Is the New York Pass 2022 worth it? We review prices and value here

New York City has a reputation for being expensive for tourists and it really does deserve that reputation. The best and most famous attractions in the city are, on average, the most expensive in the world. If you want to experience the Empire State Building and the 9/11 Memorial those things don’t come cheap. There are many experiences such as walking through Times Square or Central Park that are free, but the best tours and sights are very pricey. The good news is that the New York Pass can get you into all of the most famous (and most expensive) attractions for a flat price. It’s not for everyone, but if you are interested in experiencing the top sights in a short time the New York Pass can definitely save you time and money.

Further down the page we’ll recommend who should get New York Passes and who’s better off without them, but first let’s look at the current prices for everything. Prices in New York City in general are some of the highest in the world, but the thrills and sights are also among the world’s best. Buying a New York Pass can help you limit costs while still allowing you to do everything on your list. We will discuss who should consider the pass and who shouldn’t in the article below.

Note: This article was first published in 2011, and has been updated with new prices and details on a regular basis since then. Last updated March, 2022. This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, which helps keep this site going.

COVID Updates in 2022 for the NY Pass

As you would probably guess, many of the included attractions in the New York Pass have been closed off and on since March, 2020. Now that it’s 2022, things are looking up and it looks likely that vaccinated visitors will be able to explore New York City almost completely.

Even though many attractions have raised prices since early 2020, the New York Pass itself is now quite a bit cheaper than before. It’s a MUCH better deal than it used to be, at least for the time being.

New York Passes are good for two years from the date or purchase AND they will give a full refund of any unused passes for the first year. With that in mind, there isn’t much risk if you buy a New York Pass, and prices will probably go back up once things are closer to back to normal.

Price of the 2022 New York Pass

Adults (ages 13+)

  • 1-day: $129
  • 2-day: $174
  • 3-day: $199
  • 4-day: $229
  • 5-day: $259
  • 7-day: $299
  • 10-day: $339

Children (ages 4 – 12)

  • 1-day: $99
  • 2-day: $144
  • 3-day: $154
  • 4-day: $164
  • 5-day: $179
  • 7-day: $199
  • 10-day: $244

The attraction 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 10% off or the lowest available price.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for PriceOfTravel readers: Save 10% off all New York Passes using the link above and the promo code “NYPOT10”. Look for “Promo code? Click here” in Step 4 of the checkout process to enter the code. If a larger discount is available you’ll get the lowest price with the link.

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

  • Big Bus Hop-on, Hop-off Double Decker Bus Tour: $59
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum: $28
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry: $24
  • Empire State Building: $45
  • The RIDE (interactive bus tour): $79
  • Circle Line harbor cruise: Up to $44
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: $25 (suggested)
  • Museum of Modern Art (MOMA): $25
  • Guggenheim Museum: $25
  • American Museum of Natural History: $23
  • Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum: $33
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum: $40
  • Top of the Rock observation deck: $43

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.

BIG NEWS: Mobile ticket now available

You can get free and instant delivery of the New York Pass to your smart phone, rather than having to pick the tickets up in New York or paying $8 and up for delivery. The New York Pass has long had an excellent mobile app (iPhone and Android) that already serves as a helpful and free guidebook to New York’s most popular destinations, and now you can use that same app as your New York Pass after you purchase a mobile ticket.

Suggested itineraries for New York Passes to get the best value

Many people have asked me where they should go on their first New York City visit of only 1, 2, or 3 days using a New York Pass. Rather than answering each time, I wrote this article that many people should find helpful.

>>>Best New York Pass itineraries for 1, 2, and 3-day passes to get the most value

Recommended New York Pass attractions in brief

Hop-on, hop-off bus tour ($59)

New York is filled with famous sights and the best way to see most of the top sights in a short time is on the double-decker hop-on, hop-off bus. All three included routes have convenient stops in or very near Times Square.

Circle Line Cruise ($37 to $44)

You’ll see more than half of the famous sights from the HOHO bus, and you’ll see all the rest on these excellent Circle Line Cruises. Combine the cruise with one lap on the HOHO bus and you’ll feel like you’ve seen most of New York City in one day.

Better still, they all spend 10 minutes right in front of the Statue of Liberty, so this is the best way to see it up close and to take the best photos.

Empire State Building and Top of the Rock Observation Deck ($45 each)

Manhattan looks impressive from the ground, and even more impressive from the observation decks on the tops of these buildings near Midtown. Do one during the day and the other at night for the best combination.

Madame Tussauds Museum $40

If you’ve never been in one of these wax museums, you’ll honestly be amazed. You can be in and out in an hour or so, and since it’s included with the New York Pass and located in the heart of Times Square, it’s a quick thrill and excellent value.

Here's a great way to build an itinerary for 2 or 3 days with a New York Pass

If you are like most others, your visit to New York City will be 4 days or fewer and the 2-day or 3-day New York Pass will be all the time you have. If this is the case you can maximize your time AND see the most memorable sights by starting with an itinerary like this.

