Compare the Admission Based Flexible Explorer Passes in NYC

A flexible attraction pass lets you pick how many different attractions you want to visit. It’s a smart choice if you want to be able to visit a specific number of attractions at a comfortable pace, with the option, if need be, of spreading out that sightseeing over an extended period of time.

After you’ve done your homework and decided that a flexible attraction pass is right for you, the question then becomes: What flexible attraction pass should you buy? If you’re in the market for a New York City flexible attraction pass, you’ll have several choices.

The New York Explorer Pass and the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass are really flexible attraction passes. With one of these passes, you’ll be able to pick exactly how many attractions you want to visit from a massive list of possible choices. You’ll position yourself to save a whole lot of money, but you’ll also need to set aside additional time to plan out how best to maximize your attraction pass.

The New York CityPASS and the New York C3 Pass are simpler flexible passes. They offer a smaller list of attractions to choose from, but feature the majority of New York City’s most popular attractions. You won’t necessarily save quite as much money using one of these simpler passes, but they’ll still prove very useful as you’ll have an easier time planning your trip.

Features ChartExplorer PassNY Flex PassNY CityPASSCityPASS C3
CompanyGo CitySightseeing PassCityPASSCityPASS
How Many Admissions?2 to 10 Admissions2 to 12 Admissions6 Admissions3 Admissions
Cost for an Adult$73 to $229$74 to $264$136
Cost for a Child$51 to $175$51 to $210$112$67
Child Age Range3-13 Years3 to 12 Years6-17 Years5-12 Years
Number of Total Attractions7581912

Use the chart below to quickly compare included attractions on each pass. Use the pulldown menu if you want to refine the type of attractions you want to compare. You selections will appear below the pulldown menu. You can click on any of them to delete a selection. Also note that only the first 30 tours and attractions are show at first. You can choose to see them all at once or click the next/previous buttons to see more.

