San Francisco is a great place to visit. The City by the Bay has so much to see and do. A great way to save money (after you find a hotel for your big family) is to buy an attraction discount pass. The Go San Francisco Card from GO Card or San Francisco CityPASS (disclosure: we’re affiliates of both) are great ways to stretch your family’s vacation budget while filling your trip itinerary with fun things to do. But which one is the best for your family? Let’s take a look.
Go San Francisco Card
Go San Francisco Card offers admission with their All-Inclusive Pass to 28 top attractions and states you’ll save up to 60%. Passes are available for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive calendar days. If you don’t think you’ll get in that many attractions during your visit, you can buy an Explorer Pass and pick 3, 4, 5 attractions at one low price which will save you up to 45% vs. paying at the gate. Please note that some attractions (ü*) are only available on the Explorer Pass and not on the All-Inclusive. A third option is to Build Your Own Pass. This a great option if you’re going to visit for an extended time as the pass is valid for 30 days after your first attraction visit. Save 20%
San Francisco CityPASS
Two options are available with San Francisco CityPASS, the CityPASS consists of 4 preset tickets and 1 option ticket. The San Francisco C3 allows you to pick any 3 of 8 iconic attractions. Please see the attraction chart to see which options are available for each pass. Once you use your CityPASS, you have 9 consecutive days to use it.
|Attraction||Go Card||City Pass|
|3-Day Cable Car and Muni Bus Passport||ü|
|Angel Island Roundtrip Ferry||ü|
|Aquarium of the Bay||ü||ü, C3|
|Asian Art Museum||ü|
|AT&T Park Tour||ü|
|Bay City Bike & Parkwide Bike Rentals||C3|
|Big Bus San Francisco Panoramic Night Tour||ü*|
|Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure||ü, C3|
|Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise||ü|
|California Academy of Sciences||ü||ü,C3|
|California Historical Society||ü|
|California’s Great America||ü|
|de Young Museum and Legion of Honor||ü||C3|
|Escape from the Rock||ü|
|Go Car 1 Hour Tour||ü*|
|Go Car San Francisco Tour (30-minute rental)||ü|
|Golden Gate Bay Cruise||ü|
|Hop On Hop Off Big Bus San Francisco Class Tour: 1 Day Ticket||ü|
|K1 Speed Indoor Karting||ü|
|Madam Tussauds San Francisco||ü|
|Muni Day Pass||ü*|
|One All-Day Comfort Bike Rental by Blazing Saddles||ü|
|Ripley’s Believe it or Not! San Francisco||ü|
|San Francisco Museum of Modern Art||ü||ü, C3|
|San Francisco Zoo & Gardens||ü|
|Six Flags Discovery Kingdom||ü|
|The Beat Museum||ü|
|The Contemporary Jewish Museum||ü|
|The Flyer SF & Laser Maze Challenge||ü*|
|The San Francisco Dungeon||ü|
|The Walt Disney Family Museum||ü||C3|
|U.S.S Hornet Museum||ü|
|UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens||ü|
We’ve compiled the above chart to help you decide which pass is best for your family.
If your goal is to see as much as possible, we recommend getting a San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass. For shorter trips, we recommend the Explorer Pass or San Francisco CityPASS. If you’ve just moved to the area or visiting a second time, we recommend Building Your Own Pass to see the attractions at your leisure. For those with younger kids, we recommend the Go San Francisco Card as it has more child-friendly attractions. That being said, we recommend you look at both sites and explore each option to see what’s best for your family and budget.
It’s a bit hard to compare apples to apples with the two passes. As you can see from the above attraction chart, there are only six exact attractions in common. So we’ll compare a CityPASS C3 with a Build Your Own Pass and a 3 Choice Explorer Pass. In this example, the Go San Francisco card Build Your Own Pass won out. However, your results will vary as your attraction choices might be different.
No matter what option you pick, when planning a trip to San Francisco, attraction discount cards are a great way to save money on attractions. Plus at many locations, you’ll be able to skip the lines since you already have your tickets. If you’re traveling with another big family or if you have a large family of 10 or more, be sure to get a group travel quote from the Go San Francisco Card.
|Go San Francisco Card||San Francisco CityPASS|
• 28 top attractions
• 1, 2, 3, or 5-Day cards.
• Save up to 60% vs. paying at the gate.
|• 4 preset tickets and 1 option ticket.
• Valid for 9 consecutive days starting with the first day of use.
• 3, 4, or 5 attractions at one low price.
• Save up to 45% vs. paying at the gate.
• Visit any 3 of 8 iconic attractions
• Save up to 34% vs paying at the gate
|Build Your Own Pass
• Pick your own attractions
• Pass is valid for 30 days after your first attraction visit.
• Save 20% vs. paying at the gate.
|When you buy online at citypass.com, you receive an email right away that will give you access to a printable ticket and a mobile ticket for each traveler—you choose which to use. That’s it—no shipping fees, no waiting for delivery. It’s convenient and fast.|
Have you used a tourist savings pass in San Francisco? Which one did you use? What are your tips? How many attractions do you think you could visit with a 5-Day All-Inclusive Go San Francisco Card?