Day 1: Hop-on, hop-off bus tour, Empire State Building (daytime), Madame Tussauds, and one other attraction of your choice

Day 2: Circle Line Cruise, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Met Museum (or something else), and Top of the Rock observation deck at night.

Even if you only have two sightseeing days in New York City, you can do the attractions above quite easily in two days. Altogether they would cost around $300 for an adult, and a 2-day New York Pass is still under $200. If you have a third sightseeing day you can usually get a 3-day New York Pass for only a bit more because there are often promotional prices, and you’ll still have another full day to get value and see the things that interest you most.

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 2018 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 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 $150 on admission fees.

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.

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

Important advice: Start early and plan ahead

Once in a while I’ll get a message from someone who bought the New York Pass and didn’t feel like it was good value. I’ve noticed that these unfortunate visitors tend to make two major mistakes, and if you can avoid them you should be very happy with your purchase.

1. Start early in the day, around 9am if possible

Believe it or not, even New York City’s top attractions tend to be somewhat uncrowded in the morning, so getting an early start is essential. If you can leave your hotel by around 9am you’ll have time for two popular attractions before lunch, and then time for two or three more before dinner. You’ll still have the whole evening open for dinner and other fun, or you can visit the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock observation decks for amazing views. But if you don’t get out until almost noon, you’ll feel rushed and behind schedule all day because every place you go will be crowded.

2. Plan your route ahead of time

Many of NYC’s top attractions are clustered together, so if you plan ahead you can see a few things in a short time on foot. The New York Pass comes with a free and handy smart phone app (you can download it before you even buy a NY Pass), and it has all the included attractions on one map, with the hours and description for each just one click away. If you plan your route before you leave in the morning you can see a lot, but if you only plan one thing at a time you’ll quickly get frustrated.

About the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus that is included

Even though they are officially “hop-on, hop-off” buses, it’s really not advisable to try to use them as transportation between attractions. While they do come about every 15 minutes in Manhattan, they can get crowded and there are many stops where almost no one ever gets off. This means that you might wait 15 or 20 minutes for the next bus and then find that you’ll have to stand on the bottom floor (instead of the open deck on top), and you might have to squeeze in.

My advice is to take each bus tour all the way around starting from one of the most popular stops, and then maybe ride it a bit more later if it looks to be convenient. That way you get the whole tour at once and if you use it again later it will just be a bonus. If you only need to go one or two stops to see your next attraction, it will be faster to walk. And if you need to go a longer distance you’ll find that the subway system is much faster and also very efficient. You’ll get more out of your New York Pass by moving quickly between attractions rather than waiting around for a tourist bus.

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 10% off OR the lowest price available.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for PriceOfTravel readers: Save 10% off all New York Passes using the link above and the promo code “NYPOT10”. Look for “Promo code? Click here” in Step 4 of the checkout process to enter the code. If a larger discount is available you’ll get the lowest price with the link.

Short video showing New York Pass highlights

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All Comments

  1. Steven Murphy says:

    The POT20 code is invalid when I enter it is this code now extinct?

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Steven,

      Sorry about that. I’ve been negotiating with them and it sounds like they are no longer doing 20% codes. They have set up a 10% code of GOPOT10 and I think it’s working now. From the sound of it, the 20% codes are a thing of the past. I’ll update my page now. -Roger

  2. rizada says:

    Hey! I just bought a discounted 3-day pass for 199 USD and I won’t be able to use it 🙁 It’s good for a year – does anybody need it??
    Please e-mail me at rizada with google mail if you do…

  3. Irshad Sooliman says:

    Promo code not working, 0% discount applied

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Irshad,

      I just tried it and it worked for me. Just to remind you, it’s only good on 3-day and longer New York Passes. I hope you can get it working. -Roger

  4. Lisa says:

    Hi, My husband, myself and our 3 children (10 – 16) are heading to New York for 5 nights in May 2018 – our first trip. We are so excited as we are travelling from Australia for this wonderful experience. Any HAVE TO see things we should do. Im thinking if there is a sale on the 5 day pass may be the best way to go??

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Lisa,

      The 20% off the 5-day pass makes it a very good deal as long as you want to see and do enough of the included attractions. As I’ve mentioned before, I highly recommend the Circle Line Cruise as the best way to see the whole island and also to get the best photos of the Statue of Liberty. The hop-on hop-off bus is a good way to see a lot in a short time as well. Many people focus on the 9/11 Memorial, but I haven’t been to that yet. The New York Pass covers nearly all of the top attractions so as long as you are planning on doing those sorts of things it’s a good deal. Let me know if you have any other specific questions. -Roger

  5. mike noonan says:

    thank you very much we will be going for the NY pass

  6. Mike Noonan says:

    We are making our fist visit to New York in early July for 4 days to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Still deciding on the NY pass. Do the seniors discounts apply just to US Citizens or visitors from abroad aswell ?

