My New York CityPASS Review – One Ticket to See it All!

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New York CityPASS Review

My New York CityPASS Review – One Ticket to See it All!

Before going on my recent trip to New York City I reached out to the people of CityPASS to see if they would be willing to supply me with a pass so that I could write a New York CityPASS review. CityPASS looked like something that could be very beneficial to our readers so I wanted to give it a test run.

Even though I was provided with 2 complimentary passes all that was promised was a fair and truthful New York CityPASS review.  These are 100% my words and my opinions alone.

New York CityPASS Review

New York CityPASS Review – Overview

CityPASS is like getting a group rate for a city’s various attractions.  You pay one price, receive one ticket, but it gets you into multiple attractions.  The CityPASS is available in many major cities:

New York CityPASS Review

For this New York CityPASS review I will be focusing on the experience when visiting the Big Apple.  The pricing is different for each city/area.

Purchase NYC CityPass Now

Pricing & Plans for New York CityPASS

There are two options for the New York CityPASS, the regular CityPASS and the New York C3.  The difference is the C3 version allows you to pick any 3 attractions from the list and the full blown CityPASS gets you into 6 attractions, with 9 possible choices.

New York CityPASS Review

Terms of the New York CityPASS

Here are the terms/tips for the CityPASS:

  • Your CityPASS tickets are valid for 9 consecutive days, including the first day of use.
  • The first day of use for your tickets must occur within one year of the date of purchase.
  • You can visit the attractions in any order you like.
  • Adults should have ID available, as attractions may ask for it.
  • Follow the entry instructions for each attraction to ensure quickest entry; find them at citypass.com/nyc-info.
  • Some attractions require that visitors pass through security checkpoints, and some require that you obtain an attraction ticket before entering.
  • If members of your travel party would like to split up and visit different attractions, just make sure each person has the ticket with their name on it.

Related: Are City Pass and Other Attractions Passes Worth Purchasing? Lets Look At the Math!

My New York CityPASS Review & Experience

We were in NYC for a day and a half and we planned on visiting the American Museum of Natural History, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island.

American Museum of Natural History

We entered the museum via the 81st street subway stop.  The line is usually a little shorter at this entrance but that doesn’t matter much since you get to skip the ticket buying line with your New York CityPASS.  The employees were a little frazzled, overwhelmed when we walked through and just looked at our CityPASS. They never actually scanned it. They will normally scan it before you can enter.  We have tried to enter this museum in the past without tickets and the line to purchase them was over an hour long.  CityPASS can be a time saver here.

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

We decided to head to the Statue of Liberty after lunch.  For this particular attraction you need to get a ticket from the box office with your CityPASS.  When we walked up there was a long line to get on the boats.  The ticket center is in Battery Park inside the Castle Clinton National Monument.  The employees at the ticket booth said it was an hour and a half wait.  With our condensed schedule we decided to skip it.  If the weather is nice you should probably hit this attraction first thing in the morning.

New York CityPASS Review

9/11 Memorial & Museum

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum has it’s own dedicated New York CityPASS line which is awesome.  If you purchase museum tickets online you have to select a time and date when you will be there but not with the CityPASS.  I hate having concrete/timed plans while on vacation so that was a nice perk of the CityPASS for me.  We walked through the designated line, they scanned our pass, and we walked right in.

CityPASS does a great job giving you the procedures for each location.  For info on each location check HERE.

New York CityPASS Review – Is it Worth It?

Your biggest question is probably, is this a good deal? The answer is that it depends. The attractions vary in price so that will decide whether or not it is a good deal for you.  The regular CityPASS offers better value but the C3 version can be useful at times too.  The C3 will cost you more than buying regular tickets if you choose inexpensive attractions.

Examples

If you chose the Statue of Liberty, American History Museum, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum your cost to buy the tickets direct would be $65.50.  That is a lot cheaper than the C3’s $82 price tag.

However if you wanted to go to the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and go on the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises your out of pocket cost would be $100 which is more than C3’s cost.  Make sure you crunch the numbers before purchasing the C3 version of the pass.

For the regular version of the New York CityPASS if you use it and see 6 attractions you will save money. You could even save money using it on 5 attractions if you chose the more expensive ones. If you chose the 6 least expensive attractions purchasing tickets direct would cost you $152.50. That is a minimum savings of over 17%.

Should You Purchase Child Passes?

One area where the New York CityPASS doesn’t make sense is if you have a small child.  Many of the attractions allow kids 6 and under in free (up to 12 years old for some).  Check each location’s policies before you purchase a child CityPASS.

Purchase NYC CityPass Now

New York CityPass Review – Conclusion

Overall the CityPASS makes visiting multiple attractions easier since you are only dealing with one ticket.  It also offers a discount over purchasing tickets directly, most of the time. If you maximize your CityPASS you will save money.

CityPASS occasionally sells passes on Groupon and they have been known to sell them at Costco as well.  Make sure you check out those places as well as their website if you are planning on purchasing one for your next trip.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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