New York City Explorer Pass Review 2020 – Is the New York Explorer Pass good Value for money?

New York City can be a very expensive place to visit. Costs really can really pile up. What with taxi’s, food, drink, souvenirs, and attractions. Not to mention flights and hotels. However, a good way to save money is by using one of New York’s Pass Options. We have discussed the different passes here. In our New York City Explorer pass review. We take an in-depth look at Smart Destinations offering.

for our Smart Destinations New York Explorer Pass Review we traveled to New York to take a look at how the Pass impacted the travel Experience. These Passes can get some stick on Travel Forums so we took a look to see how they really affect the normal Traveller. More on that later in the Review.

New York City Explorer Pass Review
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
  • Product: New York City Explorer Pass
  • Price: $89 – $219
  • Price Child: $67 – $169 (Child 3-12yrs)
  • Where to Buy:
  • Number Of Attractions: Choose 3/4/ 5/ 7/ 10 out of 80+ Attractions, or Pick your own attractions, or Package deals
  • Time Limit: 30 consecutive days
  • Rating: 4.5/5

Attractions Included:

  • Empire State Building Experience
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • 911 Museum and Memorial
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck 
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus New York Tour – 2-Day Classic Ticket
  • + Many more, Click here for all activities
  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Attractions


The Explorer Pass is perfect for those who don’t want to Rush there trip. By having a set amount of attractions you don’t have the pressure of tearing around the City trying to cram as much as possible in. Not all the attractions on the List are good value but there are plenty that are and offer fantastic Value. All the TOP New York attractions are present. We feel this pass is especially good for people who have been to New York Before and know what they want to see this time around. Giving you great savings on the things you really want to see.

Promo code – Check out our Promo Code Page and save even more on a New York Explorer pass!!! 

 Check out our Promo Code Page to see if you could save EVEN more when Purchasing a New York Explorer Pass. Click here to see our Codes. 

What is the New York City Explorer Pass:

The New York City Pass is a pass that allows you to visit a number of Attractions In New York for a set Price. The price is often much lower than visiting the attractions and paying separately at each. The amount saved will depend upon which attractions you visit, but figures of up to 50% are possible. That’s a big saving.

Smart Destinations offer 3 types of passes. Only one is actually called the Explorer pass, but this review will cover all 3. The Attractions and the way it works are the same the only difference is how you chose your attractions.

Option 1: Explorer Pass

With the Explorer pass, you choose the number of attractions you want to see and simply pay for those. Pricing is very simple:

3 Choices4 Choices5 Choices7 Choices10 Choices
Adult : $89Adult : $119Adult : $134Adult : $169Adult : $219
Child : $67Child : $84Child : $99Child : $129Child : $169
$29.6 per Choice$29.75 per Choice$26.80 per Choice$24.10 per Choice$21.90 per Choice

Your pass is a Digital product meaning It is delivered instantly and you can then use the pass directly from your phone or print it out. It is basically a QR Barcode that is scanned at the Attractions.

There is no need to decide beforehand just keep using the pass until you have used up your “quota” of attractions. As you can see from the table above the More attractions you choose the less the price per attraction is Except the (anomaly of 4 choices). But remember not all attractions cost the same.

Below is an Official Video Explaining the Explorer Pass.

Option 2: Build Your Own

The Build your own Pass is an a la Carte style Pass where you browse what attractions you want to visit and then add them to your pass at Full face value. Once you have two or more added the overall cost is reduced by 15-25% depending on how many attractions are added. This seems a great system, and to be fair it is, however, the Max discount of 25% is a little low. Also by adding a Statue of Liberty and Ellis island cruise, you limit your discount to 15%.

We are not sure the reason for this and it seems a poor trick to pull and as such we don’t think the build your own pass is a good idea. After all, you could always just choose your attractions and then buy the corresponding number on the Explorer pass to save more money! Bear in mind however some attractions are only available on the Build Your Own Pass.

Which Option is the best?

Overall we think the Explorer Pass is the best option for most and its what we will focus on from here on. But the mechanics of all the passes are the same so if you prefer one of the other options the remaining review will still be of use, so please do read on.

How Much Does the New York Explorer Pass Cost?

  • 3 Choices – Adult $89 ($29 per attraction) – Child $67
  • 4 Choices – Adult $109 ($27 per attraction) – Child $84
  • 5 Choices – Adult $129 ($26 per attraction) – Child $99
  • 7 Choices – Adult $164 ($23 per attraction) – Child $129
  • 11 Choices – Adult $209 ($19 per attraction) – Child $169


Cost – Saving money is obviously the biggest advantage of the Explorer pass. It is quite possible to save substantial amounts of money, up to 50% in some cases. The amount saved depends largely on which attractions you choose as some are more expensive than others. If you choose all the expensive attractions the savings will be far higher than if you pick the cheaper ones.

That said, you shouldn’t choose to do higher-priced attractions simply because they are higher priced

Flexibility – Another big advantage with the Explorer pass is the flexibility it allows. Things change and planning your trip too rigorously can lead to poor experiences. Some things in New York are best experienced in certain weather. An open-top bus is no Fun when its raining and there is little point being at the top of the empire state building when the cloud is so low the view is obscured.

An Explorer pass allows you the flexibility to chop and change your trip so you can do the right activities on the right day. If the forecast is rain then simply head for the museums. Or make the most of the fine weather and head up the empire state building.

Budgeting – It helps to know exactly how much you are going to spend on a trip so With a Pass you know how much you will have spent before you go. leaving only food/drink and transport as your variables. It also helps spread your money further. So while you may not spend less you get a lot more for your money. This is the most important aspect, getting the BEST trip you can.

Relaxed Pace – Compared to other Passes the Explorer Pass allows you to have a more relaxed trip. By choosing the number of attractions you can easily plan your trip out to see just a couple of attractions a day and still get great value. You are only seeing what you want and doing so at a pace that suits you.


Timed Tickets – Not Everyone is an advocate of Passes. You hear a lot of criticism on online advice boards. This is mainly down to Attractions that have timed entry. This means when you reserve a ticket online it’s for a specific time. The Problem with the Passes is this is not possible. So you need to queue up and get a timed ticket before entering the attraction. In the section below New York City Explorer Pass in Practice, we explain how we never find this a real issue.

Timed Tickets also remove your ability to be flexible. If you are booked for a certain time beforehand and the weather is poor it could spoil that part of the trip.

Limited Value – The Nature of the pass is a double-edged sword in that there is a limit to the value you can extract. With the All-inclusive model, you can cram more and more in to get the most value. So while this model helps make the trip more relaxed it does mean there is a finite amount you can save.

Doing Too Much – Sightseeing in New York can be an arduous business. trekking up and down the City can really take it out of you. Of course, it’s all worth it to see this magnificent spectacle. The problem with a pass is it encourages you to take on too much. The fact the pricing drops per attraction means you are tempted into the more expensive pass, and then “chase” it around the city, potentially doing things you wouldn’t if you didn’t have the pass. It’s best to work out what you want and get the pass to suit.

This is more an issue on the All-inclusive Passes and with careful planning, you can easily see the city at a more leisurely pace with this the Explorer Pass.

No 9/11 Museum – the Explorer pass doesn’t offer entry to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. There is the Craftily titled “9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour” But this is not the Museum. Of course, the memorial is free and open to all but the Museum is a very moving and worthwhile attraction. We feel most people would benefit from visiting the Museum. It’s a very fitting memorial to the victims and really reminds you of the magnitude of the events of that day and their impact on all of New York, and the world beyond.

Now Includes the 9/11 Memorial and Museum – Smart Destinations have updated their line up of attractions. It’s great news as it was one of the big letdowns of the card so Its great to see it added. Well done Smart Destinations.

911 Fountains

The New York CityPASS and the New York Pass Both also include the 9/11 Museum and Memorial

New York City Explorer Pass in Practice

The Explorer Pass is provided as a Digital QR Barcode. That can be printed out or used right on your smartphone or tablet like you would a boarding pass. They do not offer any traditional Pass options. The good side of this is there is no delivery required. The other passes that are physical need posting out to you, at quite a cost, or collecting in person from a specified place in the City. While this isn’t the end of the world it is a good plus for the Explorer pass. But we feel some people would prefer a pass they can “hold”.

Update – All other New York Passes now offer a Mobile-only option

When Arriving at an attraction the QR Barcode (either Printed out or straight from your mobile) is simply scanned granting you access to the attraction. In some cases, the code acts as your Ticket. In other, it is scanned and you will then receive your ticket.

It’s a very simple and effective System and at a lot of attractions, there are specific lines for pass holders or at others you are able to bypass the ticket lines as the pass is already your ticket. At none of the Timed Ticket locations we tried, did having a pass present any serious obstacle in receiving our Timed ticket. You can read more below.

What Attractions

With so many attractions available on the Pass it’s difficult to choose. Many of the attractions are some of the City’s top sites but some are less brilliant. Walking and bike tours are some of our least favorites, and some museums are so cheap they pull down the value you can get from the card. It’s quite possible to choose attractions in a way that actually makes it MORE expensive to get a pass. But it’s still important to pick attractions based on preference not price. However, should the Attractions YOU want to visit work out LESS than the cost of the pass, consider a Build Your Own Pass or simply visit without a pass at all!

Below are some of our Favourites to show How much you are realistically likely to save. This is based on the Quality of the attractions and not price as you will see.

Observation Decks

Top of the rock sun

Top of the Rock – Sunset

The View from New York’s Observation decks is truly a must-do. The view from high up on one of New York’s tallest buildings is something to behold. But which Observation deck should you choose?  We have answered that question here.

With the New York Explorer Pass, you can visit both the Empire State and the Top of the Rock. Our two favorite decks. We suggest both as the View is just so good from both. Try and time it, so you get to the top of the rock for sunset so you can see the City in Both Day and night.

  • Empire State Building $39.00
  • Top of the Rock $39.20


Harbor Lights Cruise

The Explorer Pass allows you so do a Landmark Cruise with Circle Line cruises. This fantastic cruise takes you past all of New York’s famous landmarks….well the ones viewable from the water. It’s a fabulous perspective on the city and well worth doing.

The Pass also offers a number of other cruises. One of our Favourites is the 2-Hour Harbour lights however, this cruise does incur a $10 upgrade fee. But New York from the water at night is an incredible spectacle.

  • Circle Line Landmark Cruise $ 37.00

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Statue of Liberty

Apart from Cabs, Hotdogs and the Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty the most iconic landmark in New York. Only the Statue Cruise actually lands on the island. So even though the Landmark Cruise sails right by if you want to get off on the island you need to do this. We hear quite often that it’s not worth getting off and the best views are from the water. We disagree and think the View from the Island with the Lady Liberty towering over you is a fantastic view (see right). We can’t imagine visiting the City without paying a visit.

Unfortunately, if you want to climb it, you are pretty much out of luck. Crown upgrades are not available and pedestal upgrades are first come first served. But if they sell out beforehand online, which they normally do then they will not be available. TBH It doesn’t concern us much. The pedestal just offers slightly improved views of Manhattan. and the crown offers little other than the chance to say “We did it”.

If this is a Must do you will need to Book a Statue Cruise independently of your pass. This is the same for all Passes.

This Cruise Also lands on Ellis Island which is a historical Gem.

  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island $ 18.50

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Hop On Hop Off Bus

The Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off bus is a great way to see the City. It’s mainly aimed at first-timers (or the first time in a “while ers”) and gives a great introduction to the city.

It’s certainly a fair-weather experience. You need to visit a specified Bus stop so you can purchase your ticket from a Big Bus Agent who will scan your Pass. The Bus is good fun and a great introduction to the city. Just don’t rely on it as transport. Just use it to link a few distant attractions together.

  • Big Bus Tours – 1-Day Hop-on Hop-off Tickets $ 60.00


Natural History Museum

New York’s Museums are World Class and there are Quite a few included in the New York Explorer Pass. Our two favorites are:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art $ 25.00
  • American Museum of Natural History $ 23.00

The Natural History Museum is a fantastic place. The Numerous Lifesize Dioramas of many of the world’s Large Animals (alive and Extinct) is a fantastic display and pretty unique. The Star for us is the Fossil Halls with many intact skeletons of the Largest animals to walk the Earth.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a true world-class Museum and one not to be missed. The Collection of Masterpiece artworks and historical items are mightily impressive.

Check out our guide to New York’s best Museums here.

Cost Example

If you chose to do the activities listed above, which are all very worthwhile, and very common for visitors to do you would need a 7 Choices pass. Which would set you back $169 for an Adult? Those same 7 Attractions bought individually at the attraction would Cost a Whopping $241.50 That’s a Saving of $72.50…..that That’s a lot of hot dogs.

Alternatively, if you only did 5 of the above (drop the landmark cruise and Statue Cruise) It would cost $134  with a gate value of $186 saving $52, you could then book a Statue cruise separately and maybe upgrade to go up the crown or the pedestal?

There are ways to Extract even better value from the Pass but we only included what we feel are the BEST QUALITY attractions. Value is more than just how much you save. Our example itinerary is a very usual bunch of attractions, One’s most people would find enjoyable, Not just the ones we worked out to save the most.

