In this Go San Francisco Pass review, I’ll explain how the pass works, what’s included, and help you decide if it’s a good deal for you.
The Golden Gate Bridge. Historic cable cars. Alcatraz Island. Theme Parks. This eclectic collection of tourist attractions can only belong to one city: San Francisco.
If you’re hoping to get the full SF experience, you’ve got a lot to cover. Undoubtedly, things will get expensive.
Or will they?
The Go San Francisco Pass is an all-inclusive attractions pass that can help keep your travel budget under control by cutting admission prices by nearly 60%. Yes, I said 60%!!
Interested in learning more? Let’s take a look.
Go San Francisco Pass: How it Works
The Go San Francisco Pass is an all-inclusive attractions pass that includes entry to over 25 of San Fran’s top sites. It’s available for 1, 2, 3, or 5 consecutive calendar days and lets you visit as many attractions as you can during that time, all for one low price.
When you buy your pass online, you can print it at home or use it on your smartphone with the free Go City app. There’s no need to plan anything in advance; just show up at the first attraction, show your pass, and head on in. No tickets required!
Using the pass for the first time activates it, and from there, you’re on the clock. Because you’re dealing with calendar days, it’s best to activate your pass early in the morning to have the full day ahead of you.
So why buy the Go San Francisco Pass? Couldn’t you just buy your tickets at the gate?
First and foremost, it can save you nearly 60% on admission to San Francisco’s top attractions. That’s huge.
Second, it’s super-convenient. There are no tickets to keep track of; everything you need is in one place, right on your phone. And last, the Go San Francisco Pass saves you time on top of money by letting you skip the main ticket line at select attractions.
Attractions Included on the Go San Francisco Pass
The Go San Francisco Pass hooks you up with entry to more than 25 of the city’s hottest attractions. Below is a sample of them, along with their regular adult admission prices:
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – $75.18
- California’s Great America – $62
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – $55
- Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise – $44
- Escape from the Rock – $42
- Golden Gate Bay Cruise – $34
- All Day Comfort Bike Rental $32
- Aquarium of the Bay – $28.25
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – $25
- The Walt Disney Family Museum – $25
*Current as of March 29, 2020
As you can see, most of the included attractions are pretty expensive, and that adds up quick! Luckily, the Go San Fran Pass can soften the blow.
Go San Francisco Pass Pricing
Now that you know what’s included on the Go San Francisco Pass, it’s time to take a look at how much it costs.
|Passes||Adult||Child (Age 3-12)|
|1 Day Pass||$92||$75|
|2 Day Pass||$137||$114|
|3 Day Pass||$172||$144|
|5 Day Pass||$214||$176|
|*Prices current as of March 29, 2020|
Looking at these prices, it’s clear that the 5-day pass provides the best value. It averages out to just $42.80 a day for unlimited attractions. Considering that half of the attractions cost more than $25 without the pass, it’s easy to save money. Just visit 2-3 sites a day and you’re set.
Of course, not everyone is game to do 2-3 attractions a day for 5 consecutive days. And not everyone stays in San Francisco for 5 days, either. Maybe that’s why the 3-day pass is the most popular option. It averages out to $57.33 a day, but it’s still easy to get your money’s worth, especially with the more expensive attractions.
For example, a lot of people will want to do a theme park day. These two parks are the most expensive attractions on the menu, so choosing one will help you get great value from your pass. The Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is always popular, and that’s $55 on its own. San Francisco is known for its iconic bridges, so the Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise will be a top choice.
So, let’s say you go for:
- Six Flags – $75.18
- HOHO Bus Tour – $55
- Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise – $44
That’s $174.18 right there, which is the cost of the 3-day pass. At that point, any other attractions you do are effectively free! See how easy it is to get your money’s worth? Doing 2-3 a day will save you quite a chunk of change.
Top Reasons to Get the Go San Francisco Pass
Save Money on San Francisco Attractions
The number one reason to buy the Go San Francisco Pass is the incredible savings opportunity. It’s so easy to get value from this pass – even doing two attractions a day can save you money, provided you choose some of the more expensive options. If you go for at least the 3-day pass and do 3+ attractions a day, you can save a ton of money – nearly 60%!
The pass is truly unlimited because there is no purse value. The more you do, the more you save.
Theme parks are a big draw in California, and I like that the Go San Francisco Pass includes two. Six Flags and California’s Great America are the two most expensive options on the pass, so choosing one or both will help you ramp up your savings. Note that they’re an hour and a half away from each other, so you wouldn’t want to visit them both on the same day.
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
The Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is an awesome way to explore a new city, so if it’s your first time in SF, you’ll want to check it out. Sit back and take in the sights while a guide gives key info about the city’s history and landmarks or hop off at any of the 15 stops and go exploring. You can hop back on any time!
Something really cool about the HOHO Bus Tour is that it includes a Chinatown walking tour. Check it out at stop #6!
