In this Go Washington DC Pass review, we’ll see what the pass includes, how much it costs, and determine if it’s right for your travel plans. Enjoy!

If you’re visiting America’s capital city, prepare to be inundated with things to do. World-class museums, historical sites, monuments, and of course, the White House are all major draws when visiting Washington, D.C.

And the cool part? A lot of it is free! Some of the best museums don’t charge an admission fee, and tours of the White House are free of charge, although they need to be booked at least 21 days in advance.

Although D.C. can be one of the cheapest places to travel, not everything is free.

If you want to take a bus tour of the city (and I recommend you do), join a walking tour, or take a spin on the Capital Wheel, you’ll have to shell out some coin. D.C. is also a haven for museum buffs, and some of them carry hefty admission costs.

Sightseeing passes can help stretch your travel budget by bundling admission to multiple attractions at discounted prices. That’s exactly what the Go Washington DC Pass does.

There are two options available to help you save money on sightseeing: The Explorer Pass and the Build Your Own Pass. They both have their benefits, but the Explorer Pass offers greater savings potential. Since saving money is one of my favorite things to do, I’ll focus on the Explorer Pass. From now on, when I refer to the Go Washington DC Pass, that’s what I’m talking about.

So, let’s take a look at how it works, what it costs, and how much you can save.

What Is the Go Washington DC Pass?Go Washington DC Pass Logo

The Go Washington DC Pass is your ticket to the city’s top attractions at a discounted price.

Here’s how it works: You head to the website and buy the pass for three, four, or five attractions. There are 22 attractions included, but you don’t have to make any decisions about which you’d like to visit in advance, just the number. You receive the pass via email and either print it or download it to your smartphone using the free Go City app.

When you arrive in D.C., head to any of the included attractions and show your pass to get in. Using your pass for the first time “activates” it, and from there, it’s valid for 30 consecutive days, including that one.

The Go Washington DC Pass is super convenient because it eliminates the need to buy tickets in advance. You’ve got one pass that functions as your ticket to the number of attractions you select.

The convenience is great, but the main benefit of the pass is the savings. Compared to buying your tickets at the gate, you can save up to 47% on sightseeing in D.C. using this pass!

Top Attractions Included on the Go Washington DC Pass

The Go Washington DC Pass includes 22 must-see attractions. Here they are, ranked by regular admission price*:

  • Key to the City Museum Pass — $60 (actually $20, more on this later)
  • Hop-On, Hop-Off Big Bus Classic Tour: 2-Day — $49
  • Big Bus DC Panoramic Night Tour — $45
  • Talk Politics and Explore Capitol Hill Neighbourhood Tour — $40
  • Round-Trip Mount Vernon Cruise — $28
  • International Spy Museum —$26.44
  • Bike and Roll DC Bike Rentals — $25.56
  • Museum of the Bible — $24.99
  • Free Tours by Foot (Choose 1 of 3) — $24
  • Madame Tussauds D.C. — $23.27
  • National Law Enforcement Museum — $23.21
  • Washington National Cathedral Entrance and Tour — $22
  • One-Hour Wharf Sightseeing Cruise — $21
  • Mount Vernon — $20
  • Washington Walks — $20
  • Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens — $18
  • ARTECHOUSE — $17.50
  • The Capital Wheel — $16.50
  • Washington Nationals Ballpark Tour — $15
  • National Geographic Museum — $15
  • $15 Toward Meal at Buca di Beppo — $15
  • National Building Museum —$10

*Current April 2020

How Much Does the Go Washington DC Pass Cost?

Now that you know what’s included, let’s take a look at pricing. The table below shows the regular price of the three-, four-, and five-choice Explorer passes for adults and children.

PassAdult (13+)Child (ages 7-12)
3 Choice$64$43
4 Choice$84$54
5 Choice$99$66
*Current as of April 1, 2020

Looking at these prices, we can quickly see that it isn’t hard to get value from the Go Washington DC Pass.

Let’s consider the 4-choice pass, which is the most popular option. The regular price for an adult is $84. So to save money, you need to choose four attractions whose regular admission costs exceed $84. Taking a look back through the included attractions, we see that 15 out of 22 have regular admission costs of at least $20.

According to the Go Washington DC Pass website, the most expensive option is the Key to the City Museum Pass, which is listed as $60 on its own. However, a little investigation reveals that although the regular admission prices of the nine included museums total $60, you can buy the museum pass itself for $20. So you if ask me, the regular price is $20. It’s still a great pick for museum buffs, though.

