The Go New York Explorer Pass (or Explorer Pass for short) is one of the attraction passes for New York. With this pass, you can save a lot of money compared to buying tickets separately for different attractions. You can choose how many attractions you would like to buy the Explorer Pass for, which makes it very flexible to use. The New York Explorer Pass has been around for a long time and it has always been a great choice when visiting New York.
The Explorer Pass is an attraction pass for New York, it is part of the Go City pass range. With this pass, you no longer have to buy individual tickets for attractions. You can visit all attractions with this pass. Little to no activities need to be booked in advance, and in most cases, this is also not possible to do. Whenever you would like to visit an attraction, you can easily use the pass upon entry. This makes your visit to New York very flexible.
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The Explorer Pass can be purchased online. You’ll immediately receive a voucher by email with a QR code on it, this is your pass. You can also upload it to the Go City app. For an overview of all the steps which need to be taken when purchasing and using the Explorer Pass, check this guide. The pass consists of a fixed number of attractions, specifically 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10. After you’ve decided how many attractions you would like to visit, you can choose from a long list of included tours and attractions. It isn’t necessary to do this in advance, it’s also possible to do this when you’re in New York. You can do each attraction on this list once. Nearly all of the major attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, the Hop-on Hop-off bus and the 9/11 Museum are included in the pass.
The pass consists of a fixed number of attractions: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10.
You can do both attractions and tours with the Explorer Pass. You can’t book the attractions in advance, whereas with some tours you can. After purchase, you’ll receive a guide with further information about the attractions together with the digital pass. It indicates how each included tour can be booked. For example, if you would like to book THE RIDE, there is another website on which you can book the tour using your pass numbers. You can find out more information here.
The Explorer Pass promises a number of things on its site. They give an example that the pass has Free admission to all the top attractions in the city. This is not entirely true, as you have paid for the pass. However, it’s true that once you have the pass; you don’t have to pay anything extra at the included attractions.
Flexible access to more than 90 attractions is another mentioned advantage of the pass. How you can use the pass is flexible. This means you can decide when you will visit each attraction; you can even wait until the day itself to decide!
They also claim: One digital pass gives access to all attractions. This is completely true and it’s one of the great benefits of this pass. This also applies to all attraction passes for New York, not only the Explorer Pass.
‘Go line privileges’ at selected attractions is also a promise on the Go City New York website. This applies to some of the attractions, but these are only a few. You get priority with an Explorer Pass at Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building for example. However, you also receive this ‘skip the line access’ with other passes. The immediate problem here is that as so many people are entitled to this priority, it often means there is still a line. It isn’t the case that the red carpet is rolled out for you at the attractions when you show the pass. The main reason for buying a pass is still the financial advantage it offers and the ease that the pass gives compared to individual tickets.
Two sorts of passes, for every budget. This applies to the Explorer Pass and the Build Your Own Pass which is also offered by Go City New York. Both work slightly differently and they are available at a range of prices, depending on the choices made.
Build Your Own Pass is a discount pass which you can build by yourself, were you can choose in advance which attractions you would like to visit. You will then receive a discount on the total price for this specific combination of attractions. If you choose two attractions, you will receive a 10% discount. For three attractions, it’s 15% and four attractions or more 20%. If you calculate this compared to the Explorer Pass, the latter turns out to be cheaper in most cases.
That brings us to the promise of Save up to 54% compared to entrance fees at the door. Is this promised percentage really correct? Let’s start with the 10 attraction pass, worth $279. $279 divided over 10 attractions gives an average of $28 per attraction. A single ticket for the Empire State Building as an example costs around $46. The Explorer Pass in this case offers a -39% discount. The calculation is based on the full price of the pass, however, if you use our discount code your actual savings on ticket prices will be: -50%!
The Hop-on Hop-off bus was taken as a starting point for the promised 54% discount. The one day classic Big Bus ticket that you can choose with the Explorer Pass is worth $59. The $28 you “pay” with the pass is therefore a whopping -53% cheaper than the single ticket price. This is a little less than advertised, but most likely prices and percentages have been rounded up to achieve this. Again this calculation is based on the full price of the pass, with a discount on the passes prices you save: -61%. This is even a little more than the Go City site promises! How much you save in total with the pass depends on which pass and attractions you choose. Further down on this page you can see an example calculation of the potential total savings with the pass.
This calculation also makes it immediately clear that it’s not smart to use the pass for relatively cheap attractions and tours, like the ferry to the Statue of Liberty or a Central Park Walking Tour. For these items, it is cheaper to buy an individual ticket. Then you can use the pass for more expensive activities. But of course having one pass to access every activity also brings a lot of convenience. From this point of view, you can still choose to visit the cheaper sights with the pass too.
It’s recommended to purchase the Explorer Pass online before leaving for New York. There are often special online offers, where you can get a discount on the pass and not pay the full price. Double advantage as the pass itself is also cheaper than buying individual tickets! Keep an eye on the offers a few months before departure so you can be sure of a good deal. There is also a permanent discount code available, which you can find here.
