Company Logo - Home Link

Is the New York Sightseeing Pass All-Inclusive Worth it?

Updated: April 19, 2024

As local walking tour guides who like to go to New York City’s attractions, we know that some of them can cost quite a bit of money. So we are always on the lookout for ways to save on tickets.

In this post, we share our thoughts on the All-Inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass and whether or not it is worth purchasing.

We explain how the pass works and how much it costs, which attractions are included and the best ways to use it to maximize savings.

To provide you with the tourist perspective, we asked the roughly 230,000 members of our popular NYC Travel Tips Facebook group to offer their opinions on this pass. You can see what they say at the bottom of the post.

The group consists of locals, regular visitors to NYC, and those just getting to know the city.

There's no need to join to read the recommendations. So take a look at our group for more ideas or ask a question yourself!

 
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


HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The all-inclusive version of the New York Sightseeing Pass allows you to pay one flat price for hundreds of popular attractions and activities in NYC.

The all-inclusive version of this pass charges per day instead of per activity, which means it includes all of the attractions provided for a limited time.

Here are the prices for each day pass:

  • 1-Day Pass: $149/Adults | $124/Children
  • 2-Day Pass: $254/Adults | $139/Children
    • Price per Day: $127/Adults | $69.50/Children
  • 3-Day Pass: $334/Adults | $209/Children
    • Price per Day: $111.33/Adults | $69.66/Children
  • 4-Day Pass: $384/Adults | $244/Children
    • Price per Day: $96/Adults | $61/Children
  • 5-Day Pass: $424/Adults | $274/Children
    • Price per Day: $84.80/Adults | $54.80/Children
  • 6-Day Pass: $454/Adults | $304/Children
    • Price per Day: $75.66/Adults | $50.66/Children
  • 7-Day Pass: $489/Adults | $349/Children
    • Price per Day: $69.85/Adults | $49.85/Children
  • 10-Day Pass: $549/Adults | $379/Children
    • Price per Day: $54.90/Adults | $37.90/Children

The best deal available is the 10-day pass, which only costs $54.90 per day. Even if you only plan to spend 7 days in the city, that option will cost just $69.85 per day.

Since some of the attractions included with this pass cost more than $50, it’s easy to see how you could start saving money just by using this pass for 1-2 activities on each day you spend in NYC.

You’ll get the best concession by choosing the most expensive attractions and tours on the pass.

But, you can also add in a few of the more affordable activities without worrying about whether or not you’re saving money.

In comparison, the best deal available on the 10-day New York Sightseeing Flex Pass will require you to pay $27 per activity, which means anything that costs less than that simply isn’t worth it.


HOW DOES IT WORK?

Much like the flex version, the all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass is available via either their mobile app or with a print-out you can use at each attraction.

Sightseeing Pass app

Once activated, you can visit most of the activities and attractions included without making reservations and some sites even offer skip-the-line privileges. 

However, there are a few tours and attractions that will require reservations, so make sure to check the activity on their app before heading out.


How long is it valid?

The all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass is valid for the amount of time indicated with the pass.

If you buy a 1-day pass, it will be valid for 1 day; however, if you purchase a 7-day pass, it will be valid for 7 days.

It’s worth noting that if you activate your 1-day pass at 7 pm, it will only be valid for the rest of that day until Midnight (12 am) – not until 7 pm the next day.

That said, no matter when you buy the pass and how long it is valid, you’ll have a total of 24 months to activate it, making this potentially a great gift idea.

If you end up deciding not to use it within that 24-month period, you can return the pass for a full refund when insurance is purchased. 

Insurance will cost 4% of the total order value, so if you purchase the most expensive option, you can expect to pay a little over $18 for this additional service.


Are there any limitations?

The only real limitation is that you aren’t allowed to make multiple entries. 

What this means is that you can’t visit the same attraction more than once with this pass, and it’s only valid for one entry or ticket per activity.

But with over 100 attractions included on the pass, you probably won’t run out of things to do even with this limitation!


TOP ATTRACTIONS

With over 100 notable attractions and activities to choose from, chances are you won’t even be able to use the all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass for everything included.

Naturally, there are some tours, historic sites, and other services that are unquestionably more popular than others. 

Top Attractions for All Inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass

Here are a few of the best attractions available with this tourist pass:

Additionally, this pass also includes a lot of exclusive tours, cruises, and services that aren’t provided by any other tourist pass in NYC.

Here are a few of the best examples:

  • NY Aquarium
    • Normal Price: $30/Adults | $26/Children
  • Central Park Zoo
    • Normal Price: $14/Adults | $9/Children
  • Bronx Zoo
    • Normal Price: $26.95/Adults | $18.95/Children
  • The Cauldron NYC - Potion Making for Beginners
    • Normal Price: $59.87/Adults | $27/Children
  • NYC Downtown Sightseeing Cruise
    • Normal Price: $30/Adults | $30/Children
  • Solve a Mystery NYC
    • Normal Price: $20/Adults | $20/Children

Special Offers

In addition to all the attractions included at no extra cost with this pass, you'll also receive a variety of concessions and special offers at restaurants, stores, and venues all over New York City.

Here are a few of the best deals they provide to all pass holders:

  • Bloomingdale's - 59th Street | 15% off
  • Broadway Comedy Club | 20% off
  • Drunk Shakespeare | 35% off
  • Greenwich Village Comedy Club | 20% off
  • Macy's - Herald Square | 15% off sale and clearance items
  • Nannybag Luggage Storage | 20% off
  • Bounce Luggage Storage | 10% off
  • FAO Schwarz | Free Gift Card
  • NYC Gifts & Luggage | Free postcard
  • Redeye Grill | 10% off all food and beverage
  • Shabu Garden | 20% off your bill

They also offer several concessions at The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, which is right next to the Edge Observation Deck.

