The Difference between the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and the Go New York Explorer Pass

Difference between the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and New York Explorer Pass 1

What is the difference between the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and the Go New York Explorer Pass (also known as 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 both the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and the Go New York Explorer Pass, you can choose up to 100 tours and attractions. Both passes allow you to visit all four observation decks in New York: the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory and Edge. With the two passes, you can also ride a bike through Central Park and visit Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Also, museums, such as the 9/11 Museum, the Guggenheim and the American Museum of Natural History, are included in both. A difference is that the Flex Pass includes entrance to Central Park Zoo, The Bronx Zoo, and New York Aquarium. The Explorer Pass, on the other hand, includes a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, and it has a better offer of bike rentals and boat tours.

Hop-on Hop-off bus

You can take the 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.

Due to COVID-19, the Hop-on Hop-off ticket is currently a one day ticket with the Flex Pass.
Eric’s Tip: The New York Sightseeing Flex Pass offers all kinds of different attractions like the Bronx Zoo and the Central Park Zoo. Do you want to visit the Statue of Liberty and go on an evening cruise? Then go for the Explorer Pass. 

Difference between New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and New York Explorer Pass - Empire State Building Difference between New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and New York Explorer Pass - One World Observatory View

Observation deck

Both passes include entrance to all four New York observation decks: the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory and Edge. Even if you’re not sure yet which platforms you’d like to visit, you can choose both passes, as with both you can decide in New York where you’d like to go.

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, 6, 7 or 10 attractions. After purchase, you have at least 12 months to activate the Flex Pass or the Explorer Pass. You activate the pass by going to your first attraction and showing the QR-code, which you receive by email after purchase. After activation, your pass will be valid for 60 days, which gives you plenty of time to visit the number of attractions you chose. You don’t have to decide which attractions you want to visit before you go to New York, you can do this while you are there. For some tours and attractions, you can make a reservation in advance, which does not activate the pass.

Which Pass Should I Choose?

If all of the 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 even better value, with my personal discount code. Do you want to go to the Statue of Liberty or on an evening cruise? Then the Explorer Pass is a better option. Specifically the Explorer Pass for 5, 6, 7 or 10 attractions, which are best in terms of 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, 6, 7 or 10 attractions
$74 - $264 + extra discount with code! $73 - $218
100+ attractions and tours 90+ attractions and tours
Statue of Liberty not included Statue of Liberty included
Central Park Zoo & The Bronx Zoo THE RIDE & Evening cruise

Click here to buy the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass

Click here to buy the New York Explorer Pass

Difference between New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and New York Explorer Pass - Central Park Difference between New York Sightseeing Flex Pass and New York Explorer Pass - Statue of Liberty

Which is better New York Sightseeing Flex Pass or New York Explorer Pass?

Both are discount passes, and they make it cheaper to visit top New York attractions. They give access to different attractions so which one is best depends on what you want to experience. Read all about the differences here.

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