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Is the New York City Pass worth it?

A lot of people ask me about New York City Pass when they travel to New York City. So, I decided to check all th details and write a post to give my verdict about it. For those that don’t know, NY City Pass is like a pass (duh!), with a fixed price, that gives you access to 6 touristic attractions. City pass also exists in other cities, such as Chicago and San Francisco.

The included attractions are:

  • Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and you can also choose three of six:
  • Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum,
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Cruises Circle Line
  • Memorial & Museum September 11 OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
  • Everything for $ 141.

What is the individual price of each?

But, we know that saving money is good and everyone likes,  so, I decided to list the price of each attraction separately, in the best-case scenario. Starting with the American Museum of Natural History – suggested tickets are around $25. But as I say, these are suggested prices – it means that you pay whatever you want for the ticket. And you don’t need to be shy or anything. Let’s say you pay $3 per ticket.

The list includes more three museums, so, it is good to make things clear. The Guggenheim Museum has a fixed price almost every day, but, on Saturdays, from 5h45 pm to 7h45pm, you pay as you wish. Again, let’s put the suggested rate of $ 3. 9/11 Museum has free admission every Tuesday after 5 pm. Also, it is good to remember: 9/11 Memorial is an open and public place – it means that access is completely free. The only one of the museums that you have to pay the whole price is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – US $ 28.

To complete the analysis, there is also the visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, whose ticket costs $18 and a Circle Line cruise (there are several available), whose price is around $31.

Okay, assuming you choose a City Pass which includes the Empire State + Top of the Rock + Statue of Liberty + Intrepid Museum Sea, Air, and Space, the final amount will be fair.  You save the money that you would spend with the suggested entry for the two museums.

But, if you follow a plan, perhaps City Pass ends up being more expensive. Here are some tips to save money on your trip:

  1. Believe me, you don’t need to go to Empire State and Top of the Rock. Choose just one and make worth it. My tip? Forget Empire State. Okay, it is a symbol of the city, but once you are there, pictures are not great because of the grids. I prefer Top of the Rock. Do you want a good reason? From there, you can take pictures with the Empire State.
  2. You don’t need to go to the Statue of Liberty. The Staten Island Ferry, which goes from Manhattan to Staten Island, is completely free. The path includes a view of Lady Liberty with a nice distance and still provides a beautiful view of Manhattan. Do you want more? Take a ride during the day and during the night, because the island deserves to be enjoyed with the lights on.
  3. If you come in the summer, you have to check some of the rooftops. They have privileged views to see New York from above. And you don’t need to pay anything to get there – you only pay for what you drink or eat. Skylark is my favorite to have a beautiful view of the Empire State. If you enjoy your time there, you don’t even need to go to Top of the Rock. Tip: use this money and go to One World Trade Center Observatory or even Edge.

But, in the end, it is worth it or not worth buying the City Pass? The answer is: it depends on the combination of attractions that you want to check. If you make choices and are open to different experiences, you will be able to save some money. As I always say, everything is a matter of planning!

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