The pass is valid for two years after purchase, so if you see a good deal it’s no problem to buy it well in advance before departure. Do not buy the New York Explorer Pass in New York itself because there is a good chance you will not be able to take advantage of any discount. Therefore, you’ll end up paying full price. The Explorer Pass prices are increased annually around February/March. Keep this in mind when purchasing the pass.
There are often special internet offers so you do not have to pay the full price.
Below you will find an overview of the prices of the Explorer Pass. Buy the Explorer Pass here.
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You can buy the Go New York Explorer Pass online on the Explorer Pass website. This site always has the most current prices and deals. Therefore, it is the best place to purchase the Explorer Pass. There are also other sites and resellers which sell the pass. These sometimes offer different prices and discounts.
The Explorer Pass is best bought on the internet. You can use the QR code, which you receive by email, fully digitally, by showing it on your phone at the entrance of the sights. Take a screenshot of the QR code so that you have it on hand even without data coverage. It is also recommended to print the code. If something happens to your phone, you will always have the paper version as a backup. Finally, it is possible to download the Go City Explorer Pass app, in which you can also upload the pass.
If you order the Explorer Pass on the direct site, you can use various payment methods. Most credit cards are accepted, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express. You can also pay for your purchase with PayPal. In addition, Google Pay and Apple Pay also accepted.
The Go New York Explorer Pass site offers a “risk free guarantee” when the pass is purchased there. This means that an unused pass can be cancelled within 30 days of purchase. You will then receive a full refund. Read the terms and conditions before you buy to ensure that no changes have been made.
The Go New York Explorer Pass is valid for two years after purchase. When you first use the pass, you have 30 days to visit all the attractions. You will have plenty of time to use the pass during your city trip (this is only for consecutive days; it is not possible to divide up this period). Due to the two year validity, you can purchase the pass well before your departure to New York. This is particularly interesting if you come across a good deal or if you want to buy the pass before a price increase.
Within 30 days
There is an Explorer Pass for children and one for adults. The children’s pass applies to children from 3 to 12 years old. The adult pass is for children aged 12 years and older, and adults. Children from 0 to 2 years do not require a pass, they can enter for free at all the sights. For some attractions, children aged 3 or older also do not have to pay. When travelling with your family, it can sometimes be useful in practice to purchase a pass for all children aged 3 and older, even if the children are allowed free entrance at some places. If the whole family has a pass, it’s easier and faster to get in together. If you do not all have a pass, you may have to wait in line for one or more children to get a (free) ticket.
The adult pass is for everyone aged 12 years and older, so there is no senior discount. There is also no discount rate for students or military/veterans. The pass itself already offers a lot of discount, so for travellers within these groups; it is still cheaper and more practical to purchase a pass than to buy individual tickets.
Yes. The New York Explorer Pass is a very good and reliable attraction pass; it’s definitely worth buying this pass. You can visit almost all the known sights with it, do various tours (including bicycle tours) and, for example, use the Hop-on Hop-off bus. For reviews of the Explorer Pass, view here.
How much you save with the Explorer Pass is personal. This depends, among other things, on which pass you buy, what you will do with it and when you will go to New York. To give you an idea, you will find a calculation example on the right which shows the potential savings.
|Top of the Rock||$42|
|Statue of Liberty Ferry Ticket||$19.25|
|Empire State Building||$46|
|1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off||$59|
|American Museum of Natural History||$23|
|Total cost separate tickets:||$217|
|6 attractions Explorer Pass||$157|
|Savings per person:||$28|
|Discount per person:||-13%|
Almost all major attractions are included with the Explorer Pass. For example, the pass allows you to visit the Empire State Building, One World Observatory, 9/11 Museum, use the Hop-on Hop-off bus and Circle Line Cruises. Alongside the annual price increase in February/March and at other times of the year, changes can be made to what the pass offers. For example, attractions are regularly added to the list. Even if you have already bought the pass before an attraction was added; you can still go here with the pass afterwards. The attraction list at the time of use can always be followed. Of course, this also means that if an attraction is no longer available on the pass, you can no longer visit it.
View an overview of all attractions included with the Explorer here. The Go City New York site is the most current.
You can also use the Hop-on Hop-off bus with the Explorer Pass. A classic Big Bus ticket for one day is one of the options within the pass. The Hop-on Hop-off bus runs several routes. The pass allows you to do both the Uptown and the Downtown Route. This will take you to all the important places in Manhattan! The evening tour is also included in the pass, which counts as a separate option.
There are no major attractions that fall exclusively under the Explorer Pass. All major attractions can be visited with the Explorer Pass, but also with one or more other attraction passes. In the winter months, skate rental at the Bryant Park Winter Village is included exclusively with the Explorer Pass and the New York Pass (which belongs to the same organisation).
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