After 13 months traveling abroad, we arrived in New York City for 3 nights, to explore the sites. We had two full days or 48 hours to pack in as much as we could. We planned our visit and decided to do the Mid/Uptown area on Day 1 and head down to the bottom for Day 2. Here is what we did using the City Pass.
We started out with breakfast at our apartment before heading out just after 8:00am to pick up our City Passes.
First stop: Top of the Rock-Included in CityPass or $29 per adult
Head to the top of Rockefeller Center for amazing views of the city and central park. The top three floors are accessible and on a clear day you can see forever through the glass observation decks. There is seating and wifi at the top.
Second stop: Museum of Modern Art-Included in CityPass or $25 per adult
If you like modern art you should definitely check out the MOMA. With 4 stories of galleries you are sure to find something you like. We enjoyed checking out a few Andy Warhol pieces as well as the photography galleries. With admission you can pick up an audio guide that doubles as a camera. The device follows your journey and emails you the pictures you have taken when you leave.
Third stop: Lunch at Mangia
Located at 50 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019
We stopped for an hour for a tasty lunch and had the opportunity to meet up with Jason’s close friend Andrew who works in the city. Lunch was very good and the company was even better. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can grab takeout from the first floor deli.
Fourth stop: Central Park (FREE)
After lunch we walked up through the park taking in the beauty we had seen from the Top of the Rock. Central park is huge and we could have easily spent a day just exploring the park, but with only two days we just covered the bottom section.
Fifth stop: American Museum of Natural History-Included in CityPass or $27 per adult
Included in our CityPass was either an IMAX show or a Planetarium show. We decided to check out the Planetarium show before exploring the 5 floors of the museum. Exhibits include mammals, space, ocean life and more.
Last Stop: Dinner and drinks at Prohibition
Right around the corner from the apartment was a great place with outdoor seating for people watching and a nice indoor area. Typically there is live music every night, but the night we were there they were filming a reality TV show, Bar Swap, similar to Wife Swap, but with bar owners switching placing. The owner that had taken over Prohibition had a dive bar in another area of town and had redone the place to be “more fun.” He had added a stripper pole, a wheel of drinks and more. The normal co-owner and staff were apologetic explaining that this wasn’t the normal scene! We had a great time though and may even end up on TV!
We started off again with breakfast at the apartment before heading out on the subway by 8am.
First stop: Battery Park for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island-Included in CityPass or $18 per person
This was a highlight for us. The ticket includes the ferry to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. First stop is the Statue of Liberty where you pick up your audio guide for a tour around the island. We both really enjoyed the audio tour. The ticket does not grant you entry into the statue, only to the grounds. On Ellis Island you have entry to the amazing immigration museum as well as an audio tour. You can even look up your ancestors on the computers and find them on the wall outside.
Second stop: World Trade Center Memorials (FREE).
We stopped by ground zero to see the amazing memorial for those lost in the 9/11 tragedy as well as those who died in the 1993 bombing. The twin pools are surrounded with the names of those who died and there is a museum that is on the grounds as well. All of this sits at the base of the new and very impressive One World Trade Center and is definitely a must visit if you’re anywhere near the city.
Third stop: Late lunch at Chipotle
Fourth stop: Empire State Building-Included in CityPass or $42 per adult
General Admission to the 86th Floor Observatory plus bonus same-night general admission. You can check out the city views during the day and then come back to see the city lights at night if you want, both entries are included with the CityPASS. We only went the one time, we were just too tired after a full day to go back.
What you need to know about the CiyPASS:
Cost-$109 for Adults and $82 for Children 6-17
Valid-9 consecutive days from first use
Includes-Admission to 6 attractions:
- Empire State Building
- American Museum of Natural History and Imax or Planetarium show
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art and same week entrance to The Cloisters
- Museum of Modern Art
- Top of the Rock or Guggenheim Museum
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
Purchase-Online or at any of the participating attractions
Use-Vouchers can be used in any order and many include express entrance
Is the CityPASS worth it?
Our opinion is YES! If you have at least 2 full days in the city and plan to see many of the sites included in the CityPASS you will save money by buying pass. For first timers to the city the pass covers all of the key attractions. If you would like more information about the CityPASS or anything else involving a visit to New York City, go to NYCgo where you can get your CityPass, look for hotels or even book a broadway show!
Thanks to NYC & Company for sponsoring our CityPass and helping us to get the most out of our visit to New York City.