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travel52 Apr 9th, 2007 08:43 AM

NYC: Best Price for Sights
We are going to New York City at the end of June with friends. We are thinking of going on the Harbor Lights Tour, Top of The Rock and perhaps Ellis Island. We have considered either a hop on/hop off tour or King of NY tour. With these things in mind is it best to just pay for everything seperately or is there a better way to go? The City Pass or Entertainment Book don't seem to have enough deals of the sights we want visit to warrant buying them. Any ideas?

Of course we will catch a Broadway Show. We're thinking of Lion King or Hairspray. My husband and I have been to NYC many times and have seen both of these shows, but think these would be great for 1st timers to see. Do you agree?

nytraveler Apr 9th, 2007 09:12 AM

The passes work only if you plan on seeing a lot of the sights they include - otherwise you end up paying more than if you do each thing separately. Check the list carefully before you buy one.

Top of the Rock is excellent and you can et tickets in advance (I believe there's a discount package with MoMA if you plan on doing that).

I'm not in favor of any of the bus tours - since they keep you off the streets, away from the people - and don;t let you actually see or do anything. I would much rather spend time in a couple of places I'm really intrested in than spend a lot of money sitting on a bus looking at the outside. (If you want the flavor of seeing the city from a bus just take one of the regular buses for $2.)

And the hop on/hop off buses don;t run that frequently and are sometime full when they do arrive. Bad idea//expensive for transportation (versus feet, subway or city bus) and really prevents you from real sightseeing.

For broadway shows go to 60 days or so before you leave. You'll find a lot of shows offer discounts (take the code to the show's regular web site) and you can get a better selection than waiting until you get to the city to get the TKTS booth. Don;t know if Lion King is doing discounts - if not - still get tickets now for best price/seat choice options.

travel52 Apr 9th, 2007 09:55 AM

Thanks. I tend to agree about the tours. I just thought since this was our friends 1st visit it would be good for them. But considering the price, we can be their tour guides and use the money elsewhere ! Thanks for the advise.

Margo_Chester Apr 9th, 2007 11:51 AM

The tours can be good when you don't have the luxury of a lot of wandering time, you can get a good overview of the city and get off the bus and check things out when you want to.

Don't write off the idea of the Entertainment book - they go sale; I forget exactly when but I have bought them at 50% off from keep an eye out for it.

travel52 Apr 9th, 2007 01:14 PM

The Entertainment Book has a 2 for 1 circle line cruise, which we are doing for sure (Harbor lights tour). I guess it would pay for the book if we used that one alone ! Thanks.

SomeDude May 7th, 2007 04:13 AM

I second , there's a nice discount to one of your desried shows, Hairspray, at

4khansen May 7th, 2007 04:28 AM

We were first time tourists a few years back and did the New York Pass. and found it very useful for us.

At the time, though, it also included a bus/subway pass for the same timeline as the activity pass which made it even a better bargain. They no longer include the transportation with it.

mclaurie May 7th, 2007 05:21 AM

I do think King of NY tour is worthwhile for first timers, but maybe only your friends need to go? I'm not a fan of the hop on/off tour. The guides are not always great and if you actually decide to get off, you can waste a lot of time waiting for the next bus.

There are 2 different passes, the NY Pass and the and people often confuse them. The NY pass includes the hop on/off bus and it always amazes me that visitors think they got good value from it. I think in order to get good value, you run around like crazy trying to fit lots in. The City pass is only good value if you intend on doing most or all of what's included. You need to do the math.

Lion King is never discounted so is a pricey ticket. If you've already seen both of these shows, why not see something new???? There are loads of good shows. Drowsy Chaperone, Curtains, Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins (yes, not just for kids) are all on discount on There are also some wonderful dramas this season if you're interested. Frost/Nixon, Journey's End, Deuce will be opening with Angela Lansbury...

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