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Mike,

      Any senior discounts for attractions in New York are available to anyone, including tourists and foreigners. The problem is that most of the expensive attractions don’t have discounts for seniors so you’ll still have to pay the full adult price. That’s one reason the New York Pass can be quite helpful. Have a great trip. -Roger

  7. Mohit says:

    This ia great Article Roger. Thank you so much.
    Me and my wife are coming to New York for the first time for 3 days in May 2018 (weekdays) – I am very confused on how to plan my days and if I shall get City Pass. Can you please help us in planning our trip or any suggestions. We definitely want to spend sometimes in Central park area for some pictures (as I am a photographer) .
    Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Mohit,

      It’s very hard for me to make specific recommendations without knowing more about your interests and your budget. And unfortunately I don’t have the time to give detailed recommendations most of the time as well. I do get questions like this a lot so I put together some suggested itineraries for 1, 2, and 3 days with the New York Pass. Those are all of the main highlights and nearly everyone enjoys those tours and the views from the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock. Hopefully that will help you plan at least an outline of the top attractions, and then you can scan the New York Pass website to see other things that interest you more specifically. Have a great trip and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

  8. Anna says:

    My husband and I are going to New York over the Easter weekend for the first time ever – super excited! Having read your fabulous article on the New York Pass and comments to enquirers on this page I am keen to buy a New York Pass but wondered if in addition to this we also ought to be booking the most popular sights like the ESB in advance so we avoid queues? Please can you advise? Thank you.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Anna,

      If you only had one day or two short days to visit NYC it might be wise to pay extra for those “front of the line” tickets to some places, but the New York Pass comes with “fast track” entry to most of the popular attractions including the Empire State Building, so it should work well on its own. The “fast track” entry is usually a separate queue for New York Pass holders and it’s almost always shorter than the main ticket queue, although it can still be 10 or 15 minutes if you get unlucky and come at peak time. Also, everyone, no matter what kind of ticket they have, has to go through an airport-style security queue as well, so there really isn’t much difference between the pre-booked “front of the line tickets” or the “fast track” queue that comes with the New York Pass. Those security queues tend to move pretty fast and you don’t have to take your shoes off or anything, but they do make everyone go through a scanner.

      Your best bet would be to visit the most popular places at off-peak times to get the shortest queues. The Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock tend to be most crowded in the early afternoon and just after sunset. So if you go shortly after they open or you wait an hour or two after sunset, you will pretty much walk straight in. And as I think I mentioned, both of those views are amazing and quite different from each other, so it’s best to do one during the day and the other after dark. I prefer Top of the Rock in the evening because you can see Central Park, which looks amazing at night. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  9. Karis says:

    Hi Roger.

    Great article. I am travelling to NY on 6 Feb 2018 for 7 nights with my two friends. I’ve been trying to compare all the different passes. 1 friend has been before, and has family there, but isn’t into walking and tourist stuff. The other friend and I love walking and exploring absolutely everything. We love museums and galleries , and would love to find the best walking tours. Do you think a 3 day pass is sufficient or should we just get the 5 day. Does the pass have to be used on consecutive days or could we skip a day and carry on the following day? Do you have any recommendations for Shopping outlets outside of Manhattan? We are staying in Brooklyn. Sorry for the onslaught of questions. Its a once in a lifetime trip so trying to cram everything in.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Karis,

      New York Passes do need to be used on consecutive days, so once you start using it the clock is ticking. I think the 3-day pass is probably enough if you plan those 3 days out and efficiently schedule all of the main things that you want to see and do with it. On the other hand, the 5-day pass is currently only $40 more than the 3-day pass, so Day 4 and Day 5 of the pass would only be $20 each per person. With that in mind I’d be tempted to get the 5-day pass because it should be very easy to get good value out of those extra two days, even if you only do one thing on each day. And being able to space your sightseeing out so you aren’t rushing the main things into 3 days is worth something as well. Either way, I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

      Nearly all of the best and most famous shopping neighborhoods in NYC are in Manhattan, but there are some interesting places now in Brooklyn and Queens. Of course, it depends on what you are looking for. You can find shopping malls filled with chain stores in many parts of all boroughs. But if you are looking for trendy clothes shops and that sort of thing, you should definitely visit Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The subway stop at Bedford Street is pretty much the center of the neighborhood and there are boutiques and quirky shops in all directions from there. There are other areas such as Carroll Gardens and Park Slope that will also have pretty good and interesting shopping, but I haven’t spent enough time in those in order to help you much. Feel free to ask other questions if you have them. -Roger

  10. Stella Sif Jónsdóttir says:

    Hi Roger, thank you for your article, it’s really helpful.

    Me and my boyfriend are arriving for the first time in New York late next Friday, the 8th of December and leaving at Wednesday the 13th.
    We are pretty sure that a three day pass would be the best choice for us but would like you to share your opinion if you have the time.

    We want to see all the main places the pass includes (Empire state, Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, Moma, The Met, the Guggenheim, Ground Zero, the On- Off bus and more) but we will add a Broadway show and iceskating at Rockafeller center. Then we want to explore, eat and shop a little bit.

    Do you think the three day pass is a good choice and if so, what day do you think it’s best to start, Saturday or Sunday?

    Thank you so much for your helpful article.

    All my best
    Stella

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Stella,

      This looks like a question I just answered from your partner, so please look for that response and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger