Planning a trip to New York City? Wondering if the Go City New York Explorer Pass is a good deal?
I recently partnered with Go City for our New York City family vacation. We used their New York Explorer Pass to visit popular NYC attractions. We have used similar passes in New York, Washington DC, and London. I was excited to see how the New York Explorer Pass works and whether it is a good bargain for families.
Overall, I liked the New York Explorer Pass and would recommend it. I liked choosing a number of attractions – not a number of days – so we didn't have to rush through activities and run all over the city to get our money's worth.
Here's how the Go City New York Explorer Pass works, what's included, and my tips for getting the most for your money. Decide for yourself if this pass is right for your family.
How it Works
The Go City New York Explorer Pass is one ticket that gets you into dozens of top New York City attractions, including:
- The Empire State Building
- The Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
- Big Bus Hop on Hop off Tour
- 9/11 Memorial and Museum
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- American Museum of Natural History
- Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
- and many more…
The New York Explorer Pass is super-flexible. You choose a number of activities – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 10 – from Go City's big list of New York City's most popular attractions and tours. Then visit them on your own timeline.
You get 60 days to visit all your attractions after you use your New York Explorer Pass the first time – which should be plenty of time for most visitors. A 60-day window makes this pass a good option for locals too.
You don't need to choose your activities in advance unless the activity requires a reservation. When we needed a reservation for the Empire State Building, I made it through the Go City website for no extra cost. The Go City website told me everything I needed to know before I left home, including COVID-19 requirements and restrictions.
Use the Go City mobile app to access your pass and get information about attractions. I had the passes for my whole family on my phone and they worked just like regular tickets when we arrived. We did not have to stand in the ticket line or shop multiple websites for tickets before our trip, which saved us time.
How to Buy
Buy your New York Explorer Pass through the official Go City website at https://gocity.com/new-york.
Click the BUY Button at the top of the page.
Choose the pass with the number of activities you want. Passes are available for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 10 activities. The 2-Choice pass was just right for our weekend trip. The 5-Choice Pass is the most popular option, according to the official Go City website.
The more activities you buy, the more you will probably save on admissions (if you do them all). Click the Attractions menu option to see how many of your must-do attractions are available on the New York Explorer Pass.
Download the Go City mobile app on your phone. Set up your account and follow the instructions to sync your pass with the mobile app. Do this before you leave home. With the app, you'll have your activity options and your passes with you all the time. It's so convenient.
You can cancel your New York Explorer Pass and get a refund within 90 days of purchase if the pass has not been activated. Your pass will automatically activate when you scan it at your first activity.
Here are a few tips for buying your New York Explorer Pass.
- Child prices are for ages 3-12. Teens are the same price as adults.
- Multiple people cannot share one pass. Each person needs to have their own.
- Your unactivated pass is good for two years after you buy it and you can return an unactivated pass for a refund within 90 days.
Prices tend to go up over time, so if you see a sale on the New York Explorer Pass, it's a good idea to buy early.
How Much Will You Save?
How much you save with New York Explorer Pass will vary, depending on how many attractions you buy and the cost of the activities you choose.
Here's how to maximize your savings with the Go City New York Pass.
- Buy a pass with more choices. The average cost-per-attraction goes down when you buy a pass with more choices. For example, the average cost per attraction with the 2-Choice adult pass is $36.50. The average cost per attraction with the 5-Choice adult pass is $28. The 10-Choice pass average is $22.90.
- Choose attractions with higher-than-average admission fees. Some included attractions, like the Empire State Building, Big Bus Tour, or Circle Line Boat Tour, cost $40-60 per adult without the pass. Other included attractions cost $20-25 without the pass. You'll save more if you use your New York Explorer Pass to enjoy the most expensive activities. You might lose money if you buy a pass and then use it only on $20 activities.
- Check kids' admission on official websites. Sometimes it's less expensive to pay regular admission for kids and teens than buy a New York Explorer Pass for them. It depends on your must-do activities. For example, you'll pay the adult price for the New York Explorer Pass for kids over age 12. But everyone under age 17 gets into the Museum of Modern Art for free. If that museum is high on your list, your teen's Explorer Pass won't save you money there.
Here's how much my family saved…
Go City provided my family with complimentary 2-Choice passes. We chose to visit the Empire State Building and Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. We have two adults and two kids, ages 17 and 14.
- Total cost of Empire State Building without pass: $168
- Total cost of Intrepid Museum without pass: $132
- Total cost of four 2-Choice adult New York Explorer Passes: $276
OUR TOTAL SAVINGS WITH 2-CHOICE PASS: $24
The official Go City website recommends an itinerary for the 5-Choice Pass that can save you $120 per person. This itinerary includes:
- Empire State Building
- Big Bus Tour
- Museum of Ice Cream
- Central Park Bike Tour
- Circle Line Cruise
Regular adult admission for each of these is well over the average of $28 per attraction for the 5-Choice Pass.
If these are the kind of activities your family will enjoy, then the New York Explorer Pass is probably a good fit for you. Click the button below to visit the official Go City website now.
There are a lot of bundle-and-save passes to choose from in New York City, and they will all save you money if you use them right. But they don't all work the same way, and they all have different advantages.
Here are the advantages of choosing the New York Explorer Pass from Go City:
- Dozens of attractions to choose from
- Pay for a number of attractions (not a number of days), so you can schedule your vacation at your own pace.
- You have 60 days to use up the pass after you scan it at your first attraction.
The New York Explorer Pass is a great option for families who want a lot of activity options, but only want to pay for a few attractions. Fill the rest of your itinerary with off-list attractions, free attractions, or much-deserved rest.