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

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This post attempts to answer the question about whether or not the All-Inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass is worth purchasing.

We’ll explain how the pass works, which attractions are included, the best ways to save money, and whether or not this is the best discount service for your needs.

 

 
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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: $139/Adults | $129/Children
  • 2-Day Pass: $199/Adults | $184/Children
    • Price per Day: $99.50/Adults | $92/Children
  • 3-Day Pass: $279/Adults | $220/Children
    • Price per Day: $93/Adults | $73.33/Children
  • 4-Day Pass: $309/Adults | $250/Children
    • Price per Day: $77.25/Adults | $62.50/Children
  • 5-Day Pass: $349/Adults | $264/Children
    • Price per Day: $69.80/Adults | $52.80/Children
  • 6-Day Pass: $389/Adults | $270/Children
    • Price per Day: $64.83/Adults | $45/Children
  • 7-Day Pass: $419/Adults | $280/Children
    • Price per Day: $59.86/Adults | $40/Children
  • 10-Day Pass: $459/Adults | $329/Children
    • Price per Day: $45.90/Adults | $32.90/Children

The best deal available is the 10-day pass, which only costs $45.90 per day. Even if you only plan to spend 7 days in the city, that option will cost just $59.86 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 discount 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 New York Sightseeing Flex Pass will require you to pay $22 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 appOnce 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 which 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 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.

That said, with over 100 different 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.

That said, 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:

  • Top of the Rock
    • Normal Price: $41/Adults | $35/Children
  • Empire State Building
    • Normal Price: $42/Adults | $36/Children
  • One World Observatory
    • Normal Price: $38/Adults | $31/Children
  • City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
    • Normal Price: $59/Adults | $49/Children
  • NYC TV & Movie Bus Tour
    • Normal Price: $51/Adults | $35/Children
  • Luna Park 24 Ride Pass
    • Normal Price: $69/Adults | $42/Children
  • Madame Tussauds
    • Normal Price: $37/Adults | $30/Children
  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not
    • Normal Price: $29.95/Adults | $22.95/Children
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
    • Normal Price: $18.50/Adults | $9/Children
  • Clipper City Sailing Cruise
    • Normal Price: $45/Adults | $25/Children

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: $27/Adults | $22/Children
  • Clipper City Jazz Cruise
    • Normal Price: $55/Adults | $25/Children
  • Bronx Zoo
    • Normal Price: $22.95/Adults | $14.95/Children
  • Hornblower Cruises: Alive After Five
    • Normal Price: $37/Adults | $30/Children
  • LOL Times Square Comedy Club
    • Normal Price: $30 per person
  • Escape Game New York
    • Normal Price: $42 per person

This pass also includes a $40 credit on CitySightsNY.com which you can put toward pretty much any of the products on their site.

New York Sightseeing Pass can’t partner with everyone, so they offer this credit to give you more opportunities to enjoy activities of interest that may not be included with their service otherwise.

If the price of the attraction or activity you choose on CitySightsNY is more than $40, you’ll have to make up the difference yourself.

However, if it’s under $40, the entire cost will be covered by this pass.

 


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 take a look at the best possible price per day with the all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass: $45.90.

While there are several activities at around the $30-$40 price range included on this pass, if you were to use it just to visit an attraction like One World Observatory (normally $38), 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 $28.

When you combine the price of both attractions, you’d be paying $66 without any discounts.

But, if you get the 10-day all-inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass, you’d only pay $45.90 to visit both landmarks, which is about 30% off.

The only issue with this method of discount is that you really have to devote some time to making use of the pass.

If you’d rather take it easy and explore the city at your own 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 discount 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 ($69.80 per day):

All Inclusive New York Pass Sample Itinerary

Day One

  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour | $59
  • Hop-on Hop-off Cruise | $35
  • One World Observatory | $38
  • 9/11 Museum & Memorial | $28

Day Two

  • Empire State Building | $42
  • Madame Tussauds | $37
  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey | $39.50
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Times Square | $25

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Total Value: $670

Total Price: $349

Total Savings: $321 (48% 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 also add more activities to this itinerary and get an even bigger discount!

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 discount 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 which 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 a majority 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 a full 30 days!

 


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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: October 3rd, 2021
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