very much for your suggestions Roger! I do indeed have plans to get a lovely shot of Central Park from the rock!! I go in May so I’m hoping to get some nice weather!

Elaine says:

Hi. Is there a discount code for Oct 2014? We are leaving on the 17th and cant wait!



    They don’t give me the schedule for discount codes, but in my own experience, you rarely have to wait more than a week for another one to come along. That cuts it close for you, I know, but best of luck. -Roger


very useful comments for planning the visit which we are planning in the next 3-4 days

Claire says:

Hi I see there’s currently $60 off the combined 7day pass, I’m not coming to NYC until March 2015. Don’t want to miss a good deal, but just wondering with your previous knowledge if this discount is a common one & do they often discount again after christmas? Obviously just trying to save the most money. Thanks & I enjoyed your article



    Hopefully you know that you can start using a New York Pass anytime within one year of purchase, so locking in a promotional price makes a lot of sense. Also, they typically raise prices around the beginning of February.

    But yes, the promotions that are running now are typical of what you see all year round. I don’t keep too close of a watch over it, but it seems that it’s rarely more than a week or two before another sale starts. Good luck and have a great trip. -Roger

Marison says:

Hi Roger,
Thank you for the article!
I will be staying in NY for 3 or 4 days in January.
What are the best attractions to see in winter?
Also, do you recommend short-term vacation rentals? Best, convenient place to stay?

Thank you in advance!



    It really depends on just what the weather is like in January when you get there. Most likely it will be cold, but as long as it isn’t snowing or raining, then nearly all the attractions are still great. The main one that might be lousy is the boat to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. To be honest, those islands aren’t all that interesting once you get there, unless you are particularly fascinated by the immigration situation at Ellis Island.

    The Circle Line 2-hour cruise goes right by both islands, and is great for photos. It’s even good in cold weather, so if you get a New York Pass I definitely recommend that.

    Even the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock observation decks should be good in any weather. Really, New York is mostly an indoor city with great museums and other fun attractions. You can enjoy a walk through Times Square in any weather as well. It’s always crowded with locals (and tourists) because it’s a major transit hub, no matter the weather.

    And yes, I do recommend short-term rentals such as with I did one for a week there just recently in the East Village and it was great value compared to hotels. Hotel rooms in NYC are almost all tiny, even at expensive places, so even a “small” apartment will give you much more room.

    The one area I recommend you do NOT stay is within 5 blocks or so of Times Square. It’s interesting to walk through, but everything close to there is very touristy and overpriced. You can get better deals at restaurants and shops pretty much everywhere else. Most of the interesting sights are in Midtown or Downtown Manhattan, so I’d recommend anything from about 50th street south to 14th Street, or even Greenwich Village (south of 14th Street and north of Houston Street). There are subway stops through the whole area, so it’s fast to get around if you are anywhere in that zone.

    Have a great trip, and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

Helle says:

Hi Roger
A question about the New York pass and discounts.
If we by a 3 day pass and we want to get discounts for the helicopter tour and the Woodbury outlet, do we have to visit the outlet or fly the helicopter within the 3days the pass is valid? Or can we just by the trickets with discount within the 3 days, and Use them later?
Thanks for your very usefull informations



    Interesting question. I can’t be 100% sure about this, but I have a strong feeling that you can use those discounts at almost any time. All the attractions have an electronic scanner that is hooked up to the main New York Pass computer, but I doubt that is true of the discounted partners. So if you buy the helicopter ride and the bus ride to the outlets during the 3 days I’m 99.9% sure you can actually use those tickets on another day. And my best guess is that you could use the discounts at any time.

    It would be cruel of the New York Pass people to try to encourage people to burn through valid days on discounts. And to be honest, I think the companies offering discounts are just happy to be promoted to the relatively well-heeled visitors who buy New York Passes. So I’m sure you’ll be fine, especially if you buy the things within your valid days. -Roger

Susan says:

Hello, we are going to NYC for 2 weeks so I think we should just get a 7 day pass so we have enough time to see everything we want like 3 or 4 things a day…. Would u think that is a good idea?



    Yes, a 7-day New York Pass should be perfect for allowing you to see all of the main paid attractions in 7 days. And in your other 7 days you’ll still have plenty of free or cheap things to do that the pass doesn’t cover. New York is one of those cities where you never run out of things to do, and moving around quickly for 7 of those days should be all you’d want to do anyway. Have a great time and feel free to ask any other questions if you have them. -Roger

Susan says:

Thanks for the advice, also u mentioned that that there are some free or cheap things to do. We are traveling with 3 teenager and just wanted to see what else is inexpensive to do. Thanks again

Dominic says:

Hi Roger,

Great and informative article! Me & my partner are heading to NYC over new years for 7 days and are still undecided on whether to get a full 7days pass or possibly a 4or5 days and fit in all we want to do in those days?

