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Tourist Cards in New York: Prices and what is included

Discover how to save money and time on your trip with tourist cards for New York and how to connect to the internet

Carolina S.

April 27, 2023

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If you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple, you may have heard of these cards. They are passes that give you access to multiple attractions and popular tours of the city at lower prices and rates than if you bought tickets and entry passes separately. In addition, many of these cards also include other benefits such as access to public transportation and discounts at shops and restaurants. Before we start, it’s important that you know that there are different types of tourist cards for New York.

From those that only focus on specific attractions, to those that offer entrance to multiple tourist sites in the city. And some include additional discounts, subway passes, etc. So, if you’re interested in learning more about this small world of tourist cards, here you’ll find everything you need.

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What tourist cards are there in New York?

Tourist CardAttractions includedAdditional discountsPublic transportPrices
New York PassMore than 100 popular attractions and tours, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the MetAdditional discounts in restaurants and shopsEntry to public transportation in the city for the duration of the cardFrom $134 USD for 1 day to $459 for 10 days
Explorer PassMore than 80 attractions and tours, including the Empire State Building and Central Park Bike TourAdditional discounts in restaurants and shopsDoesn’t include entrance to public transportation, but other transportation options are availableFrom $89 for 2 attractions to $249 for 10 attractions
CityPASSSix top tourist attractions, including the Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Art, and One World ObservatoryAdditional discounts in restaurants and shopsAccess to public transport for the duration of the card$136 for adults, $112 for children from 6 to 17 years old
Sightseeing Pass      More than 100 tourist attractions in New York, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock Observation DeckAdditional discounts in restaurants and shopsIncludes a 2-day Hop-on Hop-off TourFrom $129 to $300
Comparative table with the information of each card

Before going into further details about the different tourist cards available in New York, it’s important to remember how these cards work. They are purchased in advance and give you entrance to a list of popular attractions and tours at a reduced price. In addition, many tourist cards also offer other benefits, such as discounts in shops and restaurants, ingress to public transport and skip-the-line passes to certain attractions.

So, if you are eager to know more, below we present the most relevant tourist cards for New York.

New York Pass

The New York Pass is a tourist card that includes more than 100 popular attractions and tours in the city. It comes with some of the most famous tourist attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Met, and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. The card also offers additional discounts in restaurants and shops, as well as access to the city’s public transport for the duration of the card. Finally, the New York Pass includes the option to skip the lines at some attractions.

Explorer Pass

The Explorer Pass is another popular tourist card that allows you to choose from a list of more than 80 attractions and tours. It includes many of the same attractions as the New York Pass, like the Empire State Building, but also has options for attractions that are not so popular, like the Central Park Bike Tour. The card also offers additional discounts at restaurants and shops. Although it doesn’t include public transportation, there are other transportation options available.

CityPASS

Finally, the CityPASS card covers six top tourist attractions in New York, including the Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Art, and One World Observatory. It also covers public transportation for the duration of the card and additional discounts in restaurants and shops. Like the New York Pass, the CityPASS card includes the option to skip the lines at some attractions.

Sightseeing Pass in New York

The Sightseeing Pass is a tourist card that offers access to more than 100 tourist attractions in New York, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, and much more. In addition to the attractions, the card also includes a two-day hop-on hop-off tour, a Hudson River cruise, and a variety of discounts on shops, restaurants, and other activities. To buy one of these cards you can visit their website or at one of the tourist information centers in New York.

Best eSIM for New York

As a matter of fact, the eSIM for New York is not a tourist card per se. But it’s one of the most important cards for travelers when it comes to visiting the Big Apple. Even though you can’t get into any attraction with an eSIM, you can ensure one of the best internet connections during your trip. Certainly, this is also something very important while you travel.

If you’re interested in connecting to the internet in the best possible way during your trip to New York, the Holafly eSIM is an excellent option. Most compelling evidence, this virtual eSIM for New York offers full coverage in the United States, clearly including New York. Moreover, it provides a high-speed connection with no data limits using AT&T cellular networks, one of the best operators in the country with good coverage in New York, Miami, and Orlando.

