Company Logo - Home Link

New York Sightseeing Pass | All-Inclusive vs Flex Pass

Book A Guided Walking Tour

This post provides information about the two different options available with the New York Sightseeing Pass: both the All-Inclusive and Flex Pass.

We also include a few suggestions for which version you might want to choose.

Let's get started!

 

 


Overview

The New York Sightseeing Pass offers two different versions of their service, and although each one provides discounts on pretty much the same activities, you may want to consider which pass to purchase.

Here is a brief explanation of how each type of discount pass works:


All-Inclusive

This pass provides access to every attraction included with their service (100+) for a specific number of days.

Currently, the New York Sightseeing All-Inclusive Pass is known as their Day Pass. The New York Sightseeing Day Pass is available for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 10 days at a time.

 

Sightseeing Pass New York All-Inclusive

 

So what's the catch?

Well, if you wanted to take advantage of everything available on the pass, you'd have to get either the 7 or 10-day pass and commit to over 10 activities per day.

It's unlikely anyone has the time or energy for that, and it's far more likely that you'll use it for 5 or 6 attractions each day at most.

That said, depending on which activities you use this all-inclusive service to access, you'll almost certainly save money using this version of the New York Sightseeing Pass, and you'll absolutely save time.

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 consecutive 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.

Depending on which activities you choose and how you use this pass, you could save up to (or potentially more than) 50% off all your tickets.


Flex Pass

The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass allows you to pay one flat price for a set number of activities and attractions in NYC (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, or 12).

Although the activities you can choose from are the same as those available through the All-Inclusive pass, this service differs from the New York Sightseeing Day Pass in that you're paying for a specific number of attractions rather than unlimited access to all of them.

 

New York Sightseeing Flex Pass

 

This might not seem like as good of a deal, but it might be a better option depending on how long you are going to be in New York City and how much time you have for activities.

For example, if you only have a few days and you plan to use the pass for some of the more expensive attractions available, the flex pass offers an easy way to save money on tickets without worrying about getting as much value as possible out of an all-inclusive pass.

It's also worth noting that the flex pass is valid for a total of 60 days, so if you're going to be in NYC for a while, but you'll only have a limited amount of time for activities, this service might be preferable. 

The only real flaw with this type of pass is that you need to use it almost exclusively for expensive attractions if you want to save money.

Some of the attractions available are actually less expensive than you'll be paying per activity with the flex pass, so it will be important to consider how much each of your choices will actually cost you beforehand.

That said, provided you use it for activities that are typically in the $30-$40 range, you'll probably save at least 40% - 50% off general admission prices.

Limitations and Terms of Service for Both Passes

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.

The NYC Sightseeing Flex Pass App

 

That said, one of the nice things about these discount passes is that some of the attractions they offer will provide skip-the-line access, which means you don't even have to get in line to purchase tickets.

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

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.


Although there are over 100 attractions and activities included with each New York Sightseeing Pass, some services are more popular and expensive than others, which means they'll also be a better deal!

 

Top Attractions for All Inclusive New York Sightseeing Pass

 

Here are some 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.


All-Inclusive NY Sightseeing Pass Prices

When using this pass, one of the most important things to consider is how much you're paying for the service per day.

You'll have to use the pass for more than it costs each day in order to start saving money.

With that in mind, this section covers the price of each New York Sightseeing Day Pass as well as the price you'll pay each day.

  • 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

Purchase the New York Sightseeing Day Pass or learn more.

Even when you're getting the best possible deal at $45.90 per day, you'll still have to use the pass for multiple activities each day to save a lot of money.

While the 1-Day Pass is arguably the worst deal of the bunch, you could still save money if you used it for at least 4-5 activities that day.

 

All Inclusive New York Pass Sample Itinerary

 

At an average cost of $30-$40 per ticket for the most expensive attractions, you'll need to use this pass for at least 6-8 activities per day with the 1-3 day passes in order to save close to 50% off general admission prices.

This might be a challenge for some, but if you're a very energetic person, chances are you can make it happen. Heck, you might even enjoy the challenge!


NY Sightseeing Flex Pass Prices

Much like the all-inclusive version of this service, it will be important to think about how much you're paying per activity with this pass.

The following section will provide the price of each pass as well as the price per attraction.

  • 2 Attractions: $74/Adults | $51/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $37/Adults | $25.50/Children
  • 3 Attractions: $99/Adults | $70/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $33/Adults | €23.30/Children
  • 4 Attractions: $124/Adults | $89/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $31/Adults | $22.25/Children
  • 5 Attractions: $144/Adults | $107/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $28.80/Adults | $21.40/Children
  • 6 Attractions: $164/Adults | $124/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $27.33/Adults | $20.66/Children
  • 7 Attractions: $184/Adults | $139/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $26.29/Adults | $19.86/Children
  • 10 Attractions: $234/Adults | $179/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $23.40/Adults | $17.90/Children
  • 12 Attractions: $264/Adults | $209/Children
    • Price per Attraction: $22/Adults | $17.42/Children

Purchase the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass or learn more.

Once again, you'll get the best deal by purchasing the most expensive pass, which will bring the total cost per activity down to just $22.

 

 

However, if you choose the 2-4 attraction options, you'll be paying between $30-$40 for each attraction, and there are only a few activities provided that would save you any money at that rate.

The best way to save a decent amount of money is with the 5-12 attraction pass options. The size of your discount will depend entirely on what you choose to do with your pass.


Which Should You Buy?

The answer to this question depends entirely upon how you plan to spend your time in New York City.

If you're a bargain hunter willing to go the extra mile (perhaps literally) for a good deal, the all-inclusive pass will probably be a better option simply because the amount you save is entirely up to how much you plan to do each day.

 

The Sightseeing Flex Pass

 

However, if you're coming to NYC on business and you will only have a few opportunities to do some sightseeing, the Flex Pass could be a more reasonable choice depending on how many attractions you choose.

The Flex Pass could also be good for people who are going to be in NYC for a month or two, because the service lasts for 60 days, giving you all the time you need to see everything you want at a discount.

For more thoughts on this subject, listen to tour guides Lori and Katherine discuss these passes on an episode of our NYC Travel Tips podcast.

 

 

This podcast offers bite-sized audio clips with tips on how to plan your trip to NYC. You can get our podcasts on AppleGoogle, or wherever you get your podcasts.


 

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
Back to Top
cross