Is the Go City San Francisco Pass worth it? Go City San Francisco Pass review 2024

San Francisco is famous not only as one of the most interesting cities in the United States for tourists, but also one of the most expensive. If you are planning a visit you probably already know about the cost of hotels, which are some of the highest in the US. Unsurprisingly, the San Francisco attractions have a tendency to be expensive as well, and the Go City San Francisco Pass can potentially save you a lot of money on that, but they aren’t right for everyone.

The passes cover the Big Bus hop-on, hop-off bus tours, which normally cost $65 and are the best way to see all of the famous sights in the city in just a few hours. If you are considering doing the HOHO bus, then a Go City pass is almost certainly going to save you money overall. On the other hand, if you aren’t too interested in bus tours and boat tours and theme parks and other family-oriented attractions, you are better off skipping the Go City San Francisco Pass. We will go through the best strategies and savings below, along with an exclusive discount code if you want to buy one yourself.

Go City San Francisco Pass prices for 2024

Prices vary depending on how many days you are purchasing and your age. Adult passes (13 and up) cost more than child passes (ages 3 through 12) while those who are younger than 3 are free. Below you’ll find the current prices.

Go City San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass

  • 1-Day Adult $89, 1-Day Child $84 (ages 3 to 12)
  • 2-Day Adult $129, 2-Day Child $114
  • 3-Day Adult $159, 3-Day Child $129
  • 5-Day Adult $189, 5-Day Child $149

When looking into purchasing your pass, it’s helpful to keep in mind that throughout various times of the year, discounted prices and promotions can be found.

Go City San Francisco Explorer Pass

  • 2-Choice Adult $69, 1-Day Child $59 (ages 3 to 12)
  • 3-Choice Adult $89, 2-Day Child $74
  • 4-Choice Adult $114, 3-Day Child $94
  • 5-Chioce Adult $129, 5-Day Child $114

Where to buy the Go San Francisco Pass with our EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT

Look for “Have a promo code?” in the Review Your Order screen and use the code ‘GO5POT’ for the exclusive Price Of Travel 5% discount. The 5% discount is valid on sale prices, so you save even more.

>>>Buy the Go San Francisco Pass at an ADDITIONAL 5% off using this link and the promo code GO5POT

Top sights and attractions

Hop-on, Hop-off Big Bus Classic Tour – $65.70

Not only does this 2-hour 10-minute bus tour cover all of the best San Francisco attractions, it also goes over the Golden Gate bridge for the best views of San Francisco Bay. The buses run from 10AM until 5PM. If you want to hop off to visit a specific attraction it’s not a bad idea, but this tour is not great as general transportation so it’s probably best to just get a good seat on the top and enjoy the tour once all the way through. They depart every 15 minutes so one will always be pulling up shortly after you are at the stop.

Aquarium of the Bay – $32.75

A great way to spend an hour or two, the Aquarium of the Bay is made for both adults and children. Here you’ll get the chance to learn, see and touch different marine life species that call the bay home. You’ll also find yourself wandering through 300 feet of clear tunnels that feature over 20,000 different marine animals. There’s also a Touch the Bay exhibit where you’ll find numerous touch tanks with sharks, rays and sea stars.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom– $89.99

Located about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco (just south of Napa Valley), Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is an animal-themed park with its fair share of thrill rides including many roller coasters. It can be a good compromise for young ones who might not love some of the cultural attractions that you might do on other days.

This is a full-blown amusement park loaded with roller coasters and other thrill rides, but it’s at least an hour outside of San Francisco so you’ll probably want to devote your entire day to this visit.

Escape from the Rock – $47.00

Have you ever had an interest in Alcatraz? Now’s your time to experience it for yourself. With this cruise, you’ll first sail under the Golden Gate Bridge before circling Alcatraz island. By circling the island, you’ll get the chance to see every angle of the prison while learning more about the criminals that inhabited it. Each tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours, making it a perfect way to start your day before heading to your next attraction. Great for both kids and adults. This is not an actual Alcatraz tour, but rather more of a bay cruise with great views of the former prison and expert information.

San Francisco Bay Cruise– $38.00

Easily the most recognizable feature of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is anything but an eyesore. On the San Francisco Bay Cruise, you’ll spend an hour cruising along the North beach shoreline where you’ll view Aquatic Park, Hyde Street Pier and ships within the National Maritime Historic Park. You’ll also find yourself sailing right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, offering you a different perspective.  Great for both adults and children. When planning this cruise, it should be noted that reservations are required.

California’s Great America– $74.99

A theme park that’s great for both adults and children, California’s Great America is located in Santa Clara and offers dozens of rides to choose from. Here you’ll find a water park, a 4D attraction, entertainment and dining. When planning a trip here, it’s important to note that this park is seasonal and is open from March to October.

