The difference between the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and the New York Explorer Pass
What is the difference between the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and the Go New York Explorer Pass? The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and the New York Explorer Pass are two discount passes for New York. The main differences are the price and the attractions that they include. Both passes work in the same way and are very user-friendly. You choose the number of attractions and there are no extra costs to be paid once you get to New York. If you would rather have a pass that allows you to visit an unlimited number of attractions, go for the New York Pass.
Tours and attractions
With the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass, you can choose from 100 tours and attractions. Whereas, the New York Explorer Pass has around 90 to choose from. Both passes allow you to visit the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory, ride a bike through Central Park and take a boat tour past or to the Statue of Liberty. In addition museums, such as the 9/11 Museum, the Guggenheim and the American Museum of Natural History, are also included in both. A difference is that the Flex Pass includes entrance to Edge and Vessel, and it offers the option to take a transfer to the airport. The Explorer Pass, on the other hand, has a better offer of bike and boat tours.
Hop-on Hop-off bus
You can take a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour with both passes. The Flex Pass includes a Gray Line-ticket for 72 hours, with which you can take the Uptown and Downtown tours. This counts as one attraction. The Brooklyn and evening tours both count as separate attractions. With the Explorer Pass, you can choose a one day Big Bus-ticket. This also includes the Uptown and Downtown tours. Alongside this, only the Evening Tour is available as a separate attraction.
Both passes include entrance to the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and One World Observatory. There’s one big difference between the two and that is that the entrance to Edge Observation Deck in Hudson Yards is only included in the Flex Pass. With the Explorer Pass, you cannot visit this platform.
How do the passes work?
The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and the New York Explorer Pass work in the same way. You buy the Flex Pass for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions or the Explorer Pass for 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions. With the Flex Pass, you have 60 days to visit the attractions you choose. The validity of the Explorer Pass is 30 days. You can decide which attractions you want to visit on the spot. After purchase, you receive a voucher per email. On the voucher is a QR-code, which is your pass. You can show the pass on your phone, or print it out.
Which pass should I choose?
If all attractions that you want to visit are included in the Flex Pass, then this is the pass I recommend because of its low price. The passes for 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions are extra good value with my personal discount code. Do you want to go to the Empire State Building and do a Circle Line Cruise? Then the Explorer Pass is a better option. Specifically the Explorer Pass for 5 or 7 attractions as they are the best value. Below you can see the biggest differences:
|New York Sightseeing Flex Pass||New York Explorer Pass|
|2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions||2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions|
|US$74 – $237 up to 20% discount!||$94 – $279|
|100+ attractions and tours||90+ attractions and tours|
|72-hour Hop-on Hop-off bus||1-day Hop-on Hop-off bus|
|Edge and Vessel||Empire State Building|
|Central Park Zoo & Transfer to the airport||Bike Tours & Circle Line Cruises|