We definitely want to visit the usual sights- ESB, Liberty, The Rock, 9/11 memorial, Circle Line tour etc. Do you have any recommendations for these trips over the days we are visiting as we imagine it can be quite hectic! Also, regarding NYE itself, we are not sold on the idea of going to the ball drop at Times Square so are open to suggestions?!

Any advice would be really appreciated!
Thanks in advance, Dominic.



    First off, I’d skip the NYE ball-drop if you are on the fence. You have to stand out there literally all day if you want to be anywhere near the ball, and if you go in the early evening you’ll be a LONG way away. And, it’s not that fun in general.

    Instead you’ll have loads of options, including a party at nearly every bar and restaurant in the city. The ball-drop crowd is mostly people from the surrounding areas, so the New York residents have plenty of other activities going.

    As for getting a 3 or 5 or 7-day New York Pass, it’s a tough call. I’d probably recommend getting the 7-day pass because it only costs a bit more than the others, and it will give you a lot more flexibility. In late December there might be a few cold days in NYC, or perhaps even a bit of rain or snow, and with a 7-day pass you can mix and match the indoor sights with the outdoor sights. For example, the Circle Line harbor cruise is really great, but it’s better on a sunny or at least dry day. And of course there are loads of museums and other indoor attractions that are great regardless of weather. -Roger


Hi Roger
Will be in NY mid December and thinking about the cold winter weather and temps, are hop on hop off buses cancelled often due to snow fall etc? Not sure whether to include them in my pass to see the sights. Also, the tours Ive looked at seem to all have open top coaches. Do you know of any that aren’t?

Appreciate your advice! Colleen



    I’m pretty sure that all the bus tour companies run enclosed buses in the cold weather. They are very popular all year round, and I’ve never seen one go by full of shivering tourists. I think they have attachable roofs to use during the winter, but they don’t put those photos on the websites because people love the open top when the weather is good.

    Also, snow accumulation in New York City is pretty rare. I lived there for many years, and here’s what happens…

    Maybe a few times per winter, there is a snow storm. Normally, the snow plows start right away, keeping all the major roads open the whole time. The side roads and in the outer boroughs can get snowed in for a day or two on the worst storm of the year, but generally all the main roads stay open, partly warmed by constant traffic. My guess would be that the hop-on, hop-off buses go every day of the year (because they only go on major streets), and maybe only have to cancel once every few years during one of those huge storms. New York City is always crowded and busy, so they do a great job of keeping everything moving. You’d be very unlucky to miss a day on those buses, and even if it happened I’m sure you’d get a refund or use on another day. Have a great trip. -Roger

UNO says:

hey roger..thanks for this post…ive leaned a lot for reading some of the inquiries and your answers. anyway. i need your help, i will be visiting new york for about 3 days in february 2015. this is my first time in new york. i will be with my 2 year old son and wife. do i need the new york pass if i want to enjoy my short trip in new york? after new york i will be visiting texas for about three days and california for about 5 days. thanks a lot.



    A New York Pass is a great tool for a first trip to NYC, but only for people who want to see the main sights in a short time. As you can see in the above article, the famous attractions in New York are generally quite expensive, and if you want to see at least 2 or 3 of them each day, a New York Pass should save you time and money.

    But, New York City is a fun and fascinating place even if you don’t see the famous attractions, or if you see only one per day and pay as you go. In general, it’s quite an expensive place so many people are happy to see a lot in a short trip and then move on. It’s really a personal decision, and I think you’ll be happy with the pass or without it. Bon voyage. -Roger

      UNO says:

      thanks a lot roger…its so amazing that you started this post year 2011 and up to now (2014) you still manage to give us your advises. more power.

Nate says:

Hi, does anyone know if the buses go one way on the route or both ways? Thanks!



    The hop-on, hop-off buses go one-way, in a loop. As I’ve mentioned before, they are quite a good way to see many things in a short amount of time, but they aren’t very handy for transportation between sights. Have a great trip. -Roger

Musthak says:

Hi Roger, I am visiting NY with my wife and two children (14yrs boy & 13yrs daughter) and staying in friend house in Avenel,New Jersey. Is it good idea to take 3 days pass for all of us and use rent a car and drive by own to visit the main attraction places. Please advice



    From Avenel you might drive a rental car to Jersey City or Hoboken to park, and then take a PATH train (the train that connects New Jersey with New York City) into Manhattan to do your sightseeing. Once in Manhattan you can walk to many attractions and take a subway or taxi to the rest. The main problem with driving around Manhattan is that parking is incredibly expensive and difficult to find. You can see a LOT on foot, and the PATH train from New Jersey is fast and cheap as well. Have a great trip. -Roger

Ais says:

Hello Roger,
I am planning to visit nyc on feb 5th. Looking at the benefits of the nypass i think it might be a great deal to get it for 1 day. Its the first time i m going there, do you think it will be possible to go to all this places in one day? Specifically in the order listed below.