With that out of the way, The Hop-On, Hop-Off (HOHO) Big Bus Tour is the highest value attraction, and one that many first-time visitors will gravitate towards. It costs $49 on its own.

So if you choose the Key to the City Museum Pass ($20) and the HOHO Bus Tour ($49), the total value of the 4-choice pass is $69 before you even choose your other two attractions.

Let’s say you have your fill of museums and opt for the Talk Politics and Explore Capitol Hill Neighbourhood Tour ($40) and the Capital Wheel ($16.50). Without choosing all the most expensive options, the value of the 4-choice pass is $125.50. It only costs $84, so that’s $41.50 (33%) in savings. I’d take that!

You can save even more with the 5-choice pass if you choose all the most expensive attractions. That itinerary looks like this:

  • Hop-On, Hop-Off Big Bus Classic Tour: 2-Day — $49
  • Big Bus DC Panoramic Night Tour — $45
  • Talk Politics and Explore Capitol Hill Neighbourhood Tour — $40
  • Round-Trip Mount Vernon Cruise — $28
  • International Spy Museum —$26.44

The total value of this lineup is $188.44, and the 5-choice pass costs $99, putting your savings at $89.44, or 47%.

See Washington, D.C. for Less – Want the full D.C. experience? The Go Washington DC Pass can help you see the city for up to 47% less! Get your Go Washington DC Pass here.

Top Reasons to Get the Go Washington DC Pass

Go Washington DC Pass Review - picture of Washington Monument at Sunset

Save Money

The top reason to buy a sightseeing pass is to save money, and the Go Washington DC Pass delivers. You’ll have no trouble saving at least 30% compared to buying your tickets at the gate. And if you’re smart about it, you could save up to 47%. That’s pretty impressive.

Key to the City Museum Pass

The Key to the City Museum Pass is a pass within a pass. Perfect for the museum buff, it includes access the following nine historical sites in Alexandria, VA:

  • The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
  • Carlyle House
  • Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
  • Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
  • The Lyceum
  • Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden
  • Alexandria Black History Museum
  • Friendship Firehouse
  • Freedom House

The Key to the City Museum Pass is valued at $60, but that’s a little misleading. The regular admission prices of those nine museums adds up to $60, yes. But the Key to the City Museum Pass itself can be purchased for $20. So really, it’s a $20 attraction. That said, I still think it’s a great choice for museum and history lovers, especially if you have lots of time in D.C.

Hop-On, Hop-Off Big Bus Classic Tour

A HOHO bus tour is a great way to explore Washington, D.C. – especially if it’s your first time. Take in the sites while a live tour guide tells you all about the area’s most iconic attractions. The live tour is in English, but if you prefer another language, no problem. A prerecorded audio guide is available in eight other languages.

The beauty of a HOHO tour is that you have the option of staying on the bus for the whole tour or hopping off at one of the 28 stops to go explore. It’s a tour, but it’s also transportation. True, it’s not the most efficient way of getting around, but it’s probably the most interesting.

Some of the highlights of the tour include:

  • The White House (obviously)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • The Capitol Building

For a limited time (currently until June 30, 2020), the Go Washington DC Pass includes a HOHO bus ticket that’s good for two days instead of one.

Other Benefits of the Go Washington DC Pass

  • Mobile Pass: The Go Washington DC Pass is available in two user-friendly formats: a hard copy you print at home and a digital copy you download to your smartphone using the free Go City app. I personally prefer the mobile pass because it’s one less thing I have to keep track of when traveling. If you always have your phone, you always have your pass, which means you always have your admission tickets. So convenient.
  • Skip-the-Line Access: One of the biggest time wasters on a sightseeing vacation is waiting in lines. When planning your days, you often don’t realize just how much time can get eaten up that way. So anything that cuts down on that is a bonus. The Go Washington DC Pass lets you skip the main ticket lines at select attractions.
  • Valid for 30 Days: One of the best things about this pass is that it’s valid for 30 days upon activation. That’s awesome for people who like to spread out their sightseeing or who will be in town for a while.

Save Up to 47% in Washington D.C. – Get the Go Washington DC Pass and save on some of the best museums and tours of Washington D.C. Learn more here.

Where the Go Washington DC Pass Falls Short

As I mentioned before, the Key to the City Museum Pass is listed at $60, but that isn’t quite true, since the pass sells for $20 on its own. At first glance, that makes the Go Washington DC Pass look more valuable than it is.

