Go City vs CityPASS San Francisco: Which Is Better?

City attraction passes, you gotta love them for their money-saving potential!

And if you’re visiting San Francisco, you are in a great spot because you actually have a choice between attraction passes such as Go City and CityPASS.

Whenever I’m in new destinations and am in the mood to explore a few tourist attractions in a city, my go-to is to find admission tickets at a discounted price. And this is where attraction passes come in handy!

These passes can be a great way to see a lot more of a city for a lot less money, but how do you choose which brand of attraction pass is right for you? And more importantly, are they worth the money?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two city attraction passes, Go City and CityPASS, and dive into what they offer, how they’re similar and how they differ, so you can ultimately decide which one will be the best choice for you.

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What Is A City Attraction Pass?

A city attraction pass is a ticket or pass that provides access to a selection of popular tourist attractions in a particular city. These passes often offer a discounted rate for the included attractions, making them a cost-effective option for travelers who plan to visit multiple attractions during their trip.

City attraction passes can be purchased for a set number of days, and typically include a variety of activities such as museum visits, sightseeing tours, and theme park tickets. Some even come with free transportation around a city, which is great if you plan to get around via public transportation rather than on foot or by rental car.

The two attraction passes that we’ll be looking at in detail for San Francisco are Go City and CityPASS.

Pier 7 - Best Views In San Francisco California

What Is Go City?

Go City is a digital attraction pass that’s available in a variety of popular cities around the world, including San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Amsterdam, Seoul, London, Paris, Sydney and a bunch of other cities.

The Go City Pass provides easy access and admission to a city’s most popular museums and excursions. With certain excursions, you’re even able to skip the line, saving you both money and time.

Go City San Francisco Pass

In some cities like SF, Go City offers two versions of their passes– the All-Inclusive Pass and the Explorer Pass. Let’s compare the two.

Go City San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass

The Go City All-Inclusive Pass is really great for travelers who want to see as much as possible while they’re in a destination.

With the Go City San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass, you can choose between a 1, 2, 3, or 5-day pass that will give you free admission to 25+ museums and attractions throughout SF.

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus 1-Day Classic Tour
  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • Escape from the Rock (Alcatraz Tour)
  • San Francisco Bay Cruise
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Exploratorium
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
  • The Flyer – San Francisco’s flying theater
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
  • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
  • All-Day Comfort Bike Rental by Blazing Saddles
  • Highlights of Golden Gate Park bike tour
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center
  • Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour by ExperienceFirst
  • … and MORE!

You can check out the full list of included attractions here.

Things To Know About Go City All-Inclusive Pass:

  • Cost:
    • Adult (12+) ranges from $67.00 for 1-day pass to $156 for 5-day pass
    • Child (3-12) $56.00 for 1-day pass to $130 for 5-day pass
  • Savings potential (compared to buying same-day box office tickets of attractions): ~56%
  • Validity period: for the duration of your pass, starting with and including the first day you visit an attraction. Non-activated Explorer and All-Inclusive passes are valid for two years from the date of purchase.
  • Free transportation included with pass: No

Go City San Francisco Explorer Pass

If you don’t plan on visiting a ton of different attractions, Go City also has an Explorer Pass which will still save you a lot of money. With the Explorer Pass, you’ll pay one flat fee for a 2, 3, 4, or 5-choice pass.

You’ll then have 60 days to use the Explorer Pass on whichever attractions you’d like. There is also no need to pick attractions ahead of time, so you’ll have the flexibility to choose attractions as you go.

A lot of the same attractions included with the All-Inclusive pass are available, but some do differ. You can check out the full list of included attractions here.

