Review of the TurboPass: New York

If you’re planning a trip to New York you might be wondering if there is some sort of pass that allows you access to the major sights and attractions as well as the use of public transport. Well, here’s where the TurboPass New York steps in. Read on to discover what is included in the TurboPass New York and whether it will be worth it for your time in the Big Apple.

New York is home to a whole host of attractions and unless you live there it’s pretty much impossible to see everything! Most people plan on staying in New York for between 4-7 days and this length of time gives you chance to see the top sights, get a feel for the city and soak up the atmosphere of places like Times Square and Central Park.

One-Time Fee

While you can just explore the city on foot and visit free attractions, you may look back on your trip and feel like you missed out on things, all because you were worried about ticket prices adding up! If you purchase the TurboPass New York you can pay just one fixed fee which will allow you access to the top sights and attractions. You then don’t have to worry about keeping cash on you or adding up the numbers while you travel, allowing you to simply kick back and enjoy the experience!

Top Sights

Pretty much everyone visiting New York for the first time will want to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the Top of the Rock Observatory Deck, and these are all included in the TurboPass New York. The pass also offers free entrance into some world-famous museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The “Met”), Museum of Modern Art (“MoMA”) and the Guggenheim Museum!

Using the pass is, therefore, a great choice for first-time visitors as you are bound to visit these attractions anyway.

You might want to check out: How to spend 5 days in New York City.

Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum


The New York TurboPass is also a fantastic option for families as it offers free entrance (and often fast-pass tickets) to attractions such as Luna Park (amusement park), the NY Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, Staten Island Children Museum, the Bronx Zoo and Central Park Zoo.

This will ensure you have plenty of options to keep the kids entertained and you won’t mind if they nag you to go to different attractions throughout the day as you’ll know the costs are already included.

Ellis Island – New York

Tours Galore

Even if you’ve been to New York before and have visited most of the major attractions, you might be interested in discovering different sides of the city such as Brooklyn or the East Village. In which case, you might be inspired by some of the guided tours that are available with the TurboPass, as these allow you to get under the skin of the city thanks to the knowledge of a local guide. The Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour in Brooklyn, Broadway Walking Tour, Secrets of Downtown Walking Tour and the Culinary City Tour: East Village are all popular favourites.

Alternatively, you could create your own tour by renting a bike to discover Central Park or ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. Bike Rental by Fancy Apple is included in the pass so that’s another box ticked!

Times Square – New York

Transport Too

Not only does the TurboPass New York include the costs of attractions, but it also includes free use of the hop-on, hop-off tourist buses that make their way around the city. The pass allows you to use the Uptown, Downtown and Brooklyn routes, meaning you can pretty much get everywhere you need without buying another ticket. The hop-on, hop-off buses also provide visitors with a Night Tour and Manhattan Highlights Tour so you can sit back and enjoy the ride while also seeing the sights.

If boats are more your thing, you can enjoy a Manhattan sailing trip on the Clipper City Tall Ship or Shearwater Classic or take a ride on the wild side with a RIB NewYork High-Speed Harbor Tour.

New York Airport Transfers are also included in the New York TurboPass, with shuttles being available to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA). Travellers simply need to ensure they have booked online at least 24 hours before pick-up to reserve their spot from hotel to airport.

9/11 Memorial museum

How Does It Work?

Visitors can choose between a one-day, two-day, three-day, five-day and seven-day pass to suit their budget and time-frame. If you are staying for a few days, it’s best to go for a longer pass so you don’t have to try and cram everything into one day.

Travellers can also choose to add on a MetroCard ($35 for unlimited rides throughout New York for 7 days) which gives you all-encompassing tickets to transport and attractions.

When you have completed your payment, you will receive your TurboPass (by email to either print or use on your mobile), map and list of attractions that are included so you can start planning your trip. When you get to a sight, you then simply scan your pass and receive free entry without having to think about costs, concessions and availability.

The New York TurboPass also provides discounts to a range or restaurants, retail outlets and ticket vendors (e.g. for Broadway shows) so you can use your pass to gain other deals throughout the city.

View from the One World Trade Center Observatory

Is It Worth It?

Even if you only use the pass for the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour, One World Trade Center (Observatory), Top of the Rock Observatory and Metropolitan Museum of Art (which is more than doable in one day) you have already saved over $20.

If you opt for the 7-day pass and just visit these 10 attractions:

  • Hop-on-hop-off bus tours
  • One World Trade Center (Observatory)
  • Top of the Rock Observatory
  • Madame Tussauds (fast track entry)
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Bus tour: Experience Manhattan’s Highlights
  • The Guggenheim Museum
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (fast track entry)
  • Culinary guided tour: Go West Food Tour
  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

You would have spent $474.50, but with the 7-day TurboPass costing just $289.00 you’ll save $185.50, that’s not including any additional discounts and entrance fees!

Of course, you won’t have time to tick off absolutely everything included in the TurboPass while visiting New York, but even if you use just a handful of the tickets and experiences you will still receive a significant discount compared to buying tickets and passes one by one.

View from Top of the Rock

I personally used the 5-day New York TurboPass when I travelled around the city and found it super useful to have one card that allowed me to hop-on and hop-off the sight-seeing bus and simply walk into attractions without having to worry about buying tickets at each stop.

If you are going to New York to wander the city streets, chill out in cafes or explore more alternative sides of the city, the TurboPass may not be the best option for you, but if you’re visiting for the first time or know you will be seeing the major sights then it is an excellent fixed-price pass for your trip!

I was given a 5-day New York pass to review, as always opinions are my own.

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