New York offers attractions and visits like no other cities in the world. Of course, this is a great opportunity for tourists but this might be an issue for your wallet!
Luckily, everything is taking care of with the New York CityPASS. It allows you to enjoy a number of attractions while saving money!
Let me explain: the New York CityPASS grants you access to the best attractions in New York at a very attractive flat rate (if you add each individual visit bought separately).
Starting March 1, 2022, the New York CityPASS will go from 6 activities to 5 activities because the Metropolitan Museum of Art will no longer be included. The price will be $129/adult and $109/child, which is a decrease of $6 for adults and $3 for children.
In the article, I left the info with the current price and the 6 activities because until February 28th included, it is possible to buy the NY CityPASS at the current price with its 6 activities and it will work until the expiration date of the pass.
The New York City Pass
In one word, the New York City Pass, offers a saving of more than 40% on 6 of the 8 most popular attractions in New York!
The pass is valid dor 9 days starting on the first day of use. In other words, even if you buy it weeks in advance, the pass will expire 9 days after its first use.
The New York City Pass can be presented as a small booklet with detachable tickets.
Beware: Do not attempt to detach your tickets on your own, just present the booklet at the booth and the staff will take care of it.
You can also opt for a mobile ticket. After purchasing your pass, you will receive an e-mail containing a mobile ticket with a barcode. Then you simply present it on your smartphone to visit the attractions. You can choose to print the e-ticket too. Below is an example of mobile tickets:
The best tip remains in the fact that in most attractions, waiting lines are specifically reserved for visitors holding passes, a good way to reduce your waiting time.
By the way, with a New York CityPASS you can book in advance a timed ticket for the Top of the Rock!
Here are 9 attractions (choice of 3) allowing you access with a pass:
The Empire State Building
Perched above the city at 1000 feet (320 meters), the 86th floor observatory offers a breathtaking view from its glass wing at the top of the building. CityPass offers an extra bonus visit the same day visit in the evening at 10 pm during closing time. You can actually admire New York during the day and also at night with bright lights.
The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
The Met can be compared to the Louvre made in New York, it’s without a doubt one of the biggest and most beautiful museum in the world! From splendid Egyptian artifacts to the spectacular American aisle, the world of art is waiting for you in one of the most visited attractions in New York. A must see!
The American Museum of Natural History
Famously known by the movie “ A night at the Museum”, the AMNH invites you to travel the universe and beyond or discover the earth in great deep. A great visit for the whole family that will please the parents and kids alike!
The Guggenheim Museum
A modern architecture masterpiece from Franck Lloyd the Guggenheim welcomes some of the most beautiful collections of the 20th century modern art. The magnificent snail Guggenheim structure gives you the impression that you keep visiting the same gallery without moving places, thus you can never get lost!OR
The Top of the Rock
Even if the observatory isn’t as high as the Empire State Building, you have the advantage to discover an amazing view on the latest but especially on Central Park and Midtown. Besides, the parapets are built up to the hips, as a result the view is unobstructed (no windows or iron bars) and very enjoyable.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
Available for the Harbor Lights cruise, the Semi-Circle Cruise, the Liberty Cruise or even the Beast Speedboat. You’ll enjoy an incredible view on the skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the United Nations headquarters and many more famous sights and landmarks!OR
The Statue of liberty and Ellis Island
Take a ferry for Liberty Island and Ellis Island to admire the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island and give tribute to the 12 million people who arrived by boat in United States between 1892 and 1954.
Visit the Memorial and 9/11 Museum, a tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack in September 11th 2001. It’s a visit that require respect and contemplation. From April to September, the visit with the NYCity Pass must be after 2.00pm.OR
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid is a museum located on Pier 86 along the Hudson River displaying planes like F16, helicopters, a Concorde and even a spaceship. There’s a lot of activities to better understand the American Air & Sea as well as the history of the American space conquest. You’ll also enjoy a stunning view of New York City!
Regarding the choice of attractions you may have a hard time deciding if you want to enjoy all these attractions (highly recommended), or want to use the pass for the most expensive attractions (hence the cruise and the Top of the Rock), and buy the others separately to save money.
The New York City Pass is priced at $132 for adults and $108 for kids aged between 6 and 17 years old.
For kids under 5, I do not recommend buying a pass since entrances are free for 5 out of 9 attractions, just like shown below:
American Natural History Museum1 year old and lessTop of the Rock5 years old and lessLiberty & Ellis Island3 years old and lessIntrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum2 years old and less
|Empire State Building||5 years old and less|
|El Met||11 years old and less|
|Guggenheim Museum||11 years old and less|
|Circle Line tour||2 years old and less|
|9/11 Museum||6 years old and less|
Note that if you have a 10 years old child, you might want to ask yourself if he really needs a pass since he’s eligible to enter for free at 3 main museums. It depends on which attraction you are picking, on the other hand, if you choose to not visit those 3 museums then you might want to check if it’s worth purchasing a pass or not.
Check my article on the subject: Frequently asked questions for stressed out parents before traveling to New York 😉
The New York CityPASS in a chart
What you should remember:
|Criteria||New York City Pass|
|Number of attractions||6 (on a total of 9)|
|Days of validity||9 days|
|Tarifs||$132 (adult) $108 (youth 6-17)|
Note: the validity is activated starting on the first day of use of the pass.
Why should you pick the New York CityPASS ?
Keep in mind that your traveler profile (very active or mellow) and the length of your stay are determining factors.
Three reasons to choose the New York City Pass:
This is your first time in New York: The New York City Pass is the best option for a first trip in NY since it allows you to gain access to the main attractions in the city, the must see. The pass includes only 8 attractions (choice of 2) but there are part of the most spectacular so be prepared to be blown away!
Your trip lasts between 3 and 8 days and you want to take it easy: Knowing that the New York City Pass covers the length of your entire trip so you’ll have no problem using your pass at your own pace and enjoy all the attractions offered. If not, you can always buy one or two attractions separately.
Your budget is tight: Yes, on paper, the savings earned on both passes are similar, however, the New York City Pass remains more affordable.
As you can see, the choice essentially depends on your expectations and the length of your stay.
The New York City Pass is an excellent option for a first trip, besides its validity is a real asset even if the number of attractions is limited…
Purchase your pass
I strongly recommend ordering your pass on Internet since it’s where you’ll find very attractive rates. With the exception of the Top of the Rock, you don’t have to book the activities included in the New York CityPASS. My advice is to arrive as early as you can to avoid large crowds.
Click on the buttons below to book your pass:
Retrieve your pass in New York
Here’s how to get your New York CityPASS :
As I said before, there’s an option to have your New York City Pass mailed to you but it’s cheaper to print the voucher in order to exchange it for your pass once you are in New York. If you have a voucher, you just go to the first attraction of your choice and present your voucher at the ticket booth, you will then receive your pass.
Now you receive an email with the barcode pass (see above), you just have to save the pass on your phone or print it to be presented at the ticket booth of the attractions you want to visit.
Now you understand that for a first trip in New York, the New York CityPASS is a great choice! Economical, valid for up to 9 days, the pass offers excellent attractions where you can fully enjoy your trip.
However, if this is not your first trip and/or you are an avid visitor another kind of pass might be more suitable for you with guaranteed satisfaction! As a matter of fact, you may want an Unlimited pass or an “à la carte” pass.
In any case, these passes let you enjoy some great savings and are great tips to discover the Big Apple stress free at a lower cost.
The rates of the passes and activities/attractions can change, always check them on the official websites on the links provided above.