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If you would like to see as many attractions as possible during your trip, then the New York Pass is a worthwhile option. The New York Pass is a worthwhile option if you’re looking to experience as much as possible during your trip to the Big Apple. It includes more than 100 attractions and tours, along with a 1-day Hop-On-Hop-Off ticket for Big Bus. This is a nice extra if you’d like to tour the Uptown and Downtown areas. You probably won’t have time to visit all the attractions, but with good planning, you can get the most out of it. The content and quality of the pass has improved over time. It’s now easily recognised and accepted all over New York as it’s so well-known. We have never heard of an instance where the pass was not recognised. It can easily be used for a wide range of activities without worry.
The New York Pass website claims you can get access to 100+ attractions from $34 per day. It’s good to keep in mind that this is calculated by dividing the 10-day New York Pass price by 10 days. Prices differ for the different day passes. Below, we’ve reviewed the pass more extensively and researched to see how other travellers would rate their experience with the New York Pass.
It’s important to explore all aspects of this attraction pass; both the good and the bad! The New York Pass is indeed a solid contender for those who want to pack in as much as possible to their trip to New York. It does give us access to 100+ attractions, this means there’s no limit to how many attractions you visit in one day. When you purchase the pass you also receive a guidebook that lists all of the included attractions and their contact information. This is very useful if it’s your first (or second time) in New York and you need a little help with finding your feet. It also comes with an up to date app which includes a map, there’s no need to worry about data coverage as it can be used offline. If you enjoy planning your itinerary day by day, then you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this pass.
The New York Pass was convenient to use digitally. It really is as simple as scanning the QR code. The range of tours is expansive and easily booked in advance. Some of the tours offered (such as NYC Gospel walking tour and Food on Foot tour) are very unique. It could also open up a new perspective on New York for you. The New York Pass offers various ways to get around the city; Hop-on Hop-off bus and the Hop-on Hop-off water taxi are both available for one day. Bike rental is also an option for those who are confident cyclists (or just stick to a stroll around Central Park).
It’s good to keep in mind the skip-the-line benefit at certain attractions offered by the pass isn’t entirely accurate. This “advantage” is only offered at three attractions: Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Surrey Rental on Governors Island. This shouldn’t be the main reason why you should buy this pass. If you’re someone who dislikes waiting in line (let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) then it’s good to keep in mind you’ll still have to queue at some point to gain entry. New York is a busy city which means you will have to queue, especially if you travel in the busier months. If you travel from January to March you can expect the lines to be shorter. This pass is a choice for those who want to do the main attractions plus a little extra. It’s good to understand the limitations of this pass before you head to New York. If you put too much weight on this ‘skip-the-line’ promise from the New York Pass, you might find yourself disappointed.
If you’re a little more laid back when travelling; one day you like to visit a museum, the next do some shopping and grab a coffee; this might not be the pass for you. The pass has to be used in a number of consecutive days. You can’t go to the Empire State Building one day, take a break the next day then continue. The fewer attractions you visit (or if you choose to visit the ‘cheaper’ attractions) the harder it is to get your money’s worth from the pass. It might be more worth your time taking a look at the other passes.
Below you can find an itinerary and savings table.
|Hop on Hop off Bus||$59||Top of the Rock||$42||Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island||$19.25||Color Factory||$38||Gospel Tour||$45|
|Circle Line Cruise||$44||American Museum of Natural History||$23||9/11 Memorial & 9/11 Museum||$28||SoHo Little Italy Chinatown Walking Tour||$35||Harlem Bike Rental||$54|
|Empire State Building||$46||Biking in Central Park||$63||Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour||$32||Catacombs by Candlelight Tour||$35||THE RIDE||$69|
|Madame Tussauds||$35||Victorian Gardens||$29||One World Observatory||$39|
|Total cost separate tickets:||$735|
|New York Pass for 5 days||$257|
|Savings per person:||$478|
|Discount per person:||-65%|
The New York Pass rates positively on Trustpilot with convenience and the number of attractions included. A majority of the reviews have rated the pass as excellent or very good. It’s reviewed as an easy way to visit sights in NYC. The map and information given by the website are quoted as very handy while travelling. The app itself is easy to navigate and convenient to use. A majority of travellers highlight to get the most out of the pass, you should plan which attractions you would like to see before departure.
There were a fraction of negative reviews about the New York Pass. A common complaint was about the claim you can skip the queue as a pass holder to save time. Pass holders felt a lot of time was still spent queuing for attractions to get the pass scanned for entrance. The app doesn’t show which attractions are ‘in season’ so it’s recommended to check if the attraction is open before planning to visit. Others felt instructions on the New York Pass app could be clearer for certain attractions. More information could be offered about what to expect in New York (such as upselling on tours, tipping etc.) to prepare the pass holder further for their trip.
Overall, the New York Pass rates highly in terms of positive reviews, it’s rated excellent for value. It’s an easy way to visit a variety of attractions in New York, without worrying about buying individual tickets. The website is reviewed as clear and provides extra information (such as maps) to guide you during your trip. The New York Pass is reviewed positively by a range of people such as solo travellers, couples and families. It’s not only suited towards one type of traveller.
On Tripadvisor, the New York Pass has been rated as excellent by a majority of pass holders. The pass received positive feedback as the ‘perfect pass’ as long as you plan ahead to get the most out of it. Both the pass and the mobile app are easy to use; the app can also be used without an internet connection which is useful for those without data coverage.
A lot of travellers mention they would definitely buy the pass again if they were travelling to New York in the future as it was so easy to use, and helped them to save money. The main tip which is mentioned throughout for using the pass: plan what you want to do beforehand to get the best value for money. A main advantage of the pass was paying one upfront price for over 100+ attractions. There was no need to worry about how much it was costing, as you would when buying individual tickets. The New York Pass includes main attractions along with lesser-known sights, pass holders felt this gave them the opportunity to do less popular activities they may not have done without the pass.
Similar to the Trustpilot reviews, the ‘skip the line’ benefit is not as promising as it sounds. Several reviews even label the advertising for New York Pass as misleading, as the website implies you can simply walk up to the entrance and show your pass. This is debatable as ease of entrance depends on which time you visit the attraction. It’s better to be realistic with what you expect from the pass. Since you are travelling to New York, there will always be some kind of queue to stand in. Therefore, it is recommended by other pass holders to visit the attractions as early as possible to skip ‘rush hour’. Regardless, the pass is still convenient as it only has to be scanned upon entrance (despite the possible queuing time).
Reviews on Yelp rate the New York Pass as average (⅗ stars). It’s frequently reviewed as convenient and good value for the attractions included. It’s reviewed positively for saving money if you plan which attractions you would like to see beforehand. The app is convenient to use and clear regarding which attractions are included in the pass. It’s also recommended to buy the pass online as it’s more likely you’ll get the best price and it avoids the hassle of having to pick up the New York Pass when you arrive in the city.
Pass holders rate the New York Pass promise of ‘skip the line’ poorly, as this is only available at a minimum number of attractions. Another frequent complaint on Yelp mentions the New York Pass customer service, it was reviewed as unhelpful (and sometimes rude). Other’s advise being aware of what is actually offered, rather than reading the site description of the pass.