Ferry to statue of liberty (getting there in the first ferry of the day at aprox 8.30)
interpid air sea and space
rockefeller center
top of the rock
Madame tussauds
empire state building
Ny skyride at the ESB

Thank you



    This would be a very busy day, obviously, but I think it could be done without a problem. You’d have to limit your time in the Intrepid, which should be simple enough and still worthwhile.

    One alternative would be to do the 1.5-hour Circle Line Liberty cruise instead of the Statue of Liberty ferry. Here’s the thing, if you make a reservation to go up into the statue itself (I’ve never done it), then it could be worthwhile. But Liberty Island itself is kind of a snooze. Most visitors are primarily interested in getting great photos of the statue, and that is best done from the water rather than the island. And believe it or not, the Circle Line cruise gets you in better positions for longer to see the thing and take great photos than the ferry. Also, the Circle Line cruise is an excellent attraction on its own, while the ferry is just a ferry. Lastly, the Statue Ferry also goes to Ellis Island, which is interesting for some people but quite dull for many others.

    The Circle Line boats leave from west 42nd street, just a short walk from the Intrepid. They don’t start quite so early, so you might be able to squeeze something else in during the morning hours. But again, if you have a reservation to go up into the Statue of Liberty, that might be fun. Otherwise I’d recommend the Circle Line instead for better views and much more. Have a great trip. -Roger

Ais says:

Thank you so much. Will search for it. Didnt know about the cruise line but it seems better than the ferry. Any other advices are welcome.

Ais says:

Just read some reviews that the skyride is not worth it. Do you agree?



    I skipped the Skyride last time I was there, and now I’m seeing those reviews and I see what you mean. It sounds like if you had to pay separately for it, it’s a rip-off. But if you are there already and it’s free, maybe it’s worth the time if the line isn’t too long? Fortunately, New York City is filled with worthwhile attractions so skipping that one could be a blessing. Have a great trip. -Roger

Patricia Montaván says:

Hi Roger, the article was very informative it cleared some questions I had about the NYPass, thank you about that!

I’m going to visit New York in a few months and I’m staying for six days. Do you think a three day pass would be helpful to visit the top ten attractions?.

Thank you for your help in advance!!




    I’m always happy to hear that these articles and advice are helpful. Yes, I think a 3-day New York Pass on a 6-day visit is a good idea. If you were to get one the longer ones you might be tempted to spend your whole 6 days just seeing the prepaid sights, rather than spending time absorbing the city and exploring Central Park etc. There is an endless list of things to do in NYC that is not covered by the New York Pass, but 3 days seeing the Top 10 famous attractions should be very enjoyable as well. Have a great trip. -Roger


Hi, i am going to new york for 4 days in september with my daughter and wondered if the 3 day new york pass was worth the money? we do want to see the most popular and well known sites and wondered if the extra costs to go to the 102nd floor empire state building & visit the crown of statue of liberty are worth it? Is there anything in particular we should visit? also is the bus a good buy? does anyone have a discount code and should i buy now or wait for best offers nearer the time? Thanks – Fiona



    Yes, I think the 3-day New York Pass is a great way to see the top attractions on a 4-day trip like yours. Personally, I don’t think the extra money to visit the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building is worth it. You can see mostly the same thing from the included 86th floor deck. However, I highly recommend ALSO going to the Top of the Rock observation deck, which is also included. From there you can see Central Park and many other things that are out of sight at the Empire State.

    The hop-on, hop-off bus tours are really good for people trying to see as much of the city as possible on only two days or so, and I don’t recommend trying to use them as transportation in general. They are really good overview tours and you see a lot, but in 4 days in NYC you’ll probably have time to see most of the interesting stuff up close and in person, so it’s really optional for a trip like yours.

    The New York Pass no longer does discount codes, but they have general discounts running every two weeks or so. At this moment they are doing a 20% discount, which is the highest I’ve ever seen. Just click on one of the links in the article and you’ll see the discount on top of the page. They do 10% discounts every other weekend or so.

    Oh, and I’ve never visited the crown of the Statue of Liberty, mostly because it’s been closed for most of the last 15 years or so. I’d imagine that it would be quite interesting, but it would also add an hour or two to your time on the island, and you might do something else interesting with that time instead. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger


      Thanks for your help Roger. i have thoroughly enjoyed reading all your comments, it certainly has been helpful. i am going to purchase my 3 day ticket now as i think it will be worth the money. thanks again – Fiona

Loretta says:

We are heading to NYC in June for 10 days. If we purchase the pass for 3 days can we use it whenever we want. If we use it Sunday can we use it Tuesday and then maybe Friday? Just making sure it is not 3 days in a row.



    Unfortunately, the New York Pass must be used on consecutive days. The good news is that they are running a big sale on all of the 3-day and longer passes right now, so you should be able to afford a longer one for the same price. Have a great trip. -Roger


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