New York Explorer Pass Online Guide
From majestic skyscrapers to serene Central Park; from haute cuisine to delectable street food; from fine art to Times Square and Broadway shows, New York City is an explorer’s city. We’re thrilled to show it to you.
Head to the Top of the Rock, say hello to Lady Liberty, cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Wander through the world-renowned museums or see the skyline at twilight. The best of the Big Apple is yours for the taking — all on one magical Explorer Pass.
We at Smart Destinations want to help you get the most out of your trip, no matter what your interests are. In this guide, you will discover all there is to see and do in the city that never sleeps!
So start the day out right with bagels and lox, and grab a black and white cookie for the road — the city awaits!
Every pass has a unique code, which will be scanned for admission to each attraction. For special offers at shops and restaurants, show your pass to your server or cashier.
Good to Know
- Please read attraction information for hours, closings, and special admission instructions. Some attractions require reservations.
- Visiting your first attraction activates your pass. Then, you have 30 days to use your pass. You have 1 year from purchase to activate your pass or it will expire.
- You may visit an attraction once per the life of the pass, unless otherwise noted.
About this Guide
- To get the most out of this guide, enable location services in your browser.
- You'll see this symbol on the Details tab, next to the approximate time it takes to visit an attraction.
- Attractions displaying this icon may close or have varied hours of operation during winter.
These are a few questions we hear from customers regularly. If you have a question not answered here, please get in touch:
- Toll-free within the US: 800‑887‑9103
- Toll-free within UK: 0800 090 3140
- From other countries: +1 617 671 1001
- Mon-Fri: 5 am - 10 pm EST
- Saturday: 9 am - 8 pm EST
- Sunday: 9 am - 8 pm EST
Please note, Customer Care will be closed for Christmas, December 25th.
- How do I activate my pass?
- Easy: simply visit your first attraction!
- How do I use my pass?
- Every pass has a unique code, which will be scanned for admission to each attraction. Please read attraction information for hours, closings, and special admission instructions. Some attractions require reservations.
- I purchased multiple passes, how do I use them at attractions?
- You will need to show the individual passes for each member of your party at attractions to get in.
- When can I visit attractions?
- You can visit most attractions during their normal operating hours. Please read attraction information for specific hours and closings.
- Do I need to make reservations?
- A few attractions require reservations. Check each attraction's details for more information.
- When does my pass expire?
- You have 1 year from purchase to activate your pass or it will expire. Once activated, your Pass will be valid for 30 days.
- How do the included city bus tours work?
You may choose one tour from the following options: All Around Town Tour (requires $14.00 upgrade fee), Hop-On Hop-Off Downtown Tour, Uptown Treasures & Harlem Tour, Night Bus Tour, Brooklyn Tour, Multilingual Upper and Lower Manhattan Tour.
- How do I use my pass to visit the Statue of Liberty?
- Present your New York Explorer Pass at one of the Statue Cruises ticket counters inside Castle Clinton at Battery Park.Once you have obtained your Ferry Ticket from Castle Clinton you must wait in the security line before boarding.The Ferry requires is airport-level security, so be prepared for a long wait. Allow at least 2 hours to visit one island and 4 hours to visit Ellis & Liberty islands.Your pass provides you access to the island only. Pedestal & crown access requires reservations and space is limited, and is not included with your pass.
- How can I get a spot on popular tours?
- We recommend you make your reservation and/or pick up your ticket as soon as possible after arriving in New York for the best chance at reserving your spot. For tickets to On Location Tours, bring your Explorer Pass to the On Location Tours office to book your tour. Reservations cannot be made prior to your arrival in New York City, and cannot be made over the phone.
The MTA-operated subway system is the fastest way to travel around New York City. Despite the surge of passengers during rush hours, the subway system remains quick and affordable, at $2.50 per ride. Purchase a reusable MetroCard from ATM-style vending machines or manned booths at any subway station.
Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards can be used for up to four people. Any amount can be loaded onto the cards, but you get a 7% bonus credit for any amount over $10. Up to three children under 44 inches tall may ride free on subways and local buses when accompanied by an adult. The Unlimited Ride MetroCards can only be used by one person at a time. A 7-Day Unlimited Ride Metro Card costs $30.
Visit mta.info for latest fares and trip planners.
Cabs are generally best used at night when traveling cross town — during the day, gridlock can make walking a faster choice. Official New York City taxis are yellow and you can generally hail one on any street. The cost is 40¢ for every 1/5 mile or 40¢ every 2 minutes in slow or stopped traffic. There is no extra charge for luggage or additional passengers. Passengers are responsible for paying the flat rate and any additional bridge or tunnel tolls. A $1 surcharge is also incurred between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm and a 50¢ surcharge applies after 8:00 pm-6:00 am. Feel free to ask your driver to turn off the radio, provide air-conditioning and dictate the route that should be taken. It’ polite to tip your driver, though never required.
New Yorkers love walking! The best way for visitors to experience the city is to get out and walk. Gridlock traffic, subway delays and a gruesome lack of parking can make walking the most comfortable way to enjoy the city, especially Manhattan. However, visitors should not try to walk like native New Yorkers, weaving in and out of crowds and dodging cars — be sure to use crosswalks and play it safe.