Promo code – Check out our Promo Code Page and save even more on a New York Explorer pass!!! 

 Check out our Promo Code Page to see if you could save EVEN more when Purchasing a New York Explorer Pass. Click here to see our Codes. 

Making the Best of the Pass

7 attractions are certainly feasible on a 4 day trip without rushing too much, but it would certainly be a busy trip. It would certainly be unforgettable as well. The best way to pack in as much as possible is to visit Attractions that are grouped together. Like the Met and Natural history Museum. That way less time is wasted traveling. Also, consider doing free activities to compliment your pass there is so much to see and do for free in New York, and a lot of them are the BEST things!

Where To Buy

The Simplest and normally the Cheapest place to buy is direct from their website. The Pass is instantly emailed to you for Print out or you can use it on your phone or Tablet.

<<< Click here to go the Smart Destinations Website to Purchase a New York Explorer Pass>>>

Promo code – Check out our Promo Code Page and save even more on a New York Explorer pass!!! 

 Check out our Promo Code Page to see if you could save EVEN more when Purchasing a New York Explorer Pass. Click here to see our Codes. 

The New York Explorer Pass is a great way to save money when in New York. Most of the top Attractions are featured. We didn’t find the pass held us up at all and in most cases, we simply bypassed long ticket Queues. Although the Fast track Features were not as impressive as the other Passes.

New York City Passes Comparison

Have Your Say

Have you used an Explorer pass? What attractions did you choose? Did you find any issues with the pass adding to your queuing times? Please let us in the comments below. Or if you have any questions we are happy to help, just drop us a comment.

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38 thoughts on “New York City Explorer Pass Review 2020 – Is the New York Explorer Pass good Value for money?”

  1. This is such a great idea, and what a way to save money on all the NYC tourist attractions, especially if you know which ones you want to see. I like how it has people pick a few initially, which makes vacation planning and structure a little easier. I did something like this in Amsterdam, and it saved us tons of money. Definitely worth it for newcomers and even possibly residents who’ve just never gone to the attractions!

    • Hi Penelope, Thanks for reading. We do feel the Pass offer both great value for money and also a very convenient way of structuring your break.

      Its amazing how sometimes residents of places have never actually taken the time to visit the attractions on their doorsteps. Its a phenomenon world wide we find.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Being from New York, I can attest to the fact that it’s ultra expensive to do anything or go anywhere in NYC. is explorer pass looks like a good deal. Having to choose from a package deal or building your own are great choices. You really have to go through everything to make the best decisions. Are there any money back guarantees?

    • Hi Rob,

      Thanks for confirming how expensive New York can be. The costs certainly do rack up and that’s why these passes are such a great Idea.

      Smart Destinations do indeed offer money back guarantees on Unused Passes, so If you choose not to use it You have a year to get your money back. Which is great should your trip be cancelled or postponed!

      Thanks for Reading

  3. My husband and are going to visit New York City (pending that it doesn’t rain us out) this weekend and I am sooo happy I found this! You are right that it can be a very expensive place to visit. This can save us so much money, can’t wait to show it to my husband.

    • Hi Jen,

      Glad we can help out. Hopefully the pass helps you get the best out of New York. I’m sure you will have a fantastic trip regardless of the weather, But a quick glance at the forecast shows the weather looks okay from Friday onward 🙂

      Enjoy Your trip, and be assured everyone here at is very jealous!

  4. Hello Steve-

    I like that you can use Explorer pass. I actually did not know about the land mark cruise. Will definitely try it next time I end up in New York. So does the Explorer Pass work everywhere in USA?

    Thank you for this informative post.

    • Hi, Glad you found the review informative. Hope you enjoy your next trip to New York.

      Sorry but no this Explorer pass is only valid for New York attractions. Other passes from this company and other are also available for other areas of the Country. We will be covering them in due Course.

  5. I had no idea a product like this even existed. I am not from the USA and me and my girlfriend want to do some traveling soon. Unfortunately my country has a very poor exchange rate so something like this would save us a lot.
    My girlfriend is a sucker for the sights and attractions so the pass will be a must.


    • Hi, Jean.

      Glad we have been able to enlighten you to the existence of these passes. Remember there are a few available for New york. You may like to read our comparison guide?

      Hopefully, a pass will help you and your girlfriend enjoy your travels even more! We can certainly Sympathise with your Exchange rate issues!

