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 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 80 to choose from. Both passes allow you to visit the Top of the Rock, ride a bike through Central Park and take a boat tour past or to the Statue of Liberty. In addition to museums, such as the 9/11 Museum, the Guggenheim and the American Museum of Natural History, which are also included in both. A big difference is that the Empire State Building is not included with the Flex Pass. Plus, the bike options are very limited. However, the Flex Pass does include entrance to the One World Observatory and offers the option to take a transfer to the airport.
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 includes the Uptown and Downtown tours. Alongside this, only the Evening Tour is available as a separate attraction.
EXPLORER PASS DEAL: If you’re travelling between March 1st and June 1st you receive a 2-day Big Bus ticket as one of your attraction choices, including the Brooklyn and Harlem Loops.
The Empire State Building is not included in the Flex Pass. However, the Flex Pass is the only discount pass that includes an option to visit the One World Observatory. The Empire State Building is included as an option with the Explorer Pass, One World Observatory is not.
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 11 attractions. With both passes, you have 30 days to visit the attractions you choose. 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. The Sightseeing Pass voucher can also be exchanged for a physical pass; in New York, or sent to your home.
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 it’s low price. The passes for 6, 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 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 11 attractions|
|US$69 – $224 up to 20% discount!||CA$90 – $285|
|100+ attractions and tours||80+ attractions and tours|
|72 hour Hop-on Hop-off bus||1 day Hop-on Hop-off bus|
|One World Observatory||Empire State Building|
|Central Park Zoo & Transfer to the airport||Bike Tours & Circle Line Cruises|