If you're reading this, it's because you just can't wait for your next trip to New York. To make life easier for you, there's a hack that can take your visit to a whole other level: the New York Sightseeing Pass.
Access New York's best attractions, at a lower price
With this sightseeing pass you will have access to New York's best attractions during your trip. You will pay for the days you want to use it. Recommended for tireless travelers who don't want to miss anything!From $ 141 at Hellotickets
The New York Sightseeing Pass, From $ 141 is a sightseeing pass that gives you access to New York's top attractions and points of interest. The Sightseeing Pass, like other tourist cards, has several advantages: you save money and you save time waiting in line by avoiding the ticket booths of each attraction.
If you are going to visit New York in a big way for ten to fifteen days, this is the perfect pass for you as it will allow you to save about $ 35 per day compared to buying an individual ticket for each attraction, not to mention the discounts in stores and restaurants that can help you save even more.
Like the New York Pass, the New York Sightseeing Pass works daily and each day is valid from activation until midnight. It has some differences with the rest of New York Sightseeing Passes, such as including credit to spend at attractions and a free meal at the restaurant of your choice from a list of popular places in the city.
How to choose the right New York City Sightseeing Pass for your trip
It all depends on your kind of trip
- Passes by the number of days: you choose the number of days of validity for your pass and 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 Sightseeing Pass is one of them.
- Passes by the number of attractions: they work for a fixed number of attractions that you choose when you buy the pass. In case you want to enjoy New York quietly and get lost at your leisure.
What would you like to visit during your trip?
The second thing you need to know is what you are going to see in New York. I recommend that you make a list with the places (museums, viewpoints, tourist attractions) you want to visit to calculate how much their tickets would cost separately and see if it weighs out the price of the pass.
That said, if you are deciding between several passes and you are sure you want to visit the One World Observatory, the New York Sightseeing Pass is the only one that includes this skyscraper. It also includes a 72-hour sightseeing bus ticket, unlike most sightseeing passes that include a 24-hour ticket.
What is included in the Sightseeing Pass?
- The only pass that includes the One World Observatory
- Lunch or dinner at a restaurant of your choice (from a selected list of restaurants)
- $ 40 credit to spend on tours, attractions (such as the Empire State Building), Broadway shows, and cruises
- Access to 115 attractions (including One World Observatory, Top of the Rock, Madame Tussauds, Madison Square Garden Tour and Radio City Music Hall Tour)
New York Sightseeing Flex Pass
The New York Sightseeing Pass Flex allows you to pay based on the attractions you visit rather than per day. Otherwise, it includes the same as the regular version.
I recommend this option if you are very clear about what you want to see in New York, or if you like to travel slowly without the pressure of squeezing the most out of a tourist pass. This way, you can visit one or two attractions a day between sightseeing, shopping, and visiting free attractions.
One small disadvantage of the New York Sightseeing Pass is that all attraction tickets have a fixed time. Before reading the list of the main attractions included in the pass, keep this in mind as it will detract from the flexibility of your travel schedule.
One World Observatory
The One World Observatory is located at One World Trade Center, the tallest skyscraper in New York (and the United States) that pays homage to the Twin Towers, destroyed in 9/11. In addition to its observation deck, the One World Observatory includes interactive activities, stores, restaurants... You will see the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty up close, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Direction: One World Observatory is across from the 9/11 Memorial, so you can get there via the same subway stations (WTC-Cortland, Cortland St. Station, and Fulton St. Station) and the Westfield World Trade Center train station.
- Price: General admission is $ 32 per adult and $ 27 per child (which includes the Sightseeing Pass). Children under 5 years old are free. The combined ticket costs € 42 per adult and € 36 per child, and gives you access to both observation decks.
- Queuing time to buy tickets: Between 10 and 60 minutes.
- How the pass works: You will not have to buy a ticket, but you will have to present your pass to be given a ticket with a fixed time, so be aware that you may have to wait. Also, you will have to go through security.
- About the attraction: Open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and the visit usually lasts between 45 and 60 minutes.
Empire State Building
The Empire State needs no introduction: it is one of New York's most iconic buildings and also offers the chance to visit its observatory for some of the best views of midtown Manhattan.
- Address: 5th Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets.
- Nearest subway stop is 34 St. - Herald Square, which most lines connect to. You can also go to the 33rd St. subway stop
- Price buying the ticket separately: from $ 40
- Queuing time to buy tickets: Between 45 and 60 minutes.
- How the pass works: Skip the queue 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. Please note that the CityPass includes two entrances at different times to the Empire State Building.
- About the attraction: Open from 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM, and a typical visit lasts 2 hours.
Top of the Rock
The Top of the Rock (located in Rockefeller Plaza) offers the best views of New York from a skyscraper: it's from here that all those wonderful postcard photos of the Empire State have been taken.
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 climb 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.
