January is generally a pretty miserable month, let’s be honest. After the excitement of December and Christmas – a month when everyone is in the best mood – nobody likes January. We’re all poor and summer feels like years away. So having a birthday around this time, like I do, can be pretty dull, shall we say. We always try and make the best of it by booking to go away to spa or something but this year Matt had gone one better and took me to NEW YORK! So for four glorious days, we jetted off to the big apple to celebrate my 25th birthday.
If you’ve been around these parts for a while now, you’ll remember we actually visited New York two years ago. It was most definitely one of the best trips of our lives and ever since we’ve always talked about how we’d like to go back so you can imagine how excited I was when Matt told me we would be returning. One difference this time around however was that we had the marvellous Sightseeing Pass at our disposal.
What is it?
With a Sightseeing Pass, you gain entry to over 90 incredible attractions in New York. There are two options to choose from. With the Sightseeing Pass, you choose your pass by day, going from 1-10, depending on what suits your itinerary. With this, you can enjoy as many of the attractions as you want – it’s essentially down to how much you can squeeze in during your stay! With the Sightseeing FLEX pass, you select the number of attractions you want to see. You can pick from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 and you then have seven days in which to visit your chosen attractions.
For both passes, you pay one price and then take the pass with you to your choices. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to decide which attractions you’d like beforehand, meaning you can decide last minute or change your mind if you fancy. It’s also so much easier to not have to make so many separate payments and bookings – we just kept our passes with us and that was all we needed. We went with the Sightseeing Pass for three days and loved that we essentially had the whole of New York to enjoy.
What can I see?
We were so impressed when we received our guidebook of everything we could see and do with our Sightseeing Pass – not only did it tick so many boxes for what we’d already planned to visit in New York but there was also lots we hadn’t thought of doing too. There are clear and easy instructions for each attraction – for the majority, you simply line up with everyone else but instead of paying, you hand over your pass and then receive your tickets and off you go! Even better is that for certain options, you even get fast track.
On day one, we started by stopping by Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Times Square. There are a few around the world – even one in London – but neither Matt nor I had been and while it might not have necessarily been something that we would have shelled money out for initially, because it was included with our pass, we thought “why not?” There are two floors of exhibits with so many fascinating things to look at and learn about. We especially loved the interactive parts which you could physically get involved in as well as the chance to take lots of photos. I’d especially recommend the Black Hole and Laserace.
Although we had already visited the Empire State Building on our previous visit, that had been a night time so instead, we decided to stop by and try to catch a sunset. The view, as you can imagine, was divine and always something that is going to be mindblowing. You just feel so tiny! It was lovely to catch even a hint of a sunset although it was absolutely freezing so we had to keep dipping in and out.
On our second day, we grabbed breakfast then caught the Gray Line hop-on-hop-off bus which was included with our pass (you’ll see these all around New York). These are such a fantastic way of getting around the city and have several different routes to get you where you need to go. This aspect of the Sightseeing Pass really helped us save money on taxis plus there are tour guides who are able to offer so much information on New York’s rich history.
We got off at the 9/11 memorial, something we were sad to have missed our first time around. The memorial itself is free of charge and features the names of every single person who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of both February 26th 1993 and September 11th 2001. The names are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools and it was that which was so incredibly haunting to me – the sheer amount of names. We then headed to the One World Observatory, located on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floor of the World Trade Centre which you can reach in the elevator in just 47 seconds! Unlike the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, you don’t go outside but neither Matt nor I minded – as you can see from my photo above, the views were so spectacular that the fact we were seeing them through glass didn’t matter to us.
We then caught the Brooklyn hop-on-hop-off bus where our tour guide Tom – a very proud Brooklynite – was full of stories and facts all about his hometown. We decided to stay on the bus for the tour but I’d love to explore more of Brooklyn one day. Our day ended back in Times Square with a recommendation by my nail technician – the LOL comedy club. “It looks a bit dingy – but go with it!” The club was literally just a door in the middle of Times Square but we headed up some stairs and handed our Sightseeing Pass in. We were led into a small room with chairs surrounding a small stage and mic and our drinks order taken. We enjoyed a hilarious night of about five or six different comedians who left us with tears streaming down our eyes – it was fantastic and I couldn’t reccomend it more.
The final day of our Sightseeing Pass saw us back on the hop-on-hop-off bus but this time we jumped off at the American Museum of Natural History, somewhere Matt had been keen to see. I couldn’t quite believe how big the place was – you could literally spend hours there, wandering around.
Would you recommend a Sightseeing Pass?
I would 100%, no doubt about it, recommend a Sightseeing Pass. While we were kindly gifted our passes, it’s something I will be recommending to all my friends and family who decide to visit New York. The amount of money and time you save is so incredibly useful and there’s such a variety of activities to choose from. You can even get discounts on restaurants like Planet Hollywood, theatre tickets and even water taxis! We encountered no problems in redeeming our pass each time we visited an attraction, everything was so straightforward and stress-free – just what you want on a holiday. Whether you’re travelling on your own, with your other half or as a family, you will get so much use out of a Sightseeing Pass.
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This post is in collaboration with Sightseeing Pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.