Things To Know About The Go City Explorer Pass:

  • Cost:
    • Adult (12+) ranges from $58.00 for 2-choice pass to $94 for 5-choice pass
    • Child (3-12) $45.00 for 2-choice pass to $78 for 5-choice pass
  • Savings potential (compared to buying same-day box office tickets of attractions): ~56%
  • Validity period: for the duration of your pass, starting with and including the first day you visit an attraction. Non-activated Explorer and All-Inclusive passes are valid for two years from the date of purchase.
  • Free transportation included with pass: No

Pro Tip: Looking to save even more money? Buy a pass with more days or more choices. As you can see from the prices above, the Go City passes actually get cheaper from a cost-per-day perspective if you opt for more days or more choices.

For example, a 2-choice Explorer pass costs $58 for the 2 activities, which means each activity would effectively cost you $29 each. But, if you were to buy the 5-choice activity pass, the cost per activity drops to under $20! What a steal that is, especially compared to $58 for just 2 activities.

DEAL ALERT: For a limited time, use the above link + the promo code AFFGOALL for an additional 5% off your Go City pass. This code is valid for any Go City pass in any destination!


What is CityPASS?

CityPASS is another popular city attraction pass that is available in a number of cities in the United States and Canada. Like Go City, CityPASS offers a selection of popular tourist attractions for just one price.

CityPASS tickets are valid for a set number of days, and typically include access to a variety of museums, sightseeing tours, and theme parks.

After you purchase your CityPASS online, you’ll receive an email afterward with an e-ticket for each individual in your party.

Depending on the attraction, you will either present your CityPASS® tickets (electronically or printed), your attraction reservation, or both. If the attraction does not require advance reservations, then you’ll just need to show your CityPASS® tickets–easy peasy!

San Francisco CityPASS

CityPASS (Original Version)

At the time of writing, the San Francisco CityPASS (original version) offers admission to 4 total attractions of your choosing.

You get admission to these two:

  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure

Plus your choice of 2 of the below:

  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Exploratorium
  • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Things To Know About The CityPASS

  • Cost: Adult (12+) $76.00 | Child (4-11) $56.00
  • Savings potential (compared to buying same-day box office tickets of attractions): 50%
  • Validity period: 9 consecutive days starting with and including the first day you visit an attraction. You have one year from the date of purchase to start using your tickets.
  • Free transportation included with pass: No

CityPASS C3 Ticket

The C3 Ticket option gives you your choice of 3 attractions instead of 4.

This option is great for visitors who are shorter on time in San Francisco, or for those who just want to play local tourist in their own backyard!

These attractions can be visited one-time only and can be visited in any order.

Attraction options on the CityPASS C3 Ticket will include:

  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure
  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • Exploratorium
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—SFMOMA
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Bay City Bike and Parkwide Bike Rentals
  • de Young Museum + Legion of Honor
  • San Francisco Zoo and Gardens

Things To Know About CityPASS C3

  • Cost: Adult (12+) $67.00 | Child (4-11) $54.00
  • Savings potential (compared to buying same-day box office tickets of attractions): up to 44%
  • Validity period: 9 consecutive days starting with and including the first day you visit an attraction. You have one year from the date of purchase to start using your tickets.
  • Free transportation included with pass: No

Differences Between Go City vs. CityPASS

Available Cities

Go City is available in a wider range of cities around the world, while CityPASS is currently only available in cities in the United States and Canada. Both are available in San Francisco.

Attractions Included

Both Go City and CityPASS offer access to a selection of popular tourist attractions in each city, but the specific attractions included in each pass may vary. In this case, you’ll find more San Francisco attractions on the Go City Pass.

Pricing

Doing an apples-to-apples comparison, the cost-per-activity price for CityPASS is $16.75 ($67/4 total activities).

The cost-per-activity price for The Go City Explorer 4-choice pass is $19.75 ($79/4 total activities).

Having said that, you do have way more options with Go City that would make the passes cheaper than $19.75 per activity (such as buying a 5-choice pass to get an even steeper discount on activities, getting an All-Inclusive Pass for 1 day and doing everything in one day, etc).


Go City vs CityPASS: Which Is Better?