    • Well, The Explorer pass is quite a bit more than a tour round the city, its entry to some of the best and most expensive attraction within the City. Of course, if all you wanted was to look around the City we would recommend doing this just on public transport for next to nothing. But if you are wanting to visit all the attraction and experiences Passes such as these can save an Awful lot of money.

  6. This sounds fantastic and a much cheaper way to see the city, but I’m a bit bummed by the whole QR code thing. I like to keep souvenir tickets from my travels, but oh well. I’m a bit navigationally challenged, does the pass come with some kind of map or location advice on how to get from place to place?


  7. You’ve done an amazing job, Steve!
    This information is a piece of gold for travellers! I was in New York twice, but without much of a planning. When my wife and I was looking for the info where to go – we found plenty of it from different sources and got overwhelmed.
    You provide info giving advantages and disadvantages which I like very much. Nice to see different options.
    Great info!
    Are you going to add more cities? 🙂

    • Hi, Vitaliy, Thank you for reading glad you found the post helpful. Sorry you didn’t find us before your trip!

      Yes we will be adding lots of other city’s our goal is to make it easier and better to visit any City in the United States.

  8. Hi Steve,

    Great review, I was just looking for sometime like that since i’m about to travel to NYC next week.

    Regarding the 9/11 Museum, you say that is not included, only the 9/11 Tribute. I was looking on their website and there they say that’s included (see link below). Perhaps meanwhile there was an update?

    I’m thinking about purchase the 7 choice pass. Can I go to any of the attractions mentioned on their website (as long as they are 7) or there is any restriction?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Look forward to hear fro you:)


    • Hi Paula,

      As you say, They have indeed updated the their list of attractions in the last few months, Smart destinations are rapidly growing their brand and adding attractions and cities all the time. Indeed they have now added the 911 Memorial and Museum to their New York Line up. Which is great news as really it was one area the pass was lacking compared to their rivals. We will update our review accordingly thanks for bringing this to our attention.

      You can certainly visit any of the attractions on their list, the only restrictions we have sometimes found on smart destinations pass’s are some tour companies that offer multiple trips on the same pass, limit to one of their tours per day, but you can always do the other options on another day, We haven’t found this on the New York explorer but it may be in the fine print of some attractions. Some of their other pass’s also offer premium options where you need to choose but this is not the case on the New York pass. You are free to choose ANY selection of 7 attractions (or whatever number you have purchased) within the 30 day period following your first choice.

      We know you are going to have a Great time in New York whatever you choose, it’s such a great city.

      Thanks for reading

  9. Hi there,
    I have been thinking of visiting that part of the USA. I had no clue what a visit to New York entails. This post is a big eye opener for me. I will definitely make use of the savings tips you have given for transport and the places of interest. I really want to see the Statue of Liberty!

    • Hi Juliet,

      The Statue of liberty is certainly a fantastic place to visit. It’s probably the most iconic landmark in the world. Glad you liked the article and hope you have a fantastic trip when you finally make it to New York

      Thanks for reading

  10. Thank you, I didn’t know about these passes before reading your article. I went to New York City last year and had a great time visiting many of those attractions. They can be very costly. Especially when you want to visit many different attractions.

    I will definitely consider these passes on my next trip. My only concern will be feeling that I have to visit that next attraction to get my money’s worth from the pass vs doing something else that is not part of the pass.

    • Hi Steve,

      Yes there is always the temptation to chase the pass to get your moneys worth but the good thing with the Explorer pass is you can easily plan which attractions you really want to visit and only pay for those. That way if you want o spend an afternoon exploring central park or shopping or something else that’s fine as you haven’t lost any pass time, the attractions are still waiting to be used. All it takes is some honest planning, and the Pass helps greatly as a guide to your planning.

      Hope you enjoy your next visit

      Thanks for reading

  11. Ok well, I’m impressed with this already! I have family that lives in Manhattan and part of my family visits New York at least 1-2 x per year. The passes will help offset some of the expense for sure. Thank you so much for putting this all together. Much appreciated.

    • Hi Leigh,

      Glad you like the pass, We often don’t think these will be of use to people who actually live in Manhattan as they tend to avoid tourist locations. Of course for those with family from outside the city they probably have LOTS of visits all of which wanting to see the Tourist sites like everyone else!

      Hope you find the pass useful and helps you save some money. 

      Thanks for reading.

  12. Hi there and what a great review of the New Your attractions pass. You really have gone in depth and covered all bases. New York is on my top destinations to go to as it just looks like an amazing city with so much energy and fantastic places to visit. Plus it is the setting for so many of my favoritr famous films, so it would be a very surreal place for me. I love the fact that the pass now incorporates the 9/11 memorial museum as that would be a must do sight for me. Also, How amazing do those observation deck look. Wow!