What attractions are included in the tourist cards for New York?

attractions-new-york
Time Square, is one of the most famous spots in New York. Source: Pexels

Tourist cards for New York include entry to a wide variety of popular attractions and activities in the city. However, it’s advisable to always check the list of included attractions before purchasing any tourist card. Next, we present a table of tourist places that each card includes.

Tourist spotNew York PassExplorer PassCityPASS
Statue of LibertyYesNoYes
Empire State BuildingYesYesYes
The MetYesNoNo
American Museum of Natural HistoryYesYesYes
Top of the RockYesYesYes
Best of NYC CruiseYesNoYes
One World ObservatoryYesYesYes
Big Bus New YorkYesNoNo
Central Park Bike TourYesYesNo
Madison Square Garden All-Access TourYesNoNo
Museum of Modern ArtNoYesYes
9/11 Memorial & MuseumNoYesYes
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space MuseumNoYesNo
Ellis IslandNoNoYes
Circle Line Sightseeing CruisesNoNoYes
Comparative table with the tourist places included in the cards

How does the activation and use of the tourist cards for New York work?

For instance, New York City Cards are activated on first use at an attraction included on the card. Therefore, it’s important to plan your itinerary to make sure your first attraction is the right one. Once activated, the card is valid for the number of consecutive days specified at purchase.

So, to use the tourist card, simply show the card to security at the entrance of the attraction or activity. Another key point, the cards often include a guidebook that provides detailed information on each included attraction, opening and closing times, and directions. Keep in mind that in some tourist places, you’ll have to book in advance.

Which tourist card is the best for children?

Traveling with children can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be expensive. Fortunately, there are many tourist card options available in New York that can help reduce the cost of tourist activities for families. But what is the best tourist card for children?

The New York Pass tourist card is an excellent option for families with children, as it includes a wide variety of popular attractions and activities for children, such as the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Hall of Science, the Bronx Zoo, and the amusement park Luna Park at Coney Island. The New York Pass card also includes a free 1-day public transportation pass, making getting around the city that much easier for families.

Do the tourist cards for New York include public transport?

new-york-subway
Nueva York subway. Source: Pexels

Many of the New York tourist cards include the use of public transportation, which can be very convenient for tourists who want to get around the city easily. For example, the Sightseeing Pass card includes unlimited access to Big Bus Tours double-decker buses, and Gray Line buses, as well as a 72-hour pass for New York public transportation. The New York Pass card also offers unlimited access to Big Bus Tours and Gray Line buses, as well as a 2-day pass for the New York subway.

Important to realize that although most tourist cards offer entry to public transport, this may have some limitations. For example, some cards may limit the number of times public transport can be used in a certain period, or limit use to only certain areas of the city.

How to choose the best tourist card for New York?

Choosing the best tourist card for your trip to New York can be overwhelming, but by considering a few key factors, you may be able to find the ideal option for you.

  • Length of stay: If you’re only going to stay a few days in New York, you may want to opt for a short-term tourist card that allows you to visit the most popular attractions.
  • Desired attractions and activities: Different tourist cards offer different attractions and activities, so it’s important to check which ones you want to visit and make sure they are included on the card you choose
  • Budget: Tourist cards may vary in price and may not all suit your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to opt for a cheaper tourist card.
  • Connectivity needs: If you would like to stay connected during your trip, the eSIM can be an excellent option to complement your tourism experience in New York. In the case of the Holafly eSIM for New York, this will give you unlimited cellular data on your smartphone, allowing you to explore the city and stay connected with your friends and family. If you cannot use them, you can also count on SIM cards for New York.

What we recommend

On the whole, if you’re planning a trip to New York, a tourist card can be an excellent investment to save money and time while visiting the most popular attractions in the city. The New York Pass, Explorer Pass, and CityPASS are popular options, each with its benefits and limitations.

In addition, we recommend that, to complement and improve your travel experience, you use the New York eSIM card with data because with this, you can ensure your high-speed internet connection throughout your trip. All you have to do is click here and start browsing. Without further ado, enjoy your trip to the Big Apple!