Is the New York Sightseeing Pass 2020 worth it? We review prices and value here

Easily one of the most popular cities within the United States (if not THE most popular), New York City is both large and impressive with a plethora of attractions and activities that will keep you more than busy each and every day of your stay. New York City is also known for being extremely expensive to visit, but if you play your cards right, you won’t end up spending all of your money in one trip. This is because there are actually a lot of great things to do within the city limits that are either free or at least on the cheaper side.

However, if you’re planning on visiting the more popular sights and attractions, you’ll quickly find that once added up, the end price will put a lump in your throat. That’s where the New York Sightseeing Pass comes into play. This pass, designed to save you money, is a great option for visitors who plan on visiting the more expensive city attractions while skipping the free ones.

In this pass review, we’ll touch on who should purchase a pass and who is better off skipping it. We’ll also take a look, in short detail, at some of the more popular attractions included in the pass attraction list. But first, let’s take a look at the current New  York Sightseeing Pass prices so that we can better compare them to the prices of New York City’s top attractions. When researching New York City, you’ll find that New York City prices are extremely high when compared to other popular cities. But, to most visitors, these prices are well worth it. When you pair those high costing attractions with the New York Sightseeing Pass, you’ll find that you’ll save a good deal of money. For more information on how to make this possible, continue reading below.

Price of the 2020 New York Sightseeing Pass

Adults (ages 13+)

  • 1-day: $129.00
  • 2-day: $179.00
  • 3-day: $249.00
  • 4-day: $279.00
  • 5-day: $304.00
  • 6-day: $324.00
  • 7-day: $340.00
  • 10-day: $399.00

Children (ages 3 – 12)

  • 1-day: $89.00
  • 2-day: $149.00
  • 3-day: $199.00
  • 4-day: $219.00
  • 5-day: $239.00
  • 6-day: $249.00
  • 7-day: $259.00
  • 10-day: $279.00

No matter which length attraction pass you purchase, you’ll find that you have a year to use the pass. This means that you can buy it now and validate it anytime within the next 12 months.

Note: If you decide to buy your pass now, you can buy the New York Sightseeing Pass here at the lowest available price.

With each pass that you purchase, you’ll also receive a free 250-page guidebook. This book details each and every available attraction as well as their opening hours, directions to, and maps to help you find each one.

How the New York Sightseeing Pass works

When you purchase your pass, you’ll be given access to dozens of city attractions, ranging from cheap to expensive. You’ll also find that you can visit any number of attractions that you want, as long as they are included in the attraction list. In addition, you’ll have access to the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour and its many different city routes as long as your pass in valid.

You’ll just want to note that when using your pass, you’ll need to use it for consecutive days. This means that if you buy a 5 day pass, once you activate the pass by visiting your first chosen attraction, you’ll have to use the pass for 5 days in a row.

Recommended New York Sightseeing Pass attractions in brief

9/11 Memorial & Museum ($26.00)

Located at the World Trade Center site, this memorial represents the terrorist attacks of both September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Here you’ll find twin reflecting pools and the largest man made waterfalls in all of North America.

Gray Line CitySightseeing Best of Manhattan Experience ($89.00)

A brightly colored double decker bus tour, the Best of Manhattan tour takes you from attraction to attraction before you board onto a sightseeing ferry ride that grants you views of the Statue of Liberty. If you plan to take this tour, make sure you read in detail what is included so that you don’t accidentally visit the same attraction twice.

Madame Tussauds New York ($37.00)

Located in the heart of Times Square is the famous Madame Tussauds. Here you’ll find wax figures of the rich and famous that you can walk right up to as there are no ropes separating you and your favorite star. If you’re traveling with a camera of any sort, make sure to bring it inside so that you can get some snap shots of you and the wax figures. Don’t be surprised if you see a bunch of tourists with selfie sticks as pictures here are the thing to do.

Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center ($39.20)

If you don’t mind heights and love a great view you’ll want to make sure to take a ride up 850 feet to the top of the Rockefeller Center to experience the incredible views of New York City. This attraction wows with both indoor and outdoor viewing areas.

The advantage of the New York Sightseeing Pass

If you plan your days in advance, you’re very likely to save a good amount of money using the pass. Even though that in itself is a great advantage, it’s not the only one. A pass also allows you fast track entry to select attractions. Fast track entry means that you get to skip the lines at the ticket booths and instead of waiting, you’ll get to walk straight up to the gate. Because lines at some of the included attractions do get quite long, skipping them will save you a lot of time. You’ll then have more time to visit at least one more attraction each day, which in turn makes the pass an even better deal.

The downside of the New York Sightseeing Pass

If you’re on a super tight budget with little to no wiggle room, then the New York Sightseeing Pass may not be a good fit. This is because, even though you should save lots of money by using the pass, you still have to pay an upfront cost to purchase the pass. Because the pass itself isn’t super cheap, if you have little money to spend, you most likely won’t want to purchase it.

Even without visiting the higher costing attractions, you’ll still find lots of great attractions and activities within the city. Central park, the endless coffee shops, the hundreds of little shops and attractive neighbors should do more than just keep you busy.

Because visiting lots of attractions in a day can be too much for some visitors, the pass really is only suited for those who like to jump from attraction to attraction and don’t feel the want to relax in a hotel room all morning. If you like to take things at a slower pace, then you might be better off skipping the pass altogether.

Who SHOULD get the New York Sightseeing Pass?

  • Visitors who are looking to visit a lot of attractions in a short amount of time
  • Visitors who are already planning on visiting the most expensive area attractions
  • First time visitors to New York City

Who SHOULD NOT get the New York Sightseeing Pass?

  • Visitors and backpackers who are traveling on a very small budget
  • Visitors who plan on only visiting one attraction a day

The bottom line

All in all, the New York Sightseeing Pass is a good deal for a lot of people. The key however, is to start visiting your daily attractions in the morning when the first attraction opens and to continue exploring and visiting attractions for the entire day. New York City is known for having a very large list of desirable and ‘well worth the money’ attractions, meaning that you won’t run out of fun things to do and see, no matter how fast you go through your list.

Just remember to stop, sit, and enjoy lunch while you people watch and take in the city sights and sounds. Though you do want to make sure to get the most value out of your pass, it would be a shame if you spent your entire visit rushing around without sparing a few moments to simply enjoy the city.

Buy your New York Sightseeing Pass

To purchase your New York Sightseeing Pass, click here for the lowest available price.

Photos by Flickr users Andreas KomodromosAurelien GuichardMarcelaThomas Hawk, and NeonNero.

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