This post provides information about how to use the New York Sightseeing Pass, a tourist attraction discount pass.
We cover prices, how it works, and advice about whether or not this service is right for you.
- How Much Does it Cost?
- How Does it Work?
- Top Attractions
- Is it Worth it?
- Things to Do in NYC
Disclosure: We think you should consider our free tours, but we have also provided other options. While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.
The flex version of the New York Sightseeing Pass is a service that allows you to pay one flat price (so 1 ticket) for a set number of activities and attractions in New York City.
There are over 100 attractions and activities to choose from, and you don’t need to choose them at the time of purchase.
You also have up to 30 days to use the pass.
Several options also offer skip-the-line privileges, which can save you time, particularly in peak tourist season.
Overall, the Flex Pass offers good savings if you are smart about your choices, as some options are actually cheaper to pay full price for.
In our estimation, flex passes like this one are the best choice for most visitors to the Big Apple who are looking for a discount pass.
For many, this pass offers the best balance of options, flexibility, and savings.
We’ll go into more detail about the ins and outs of this service in the following sections.
The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass charges per number of attractions rather than per day, and the prices for each level of the pass are as follows:
- 2 Attractions: $79/Adults | $60/Children | Price per Attraction: $39.50/Adults | $30.00/Children
- 3 Attractions: $109/Adults | $85/Children | Price per Attraction: $36.33/Adults | $28.30/Children
- 4 Attractions: $144/Adults | $109/Children | Price per Attraction: $36/Adults | $27.25/Children
- 5 Attractions: $169/Adults | $124/Children | Price per Attraction: $33.80/Adults | $24.80/Children
- 6 Attractions: $189/Adults | $139/Children | Price per Attraction: $31.50/Adults | $23.17/Children
- 7 Attractions: $209/Adults | $155/Children | Price per Attraction: $29.86/Adults | $22.14/Children
- 10 Attractions: $259/Adults | $200/Children | Price per Attraction: $25.90/Adults | $20.00/Children
- 12 Attractions: $289/Adults | $220/Children | Price per Attraction: $24.08/Adults | $18.33/Children
As you can see, the price per attraction with the pass works out to between $24.08 - $39.50 for adults and $18.33-$30.00 for children, with the price dependent on which pass you choose.
While that’s a low price for access to many of the attractions, there are at least a few activities that cost less than the pass.
For example, if you are only visiting the Statue of Liberty during your trip, that costs $23.50. In that case, a pass wouldn't be worth it.
By the way, be sure to confirm the above prices on the Sightseeing Pass's website. There are often flash deals that make the pass even cheaper.
The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass comes in the form of either a mobile app (a digital pass) or a paper pass.
Once you have the pass activated, either printed out or on your phone, you simply present it at each attraction/activity you wish to visit for entry.
As mentioned above, you do not need to choose your attractions and activities at the time of purchase.
This is actually a nice benefit, as you can be flexible with your time in NYC.
Some activities (such as tours) will require you to reserve your ticket ahead of time, but most services will be available immediately after showing your pass at each attraction.
There are also some locations that offer skip-the-line privileges, which means you won’t even have to wait in the ticket line!
How long is it valid?
Once activated, this tourist pass is valid for a total of 30 days, which also adds flexibility to your scheduling.
And there's a cancellation policy of sorts. As long as you don’t activate it, your pass is refundable (with the purchase of insurance) for any reason for up to 24 full months.
Insurance can be purchased for just 4% of the total order value, which means that at most it’ll cost about $10.
Are there any limitations?
Multiple entries to a single attraction or activity isnot allowed.
For example, if you get the 7-attraction pass, you’ll have to use it for 7 separate (included) attractions or activities.
There are around 150 popular tours, museums, historic sites, and other things to see and do included with the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass.
As a reminder, the price per attraction is between $24.08 - $39.50 for adults and $18.33 - $30.00 for children, depending on the pass chosen.
Here is the cost*, without a pass, to enter some of the most popular attractions. You can use these for comparison purposes.
- Top of the Rock
- Normal Price: $40/Adults | $34/Children
- Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
- Normal Price: $54/Adults | $45/Children
- One World Observatory
- Normal Price: $39/Adults | $31/Children
- Madame Tussauds
- Normal Price: $43.99/Adults | $43.99/Children
- Empire State Building
- Normal Price: $44/Adults | $38/Children
- NYC TV & Movie Bus Tour
- Normal Price: $61/Adults | $45/Children
- Clipper City Sailing Cruise
- Normal Price: $78/Adults | $25/Children
- Normal Price: $39/Adults | $32/Children
- Edge Observation Deck
- Normal Price: $36/Adults | $31/Children
Some of the other most popular attractions include: the Central Park Zoo, the Bronx Zoo, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, the New York Botanical Gardens, the Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and Luna Park at Coney Island.