    • Hi Stefanie,

      We can certainly confirm New York is really amazing. Yes we found as do most people even simple things take on a whole new meaning as you have seen them so many times on screen! You will also find new found enjoyment in re watching your favourites films as you notice places you have seen that you never noticed before!

      Yes the 9/11 Museum was a big let down of this pass so it’s great to see that added now.

      The Observations decks do look impressive, but let me assure you they are 100x better being up there in person!

      Hope you make it to New York soon

      Thanks for Reading.

  13. Thanks for putting out such an extensive account of the passes.

    I had a few questions:
    – Where can I get alist of the timed attractions?
    – Where can I get a list of attractions where there is a special queue for pass holders
    – How does one use the pass at the TOTR and ESB?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Adam,

      Thanks for the comment. We don’t know of any comprehensive lists of what you have mentioned. While quite a few of the attractions require Timed tickets for most it’s just a case of getting the NEXT tour. For most attractions apart from at very busy times, this is basically instant access. We think a full list of Timed attractions and Express lines would be very useful but with 78 attractions at present that will take some time to compile. For now, when viewing any of the attractions there is a details tab listing details of how to redeem the attraction.

      Check out our Top Of The Rock Review and Empire State building Experience posts for info on how the Ticketing works. In short, the Empire State building the pass works as a ticket and you simply head up, Bypassing the Ticket line. For the TOTR You have a dedicated VIP Queue line to get a Timed Ticket to head to the top.



  14. I’m definitely going to put this website in my favorites bar! My boyfriend and I are always trying to find ways to save money while traveling, and this is beyond helpful. New York might have to be one of the first places on our list now, thanks to this article. I never knew the passes existed!

    • Hi Sara,

      Glad you appreciate the site, we have loads of money saving tips on the site for New York and the other Featured Citys. Hope you get to Visit New York soon. It is such an incredible City, We have just booked our next trip to the City and simply can’t wait! We will definitely be using a Pass when we visit the City.

      Thanks for reading


  15. Very informative article. I have been to NYC many times and had no idea such a thing existed but what a brilliant idea so you can chose destinations within the city that you would not normally go to outside the popular tourist spots. The price is also very reasonable with a ton of value. Thankful for this information. Lyndsay

    • Hi Lyndsay,

      Glad yo see you like the idea of the Pass. One of the advantages is that you can experience things you maybe wouldn’t do or even be aware of without the Pass. Hope you make it to New York Soon and can enjoy the advantages of the Pass.

      Thanks for reading.

  16. It surprises me how passes like this get a bad wrap. Having read your article and checked out the various options, I find the pass prices very reasonable. Coming from Australia where I think we’ve become a very expensive country in the last 10-15 years, the cost of visiting 3-5 attraction plus all the travel around the city of New York is very acceptable. I visited San Francisco earlier this year, unfortunately not long enough to look at passes for this length of time in the area. Does San Fran also have these passes?

    • Hi Nigel,

      It is the usual case of a few bad experiences and those people shout loudest. A pass can work out badly if you don’t plan well and just expect instant entry at the attractions even a silly busy times. This leads to people being disappointed and these are the ones who shout loudest. The many thousands who have a great trip just get on with their lives. We found no correlation with the complaints at to our own experiences. The pass worked fantastically. We are Back in New York in November and will definitely be using a Pass.

      Most Cities in the US have Passes available and San Francisco is no exception. You can read about the San Francisco Pass options here.

      Thanks for reading


  17. My wife and I have always wanted to visit NYC and are planning a trip in the fall. There is so much history and so many cool things to see. We have used city passes before in San Diego and I think there is a lot of value there. You don’t have to pay each time you want to go do something which is nice. Also, I like the variety of attractions that is available with these passes. For someone like me who doesn’t necessarily know what exactly to see, this pass kind of has it laid out for you. The pass has a lot of the big attractions and some that I probably wouldn’t otherwise know of. Very interesting read, thank you for sharing.

    • One of the First things that attracted us to the Pass, years ago, apart from the cost saving was the fact it helped us plan our trip and decide on what to do. Often when visiting a new place you don’t know exactly what there is to see and do. These passes really help you plan out your trip. 

      Hope your trip in the Fall is as amazing as out first trip was. We too are heading back in the Fall. Really can’t wait.

      Thanks for reading,



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