- Address: Between 5th and 6th Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets. Top of the Rock is west of Times Square in Rockefeller Center. The nearest subway station is the Rockefeller Center Subway Station.
- Price: Admission to Top of the Rock is $ 35 (adults) and $ 30 (children). Children under 6 years old are free.
- Queue time to buy tickets: 15 to 20 minutes.
- How the pass works: You can use your pass to get an online ticket at a set time or present your pass at the ticket office to have your ticket validated.
- About the attraction: Opening hours are from 8:00 AM to midnight (last elevator up is at 11:00 PM). The average visit is usually one hour.
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty represents New York City like no other monument to any other city in the world. Seeing it up close is breathtaking, and almost even more impressive are the views of Manhattan from Liberty Island. To visit it, you will have to take a ferry from Battery Park and with the New York Sightseeing Pass you don't have to worry about the ticket, because it is included. In addition, it also includes the ferry to Ellis Island.
- Address: Liberty Island. The only way to get to the Statue of Liberty is by ferry or boat, and all depart from Battery Park.
- Price**: The ticket with access to the pedestal costs $ 28 per adult and $ 17. The one that includes access to the crown costs $ 28 per adult and $ 26 per child. Please note that it is limited to 4 tickets per person and they are non-transferable since you have to put them in your name and show them at the door yourself.
- Queue time: There is a ferry to the Statue of Liberty every 90 minutes, so depending on the time you arrive, you will have to wait more or less.
- About the attraction You can go to the Statue of Liberty from 9:30 AM to 5:25 PM. The typical visit lasts around 4 to 5 hours.
Hop on Hop Off Sightseeing Bus
The New York Sightseeing Pass includes CitySightseeing's 'Best of Manhattan' tour, whereas the name suggests you'll see all of Manhattan's major sights in a 6-hour experience. It also includes a Sightseeing Cruise to continue your visit. Below you have detailed the main stops of the itinerary. You can read more here about the best Hudson cruises.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is undoubtedly one of the most special visits of the trip. For a moment, the chaos and the dynamism of the city give way to the recollection and a historical tribute to the victims of the most notorious terrorist attack in modern history. The Memorial is located on the street, in the perimeter occupied by the Twin Towers, and the Museum, on the other hand, does require admission.
- Address: Between Liberty St. and Fulton St., near West St., near the Museum.
- Nearest subway stops are WTC-Cortland, Cortland St. Station, and Fulton St. Station, all within a five- to ten-minute walk of the 9/11 Memorial.
- Price: The 9/11 Memorial is free and open to the public. A ticket with a tour of the 9/11 Museum costs $ 42.50 per adult.
- Queue time to purchase tickets: Between 10 and 90 minutes.
- 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.
- About the attraction: Open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM and until 9:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Most people take a 2-hour tour.
Natural History Museum
The Museum of Natural History is perfect to complete the trip with a cultural attraction and very interesting. Its permanent exhibition is dedicated to the history of Planet Earth, with very interesting spaces dedicated to marine life, fossils, and meteorites. If you don't have time to visit more than one or two museums, this is, for me, one of the best.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The 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.
- Address: Between 5th and 6th avenues and 53rd and 54th streets.
- Nearest subway stop: 5th Avenue-53rd St.
- Price: Admission for adults is $ 23. Children 12 and under are free. Free admission to the museum on Fridays from 4:00 PM onwards.
- Queue time to buy tickets: The queues to buy tickets are not usually very long, but the queues at the security checkpoint can be up to 30 minutes, and even longer if you visit the museum on Fridays when it is free for everyone.
- How the pass works: Simply present your pass at the security line and you can enter the museum.
- About the attraction: It's open from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM every day, and as for visiting time it's usually two and a half hours on average (although this depends entirely on what kind of visit you want to do).
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
This museum is the fantasy of any fan of engineering masterpieces, offering the unique opportunity to see inside the Intrepid aircraft carrier, on whose deck are a variety of planes and helicopters from various eras; the Growler submarine, which can be explored in its entirety; and the supersonic Concorde aircraft.
Before you buy
Now that you know everything that the New York Sightseeing Pass includes and what its advantages are, here is the summary to help you make a decision:
The New York Sightseeing Pass is for you if:
- You want to visit the One World Observatory
- You want to climb all three of New York's skyscrapers
- You love bus tours
- You are on a tight budget for your trip to New York City
- You like to thoroughly organize your trips
You can choose a duration of between one and 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.
The Flex option is probably your choice if:
- You like to travel without rigid planning
- You will be in New York for many days
- You want to visit a specific combination of attractions in New York
Other passes available
If you're still not sure if the Sightseeing Pass is the best fit for your ideal trip, remember that there are three other passes available. I have made a practical guide about each of them and I have compiled in an article their advantages and disadvantages so you can easily compare them. Here are the links: