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    Chicago Pass: Which One Best Suits Your Needs?

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    Joel Fulleda

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    How many reasons to visit Chicago! The third largest city of all the USA has an advantage that is fundamental for us at Viaggi Usa; is the world capital of blues and jazz! One cannot count the number of concerts that delight the discerning ears of Chicagoans every night. And what about theArt Institute? Absolutely unmissable is the collection of paintings it offers.

    This important city has a lot to offer, even just considering its particular location close to Lake Michigan: it would be worth going there just to get on one of the many skyscrapers (maybe you are interested in the famous and expensive panoramic terrace of the Willis Tower) and enjoy the splendid panorama.

    And then again the Shedd Aquarium, the numerous museums, the shopping centers, Millennium Park, the modern architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright… there is really the risk of getting lost and returning home with a considerably lightened wallet. But don't panic: with this article we want to introduce you to the two Chicago Pass best suited to visit Chicago without spending a fortune!

    Please note:Pass characteristics may vary over time (e.g. number and type of attractions, as well as percentage savings). We therefore invite you to check on the official website, indicated in the article, for any changes.


    • Chicago City Pass
      • Attractions included
      • Prices
      • How much you save:
      • Where to buy it:
    • Go Chicago Card – All Inclusive
      • Prices
      • How much you save:
      • Where to buy it
    • Explorer Pass Chicago
      • Prices
      • Where to buy it
    • Build Your Own Chicago Pass
      • Where to buy it

    Chicago City Pass

    By now you will have gotten to know it: the City Pass is a great option to visit the best of Chicago in complete peace and at an affordable price. It is a booklet of 5 tickets for the major attractions of the city. The overall duration of the pass is 9 days, which are by no means few, if compared to other similar proposals. Be careful, why some attractions are at your choice, and then you'll have to make some decisions: you know it's never as easy as it sounds!

    If you hate queues at the ticket office, don't worry: the Chicago City Pass it will blow you all. Ok, you can find some people in line when you need to exchange your e-ticket for the booklet, but it is very little.

    Attractions included

    • Shedd Aquarium (VIP ticket)
    • Skydeck Chicago (fast pass)
    • The Field Museum (all-access pass)
    • Museum of Science and Industry or 360 Chicago (John Hancock Observatory)
    • Adler planetarium or Art Institute of Chicago


    The cost of Chicago City Pass is $ 106 for each adult and $ 89 for children aged 3 to 11. You can buy the pass on the Official site and print the e-ticket directly at home. The places where it is possible to exchange it for the booklet are listed on the ticket itself. If, on the other hand, you are already in Chicago and haven't had time to buy the pass online, go directly to the ticket office of one of the attractions included and ask for it: the price is the same.

    How much you save:

    The savings are quite high: well the 51% on the cumulative price of all attractions! Yes, because if you really intended to visit them all without the pass, you would spend a total of just under $ 200 per adult and $ 165 for children! Let's take an example that makes the savings clear: entering the Shedd Aquarium without a pass would cost you 42 $ / adult and also for the Skydeck Chicago you would have to shell out no less than 45 $ / adult. Make a simple sum… doesn't it seem that you are very close to the total cost of the Chicago City Pass?

    • Banco Pro: 5 attractions in total for 9 days… then don't say you didn't have time to see everything in Chicago!
    • Cons: for those who stay only a few days in the city, the price could be excessive and, to make ends meet, there is the risk of making all the visits in a hurry.

    Where to buy it:

    • Official website
    • Expedia
    • Viator

    Go Chicago Card – All Inclusive

    Even this pass will not sound new to you: usually the Go Card is an excellent alternative to the City Pass, and is distinguished from the latter by the flexibility of the offer. The concept behind the Go Chicago Card it is very interesting: the visitor can choose the pass that best suits their needs, but above all for the period of stay in the city.

    You have to stay in Chicago from one to five days and would you like to be able to choose from all the best attractions in the city? No problem, choose the Go Chicago Card that's right for you (available for 1, 2, 3, 5 days) and, in any case, you can choose between 24 attractions, tours and cruises, skipping the queues at the entrance (you can find the detailed list on Official site). Be careful when planning your day: the pass is only valid from 09:00 to 17:30.


     Here is the detail of the standard prices, however subject to seasonal variations and offers from operators:

    • 1 day: $ 95 (adults), $ 69 (children 3-12 years old)
    • 2 days: $ 135 (adults), $ 95 (children 3-12 years)
    • 3 days: $ 165 (adults), $ 110 (children 3-12 years)
    • 5 days: $ 195 (adults), $ 135 (children 3-12 years)

    Unlike the City Pass, one is included in the price here full-color Chicago guide and a discount bundle for shops and restaurants. After the online purchase, you will receive an email with the pass: print it and take it with you.

    How much you save:

    It all depends on your ability to organize yourself to make the most of your pass by visiting as many attractions as possible, but, in general, you can save up to 40%.

    • Banco Pro: it is a pass for all tastes, very flexible and at an affordable price. The savings are very substantial, the choice is excellent.
    • Cons: savings all depend on your ability to choose and organize. Especially if you only stay one or two days, the large number of attractions could put you in difficulty, with the risk of paying more than what you have actually visited!

    Where to buy it

    • Official site

    Explorer Pass Chicago

    Compared to the previous pass, here the philosophy changes completely: from the days we pass to having to decide the number of attractions that you want to include in the pass. In fact, you can activate a pass that allows access to 3, 4 or 5 attractions from a list of 25 (you can find the details on the Official site).


    • 3 attractions: $ 75 (adults), $ 49 (children 3-12 years old)
    • 4 attractions: $ 95 (adults), $ 60 (children 3-12 years old)
    • 5 attractions: $ 105 (adults), $ 70 (children 3-12 years old)

    This pass will allow you to save up to 40%.

    Where to buy it

    • Official site

    Build Your Own Chicago Pass

    In this case we are not talking about a pre-set pass but you will create it based exclusively on your needs. Build Your Own is in fact the pass that you build going to include only the attractions you really want to visit.

    Choosing this choice therefore requires an in-depth study of the city's attractions (for this we suggest you read our article on what to see in Chicago) and more planning of your itinerary. On the other hand, it will allow you to go and save exactly where you need it most, avoiding unnecessary waste.

    You can get savings ranging from 20 to 25% if you choose at least two attractions among the 30 available (which you can discover in detail by visiting the Official site). The price is not fixed but varies according to how many and which attractions you choose.

    Where to buy it

    • Official site
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