New York City Pass vs New York Explorer Pass


Planning to visit New York for the first time? Numerous sights and experiences are awaiting you!

From the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty to the Guggenheim Museum, the Big Apple has a lot to offer.

And as you plan your itinerary, you’d want a pass that’d help you see the best of its attractions without burning a hole in your wallet.  

And two passes may help you have the best of your trip: The New York City Pass and the Go City Explorer Pass

So which one’s better? Is New York City Pass worth it, or should you buy an Explorer Pass?

This article will compare both passes and help you make the best choice. 

New York City Pass vs Explorer Pass: a comparison

To compare the features of New York City Pass vs Explorer Pass have a look at this table:

PassNew York City PassNew York Explorer Pass
Price Starts from $121 per adult and $110 per childStarts from $98 per adult and $ 62 per child 
Duration9 days 60 days 
IncludeAdmission to five out of eight of New York attractions.Access to over 80 sights and attractions in New York.
Who is it for?First-time visitors, budget travelers, Small families and groups. First-time visitors/ flexible travelers/ repeat visitors/ Large families and groups.  
Where to book the pass in advance Click below to book the pass in advance. Click below to book the pass in advance.

Now let’s check out the details of both passes individually to help you buy the best New York city pass.

What is New York City Pass?

The New York City PASS is a sightseeing pass run by City Pass; this pass offers good value for money over many New York sites  

For example: Consider the prices of individual skip-the-line tickets to some New York attractions. 

New York Attractions Ticket Price ($)
Empire State Building $45
American Museum of Natural History$26
Intrepid Air and Space Museum $28
9/11 Memorial and Museum $29
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour $44

Together, these sites can cost you $172; with a New York City Pass, you can visit them all for $121 and save $42! 

With this pass you can score 40% off the total entry price 

So why pay extra when you can see the same attractions with one pass for less?

Go ahead and book your New York City PASS

New York City Pass Attractions

Your New York City Pass allows you free access to five out of eight New York attractions; these are:

Empire State Building 
American Museum of Natural History. 
Top of the Rock Observation Deck, or # Guggenheim Museum 
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry, or #Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
9/11 Memorial Museum or # Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

These are some of the best attractions in NYC, and there are others too.

Your New York City Pass can help you see only a few. Do you want a wider range of attractions? Then buy a New York Explorer Pass


The prices of your New York City Pass depend on the age of the visitor; here is a brief overview of its prices: 

Visitors’ AgePass Price
Adult (18+ Years) $121
Children’s (6-17 Years)$102

Note: Your New York City Pass allows free entry to children below five years of age.

How to use your New York City PASS

You have to book your pass online by choosing your date of visit and choosing the number of tickets you want to buy

Pay online by adding your New York City Pass to your cart and clicking on the checkout button.

Soon you will receive an email confirmation with a soft copy of your pass in your inbox. 

You can present your online ticket on mobile or print it out and show it at the included attractions.


Your New York City Pass allows free entry to five New York attractions for nine days.

Once activated, your pass will be valid throughout the period you have to view your attractions.

Want to stay and let New York linger on your mind a little longer? Then buy the New York Explorer Pass without delay!  

At Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry Access, you can book your tickets at Castle Clinton Ticket windows 2,3,4,5 in Battery Park or at either window in the Liberty State Park.

If you book Circle Line Sightseeing cruises, you can show your tickets at the 42nd street VIP ticket window at Pier 83. 

New York City Pass benefits

The New York Pass’s most significant benefit is that it allows you to visit the best New  York Attractions quickly. 

You are also paying for a combination instead of individual tickets; First-time visitors and budget travelers will love its money-saving benefits.

The New York pass is also flexible in allowing visitors to choose their attractions among six optional sites.

Hence if you are visiting New York for a short duration and want to add a particular site to your itinerary, this pass is your savior. 

Also, if you are traveling with a small family or group for a short holiday, you can buy this pass.