The most you can save with the Go Washington DC Pass is 47%, and most people will probably save a bit less, since few will want to do two bus tours. That’s certainly nothing to turn your nose up at, but it isn’t on par with the massive savings you see with some all-inclusive passes, such as the New York Pass.

At first glance, you might think that several notable museums and tours are missing, and you’re not wrong. But that’s because many of Washington, D.C.’s most sought-after tourist attractions are free. That’s right, the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, and even tours of the White House are free. One might argue that you can plan a pretty full sightseeing trip without paying any admission fees at all.

Other than that, there isn’t much to complain about it. It’s a lot of museums and tours, but that’s what sightseeing in D.C. is mostly about.

Who Should Buy the Go Washington DC Pass?

Go Washington DC Pass Review - picture of Capital

Museum Buffs: The Go Washington DC Pass offers entry to nine individual museums, plus a museum pass that includes nine more. Museum buffs will have enough to keep them busy for their whole trip, if they’re so inclined.

First-Time Visitors: Travelers visiting D.C. for the first time will likely enjoy the HOHO Big Bus Tour, the Talk Politics and Explore Capitol Hill Neighbourhood Tour, and the Capital Wheel, among other things. The Go Washington DC Pass lets them take it all in for less.

Sightseers Who Like to Take Their Time: The Go Washington DC Pass is a good fit for travelers who like to space out their sightseeing. That’s because it’s valid for 30 days, giving you plenty of time to spread out the three, four, or five attractions among your other activities. This is in contrast to all-inclusive passes, which give you unlimited attractions for a set number of calendar days.

Who Should Skip the Go Washington DC Pass?

Travelers on a Tight Budget: The Go Washington DC Pass can save you some serious money on sightseeing in D.C., but you can’t beat free. Luckily for those who don’t have a sightseeing budget, there’s tons to do for free. You can experience the Smithsonian, the National Art Gallery, the Jefferson Memorial, and even the White House without having to spend a dime.

Travelers Who Aren’t Interested in Museums or Tours: If museums and tours aren’t your thing, the Go Washington DC Pass probably isn’t for you. There’s the Capital Wheel and $15 towards a meal at Buca di Beppo, but that’s about it.

Tips For Getting The Most From Your Pass

Choose the More Expensive Options: To maximize the value of the Go Washington DC Pass, you need to ensure the value of the attractions you visit is greater than the price you paid for the pass. The easiest way to do that is to choose the more expensive attractions. I don’t mean you should only choose the top four or five just because they’re expensive. Obviously you have to enjoy them. But take a look at the list of attractions and their regular admission and note the ones you’re most drawn to. If the regular prices add up to more than you’d pay for the pass, then you know you’ll save money.

Buy the Pass on Sale: Sightseeing passes offer great savings potential, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that they often go on sale, thus super-charging the savings. For example, at the time of writing, the 4-choice pass was $5 off and the 5-choice pass was $10 off. You can keep an eye on the website or sign up for the newsletter so you’re always in the know.

Make Sure You Use All Your Attractions: When you buy the Go Washington DC Pass, you don’t have to make any decisions about which attractions you’ll visit. You do, however, have to decide how many you’ll visit. Try to be realistic given the length of your trip. If you’ll be in D.C. for the weekend, you might not have time to visit five attractions, especially if you have other plans. Make sure you use the pass for the number of attractions purchased to avoid leaving savings on the table, or worse, losing money.

How to Get the Go Washington DC Pass

Buying the Go Washington DC Pass couldn’t be simpler. Just follow the link below to visit the website, choose the number of attractions (choices) you want, and complete your purchase online. You’ll quickly receive an email complete with instructions for downloading or printing your pass. You can buy your pass here.

Once purchased, you have one year to activate your pass and 30 days to change your mind before you do so.

Go Washington DC Pass: Is It a Good Value?

The Go Washington DC Pass can easily save you 30-40% on sightseeing. For travelers who buy the 5-choice pass and are strategic about their selections, those savings can ramp up to 47%. It’s best suited for travelers who enjoy museums and tours, since that’s the bulk of what it includes. If you’re genuinely interested in three to five of the included attractions, it’s a great value proposition.

Save Big in Washington D.C. – Enjoy more than 20 sites and attractions in America’s capital and get almost half off regular admission prices! Get your Go Washington DC Pass here!

Go Washington DC Pass Review Pin - pictures of DC landmarks