New York Pass

If you want to save time and money while visiting all that New York has to offer, the New York Pass can be a good ally for you.

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

10 min read

New York Pass

Empire State Building | ©Hellotickets

New York can be a bit of a chaotic city to visit and it is easy to get lost in the vastness of the Big Apple and end up not getting the most out of your trip. The New York Pass is a great ally to save time and money on our trip.

New York is not a cheap city to travel to and especially the first time, when you want to get the most out of it by visiting as many attractions as possible. Luckily, there are some tricks to organize your trip in a simple way and save you a lot of money, which translates into doing more things and enjoying more, for less. One of those tricks has a name: it's called New York Pass and you can get it from $154.

Tourist card

New York Pass

New York's best attractions, at the lowest prices

If you want to access the best attractions in New York, get this day pass to access the ones you like the most during your trip. You'll save time and money.

Buying a NY Pass has several advantages: you save money if you take advantage of it, you save time since you don't have to buy tickets at the box office for each place you visit (and in some cases, you won't have to wait in line), and it's also very convenient to have all your tickets in one place.

The New York Pass is a day pass, and you pay according to the number of days of validity you choose. You can choose between 1 and 10 days. Be careful, because they are not 24-hour days, but from the moment you activate the pass you have until midnight before it counts as a full day.

When you buy the NY Pass, all you have to do is download their app and have access to the pass immediately. From this point on, you can go to the first attraction on your list and scan your pass at the entrance. However, for some activities you will need to present your pass and get a ticket.

Note that all New York Passes let you into a particular attraction only once (with some exceptions).

Why I like this option: One of the great advantages of the New York Pass is that it gives you queue-free entry to a number of selected attractions. This doesn't save you from waiting in line at certain attractions, and it doesn't save you from going through security checks at the entrances, but at the end of your trip you will have saved a few hours of waiting in total.

How to choose between the New York Pass and other passes

Access to One World Observatory with the Explorer Pass| ©Hellotickets
Access to One World Observatory with the Explorer Pass| ©Hellotickets

It is true that in addition to the New York Pass, there are other New York tourist cards that are similar. Before we go into whether the New York Pass is the best option for you, the first thing you need to know is that there are two main types of passes:

  • Day passes: these are passes whose price varies depending on the number of days of validity. You can choose if you want to hire it for 2, 3, 4 days, etc up to ten 10 days of validity. So if your trip to New York is up to 10 days, during that time you can visit any attraction included in your list, without limit and with a single pass. They are ideal if you want to go from one attraction to another and experience your trip to New York without wasting a minute. The New York Pass is one of them, but if, for example, you are going to be in New York for 15 days, you can also combine several passes.
  • Passes per attraction: these are passes whose price varies depending on the number of attractions you want to visit. If you already know which places, museums, etc. you want to see, you will pay only for them and you will have more time to visit them. It is ideal if you want to enjoy New York quietly and get lost at your leisure.

Depending on the monuments you want to visit

The second thing to keep in mind is that in New York there is a lot to see and do and the best way to decide on a sightseeing pass is to make a list of monuments and buildings you want to include in your itinerary. If this is your first visit to New York you may not be sure what the Big Apple has to offer, so below is a list of the highlights of the New York Pass. You can use it as a basis to start organizing your trip.

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What's included in the New York Pass

Statue of Liberty| ©Hellotickets
Statue of Liberty| ©Hellotickets

The NY Pass includes skip-the-line access to some of New York's must-see experiences, and the app has an audio guide in English, a map with highlights and practical information about each site. To give you an idea, among the more than 100 attractions and activities that you can access with the New York Pass, these are the highlights:

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Top attractions included in the New York Pass

Empire State Building| ©Hellotickets
Empire State Building| ©Hellotickets

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the icons of the New York skyline; the views from its observatory are undoubtedly one of the most impressive ways to see the city.

  • Empire State tickets prices: There are two types of tickets, the one that allows you a double access during the day and at night and a visit to the museum on the second floor (57€ adult/48€ child), and the single ticket with access to the observation deck and the museum on the second floor (39€ adult/33€ child).
  • How the pass works: Skip the line to buy tickets and go directly to the queue for the security check, where you can show your pass and they will let you through.

Top of the Rock

If you're passionate about photography, you'll be amazed at the photos you can take of this icon of New York architecture, especially if you go up to the Top of the Rock at sunset or on a foggy morning. As a bonus, you'll also get to see the One World Observatory and the Statue of Liberty as if it were a toy.

  • Ticket price to the Top of the Rock: The entrance to the Top of the Rock costs 35€ (adults) and 30€ (children). Children under 6 years old get in for free.
  • How the pass works: You can use your pass to get an online ticket with a set schedule, or present the pass at the ticket office to validate your ticket.

Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

The Big Bus is one of the best sightseeing buses in the city, as it takes you around literally all of Manhattan showing you all of its points of interest.

The schedule of this tour bus is from 9am to 5pm, the first and last departure times respectively. However, if you want more I leave you with this article about touring New York at night by tour bus.

Madame Tussauds

The most famous wax museum in the world is based in New York. Besides this museum is much more than a place to take selfies with celebrities like Barack Obama, the Kardashian or the most famous actors and actresses in Hollywood. If you are going to go to New York with children this will surely be one of their favorite visits.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum

To visit it, you must take a ferry from Battery Park and with the New York Pass you will not have to worry about the ticket, because it is included. In addition, it also includes the ferry to Ellis Island, where you can visit the Immigration Museum and explore an exhibition about the times when New York became a place of welcome for immigrants from around the world in search of a better future.

MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

MoMA is a must-see museum in New York if you want to see with your own eyes an extraordinary exhibition of artworks that have defined the last century. You can enjoy works of art such as the famous 'Starry Night' by Van Gogh, as well as paintings by Monet, Pollock, Mondrian, Hellen Frankenthaler and Andy Warhol among others.

  • MOMA prices: Admission for adults is 23€. Children 12 and under are free. Free admission to the museum is available on Fridays after 4:00 pm.
  • How the pass works: Simply present your pass at the security line and you can enter the museum.

9/11 Memorial and Museum

If you buy tickets to the 9/11 memorial and museum you will delve deeper into the history of the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks. This is a very interesting visit as it will add some historical depth to your trip to New York.

  • Price: The 9/11 Memorial is free and open to the public. A ticket with tour of the 9/11 Museum costs 42,50€ per adult and between 32-37€ per child, again depending on age.
  • How the pass works: Skip the ticket line, go directly to the security checkpoint and present your pass for direct access to the 9/11 Museum.

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Other attractions included in the New York Pass

  • The Ride. The Ride is a 75-minute Manhattan sight seeing tour on a bus with an interactive experience and a panoramic window to experience the city in a different way, where comedy, dance and music accompany you throughout the tour.
  • Marvel & DC Superheroes Tour. A perfect tour for fans of superheroes, especially Marvel as you will be able to visit real-life locations that are relevant to the plots of Spiderman or Avengers.
  • Food On Foot Tours. This gastronomic tour will give you a taste of the diverse elements that make up New York cuisine, an amalgam of cuisines from around the world, in local restaurants and bars away from the tourist traps.
  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. The New York Pass includes tickets to this virtual experience of the underwater world, comprised of videos and interactive displays produced by National Geographic photographers and cameramen, who tell their stories about the most breathtaking places on Earth.
  • Harlem Jazz Series. At the Harlem Jazz Series you can listen to jazz artists perform classics by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald or Miles Davis in a local Harlem church. If you like the experience, I invite you to do some research about the best places to hear music in Harlem and about the best churches to go to a gospel mass in Harlem.

What you should know before you buy

Night views from the Empire State Building| ©Hellotickets
Night views from the Empire State Building| ©Hellotickets

Now that you know what's included in the New York Pass and what the benefits are, here's the summary to help you make your decision. The New York Pass is for you if:

  • You want to squeeze the most out of New York and spend all day seeing things.
  • You will be in New York for up to 10 days
  • It's your first time in New York
  • New York's most expensive attractions are on your must-see list
  • You are going to do the Hop on Hop off bus tour or not
  • You don't want to waste any of your travel time waiting in line to get into places.

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Recommendations on which New York Pass to choose

Views from The Edge| ©Hellotickets
Views from The Edge| ©Hellotickets

You can choose a duration of one to ten days for this pass, but my recommendation is to avoid the one day pass, as it will most likely not work out for you. It is best to select three, five or seven days, which at a rate of 4 or 5 attractions per day will save you quite a bit of money.

Finally, a reminder of my most important recommendation: enjoy your visit to New York! It's easy to forget that you are in a city full of life and things to discover when you have a list of things to do and just focus on crossing them off, which can be the danger of buying a tourist pass.

New York Pass prices for children

Children under the age of 3 will likely not pay at most New York attractions, so there is no need to purchase a pass for them. However, children from 3 to 12 years old can buy their New York Pass at a reduced price: between 35 and 140 euros cheaper than the adult pass (from 12 years old and up) depending on the days you choose.

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Other passes to discover New York

Posing in front of the luminous flag in Times Square| ©Hellotickets
Posing in front of the luminous flag in Times Square| ©Hellotickets

If you have not yet decided on the New York Pass and you prefer to explore in detail what are the alternative tourist cards that exist, I leave you a list with the practical guides I have prepared on each pass and the comparative article where you can see the advantages and disadvantages of each one:

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