Skip the Line Entry
Time is just as valuable as money, especially when you’re traveling. Trips are hardly ever as long as we wish they could be, and you don’t want to waste time standing in line – ugh! Luckily, the Go San Francisco Pass lets you skip the ticket line and enjoy fast-track entry at three included attractions:
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
- Walt Disney Museum
- San Francisco Zoo and Gardens
Other Benefits of the Go San Francisco Pass
- Inclusive Selection – The Go San Francisco Pass packs a lot of variety into its 25+ attractions. You’ve got theme parks, museums, cruises, tours, the zoo, the aquarium, bike rentals, and more.
- Additional Discounts – The Go San Francisco Pass can save you up to 60% on admission to the top tourist attractions, but it doesn’t stop there. The pass comes with additional discounts for local retailers, restaurants, and tours. Examples include 15% off the California Academy of Sciences Academy Store, 30% off San Francisco Movie Tours, and 15% off at Hana Zen restaurant.
- Convenient Mobile App – This pass is uber-convenient, especially when you use the free mobile app. No tickets, no paper, and everything you need is on your phone.
- Can Visit Attractions More Than Once – Most sightseeing and attractions passes only allow one entry to each included attraction. The Go San Francisco Pass is different; you can visit most of the attractions more than once, as long as it isn’t on the same day. There are some exceptions, so be sure to consult your guidebook.
Where the Go San Francisco Pass Falls Short
As I mentioned before, the Go San Francisco Pass lineup is pretty diverse and the savings potential is huge. There’s something missing, though – cable cars!
San Francisco is known for its charming historic cable cars. Riding them isn’t only a practical mode of transportation, it’s part of the San Fran experience. The pass would be more complete if it included access to the cable cars.
Another omission is a tour of Alcatraz. The pass includes a ferry ride around the island, complete with narration of its story, which is admittedly awesome. However, some travelers will be disappointed that the Go San Francisco Pass doesn’t include the opportunity to tour inside the prison.
Who Should Buy the Go San Francisco Pass?
First-time Visitors – Travelers visiting for the first time will enjoy the unlimited, all-inclusive selection of the Go San Francisco Pass. These are the people who are game for multiple attractions each day, which is where the big savings are.
Families – Expenses add up fast when you’re traveling as a group, but so can the savings you get with the Go San Fran Pass. It’s a good option when you’re traveling with kids because the majority of the attractions are family friendly.
Visitors Who Love Busy, Fun-filled Days – Technically, you can get your money’s worth (and even save a little) from a three or five-day Go San Francisco Pass if you visit one attraction a day and choose the most expensive options. That’s rare for an attractions pass! All the same, the real savings kick into gear when you experience 2-3 attractions each day. People who love action-packed days will get a ton of value from this pass.
Who Should Skip the Go San Francisco Pass?
Travelers Who Like to Take It Slow – Travelers who prefer a slightly slower pace (say one to two attractions per day) can still get some value from the three and five-day passes, depending on their selections. But people who don’t enjoy busy days or who don’t like consecutive days of attractions won’t save nearly as much money as people who do.
People on a Super-tight Budget – The Go San Francisco Pass is an excellent buy for people who will use it appropriately, but travelers on a very restrictive budget will need to skip the pass and stick to free or low-cost activities.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Go San Francisco Pass
- Visit Two to Three Attractions Per Day – I sound like a broken record, but to get great value from this pass, you should visit two to three attractions each day. Remember, the cardinal rule of all-inclusive passes – the more you do, the more you save.
- Buy the Pass on Sale – Similar to the New York Pass or the London Pass, this pass regularly goes on sale at their website. So, don’t pay full price if you can help it!
- Skip the One-day Pass – It’s possible to save some money with the one-day pass, but all the other options offer better value.
- Activate Your Pass in the Morning – The Go San Francisco Pass operates on calendar days, not 24-hour periods. Thus, it’s best to activate your pass early in the day. If you wait until the afternoon, you forfeit half a day of the pass’ life.
How to Buy the Go San Francisco Pass
As previously mentioned, your best bet is to check for a sale and buy the Go San Francisco Pass online here.
After making your purchase, you’ll receive your pass immediately via email. You can either print a copy or download it to your smartphone using the free Go City mobile app.
Buying in advance and taking advantage of a sale can be a great way to ramp up your savings even more, but make sure you activate your pass within a year of purchase. After that, it expires.
The Go San Francisco Pass comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you change your mind within that window, you can get a full refund on any non-activated pass.
Go San Francisco Pass Review: Is it a Good Deal?
If you’re interested in the included attractions and are up for hitting 2-3 of them a day, the Go San Fran Pass is a fantastic buy. Because most the attractions have gate prices greater than $25, it’s really easy to save money with this pass. The varied selection means most people can find something they enjoy.
Go San Francisco Pass Review
Pass Options & Lengths
Fast Track Entry
Go San Francisco Pass Review
The Go San Francisco Pass gives you access to more than 25 of the city’s best attractions. If you’re interested in the included attractions and are up for hitting 2-3 of them a day, the Go San Fran Pass is a fantastic buy. Because most the attractions have gate prices greater than $25, it’s really easy to save money with this pass. The varied selection means most people can find something they enjoy. Fast track entry and being able to visit the same attraction more than once also adds value. Besides missing Alcatraz and riding cable cars, this pass is a great deal.