It also includes bike tours and walking tours, such as a Brooklyn Bridge walking tour.
* Prices are as of September 2023. Discounts or recent price increases can affect savings.
Other Activities You Can Save On
Note that the pass also includes a lot of activities that aren’t offered by any other competitor.
Here are just a few examples:
- Escape Game New York
- Normal Price: $44.99 Adults and Children
- With Pass: $24.08/Adults | $18.33/Children
- Hornblower Cruises: Alive After Five
- Normal Price: $52/Adults | $49/Children
- With Pass: $24.08/Adults | $18.33/Children
- LOL Times Square Comedy Club
- Normal Price: $25.05 per person
- With Pass: $24.08/Adults | NA for Children
- NY Aquarium
- Normal Price: $29.95/Adults | $25.95/Children
- With Pass: $24.08/Adults | $18.33/Children
- The Cauldron NYC: Potion Making for Beginners
- Normal Price: $49.99/Adults and Children
- With Pass: $24.08/Adults | $18.33 Children
In addition to these exclusive attractions, the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass also includes several discounts at a variety of different stores, restaurants, bars, clubs, and other locations.
Here are some of the best discounts currently available:
- Bloomingdale's - 59th Street | 15% off
- Broadway Comedy Club | 20% off
- Drunk Shakespeare | 35% off
- Greenwich Village Comedy Club | 20% off
- LOL Times Square Comedy Club | 10% off food and drinks
- Nannybag Luggage Storage | 20% off
It should also be noted that this pass provides several discounts at The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards.
So, if you're planning to visit that area, you can expect to receive free champagne, free samples, and up to 20% off at certain locations.
The answer to this question really depends on how you intend to use the pass.
This flex pass requires you to pay between $24.08 - $39.50 for adults and $18.33 - $30.00 for children per attraction/activity, depending on the pass you purchase.
IMPORTANT: Prices are as of September 2023. Discounts or recent price increases can affect savings.
So, it’s really easy to calculate how much you could be saving (or paying extra).
To illustrate the savings, the average cost of each activity we have listed in our top attractions section is about $49.
If you purchased the 12-attraction pass ($24.08 per attraction for adults), you’d be saving roughly 50% off general admission prices!
Even just a 5 attraction pass would save you at least $8-$10 off each ticket (roughly 25-30% savings).
Lastly, consider our pay-what-you-wish walking and food tours instead of choosing one in a tourist pass.
We offer over a dozen each day that cover much of the city.
You will save more with us than using one of your choices on an included paid tour.
Compared to the Go City New York Explorer Pass
This pass is very similar to the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass, as it also allows you to choose a certain number of attractions (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 10).
They do offer a few different services that you might not find on the Flex Pass, so it's worth taking a look to see if they are offering any attractions not included with this service.
The lowest price per attraction is $26.40/adults and $21.90/children, which is pretty comparable to the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass, but the subtle differences in attractions offered (such as the additional discounts) might make the Flex Pass a better choice.
For more details, please read our post covering the Go City New York Explorer Pass.
Compared to the All-Inclusive Passes
There are 2 all-inclusive passes available on the market, the NY Pass and the Sightseeing All-Inclusive Pass.
Both offer a similar array of tours and attractions as the Flex Pass but operate on a set # of days.
There are no caps on the # of options each day, only time limits on how much you can see and experience.
Both also offer the same flexibility, as choices don’t need to be made at the time of purchase.
You can save even more money with an all-inclusive pass, but you will need to stay very busy to realize these savings.
There is also a risk that you will underestimate both your stamina and the time it takes to travel from attraction to attraction, as well as the time you will want to spend at each location.
Compared to the CityPass
The New York CityPASS is somewhat similar to the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass in some ways, but it’s also much more limited.
This service includes 6 attractions for one low price, saving you approximately 32% off general admission prices.
Although you can choose between 2 different attractions for your last 3 choices, the first 3 activities included with the CityPASS cannot be altered, so if you’re not interested in them, it may not be a good alternative.
Prices for this pass fall between the 4-5 attraction pass from the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass, so it is nice that you can enjoy 6 attractions for less than the 6 attraction pass. But the lack of choice could be a big problem for some travelers.
It should also be noted that the CityPASS does not include a hop-on hop-off bus tour and some of the attractions are actually free depending on when you choose to visit.
If you’d rather have more control over which activities are on your itinerary, the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass is unquestionably the better option.
However, if you’re interested in each of the attractions included with the New York CityPASS, you may want to consider this as an alternative.
We created a post that reviews the NYC CityPass.