If you want to save money on your vacation in San Francisco a city pass is the way to go. And this one — GO San Francisco Card — is the Godfather of attraction passes. Not only does it give you free access to up to 33 museums, cruises, attractions, and activities, you're able to choose from 4 different versions, so you can get the exact city pass you need.
There are two city passes that give you access to San Francisco attractions. The other one is the San Francisco CityPASS – Read Our Review…
This means that if you don't want to try to do everything you're able to select the things you do want to do. The choice between 4 versions of GO San Francisco Card might seem a bit confusing at first, but don't worry, we'll lay it all out for you here. About the only thing that the GO card doesn't include is unlimited transportation on the MUNI system. (That's available with the San Francisco CityPASS.)
This is the big brother of the GO cards and it includes everything. That is, if you consider 26 major attractions to be everything.
This all-inclusive card gets you into virtually every major attraction in the San Francisco Bay area.
First of all, there are the Big Attractions — Aquarium of the Bay, the California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum & the Legion of Honor, the Exploratorium, the Asian Art Museum.
There are at least three Bay cruises, including Escape From The Rock Alcatraz Cruise. Don't forget about Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, the two-day Hop-On bus pass, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, and (our fave) a tour and tasting in the Wine Country. The list goes on.
All You Can Do. You choose from a 1-Day pass all the way up to a 7-Day pass — and then you're free to do all you can in that period. We recommend you choose the GO Card for the length of time you'll be in the city and then do what you want to, when you want to. It's choose as you go, no need to decide in advance. The more you use the card, the more you save — up to 55%.
We like this simpler version of the GO Card that lets you choose any 4 activities.
The best thing about it is you don't have to decide which four when you buy the pass. Wait until you're in San Francisco and then choose to go to any four of the nineteen attractions offered — whatever strikes your fancy on a particular day.
The attractions available are very similar to those in the All-Inclusive Card — three bay cruises, the Aquarium of the Bay, Bay City Bike Rental and Tours. Another option is a 1-day MUNI pass, to ride cable cars and buses.
How It Works. Buy your Explorer Card as far in advance as you like, it's only activated the first time you use it. After that, you have 30 days to do your activities. Total savings are around 50%.
If you know exactly what you want to do, this is a good card option that nets you 20% savings on every attraction you choose.
Here's how it works — you choose all the activities and attractions you want do and a card is created for you that costs 20% less than the normal admission prices. There are 33 activities on the list.
This is the only card that includes an Alcatraz tour (if you choose it). It's part of comprehensive, 3-hour city tour that takes you to San Francisco landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and the Palace of Fine Arts.
If you don't have the time to figure it all out, or if you want someone else to do the work for you, then a GO Card package is just the thing for you.
We like this option because it's supremely easy. You have a choice of two passes (the number and types of package deals may change from time to time, so be sure to check).
1 — San Francisco Family Fun Pass gives you admission to the Aquarium of the Bay, a Golden Gate Bay Cruise, the California Academy of Sciences, and a tour of the AT&T Ball Park. You save 37%. Or choose…
2 — San Francisco Museum Pass gets you into the Asian Art Museum, de Young Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences. You save 25%.
When you're on the GO San Francisco Card site, here's an easy way to navigate between the four choices.
We suggest that you ignore the promotional copy on the GO home page and instead simply use the top menu bar to switch between the choices. And those choices are obvious, from left to right —
All-Inclusive — Explorer — Build Your Own — Package Deals
Once you click on one of the menu links you'll find complete info about that version of the card. There are clear explanations of the attractions that are included (click on the Attractions tab) and how this version of the card works (How It Works tab).
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