Whether you’re visiting New York City for the first time or the tenth time, chances are you will want to embrace the city’s top attractions. But what is the most cost effective way to do this? I may just have the answer!
The New York CityPASS is a booklet of passes to New York’s top attractions that you can purchase for one price before you travel. The CityPASS is valid for 9 consecutive days once the first ticket is used and once activated, you can use your passes in any way you wish, in any order you wish.
What’s included in the New York CityPASS:
- The Empire State Building Experience
- American Museum of Natural History
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum
- Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Selection of discounts to use throughout NYC
And, out of the above, we done on this trip, the American Museum of Natural History, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. We didn’t do the Empire State Building on this trip as we didn’t have much time and we’ve done it dozens of times before so don’t leave it out like us! 🙂
We were only in NYC for 3 nights and so we had a pretty packed schedule in what we wanted to cover. The visit in May was my 9th visit (I think!) and I wanted to cover attractions I hadn’t done before, as well as some old favourites of mine. The New York CityPASS helped us to achieve this. Here’s a run through of what we done:
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History had been on my bucket list a long time and I was so excited to finally visit. We ran up the steps into this impressive building and started exploring as soon as we got through the queue. There is a separate queue for those who hold the New York CityPASS and it moved quickly.
What I didn’t realise from the outside was that the American Museum of Natural History is HUGE and unfortunately we weren’t prepared for this. We had planned our sightseeing cruise later that day and so we were on a time schedule. And with our limited time, we decided to view the Hall of Reptiles, the Hall of African Mammals and my highlight of the visit – the Hall of DINOSAURS! This particular exhibition was just mind blowing and we spent a lot of time learning and exploring here.
I cannot recommend the American Museum of Natural History enough and I will defiantly revisit on my next trip back to the Big Apple!
Top of the Rock Observation Deck
If you’ve followed my blog a few years, you’ll know that going to the Top of the Rock is one of my favourite ways to see and enjoy the New York skyline. And, while many favour the Empire State Building, I like to have it in my view so Top of the Rock is my preferred observation tower for that reason.
I’d been up this wonderful attraction during the day time before so on our honeymoon, we decided we would go up at dusk on our last night. The experience was so magical at this hour and I really recommend heading up when the sun is setting if you want to see New York with an added layer of drama. I’ll let my photo below do the talking on this one! 🙂
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
I was really looking forward to doing the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise as I had done the Statue of Liberty cruise many times before and this particular cruise is different in that it takes you around a lot of the island of Manhattan.
Along the way, you get to see lots of highlights and land marks including the United Nations Building, the Empire State Building, the pier where the Titanic was due to dock, the One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge – to name but a few.
The cruise lasted approximately 1.5 hours long and we both really enjoyed it. It was relaxed and with the sun shining, it was an afternoon well spent. There was also a bar on board that served drinks and nibbles if you feel peckish. And, if you’re visiting when the weather isn’t great, fear not, there is lots of indoor seating on board! Below is a photo I took, just after we sailed under the Brooklyn Bridge!
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The final attraction we done was the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and I LOVED this! Boarding a real navy ship and being surrounded with such history and stories was quite amazing and I loved learning about all of the various aircrafts that are on display on the top deck. Intrepid was used in the war many years ago and its a really fascinating attraction for those wanting to enjoy something different in New York.
A hidden gem at this attraction is the Space Museum where you can witness a REAL SPACE SHUTTLE! The Enterprise is on display in the museum and its a MUST SEE! We weren’t expected to see a real life space shuttle on the last day of our honeymoon! 😀
So, is the New York CityPASS worth the money?
Overall, I think the New York CityPASS is worth the money and it is a must for anyone visiting. As I mentioned, I’ve been to NYC many times and I couldn’t help but notice that on this occasion, the prices of attractions averaged at approx $35-40pp before tax and that’s a lot of money out of your pocket while you’re away.
Getting the New York CityPASS before we travelled, meant that we could enjoy New York without worrying about the expense of paying for sightseeing locally.
The New York CityPASS saves you 42% on your attraction ticket costs and it works out at approx €100 per person, with children being slightly cheaper. If you’d like more information on this amazing pass, you can visit their website HERE, and I can honestly say, on my next trip, I’ll be purchasing pre-travel again!
Have you been to New York? Did you find attractions expensive and would you use the New York CityPASS?