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Monday, November 29, 2010

Is it worth it to buy a City Pass?

City pass review
Before our vacation to New York, my hubby bought two City Passes to save us some money. You have to try to save money in New York because everything except the street food is overpriced. Basically, City Passes are tickets to the main attractions in a particular city and they save you 40-45% off the regular price of admission. We decided it was worth it to buy the pass for New York for two reasons: One, New York's attractions are mostly expensive and the only free ones are Central Park and Times Square. If you want to do the tourist circuit, you have to pay. Two, we were planning very last minute, and it's hard to find deals last minute. You kind of have to make this call yourself, and check out the options for your destination city, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your NPR/AARP/AAA/NRA/Y2K membership might provide discounts to some locations, and most discount student and veteran/military tickets.
- Were you actually planning to go to the places listed? NYC's list is pretty well-rounded, but others - like Houston - feature lesser-known attractions that may not have been part of your plans.
- The coupons expire in 9 days, so don't buy a book intending to use it throughout your two-week winter break or something.
- You have to leave the coupons in the book - don't tear them out before using them.
- Having a City Pass often entitles you to skip lines and offers discounts, too. It was very convenient to skip lines at the Metropolitan Museum of art and the Empire State Building, where lines were long.
- If you're going to a city with a lot of history like Boston or Phillie I wouldn't bother. Most of the historical attractions are free. And who wants to go to the Boston museum of fine arts anyway?
- Want to relax on your vacation? Then don't buy one. It gives you an agenda!


  1. Good advice. I agree, it is definitely dependent on the city and what it's attractions are. When we were in Australia this summer I bought a 4-attraction pass for me and the kids (the hubs was working) and we liked 3 out of 4 of the attractions, so I think that one was worth it.

  2. Good advice... I didn't even know such a thing existed for NYC! They have something similar in Paris called the Paris Museum Pass and it is a really good deal, but it does mean that you will kind of have to really schedule your trip out as you want to get the most out of that pass (it's a 2 of 3 day pass so you end up cramming tons of stuff into 2-3 days but the savings are awesome).

  3. WOW!! I am absolutely loving your blog. Great job on your marathon, that is awesome. I am going to have to use the city pass, what an awesome idea and we are always looking to save mula. Great post.

  4. I can't imagine running in those summer temps in New Orleans....uggg!

  5. I bought a city pass and was glad. However, the Met and the Museum of Nat History have a "donation" system, where you can pay whatever you want to get in! I found this out AFTER I paid 20 bucks for each!