When visiting San Francisco for just one week, we wanted to pack as many things in 7 days as we could. We decided to buy a San Francisco Attraction Pass to save money on public transportation and museums.
While $89 per person is quite a large sum upfront, if you use the CityPASS enough, it will save you money on some of the major attractions in San Francisco.
How Does CityPASS Work?
CityPASS is a pocket-sized ticket book which you can buy for $89 and use for up to 9 days after the first use to visit multiple museums, get deals and free public transportation rides in San Francisco. Once you have your booklets, you can visit the attractions in any order you wish.
Look at the tickets in the booklet for entry instructions at each attraction, and note that some attractions may require you to exchange your CityPASS ticket for an actual ticket.
The tickets in your booklet are good for one visit (unless otherwise noted). You’ll want to leave them in place for the check-in at the attractions to tear out. If tickets are removed, they’ll be considered invalid. Don’t rip the tickets out yourself, just give the booklet at each of your attractions.
What’s Included in the San Francisco CityPASS
When you purchase San Francisco CityPASS, you will have free access to:
- 3-Day Cable Car and Muni Bus Passport ($33 on its own)
- California Academy of Sciences ($39.95 on its own)
- Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure ($33 on its own)
- Aquarium of the Bay ($26.95 on its own)
- Exploratorium OR San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — SFMOMA (from $25 to $29.95 on its own)
If you were to attend all of these attractions while in San Francisco and use public transportation for 3 days, you could save $73.85 for each adult. (and $52.85 for a child ticket)
There are also coupons in the back of the booklet for things like shopping, dining, entertainment, souvenirs and gifts.
3-Day Cable Car and Muni Bus Passport
San Francisco Tip: The city has a lot of hills and riding a trolley saves time when you have a busy schedule. There is so much to see, so the public transport helps a lot. Plus, riding the trolley is a lot of fun. Overall, I really recommend taking the trolley at least once!
Note: For more San Francisco transportation tips and more, check out this article!
California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences is a science museum, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It is a really fun place to visit with kids and adults alike! We really enjoyed the planetarium and seeing the albino alligator, Claude. California Academy of Sciences also features an aquarium and a four-story rainforest, home to free-flying tropical butterflies and birds. It is also located in a really beautiful spot of the Golden Gate Park, so I recommend making a day out of it and enjoying some time in the park as well!
Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure
Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure is definitely worth it if it’s your first time in San Francisco! It is a 60-minute Bay cruise, which leaves from Pier 39. You will go past Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge. On you journey, you will learn a lot more about the San Francisco history and see the beautiful skyline of the city!
Aquarium of the Bay
Aquarium of the Bay is also located near Pier 39, so I would recommend visiting it the same day you go on the cruise. The Aquarium is home to more than 20000 marine animals from the Bay. The Aquarium is, however very crowded and a little overpriced. It is a fun place if you have purchased the CityPASS and have kids with you. And you will also be able to see the sea lions on the Pier when you go!
We chose to visit Exploratorium instead of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. While the Museum is very big, it was very crowded with kids on the day we visited. If you have kids with you, they would have a lot of fun playing with all of the experiments that Exploratorium has to offer. It’s also a wonderful educational experience for the little ones! However, if you are travelling as a couple, I would suggest going to SFMOMA instead.
On another note, if you really like science museums, I would highly recommend the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
We didn’t get to go to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and I really regret it. I love spending an afternoon looking at art and SFMOMA boasts exhibits by Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera. Next time I visit, I promise to go and share my experience!
How To Get a San Francisco CityPASS
If you get the San Francisco CityPASS ticket booklet online, you can choose between receiving a voucher that you can print or having the booklets shipped to you. You can then bring your printed voucher to one of the attractions you visit, and they’ll redeem it for your CityPASS ticket booklet. Just don’t forget to bring your ID (attractions may ask for it).
If you’d like to have your booklets shipped to you, CityPASS ships to the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and UK. Or, you could also buy CityPASS at the first attraction you visit.
Is San Francisco CityPass Worth It?
We used every ticket in the San Francisco CityPASS booklet, had a lot of fun visiting San Francisco attractions and getting to know the city. I would say that it is worth the price, especially if you are going with kids. Some of the attractions are a lot more kid-oriented, so I wish there were other options for adults. But overall, you save a lot of money if you are planning to do everything in the booklet.
Have you used CityPASS on any of your travels before? How was your experience?