Is the New York CityPASS worth it? New York CityPASS review 2020

Welcome to, what many would consider, one of the best cities in the US- New York City! Here in the Big Apple you’ll find attractions and activities galore, showcasing everything from art to history, architecture to scenic views. But with so much to see and do, it can easily become a little difficult trying to decide where and what to spend your time on.

Not only that, but you’ll also most liking be trying to figure out the best ways to save as much money as you can. That’s where to New York CityPASS comes to save the day. But is it really all that it’s cracked up to be? We’ll find that out and more, below.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a CityPass using one of the links below, this site will receive a small commission.

New York CityPASS prices for 2020

When purchasing your New York CityPASS, you’ll find that there are two different prices, one for adults and one for youths (ages 6-17). Passes are not available for children 5 and younger. It’s important to note that attraction fees for children 5 and under vary, but most attractions have either free or reduced prices.

  • Adult $126
  • Youth $104

The above prices are current for this year, but they do change slightly each and every year, though that change is incredibly small and usually not really noticeable.

>>>Buy the New York CityPASS at the lowest available price

Is the New York CityPASS a good deal

This is the question of the day, everyday. In order for us to answer it as accurately as we possibly can, we first need to look at what the pass is all about. First you want to note that each pass is actually a booklet of full of tickets (or a voucher in some cases) that you present to the staff member that is currently manning the entrance to each attraction. Each and every booklet gives you admission to 6 different New York City attractions along with easy to read and understand detailed information about each attraction, and a map and coupons that can be used around the city.

Now it’s time to see if there are any real savings with the pass. First we’re going to look at what the general entrance fees are for 6 attractions at an adult rate. Then we’re going to add up the costs and see if there is indeed a real savings.

Empire State Building Experience – $54.85

A great way to see New York, the Empire State Building Experience offers you a view of the city from 1,050 feet up in the air. From this height, you’ll find yourself enjoying panoramic views of not only the city, but if the weather is right, of 5 states. This is a great attraction for all ages and dining options are available. Funny enough, if you were to visit the Empire State Building Experience as someone who is aged 6 through 17 without the pass, you’d be paying 10 cents less than an adult visiting without the pass.

American Museum of Natural History – $25.00

A museum dedicated to teaching and featuring natural history at its best, the American Museum of Natural History offers a fun learning environment for all w+34ho visit. Some sights included with each visit are the Milstein Hall of Ocean life, the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites and fossil halls. This attraction is well suited to all ages and includes dining options and gift shops.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – $25.00

Devoted to showcasing art in a clean and fashionable atmosphere, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must see for those who love to sit down on a bench and enjoy a piece of famed art. At this museum you’ll find the Grand Hall, The Met and over two million works of art. This attraction is suitable for adults.

Guggenheim Museum – $25.00

A collection of modern art, the Guggenheim Museum is housed in a unique and eye catching building with a circle like architectural design. Inside, guests will find a large collection of modern art along with free daily tours. If you become a bit hungry while inside, you’ll find dining options and a gift shop offering ideas of items to give to friends and family back home.

Top of the Rock Observation Deck – $39.20

70 stories up with views of a lifetime, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck is a must see for those who don’t mind being so high up. From here, you’ll find vast views of the city and central park. This is a great option for both kids and adults, although children should be monitored at all times. This attraction is also open every day of the week and is best visited right before sunset and with a camera in hand.

Circle Line Sighting Cruises – $37.00

A great way to see New York City, Circle Line Cruises offers visitors a different view of the Big Apple with a cruise down the river. During your water adventure, you’ll find yourself with 100 feet of Lady Liberty and within close view of many famous city landmarks. You’ll also find yourself listening to a narrative with insights into the city herself. Food is provided during the cruise as well as souvenirs and guidebooks.

The total price of the attractions above is $206.05. When you look at the numbers, you’ll find a huge savings of $80.05 per adult. If you purchase a youth pass, you’ll find the savings to be even greater at $102.05. These savings can then be used to buy a nice dinner or two, some souvenirs or toward your hotel costs.

With each attraction you visit, you’ll use one of the provided tickets. Each of these tickets can be used for one time only, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. This is very important because there are actually 9 different attractions to choose from, but only 6 tickets available. Also, you’ll find that most of the time, the pass will allow you to skip the possibly long ticket lines, which can be a big relief during busy hours.

Are all of the attractions covered with the New York CityPASS worth a visit

The answer is a very simple yes. Each one of the included attractions, 9 in total, is a popular attraction that most city visitors plan to see at least once. The 9 attractions that you get to choose from are Circle Line Cruises, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Guggenheim Museum, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History and the Empire State Building Experience. Just keep in mind that some attractions cost less then others and you want to factor that in when you decide on your 6 attractions to visit.

How not to use the New York CityPASS

The pass can be very useful and a great tool to save money if used correctly. The first thing to keep in mind is that CityPass booklets are valid for 9 consecutive days that start with the first day of use. You do not want to use the pass for a day or two and then forget about it. If you do, you’ll end up most likely not getting your money’s worth, which would be a real shame. Next, because you do have 9 days to view 6 different attractions, you don’t want to rush though each one in fear of not having enough time to see the others. You’ll have plenty of time to spend at each one, so make sure to relax and enjoy!

One last thing, do not under any circumstances, tear your ticket out of the booklet before handing it over to the attendant. If you do this, that particular ticket will then be considered invalid. Instead, just hand the entire booklet and let the attendant tear it out for you.

The bottom line

This is a pass you’ll want to buy as the New York CityPASS will not only save you a nice chunk of change (about 1/3 of attraction costs for adults), leaving your bank account with a big smile, but also save you time and energy as you’ll be able to skip long attraction lines during your visit. Depending on the time of year you choose to travel to this great city, that might be a savings of a few hours.

Where do you purchase your New York CityPASS

>>>Buy the New York CityPASS at the lowest available price

There are two different ways to purchase your New York CityPASS- online or at one of the featured attractions. If purchasing your pass online, you’ll find yourself with two different delivery options, either via email or postal mail. If choosing email, you’ll get a voucher. If you choose postal mail instead, you receive an actual booklet of tickets.

Photos from Flickr users Songquan DengA.G.Vivienne GucwaBocaj47 and Bluezi9.

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  1. Lindsay says:


    Just wondering how the CityPass works in terms of skipping the lines. Are there two separate lines for some attractions (i.e. a buy ticket line and a wait to get inside line)? Is that how it saves me time?

    For the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock, I’m able to schedule a time I would like to go. This seems ideal. Does it work against me to get the CityPass as I may not get in at a decent time?

    Looking forward to your reply!

    Thank you.


    1. Roger Wade says:


      This is an interesting question. The method I’m familiar with for “skipping the line” is that most of the popular NYC attractions have a ticket-buying line and a separate entry line. For the attractions that allow you to “skip” you are able to go straight into the entry line, or sometimes it’s a special pass-holders line, which is usually even shorter than the normal entry line. That is true on both of the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, where there is a special pass-holder line.

      On the CityPass page for the Top of the Rock I see you can get a ticket for the “next available timed Top of the Rock® Observation Deck ticket”. I think that means that they sell tickets all day but only allow a certain number of visitors up per 15 minute period. I think in most cases you can go up almost right away, but if you go on busy days or at busy times the first available time might be an hour or two away. I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t see a method to buy a timed entry ticket before you get there. For more clarification you will have to check with the CityPass people. I hope this helped at least a bit. -Roger