Getting The Best Deal On Attraction Tickets in NYC

If you visit New York (or London or Paris, for that matter), there are dozens upon dozens of things for tourists to do.  There are some “all inclusive” passes that include discounted admission into several attractions, but if you’re still figuring out what you want to see, or if a pass has more attractions automatically included that you may not want, how do you know which pass to get, or even if you should get a pass at all? What’s the best deal? Well, as the old saying goes, “There’s an app for that!”


Well, in this case, it’s actually a website. If you’re going to visit, London, New York City or Paris, passcomparison.com can help figure out if you’re better off buying a pass (and which pass!) or doing everything as individual attractions.

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Let’s use NYC as an example:

If you visit New York City, there are 3 different passes to choose from (quotes/descriptions are from passcomparison.com/newyork/):

CityPASSCityPASS is a very popular pass offering admission to six of the must-see tourist attractions that New York has on offer. If you were to travel for a week, this would be ideal as you could do something different every day. However, for a shorter break it may be difficult to fit everything in, and so it could be cheaper to buy from the box office on the day for some attractions. Reviews are dazzling for this pass, with many buyers commenting on the excellent value for money, if these attractions appeal to you.

New York PassOn the face of it the New York pass looks better value, offering entry to over 80 attractions and activities around NYC. You can order up to a year in advance, and the pass comes with a guidebook to help you to plan your trip. By visiting just the Top 10 attractions, which are the Circle Line Cruises, Empire State Building, Food on Foot Tours, 9/11 Tribute Center, Top of the Rock, The Museum of Modern Art, New York Skyride, Madame Tussaud’s, the NBC studio tour and the Hop-On-Hop-Off Water Taxi, you can save over $300. The New York pass is very flexible, and if you have a packed itinerary then it certainly offers good value for money. Due to the number of attractions that are included it is also ideal for people who know that they will be filling their days but don’t like to plan too much ahead. If, however, you prefer to see a few of the big sites and then just take in streets of New York it may not be right for you.

New York Explorer PassThe New York Explorer Pass works differently again and is perfect for those who know exactly where they want to go and what they want to see. The pass gives you access to 54 different attractions and you buy a pass giving you entry to 3, 5, 7 or 10 of them. Is it worth it? The average cost across the 54 attractions is $33 each; however, some of the attractions are less expensive, so if you do consider the Explorer Pass be sure to include the more expensive attractions. If there are attractions you want to visit that cost less than the ‘per attraction’ value of the pass you buy then it may be advisable to pay for these at the box office on the day, and use your pass for the higher-priced venues.

Which pass you should choose is based on how long you’re going to be visiting, which attractions you’re interested in and the age of the people in your party (the exact age that makes you a “child” or “senior” will vary from attraction to attraction). You could figure out all out yourself but it would take a lot of time. That’s where passcomparison.com comes in.

Go to this page and plug in your numbers. Or just follow our two made up examples, where one is the bare minimum of 2 people for a short period of time, and one is a big family for a longer period of time.

EXAMPLE #1: Bare Minimum
It’s just you and your partner, no kids. You’re both in your 30s and it’s a short trip…let’s say 4 full days in the City. Figure 3 attractions per day, so I picked out 12 attractions; a nice mixture of theater tours, studio tours, museums and boat tours. I plugged that all in and got this:

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I like how they tell you what the best deal for you would be, but they also show you what all your other price options are, as well.

EXAMPLE #2: More People, More Days
Now let’s say it’s a BIG group – you and your partner, 2 kids (age 2 and 6), plus one set of grandparents, age 60 and 66. Oh, and let’s say your partner is getting his Master’s degree, so he’s a student. And let’s also say you’ll have 7 days in the City. You’re willing to spread out and visit the other boroughs and you want a lot of your plans to be kid-centric, so you’re willing to take things slowly. Here’s what I got:

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So again, you still see how the website figures out which pass will be best for you and your situation. And in this case, based on the places you want to go, it suggests you buy your tickets individually because you’ll wind up sending less.

Now, it’s not a 100% solution in not having to plan your trip; even if you use passcomparison.com, you’ll still have to do some homework because if nothing else, you’ll need to have an idea of what you want to see and with that, how many things you can see in a given day. But the website is still great in figuring out how to get you the best price on what you’re interested in visiting, and saving money is always a good thing!

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