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Bay Area– $26.99

While the this isn’t a full-blown LEGOLAND amusement park, the Discovery Center is still extremely popular with young visitors. It’s got 10 different play areas and a great place to spend a few hours for families. It’s located about 50 miles south of San Francisco, just north of San Jose.

Madame Tussauds – $26.99

Madame Tussauds San Francisco is conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf, so it’s good to visit just before or after one of the boat tours. If you’ve never been to a Madame Tussauds before you might think these places are a bit cheesy or boring, but I’ve been to a few of them and they are actually super fun. The wax figures are amazing even when you are inches away from them. Best of all, you can see the whole place in about an hour, so with the Go City pass you can get great value and avoid the ticket lines at the same time.

Is the Go San Francisco Pass a good deal

With each pass that you purchase, you’ll not only receive admission into 28 different attractions, but also a detailed guidebook loaded with attraction descriptions and a location map. You’ll also find, as an added bonus, various discounts for dining, entertainment and shopping.

But is the pass really a good deal? It is, but only if you use it as it is meant to be used. Make sure to visit higher costing attractions and as many as possible. This will allow for an increase in savings and the ability to skip most or all ticket lines.

To help, we’ve created a sample 2 day itinerary showcasing the price difference between the 2 day pass and the general admission prices.

Day 1

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus 1-Day Classic Tour $65.70
  • San Francisco Bay Cruise $38.00
  • Aquarium of the Bay $32.75

Day 2

  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom $89.99

Without the pass, this 2-day itinerary would end up costing $226.44. The 2-Day Adult pass costs $129 (or $123 using our discount code), so you’d save $97 (or $103). It’s kind of like paying full price for three popular attractions on the first day and then getting free admission to Six Flags on your second day. Not too bad.

Should you get an All-Inclusive Pass or an Explorer Pass?

As you can probably tell, the Go City All-Inclusive Pass lets you select a number of days (1,2,3, or 5) and you can visit as many attractions as you can handle on that number of days.

On the other hand, the Go City Explorer Pass lets you select a number of attractions (2,3,4, or 5) and prepay for them and then visit them at your leisure.

So which should you get? If you like to plan in advance and get an early start (out of your hotel by 9 AM or so), then you’ll almost certainly be able to do more and save more money with the All-Inclusive Pass. Obviously you’ll ignore most or all of the cheaper attractions (those under $25) and choose among the more expensive ones. It’s just a matter of picking expensive attractions that are close enough together to be combined, or are available at different times of the day.

The two big theme parks, Six Flags and California’s Great Adventure, are each close to an hour away by car, and you’ll want to spend most or all of the day at either of them. In other words, it’s best to assume that they will be the ONLY thing you’ll do on that day. Still, they are expensive enough that these passes will save you a lot of money on admission as long as you are well organized.

If you aren’t the type who can be dressed and ready before noon, then the Explorer Pass might be better and you can select the exact attractions that interest you before you decide how many choices to buy. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to save money as long as you find enough attractions that seem interesting enough to you.

How not to use the Go San Francisco Pass

In order to get the maximum savings out of your pass, you’ll need to first plan a little. In fact, you’ll need to plan on what not to do. Two major things not to do with the pass are to not visit only low priced attractions and to not visit attractions that are spaced far apart in the same day.

By not doing those two things, you’re allowing yourself the maximum benefit and therefore saving even more money.

One way to use the pass to your benefit even more, is to take advantage of Hop-on/off Sightseeing Tour. This tour, which is included within the price of the pass, allows you to hop on or off whenever and wherever you want as the trolly ventures through and around the city. This is a fantastic, and very easy, way to get from one attraction to the next without having to navigate the streets on your own with a rental car.

The bottom line

The Go San Francisco Pass can be a great money saver if you use it right. During your visit, if you use the pass to visit mostly higher priced (over $20) attractions, then you’ll be rewarded with major savings. If you plan to visit lesser priced attractions, then you might find yourself paying about the same prices, or in some cases more for the pass than the admission costs.

Where do you purchase your Go San Francisco Pass

Look for “Have a promo code?” in the Review Your Order screen and use the code ‘GO5POT’ for the exclusive Price Of Travel 5% discount. The 5% discount is valid on sale prices, so you save even more.

>>>Buy the Go San Francisco Pass at an ADDITIONAL 5% off using this link and the promo code GO5POT

There are 4 different ways to receive your newly purchased pass. The first and most popular way is via smartphone where you’ll instantly receive your pass and digital guidebook. Other options include printing from your computer, snail mail (includes a full color guidebook) or picking up the pass from one of the in-city pickup locations.

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