However, this pass’s biggest strength is its biggest drawback, i.e., its duration.

If you want an extended visit and are traveling in large groups, you need a New York Explorer Pass. 

What is New York Explorer Pass?

The New York Go City Explorer Pass, aka the New York Discount Card, is a sightseeing pass that helps you see most of New York’s attractions at an affordable price. 

Like the New York City Pass, the New York Explorer Pass provides you with at least 40% off on regular tickets.

You can pay once for multiple sites and see them taking as much time as you want.

Sounds attractive? Here’s more!    

New York Explorer Pass Attractions 

The New York Explorer Pass allows you to choose from over 90 attractions in New York; that’s more what New York City Pass covers. 

Here are some attractions you can visit using your New York Explorer Pass:

Empire State Building Top of the Rock Observatory 
Guggenheim Museum  The Edge 
Yankee StadiumMuseum of Modern Art 

These are just a few, there are many more which you can choose as per convenience. 

Please check out your attractions before visiting them as some have limited capacity and may need reservations in advance!  


Your New York Explorer Pass has multiple options depending on the number of attractions you want to visit. 

There are 3 ,5,and 7 attraction passes at your disposal and each have different prices; look below to compare: 

Pass (Number of Attractions)Ticket Price for AdultsTicket Price for Children 
3 choices$98$79
5 choices$154$126
7 choices$192$145

If you book  3 choices Pass, your New York Explorer Pass would appear as a more economical option to the New York City Pass.

However, if you book 7 choices Pass, the New York Explorer Pass would compare to be a more attractive option. 

The New York Explorer Pass offers you seven sites of your choice, however, the New York City Pass offers you an extra attraction at much less! 

How to use your New York Explorer Pass

To use your New York Explorer Pass, you’ll have to buy it online first!

Just choose the type and the number of New of Explorer Pass you want to buy and click on the checkout button. 

You will receive a confirmation email along with your pass in your inbox.

Show your digital pass at the entrance of the venues you are visiting, the authorities there will scan your pass and allow you direct entry.  


The New York Explorer Pass has a duration of 60 days during which you can visit your chosen attractions; this is more than that of the New York City Pass.

After activation, it is valid throughout your period of visit to New York. 

So, you should book a pass whose duration best fits your travel itinerary and expenses.

In case you shorten your stay in New York after booking your pass online, you will not be able to use your pass to the fullest. 

New York Explorer Pass benefits

Like the New York City Pass, the New York Explorer Pass gives easy and quick access to a lage number of New York attractions.

Although the New York City Pass is more budget-friendly, the Explorer Pass can help you save money on many attractions too!

And budget-conscious travelers know that there are expenses other than ticket costs; these passes can help you save money there.  

In comparison with the New York City Pass, the New York Explorer Pass offers greater flexibility in choosing sites.

With the New York Explorer Pass you can choose a maximum of 7 attractions out of 90, whereas you can choose only 5  from 8 attractions with New York City Pass. 

Repeat visitors wanting to see any particular site in New York will find the 3 choices Explorer Pass handy; it is even more affordable than the City Pass! 

Lastly, flexible travelers will appreciate the 60-day duration of this pass; they can visit a site one day and chill out later. 

Final Thoughts

Is the New York City Pass worth it? Or is New York Explorer Pass a better option? We’d say both passes have their pros and cons. 

Your best pass depends upon many factors: your itinerary, duration, the locations you plan to visit and your budget! 

The New York City Pass is good if you are a first-time visitor and want to see many sites quickly.

On the other hand, the Explorer Pass is an even better option for repeat visitors and is considerably affordable.

To buy the best pass, you must plan your trip to New York in advance and decide on your attractions. 

The New York Explorer Pass will be your best friend only when you have to see sites not included in the City Pass.

And the City Pass will be your ally if only you utilize it to its full potential.

So plan your trip and go for the pass that serves you the most!

Featured Image:

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!