Ultimately, the decision between Go City and CityPASS will depend on your specific travel plans and preferences. If you’re planning a trip to a city that is available with both passes, it’s a good idea to compare the attractions included in each pass and their pricing to see which one offers the best value for your trip.

In San Francisco and Chicago, for example, you have both options available.

If you’re planning a trip to a city that is only available with one pass, then the decision is more straightforward. However, it’s still important to carefully review the attractions included in the pass and make sure it offers good value for your specific trip.

In general, city attraction passes can be a great way to save money and make the most of your trip. By carefully comparing Go City and CityPASS, you can choose the pass that best fits your travel plans and helps you make the most of your trip.

For San Francisco specifically, I personally think the Go City San Francisco passes provide access to a lot more attractions/excursions than the CityPASS.

This is the option I would go with because pretty much everything offered on the CityPASS is included on Go City, AND you have the option to partake in a bunch of other activities via Go City.

Neither of the passes offers free public transit or cable car rides, so neither has a competitive edge on this front.

Having said that, Go City does offer the Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus 1-Day Classic Tour as an activity on both the All-Inclusive Pass and the Explorer Pass, which will give you free transportation for at least one day!

The bonus point goes to Go City!

So, which Go City ticket option is better for you–All Inclusive or Explorer?

If you have just a few days to travel and your main objective of visiting San Francisco is to see as many museums and attractions as possible, then you’ll probably want to go with the All-Inclusive option. You can visit as many attractions as you want during your pass’ active days.

However, if you’re more selective about what attractions you plan on visiting or you just want to do 1-2 activities per day, then the Explorer Pass can be better for you. Because you can redeem your choices over the course of 60 days, you can really take your sweet time seeing and doing things!

DEAL ALERT: For a limited time, use the above link + the promo code AFFGOALL for an additional 5% off your Go City pass. This code is valid for any Go City pass in any destination!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is San Francisco CityPASS worth it?

The San Francisco CityPASS is only worth it if you are truly interested in doing both the California Academy of Sciences and the Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, as well as 2 other activities listed in the qualified attractions list.

If you are not interested or will not be able to make it to all four of the activities, then you might not get the full value of the pass, in which case it may make more sense to purchase individual tickets for the attractions you do plan on visiting.

What does the San Francisco CityPASS include?

At the time of writing, the San Francisco CityPASS offers admission to 4 total attractions of your choosing. This is the breakdown:

You get admission to these two:

  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure

Plus your choice of 2 of the below:

  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Exploratorium
  • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Is the Go City San Francisco Pass worth it?

For me, 98% of the time I contemplate using Go City, it’s worth the money! That means 98% of the time, I’m saving both time and money from using Go City instead of buying tickets at the box offices.

I love using Go City passes whenever I’m in a new destination chock-full of interesting museums, activities, and local tours I want to partake in.

Having said that, I don’t use Go City everywhere I go. I only use it in destinations where the attractions actually interest me. (Hint hint: not art museums). For reference, I’ve used Go City in Chicago, Oahu, and Cancun!

Having said that, everyone’s travel style is different. If you’re like me and are not one who values art museums or spending $30+ on visits to observation decks, then you’ll need to see what else on the attraction list does interest you.

Once you have a list of all the paid attractions you’d like to do, I would recommend you do the math between the regular price of the attractions you want to visit and the total cost of the pass.

From there, you can factually determine whether or not the pass will save you money or not!

What does the Go City San Francisco Pass include?

Depending on whether you get the All-Inclusive Pass or the Explorer Pass, you can pick between 25+ museums and attractions throughout SF.

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus 1-Day Classic Tour
  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • Escape from the Rock (Alcatraz Tour)
  • San Francisco Bay Cruise
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Exploratorium
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
  • The Flyer – San Francisco’s flying theater
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
  • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
  • All-Day Comfort Bike Rental by Blazing Saddles
  • Highlights of Golden Gate Park bike tour
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center
  • Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour by ExperienceFirst
  • … and more

You can check out the full list of included attractions here.


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