If you plan to visit this attraction, the New York Sightseeing Pass will help you save money on any shopping you do in the area!


IS THE PASS WORTH THE MONEY?

Ultimately, this all depends on how you use the pass because you’re paying per day and you’ll have to use this service for at least a few activities each day to save a decent amount of money.

To give you an idea of what we mean, let’s look at the best possible price per day with the all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass: $54.90.

While there are several activities at around the $30-$50 price range included on this pass, if you were to use it just to visit an attraction like One World Observatory (normally $47.26), you wouldn’t be saving any money.

However, if you use the pass for 2 or more activities, it’s easy to see how the savings could start adding up.

In that scenario, since you’d be near One World Observatory, another great choice would be the 9/11 Museum which usually costs $37.

When you combine the prices of both attractions, you’d be paying $84.26 without any concessions.

But, if you get the 10-day all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass, you’d only pay $54.90 to visit both landmarks, which is about 35% off.

The only issue with this method of concession is that you have to devote some time to using the pass.

If you’d rather take it easy and explore the city at your leisure, you might find the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass works a bit better for your needs.

That being said, if you plan to visit at least 2-3 different attractions or perhaps even just 1 attraction and a tour, chances are this tourist pass will save you a lot of money.

Even if you don’t get the 10-day pass, you should still be able to enjoy a nice concession with the shorter passes as well, provided you use them for enough services each day.

To show you what we mean, here’s a sample itinerary with the 5-Day Pass ($89.40 per day):

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Total Value: $857

Total Price: $394

Total Savings: $463 (54% off)

As you can see, the all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass can save you a lot of money.

Even if you cut a few things out of this itinerary due to time restraints, chances are you’d still be able to save at least 40% off.

Alternatively, you could add more activities to this itinerary and get an even bigger concession!

That’s the nice thing about this all-inclusive pass – you’re totally in control of how much money you save. 

All we can do is show you how the pass could be used, but you could use it even more efficiently than this and end up saving 50% - 60% or more!

Of course, if you do try to get the best possible value out of the pass, you might have to limit how much time you spend enjoying each activity.

Some travelers won’t want to sacrifice their time at certain attractions just for the sake of saving a few extra dollars.

With that in mind, it’ll be important to ask yourself a few questions before deciding whether or not the all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass is the best service for your needs.

  • How long will you be in NYC?

If you’ve only got a short amount of time to spend in NYC, and you plan to visit as many attractions as possible while you’re here, this tourist pass is an excellent option.

However, if you’d rather take your time exploring and seeing all the landmarks in this city, the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass is valid for 30 days and it’s a much better choice.

  • What do you want to do?

If you’re only interested in visiting a few locations in New York City, this pass might not save you a lot of money. 

Your concession is limited to how much you plan to use the pass, so even if you choose more expensive activities, you may find that you aren’t saving much with this service if you only use it for a few things.

We recommend the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass for anyone who would much rather pay for the specific attractions and tours they want, as this type of pass allows you to pick only the tickets that interest you.

  • How much do tickets cost?

Although this isn’t as much of a concern with an all-inclusive pass, the more big-ticket items you use it for, the more money you’ll end up saving in the end.

If most of the attractions you want to visit are already pretty cheap, you may want to consider another type of tourist pass.

  • How do you plan to get around?

Even though this pass includes a hop-on hop-off bus tour, NYC is very big and it can take a lot of time to get from one side of Manhattan to the other.

It will be important to consider how you plan to get around the city and to keep the travel time in mind when deciding which activities to enjoy each day.

The most effective way to use this pass will be to visit attractions that are clumped together, in areas such as Times Square, One World Observatory, Central Park, and more.

If the locations you want to visit are far enough apart that travel time will be a major factor, consider the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass instead for a service that lasts for a full 30 days!


TIPS FROM LOCALS AND TRAVELERS

We hope this post provided enough information to help you decide if this pass is right for you.

But we think the opinions and tips from members of our New York Travel Tips group on Facebook will give you more insight from those who have purchased this pass.

As you already know, the point of buying the All-Inclusive Sightseeing Pass is to save money.

Here, Samantha was traveling in a group of 5 people and purchased a pass for each. 

The group went to 12 top attractions over 5 days and the pass helped her save over $1,000! Plus, she found the pass was easy to use. It’s nice to save money and have a smooth visit!

Yet another example of savings to be had from Justine, a traveler from the United Kingdom (in US dollars, she saved over $500).

Group member Michelle recommends seeing as much as possible. Like our suggestion above, she suggests that you visit attractions in the same area on the same day to cut down travel time between each to maximize your time.

Amanda recommends you make a list of attractions you want to see, look at ticket costs without the pass, and then choose your attractions based on how much money you’ll save by using the pass.

Then pack in as much as possible!

There are more than 150 attractions included in the pass. Here is a sample of what group member Nik saw using the pass -- four (!) observation decks plus multiple tours and museums.

We will leave you with the thoughts and tips from a group member, Sharon, who was skeptical about purchasing any kind of pass, but then the All-Inclusive NY Sightseeing Pass won her over as it saved her a lot of money!

An important tip from her: check the link included with your confirmation email to see which attractions you can reserve in advance, rather than relying solely on the app.

If you have any more questions about the All-Inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass (or anything else about NYC) that we haven't covered here, check out our New York Travel Tips Facebook group! Ask a question -- you will get lots of answers!


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: April 19th, 2024
Back to Top
cross