NameNY Explorer PassNy Flex PassNY CitypassNY C3Narrow Down by Tour and Attraction Types
Empire State BuildingNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,
Top of the Rock ObservatoryNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,
Edge at Hudson YardsNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,
Big Bus Hop On Hop Off: 1-DayNot to be Missed,Tours,Bus Tours,
9/11 Memorial and MuseumNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Museums,
One World ObservatoryNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,
Statue of Liberty & Ellis IslandNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Tours,
The Metropolitan Museum of ArtNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Museums,
Ripley's Believe It or Not!Tourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
Madame Tussauds New YorkNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
American Museum of Natural HistoryNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Museums,
Best of NYC Cruise: Circle LineNot to be Missed,Tours,Boat Tours,
Hornblower - Alive after 5 CruiseTours,Boat Tours,
Hornblower Hop-On Hop-Off CruiseTours,Boat Tours,
Hop-on-hop-off ferry, City SightseeingTours,Boat Tours,
Central Park Full Day Bike RentalBike Tours,
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space MuseumNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)Not to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Museums,
The RIDETours,Bus Tours,
Circle Line NYC Landmarks CruiseNot to be Missed,Tours,Boat Tours,
High Speed Harbor Tour, RIBNewYorkTours,Boat Tours,
Guggenheim MuseumNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,
Liberty Super Express CruiseTours,Boat Tours,
Rockefeller Center TourNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Tours,
Radio City Music Hall Stage Door TourNot to be Missed,Tourist Attractions,Tours,
Madison Square Garden All Access TourTourist Attractions,Tours,
Holiday Markets & Lights Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
St. Patrick's Cathedral TourTourist Attractions,Tours,
SPYSCAPETourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
Harbor Lights Cruise: Circle LineTours,Boat Tours,
Whitney Museum of American ArtTourist Attractions,Museums,
The TOURTours,Bus Tours,
Central Park TV and Movie Sites TourTours,Walking Tour,
NYC TV and Movie Tour by BusTours,Bus Tours,
Movie tour: When Harry Met SeinfeldTours,Bus Tours,
9/11 Tribute Museum & Memorial TourNot to be Missed,Tours,Museums,Walking Tour,
Museum of SexTourist Attractions,Museums,
Christmas Lights Walking Tour BrooklynTours,Walking Tour,
Grand Central Terminal Audio TourTourist Attractions,Tours,
Luna Park (Leisure Park)Tourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
Brooklyn Bridge Full Day Bike RentalTours,Bike Tours,
Catacombs by Candlelight TourTourist Attractions,Tours,
New York Airport TransfersBus Tours,
National Geographic: Ocean OdysseyJust for Fun,
Central Park Bike TourTours,Bike Tours,
Central Park Bike Tour or rentalTours,Bike Tours,
Brooklyn Bridge Bike RentalTours,Bike Tours,
SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walk TourTours,Walking Tour,
SoHo and Little Italy Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Brooklyn Museum & Botanic GardenTourist Attractions,
Brooklyn Botanic GardenTourist Attractions,
Brooklyn Childrens MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
Secrets of the Statue of Liberty & Ellis IslandTours,
Central Park ZooTourist Attractions,Zoos and Aquariums,
Bronx ZooTourist Attractions,Zoos and Aquariums,
NYC Bus Tour of Bronx, Brooklyn & QueensTours,Bus Tours,
Best of Manhattan Bus Tour - Gray LineTours,Bus Tours,
Brooklyn Hop-on, Hop-off Bus, Gray LineTours,Bus Tours,
Downtown Hop-on, Hop-off Bus - Gray LineTours,Bus Tours,
Night Tour - Gray Line CitySightseeingTours,Bus Tours,
Uptown Hop-on, Hop-off Bus - Gray LineTours,Bus Tours,
9/11 Museum Workshop: Hands-On TourTours,Museums,Walking Tour,
Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour BrooklynTours,Walking Tour,
Harlem Bike Rental (Full-Day)Tours,Bike Tours,
Brooklyn Bridge Guided Bike TourTours,Bike Tours,
VesselTourist Attractions,
Top of the Highline and Vessel TourTours,Walking Tour,
Escape VirtualityJust for Fun,
Food on Foot ToursTours,Walking Tour,
Marvel & DC Superheroes ToursTours,Walking Tour,
Tastes of the Lower East Side Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Greenwich Village at Night Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Broadway & Times Square Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
LOL Times Square Comedy ClubTourist Attractions,
LOL Times Square MagicTourist Attractions,
Harlem Jazz SeriesTourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
Pride Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Best of Brooklyn Walk Tour, WilliamsburgTours,Walking Tour,
Street Art WorkshopTours,
The New York Botanical GardenTourist Attractions,
Fotografiska New YorkTourist Attractions,Walking Tour,
Central Park Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Central Park Walking Tour, Beyond ToursTours,Walking Tour,
Central Park Walking Tour - CP SightseeingTours,Walking Tour,
Greenwich Village Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Greenwich Village Walking Tour - NYTour1Tours,Walking Tour,
Lower Manhattan Walk Tour - Exp FirstTours,Walking Tour,
Lower Manhattan Walking Tour - NYTour1Tours,Walking Tour,
Secrets of Hudson Yards, High Line & VesselTours,Walking Tour,
Secret of Downtown Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Wall Street Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Bronx's Little Italy and Arthur Avenue TourTours,Walking Tour,
Spirits On Foot - Beer, Spirits & Wine CrawlTours,Walking Tour,
Queens-Flushing Meadows Food ExcursionTours,Walking Tour,
NYC Fashion Window Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Masters of the Camera NYC PhotoshootJust for Fun,
High Line, Chelsea, Meatpacking Walk TourTours,Walking Tour,
Guided Harlem Highlights Bike TourTours,Bike Tours,
Museum of Jewish HeritageTourist Attractions,Museums,
New York City Sketching Art TourTours,
The Met CloistersTourist Attractions,Museums,
Ghosts of Greenwich Village ToursTours,Walking Tour,
The Museum of The City of New YorkTourist Attractions,
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center New JerseyTourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
SEA LIFE Aquarium New JerseyTourist Attractions,Zoos and Aquariums,
Escape Game New YorkJust for Fun,
Scavenger Hunts - New YorkTours,Just for Fun,
NYC Slavery & Underground Railroad TourTours,Walking Tour,
South Street Seaport MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
New York Historical Society MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
Brooklyn Historical SocietyTourist Attractions,Museums,
Hamilton Happy Hour TourTours,
Surrey Bike Rental on Governors IslandTours,Bike Tours,
Perfect PicnicTours,Just for Fun,
Woodbury Common Bus TourTours,Bus Tours,
LEGOLAND Discovery Center, WestchesterTourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
Staten Island Ferry Audio GuideTours,Boat Tours,
Liberty Cruise: Circle Line SightseeingTours,Boat Tours,
Clipper City Tall Ship: Statue SailTours,Boat Tours,
Shearwater at North Cove: Statue SailTours,Boat Tours,
Brooklyn Bridge Bike RentalTours,Bike Tours,
Brooklyn Museum of ArtTourist Attractions,Museums,
Museum of Arts and DesignTourist Attractions,Museums,
New MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
Intro to New York Live InteractiveTours,
The Cathedral of St. John the DivineTourist Attractions,
Walk This Way Thru Harlem Hip Hop TourTours,Walking Tour,
Harlem Walking Tours - One Stop ToursTours,Walking Tour,
Hush Tours - Walk This Way Thru HarlemTours,Walking Tour,
Brooklyn Bridge Walking TourTours,Walking Tour,
Harlem Highlights Bike TourTours,
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
New York Hall of ScienceTourist Attractions,Museums,
Fraunces Tavern® MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
El Museo del BarrioTourist Attractions,Museums,
MoMA PS1Tourist Attractions,Museums,
The Museum of Chinese in AmericaTourist Attractions,Museums,
International Center, Photography MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
Museum at Eldridge St.Tourist Attractions,Museums,
The Skyscraper MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
New York Transit MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
National Lighthouse MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
Staten Island ZooTourist Attractions,Zoos and Aquariums,
Staten Island MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
Staten Island Children's MuseumTourist Attractions,Museums,
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & GardenTourist Attractions,
Deno's Wonder WheelTourist Attractions,Just for Fun,
The Paley Center for MediaTourist Attractions,
Macy's Historical TourTours,
NY AquariumTourist Attractions,Zoos and Aquariums,
Bowlmor Times SquareJust for Fun,
Buffalo Wild Wings - BrooklynJust for Fun,
Buffalo Wild Wings - Times SquareJust for Fun,

Each one of these attraction passes has its strengths and weaknesses, but no matter what you’re wanting out of your flexible pass, there’s one that’s well-suited to your needs.

New York Explorer Pass

Take your pick: the New York Explorer Pass is available for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 10 attractions, and it’s valid at around 75 different attractions throughout the city. No matter what number of attractions you select, the Explorer Pass is good for 60 days. It is accepted at the majority of the city’s most prominent landmarks and museums, but it also includes many less-famous but still-worthwhile attractions, too.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the great things about the New York Explorer Pass is the way in which it mixes access to some of the city’s most popular attractions with an assortment of hidden gems. The New York Explorer Pass will get you in the door at places like the Empire State Building and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—but it’ll also cover Central Park bike tours, themed neighborhood walks, multiple botanical gardens, and so much more.

For a travel pass covering some 75 distinctive experiences, the New York Explorer Pass is missing the odd notable attraction, like for instance Madison Square Garden. Just something to keep in mind as you make your plans.

New York Sightseeing Flex Pass

One of two attraction passes promoted by New York Sightseeing Pass, the Flex Pass is a terrific option for visitors to New York City who are seeking a flexible attraction pass with a lengthy list of available attractions. The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass may be purchased for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions. It’s good at over 100 unique attractions throughout the city.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The true strength of the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass is its expansive attraction list. The list is large and diverse: you’ll find among its offerings New York City landmarks, one-of-a-kind museums, eclectic guided tours, deals on food and drink, and a whole lot more. And even better, not only does the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass provide you with a huge list of approximately 100 different attractions, but it can frequently be found for sale online at a discounted price.

Though it’s tough to beat the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass attraction list, it should be noted that not everything it advertises on its website as an “exclusive” attraction is actually unique to its brand. Many of these “exclusives” are still also available from other passes.

New York CityPASS

The New York CityPASS covers your admission to six of New York City’s most famous attractions from a list of nine possible choices. Your New York CityPASS comes standard with admission to the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It also lets you pick three more attractions to visit: the Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum; the 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or a ticket on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The New York CityPASS is a very targeted attraction pass. If you’re in New York City for a short period of time and want to prioritize seeing some of its absolute most famous attractions, this could be a great option for you. Though it has a limited attraction list, the CityPASS does still cater to diverse experiences, covering as it does museums, observation decks, and cruises. It’s a convenient, direct way to get the New York Experience on a time-sensitive budget.

The narrow focus of the New York CityPASS means that it doesn’t include some of the prominent attractions available via other flexible attraction passes. If you’re especially interested in Madame Tussauds New York, or really want to go on a bike, walking, or bus tour of New York City, be advised that these attractions aren’t covered by the CityPASS.

New York C3 by CityPASS

New York C3 is perhaps the most straightforward flexible pass on the market right now. For one flat price, it’ll cover your admission to three classic New York City attractions. Attractions offered as part of the New York C3 pass include the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Edge at Hudson Yards, and several offerings from City Cruises and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises.

Strengths and Weaknesses

New York C3 is very similar to the New York CityPASS—except it ultimately is good at three attractions, not six. This means it’s perfect for those visitors who want to save some money while visiting only the most iconic New York City destinations. Its hyper-focused attraction list will help you narrow your sightseeing focus in no time at all.

If you’re interested in seeing a different side of New York City—or just want to make sure you combine doing something famous with experiencing something unique—you’ll likely be best served looking elsewhere.

Which Flexible Pass is Right for Me?

As you can tell from the comparisons conducted above, the New York City flexible attraction pass marketplace is full of great options for all kinds of visitors. There’s a fair amount of overlap from pass to pass, but each flexible attraction pass certainly has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, too.

At the end of the day, though, broadly speaking you can separate the available New York City flexible passes into two distinct camps. To that end, you’ll find the New York CityPASS and New York C3 on one side and the New York Explorer Pass and New York Sightseeing Flex Pass on the other side.

If you want a degree of flexibility in terms of your travel schedule, but yet know you’ll still need to keep things moving along while you’re in New York, you’ll likely want to go with either the New York CityPASS or New York C3. You’ll have nine full days to use either of these attraction passes. These passes are perfect for those visitors comfortable with hitting just a handful of New York’s highlights.

If you’ve got more time to play around with, and you want to experience more than just a few of New York’s biggest landmarks, consider the New York Explorer Pass or the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass. You’ll have 60 days to use either of these flexible attraction passes, and their attraction lists include a nice mixture of New York’s greatest hits and its lesser-known treasures.